Rays hang on to second in Sports Illustrated power rankings
The Rays got a much-needed win Thursday against the glad-to-see-you-leaving-town Padres. Carlos Pena and B.J. Upton (while I was criticizing them on a Times on-line chat with readers) hit homers, of course. So did Kelly Shoppach. And skipper Joe Maddon had one of the better ejections ever. After Matt Garza was called for a balk, Maddon acted as if he was yelling at Garza, but he was really yelling at the umpire. Even the ump knew what he was doing, so he tossed Maddon, who then got his money's worth after that. (Atta boy, Joe!) And, oh, catcher Dioner Navarro was shipped back to Durham after the game. Anyway, despite slumping of late, the Rays managed to hold on to the second spot in Sports Illustrated's latest power rankings. You can read the power rankings by clicking here. About the Rays, SI baseball writer Joe Lemire writes:
Left fielder Carl Crawford is in second place in the All-Star voting and it looks likely that the 2009 All-Star MVP will be voted in as a starter for the first time in what would be his fourth appearance. It's well-deserved, too: He has saved 15.6 runs defensively, per Ultimate Zone Rating, which is nearly six runs better than any player at any other position. He's also second in the majors in runs scored (56) and is tied for second in stolen bases (26). He was also last week's AL Player of the Week after going 9-for-21 with nine runs, a homer and three steals.