How they rank: June 16


Jose Pagan

The 1971 World Series is remembered for Roberto Clemente's performance, and it was his homer which scored the first run of Game 7. But it was Jose Pagan's eighth-inning double that scored the eventual game-winner. Pagan played everywhere in a 15-year career; his only other trip to the Series also was decided by one run in Game 7, when the Giants lost to the Yankees in 1962. Pagan died earlier this month; he was 76.

This week’s rankings; previous ranking in parentheses. Stats through Tuesday’s games:

1. Philadelphia (1): Hospital gives Phillies manager Charlie Manuel humanitarian award. But it’s not what you think. It’s for his work with area healthcare, not the Phillies’ bullpen.

2. Boston (4): Pedro Martinez can ask Yankees fans now: Who’s your daddy?

3. St. Louis (2): Jamie Garcia, upset after Cardinals blow 6-1 lead in loss to Nats, tells reporters: “I don’t know if you guys were watching the game.” Who says players don’t read the paper?

4. N.Y. Yankees (3): Stint on disabled list will cost Derek Jeter a shot at 13th 150-game season. He has two more with 149 and 148; all-time low was the 119 games he played in 2003.

5. Atlanta (8): Chipper Jones plays doctor, tells Jason Heyward he has to play with pain. Heyward declined to tell Chipper that’s easier to do at $14 million per year (Jones’ salary) than $496,000 per year (Heyward’s).

6. Milwaukee (9): Yuniesky Betancourt, swinging at a major-league high 42.8 percent of first pitches, says: “It’s in my blood. Latin people don’t walk too many times. We just go up there and swing.” Except for Jose Bautista (Dominican Republic) who leads the majors in walks with 61, and Venezuelans Miguel Cabrera (3rd with 52) and Bobby Abreu (4th with 46), and Carlos Santana of the Dominican Republic (sixth with 43) and Carlos Pena of the Dominican (seventh with 42). That’s five of the top seven entering play Wednesday, if Yuni can take pitch a long enough to add them up.

7. Detroit (13): Justin Verlander’s last four starts, all wins: 32.2 innings,  18 hits, 3 runs, 5 walks, 32 Ks, 488 pitches thrown.

8. San Francisco (12): Giants, already 29th in runs scored, lose Freddy Sanchez on top of Buster Posey.

9. Texas (7): Shortstop Elvis Andrus, age 22, says he’d like to reach 3,000 hits as his idol, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, will when he comes off the disabled list. After a 1-for-4 Tuesday, Andrus is at 353. Only 2,647 more to go. (Or as Omar Vizquel, at 2,823 at age 44, might say: It’s not as easy as it looks).

10. Tampa Bay (10): Mixed reaction for Carol Crawford in his return. If more people cared to boo, there might have been more than 20,000 in the Trop for division-leading Boston.

11. Arizona (11): In four starts, pitcher Zach Duke has hit two home runs and allowed none. He’s tied on the D’backs in home runs with Xavier Nady, who’s had 109 more at-bats.

12. Cincinnati (15): Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips says Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco is his “twitter mentor.” Can’t wait to see what kind of dance Phillips unveils after his next home run.

13. Cleveland (5): Indians are 4-11 in June swoon; they’ve been shut out four times in last 14 games and two of their wins have been by 1-0.

14. Colorado (16): Rockies’ manager Jim Tracy calls team meeting and team responds by beating Padres, proving once again, nothing is quite as successful for a turnaround as playing the Padres.

15. Toronto (14): Asked on Sunday if rookie Kyle Drabek was going to the minors, manager John Farrell said: “I want to cut that off right now.” Two days later, the Jays cut Drabek off, sending him to the minors.

16. Chicago White Sox (19): Ozzie Guillen says Paul Konerko will get in the Hall of Fame the right way, and the temptation is to say: “Yeah, through the front door by the price of admission.” But Konerko has 381 home runs, a .501 career slugging percentage and a few years to play. Maybe Ozzie’s not so crazy. 

17. L.A. Angels (17): Jered Weaver leads majors in ERA at 2.06 after Tuesday’s shutout of Mariners; also pitches thrown by one over Detroit’s Justin Verlander (1,735-1,734).

18. N.Y. Mets (22): Mets owner Fred Wilpon tells New Yorker magazine shortstop Jose Reyes, hitting .346, won’t get “Carl Crawford money.” He’s right. Reyes will get more.

19. Pittsburgh (24): A tip of the hat to the Pirates, who are at .500 for the first time in June since 2005, despite all those (including moi) who said they wouldn’t be.

20. Seattle (21): No point in Adam Kennedy getting too comfortable at second base with the recall of rookie Dustin Ackley (.300 average, 55 walks, .487 slugging) imminent.

21. Florida (6): Logan Morrison takes issue with dismissal of hitting coach John Mallee, says he was told by Marlins front office he can’t “point fingers at the owners, stuff like that.” Actually, Logan, when you’re 23, hitting .296 and slugging .521, yeah, you can.

22. Baltimore (23): Orioles skip a start for rookie Zach Britton, want to limit his innings to 175-180 this year. At that pace, they should be able to find out if he can handle 200 by the time he leaves as a free agent.

23. Kansas City (20): Royals bench Wilson Betemit, whose OPS dropped 143 points in six weeks, before his trade value disappears completely.

24. Washington (26): Nats lose Adam LaRoche, their second-biggest free-agent signee at $7 million, for the season to shoulder surgery. Michael Morse, languishing on the bench until LaRoche went on DL, has raised his OPS 292 points since. 

25. L.A. Dodgers (25): Tom Gordon missed pitching to son Dee Gordon, the Dodgers’ rookie shortstop, by little more than two seasons. If Dee has dad’s genes, he’ll be at short for a long time — Tom played for parts of 21 seasons and was 41 when he threw his last pitch. 

26. Oakland (18): GM Billy Beane fires manager Bob Geren, who was the best man at Beane’s wedding. Wonder what Geren’s toast would be if he had a second chance at that?

27. Chicago Cubs (27): Cubs try to break the curse of the billy goat with new shirts that have a goat, the red circle and a profanity. No truth to rumor PETA is petitioning for the goat to be replaced by Milton Bradley.

28. Minnesota (30): Francisco Liriano has one no-hitter and one near no-hitter. In his other nine starts, he’s 2-6 with a 6.44 ERA.

29. San Diego (28): Padres call up rookie pitcher Anthony Bass, who wins his debut, then say thanks by sending him back to the minors.

30. Houston (29): Pitching coach Brad Arnsberg fired because of what are called “philosophical differences.” Evidently, he’s philosophically opposed to bad pitchers.

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One Response to How they rank: June 16

  1. Mike says:

    No. 30 may be the funniest one.

    As to no. 16, I’d say that in deference to the great philiospher Ozzie Guillen, 400 homers is the entry fee to even make the ballot in a Hall of Fame vote, post 1990.

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