MLB Power Groupings: Thanks for a Race, Minnesota

Nino Colla@TheTribeDailySenior Writer ISeptember 22, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 26:  Carlos Gomez #22 of the Minnesota Twins slides safely back to first base in front of Kendry Morales #19 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angels Stadium on July 26, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

I feel myself acting more hostile towards my team lately. I’ve ignored watching the Indians on several occasions and have found myself actually hoping they’d continue to lose.

Even though I still get miffed every time it happens. I think it’s that, "never want to lose a game" mentality battling with the opinion that winning now does absolutely nothing to benefit the team.

They keep winning; they climb up the draft order and increase the chances of Eric Wedge returning. Not that I’m really pulling for Eric Wedge to be fired or anything, but I’m of the opinion that a change needs to be made for the sake of the club’s future.

Is it bad for us as fans who are devoted to these baseball teams to take this type of mentality? I know Pittsburgh fans are probably ruined for life with that attitude for the past decade, so I have no room to complain here.

But when I sit down and think about it, this attitude is mildly depressing.

I guess the bright side in all this is that the depression is almost over. That means only a few weeks of Natinals and firing Eric Wedge until we can talk playoff baseball.

I’m as excited for that as I’m depressed about the bad teams. In other words, I’m ecstatic.


Welcome to the Disaster Zone

Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland, Seattle, Washington, New York Mets, Cincinnati, Chicago Cubs, Houston, Pittsburgh, Arizona, San Diego

I talked about how depressing this was last week.

Well it doesn't get any more depressing than a 100-loss season! The Washington Nationals are on the brink of that and I'm almost positive they'll hit the big number. I mean it's taken them 149 to lose 98, I think they'll lose two in 13 games, right?

Then we have Pittsburgh who has lost 91 games. They are a little more unlikely to reach the big one-zero-zero, but stranger things have happen.

In a more worst case scenario note, we have my Cleveland Indians who have 88 losses on the year, but are playing so horribly that 101 losses is still mathematically possible. Yes, that means they'd lose all 13 games they have left.

That probably won't happen, but I'm hoping for a top three draft pick. I don't know if the Indians will make a high-priced pick with the slot, but a boy can dream. Why play for nothing when you can lose for something, am I right?

Or Baltimore should just give Cleveland their pick. What do they need with it? They've got Matt Wieters and who knows what else they've drafted in the past few years.

I'll back off though, because there is a three-game series coming up between Baltimore and Cleveland. The Orioles can do their part by sweeping Cleveland this weekend. Unfortunately, I don't have anything else to say about Baltimore, but that's a good thing for them.

Something said is nothing good and nothing said is something...okay I swear that was going somewhere.

Either way, Houston fired their manager and that is not good, reason why I mentioned it. Can you believe that all four managers that have been fired have been from NL teams?

Let's Have Some Fun

Kansas City, Oakland, Texas, Milwaukee

Their playoff chances are pretty much shot, sitting even farther out from the wild card than their division. But that doesn't mean Texas is a disaster.

There are still teams in that group who aren't a disaster, but Texas has earned the status no matter their current state of play. Many didn't think they'd be able stick around all year like they did with their pitching.

But Mike Maddux changed the way things worked in Texas with their pitchers and it set them up for success not just in 2009, but beyond. Be worried about Texas in 2010.

Two of the other teams in here made their mark in the playoff races this past week. Kansas City pulled back Detroit and set Minnesota up with a shot to hack into their division deficit while Oakland pretty much destroyed the above mentioned team's playoff hopes with a sweep.

Oakland also swept Cleveland in a four-game series, so they've been especially hot lately.

I also included Milwaukee and their win-streak. However, let's take in mind they only split with Chicago and swept Houston. At this point though, I'm ready to take any positives.


In It to Win It

Minnesota, Atlanta, Florida, San Francisco

Boy howdy, I can't believe I just said boy howdy.

With some help from Kansas City and some awfulness by Cleveland, the Twins are now right there. Better late than never I guess.

With a few weeks to go, the Twins are just three games out. Unfortunately for them, the Tigers get the advantage they had early last week with a three game series against putrid playing Cleveland.

Kansas City is playing better ball lately and that's half the tandem the Twins get this week, Chicago being the other half.

If they can hack a game or even two off this week, they're set up with a pivotal four-game showdown with the Tigers early next week. It's make or break time.

Meanwhile, our trio chasing Colorado and the Wild Card are still hanging in there. They are a little behind the eight-ball, despite San Francisco winning a series against Colorado and Atlanta's hot play.

If there is any time for any of these teams though it would be now for Atlanta. They've got six games against NL East punching bags Washington and New York.


Here We Are, Where We Should Be

Boston, New York Yankees, Detroit, Los Angeles Angels, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Colorado, Los Angeles Dodgers

Here are the eight current playoff teams if the regular season would end today.

I'm only talking about four of them though. Detroit is not one of them; they don't deserve it, because they don't respect the carrot.

At this time of the year I start to look at the teams getting hot at the right time. Did the Yankees use their hot streak at the right time? Is Boston hitting their stride when it's most important?

Those are the types of questions I ask myself as these final few weeks wind down. Boston's looking mighty scary right now and it goes to show you that all the panicking from a month or so ago was silly.

On the NL side, it looks like the Phillies are starting to hit that stride, and you can ask them about that as they seemed to do it last year, too. The Phillies won 13 of their final 16 to end the regular season and you can't tell me that didn't go a long way in them winning the World Series.

Or maybe the Dodgers have learned from last year and are hitting their marks at the right time. Don't look now but they've won 12 of their last 18 and get to warm up on some teams like Pittsburgh and Washington before entering the postseason.

Never underestimate the confidence of ending your season on a high-note.


*All statistics, standings, and opinions were based off their states going into action on Sept. 21.


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