News brief 06POWER_B


Last week’s ranking in parentheses:

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (1): Yasiel Puig celebrated the home opener in typical style, arriving 45 minutes late for batting practice. He was benched.

2. Boston Red Sox (2): Ceremonial distribution of World Series rings at Fenway opener was uplifting, but then, Red Sox ought to be experts at the ritual.

3. Detroit Tigers (7): Former Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler looking comfortable in leadoff spot.

4. Oakland A’s (4): Struggles of closer Jim Johnson prevented A’s from bolting out of the gate.

5. Washington Nationals (5): No Doug Fister? No problem. Nats’ rotation depth is impressive.

6. Tampa Bay Rays (5): Starting pitcher Chris Archer, with 11 career victories, just signed a contract extension worth $25.5 million.

7. St. Louis Cardinals (3): Weekend series at Pittsburgh a sneak preview of the playoffs?

8. Atlanta Braves (12): So much for pitching concerns: Braves allowed five runs in first four games.

9. Kansas City Royals (8): Two tough losses and a rainout got season off to a slow start.

10. San Francisco Giants (14): Baseball’s most aptly named slugger — Brandon Belt — is off and running … er, belting.

11. Cleveland Indians (10): Friday was the 20th anniversary of Tribe’s comeback victory over M’s in the first game at Progressive Field.

12. Seattle Mariners (18): Most substantial benefit of road-rage demolition of Angels was getting Seattle area sports fans to talk (finally!) about baseball.

13. Pittsburgh Pirates (9): Bucs hit .175 in first series and still took two of three from the Cubs.

14. Miami Marlins (26): Fireballers Jose Fernandez and Nate Eovaldi averaged more than 95 MPH in their first starts.

15. Cincinnati Reds (11): Reds’ 17-inning scoreless streak to begin the season broke their modern franchise record.

16. Toronto Blue Jays (22): Manager John Gibbons, fired by Toronto in 2008, is back for a second stint with Jays. Somewhere, the late Billy Martin can relate.

17. New York Yankees (13): Yanks are exercising caution with often-injured outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

18. Philadelphia Phillies (24): After wild opener at Texas, starter Cliff Lee had an ERA of 14.40 — and a 1-0 record.

19. Texas Rangers (15): Yu Darvish, a Cy Young Award finalist in 2013, will make his season debut Sunday against Rays.

20. San Diego Padres (16): Catcher Yasmani Grandal went to Bora Bora for his honeymoon, which might explain his remarkable recovery from ACL surgery in less than eight months.

21. Chicago White Sox (27): Beware the small sample size, but Cuban rookie first baseman Jose Abreu could be the real deal.

22. Milwaukee Brewers (21): Ryan Braun ruling out surgery for his nerve-damaged thumb — at least for now.

23. Houston Astros (30): The Astros accomplished more in winning season-opening series against the Yankees than they did in all of 2013.

24. Colorado Rockies (25): Rockies glad they decided to keep outfielder Charlie Blackmon on the 25-man roster.

25. Minnesota Twins (28): Longtime minor leaguer Chris Colabello, 30, drove in six runs against the White Sox on Thursday.

26. Baltimore Orioles (20): On the bright side — literally, the bright side — the O’s are in the middle of a five-date stretch of road day games.

27. Los Angeles Angels (17): The taller they are, the harder they fall.

28. Arizona Diamondbacks (19): It never helps to start the season 0-2 before opening day.

29. New York Mets (23): No place like New York, where sports talk show hosts ripped second baseman Daniel Murphy for having the nerve to take paternity leave.

30. Chicago Cubs (29): Controversy about renovation plans for 100-year-old Wrigley Field much more interesting than the eternally hapless team that occupies it.