It’s funny and also simply a matter of perspective when you ask, “How are you doing?”
The Orioles are 7-9 through 16 games. Not great, but actually, not bad. The Atlanta Braves, how are they doing? To them, 7-9 is a horrible start. The same goes for the 6-8 Minnesota Twins, who are now stuck with a COVID situation that has delayed their efforts to dig out of the mud. The Toronto Blue Jays — you know, the team without a real hometown — are also 7-9. They have not played a game in Rogers Centre since late September 2019.
So far George Springer hasn’t played a single inning in his new hometown or for his new team. The Pittsburgh Pirates are 7-9. My God, they were the last-place darlings of the PECOTA projections. They were pegged for 61 wins, 18 behind the Cincinnati Reds, who were projected to go 79-83.
In fact, the Tampa Bay Rays are just one game in front of the O’s at 8-8. They were projected to finish second in the AL East at 86-76. Surely, PECOTA has to have someone in the AL East correctly pegged. How about the Boston Red Sox? PECOTA projections had them going 80-82. So far, they are in first place with a 10-6 mark.
Last but not least are the New York Yankees — the last-place New York Yankees. PECOTA had them pegged to go 97-65. How’s that looking? The Yankees are just 5-10, and the hot seat figures to get hotter for the Yankees skipper Aaron Boone if his club doesn’t turn things around pronto.
So, the next time someone asks you, “How are you doing?” Best to simply say … “Doing great.”
Without further adieu, here are my MLB power rankings.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (13-3, No. 1 last week): Case closed:
2. San Diego Padres (10-7, No. 2): Fernando Tatis Jr.’s continuing saga regarding his left shoulder will cloud the ability to fully judge this team.
3. New York Mets (7-4, No. 12): The vibe circling this iteration of the Mets on the field is vastly more positive. Shame they can’t seem to do the same with the embarrassing lack of respect for female employees. I expected much better of Sandy Alderson.
4. Chicago White Sox (8-8, No. 5): Still waiting for the other shoe to drop on what I’ll call The Tony La Russa Experiment.
5. Boston Red Sox (10-6, No. 13): Alex Cora is back, and so is J.D. Martinez. Oh, and by the way, the pitching hasn’t been horrible.
6. Oakland Athletics (9-7, No. 22): Bob Melvin’s steady hand is at work again. After starting the season 0-6, the A’s have won nine of 10, and all appears right with the world — except Melvin’s contract ends after 2021. You’d think Oakland would want to make an extension a priority.
7. Tampa Bay Rays (8-8, No. 10): You knew they’d miss Blake Snell and Charlie Morton, but they couldn’t possibly have foreseen bullpen blows with the losses of Nick Anderson, Peter Fairbanks and the underappreciated Chaz Roe.
8. Minnesota Twins (6-8, No. 4): Ugly start to what was supposed to be a beautiful start. They guaranteed Randy Dobnak $9.25 million for this?
9. Cleveland Indians (8-7, No. 6): This team has the arms and then some. Too bad they’ll struggle mightily to score runs.
10. Atlanta Braves (7-9, No. 8): The stars aligned to separate from Phillies and Nationals. Now a dogfight looms with the much-improved Mets.
11. Cincinnati Reds (9-6, No. 19)
12. Kansas City Royals (9-5, No. 18)
13. St. Louis Cardinals (7-8, No. 3)
14. Toronto Blue Jays (7-9, No. 11)
15. Milwaukee Brewers (8-7, No. 16)
16. New York Yankees (5-10, No. 9)
17. Philadelphia Phillies (8-7, No. 15)
18. Houston Astros (7-8, No. 7)
19. Los Angeles Angels (8-5, No. 14)
20. Seattle Mariners (10-6, No. 21)
21. San Francisco Giants (9-6, No. 20)
22. Washington Nationals (5-8, No. 23)
23. Miami Marlins (7-8, No. 26)
24. Chicago Cubs (6-9, No. 17)
25. Baltimore Orioles (7-9, No. 24)
26. Texas Rangers (7-9, No. 28)
27. Detroit Tigers (6-10, No. 27)
28. Pittsburgh Pirates (7-9, No. 30)
29. Arizona Diamondbacks (6-10, No. 25)
30. Colorado Rockies (4-12, No. 29)