MLB's Power Rankings Rankle Redbirds
MLB's latest Power Rankings of all 30 major league clubs has the Texas Rangers in the top spot, followed by Albert's new team - the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Coming in at number three are the aging and overrated New York Yankees, who were eliminated in last year's ALDS by the fourth-ranked Detroit Tigers; and that was before they even had Prince Fielder on the team. Go figure.
In case you're wondering what happened to the World Champion St Louis Cardinals (you know, the team that beat the top-ranked Rangers in the 2011 World Series), they are currently ranked as only the thirteenth best team in baseball, one notch behind the Miami Marlins, who finished dead-last in the NL East in 2011. Of course, the Cards also rank well behind the fifth-ranked, aging, oft-injured and overrated Philadelphia Phillies (you know, the team that was eliminated from last year's NLDS by the Cardinals).
They also fall in behind the 11th-ranked Cincinnati Reds (you know, the sub-.500 team that finished behind the Cardinals in the NL Central standings last season); not to mention the 10th-ranked Atlanta Braves (you know, the team that coughed up that huge Wild Card lead last season to the Cardinals).
Coming in at number nine on the hit parade are the Boston Red Sox who also coughed up a mammoth Wild Card lead of historic proportions last September to the seventh-ranked Tampa Rays, who were the temporary beneficiaries of Boston's record-breaking choke job before being quickly bounced from the ALDS by the eventual World Series losers; our good buddies, the Rangers. Got all that?
The team the Cardinals clobbered in last year's NLCS - the highly-overrated Prince Fielder-less Milwaukee Brewers are ranked five notches higher than the Redbirds; currently coming in at number eight, while the Arizona Diamondbacks (who were beaten by the Brewers in last year's NLDS) fill out the top twelve as the sixth highest-ranked team in baseball.
Rounding out the remaining seventeen Power Ranking positions:
14 - Washington Nationals
15 - San Francisco Giants
16 - Toronto Blue Jays
17 - LA Dodgers
18 - Chicago White Sox
19 - Cleveland Indians
20 - Colorado Rockies
21 - Kansas City Royals
22 - Pittsburgh Pirates
23 - Seattle Mariners
24 - Minnesota Twins
25 - San Diego Padres
26 - Baltimore Orioles
27 - New York Mets
28 - Oakland A's
29 - Chicago Cubs
30 - Houston Astros
Meanwhile, as the thirteenth-ranked Redbirds prepare to defend their eleventh title, they have the added incentive of proving to the naysayers they are still very much a championship-caliber team without Albert Pujols. This is a franchise that won nine other times long before Albert came along; they intend to prove that there are plenty more where those came from.
This is hardly a complacent team, resting on its laurels. This is a team with an attitude; a team with resolve. For any opponent that takes them lightly, this proud and talented group of players - the 2012 St Louis Cardinals - intends to serve notice that they will never go down easily; they will never quit.
Anyone still doubting that; please refer to Game Six - 2011 World Series.By Larry Underwood