MLB POWER RANKINGS
Last week’s rankings in parentheses
1. Texas Rangers (1): Rangers losing two straight is more surprising than Josh Hamilton sitting them out (sore back).
2. Tampa Bay Rays (4): Evan Longoria’s hamstring injury figures to test Rays’ mettle.
3. LOS ANGELES Dodgers (3): Will Magic Johnson’s foray into baseball be more successful than Michael Jordan’s?
4. Washington Nationals (2): Rookie OF Bryce Harper’s arm is so strong, team ought to rename its stadium “Bryce Cannon Nationals Park.”
5. St. Louis Cardinals (5): Retired No. 10 jersey of Tony La Russa will be worn one more time: When TLR manages the NL All-Stars in July.
6. Baltimore Orioles (9): Despite encouraging April, excitement in “Ballmore” surrounds Single-A fireballer Dylan Bundy.
7. Toronto Blue Jays (11): Brandon Morrow looking like first-round draft choice Mariners envisioned when they bypassed “The Freak” (Tim Lincecum).
8. Atlanta Braves (7): Catcher Brian McCann OK after scratching his eye during a high-five celebration at home plate.
9. NEW YORK Yankees (8): With Mariano Rivera down, job of closer should belong to more-than-capable David Robertson.
10. Cleveland Indians (10): Tribe’s series win in Chicago was fourth in a row on the road: last time that happened was 1961.
11. Detroit Tigers (14): Talented, erratic Delmon Young is Tigers version of Milton Bradley
12. NEW YORK Mets (21): David Wright enjoying huge comeback after injury-marred 2011.
13. Oakland Athletics (20): A tradition like no other: Yoenis Cespedes emerging as A’s latest Rookie of the Year candidate.
14. Chicago White Sox (6): Since his perfecto vs. M’s, Philip Humber has surrendered 12 runs, 12 hits and nine walks in 11 innings.
15. Cincinnati Reds (12): Streaky Scott Rolen mired in worse slump than Chone Figgins.
16. Philadelphia Phillies (13): Phils trust Joe Blanton’s recent shutout a sign he can make up for Cliff Lee in disabled list.
17. Los Angeles Angels (15): Johnny Vander Meer alert: Jered Weaver’s next start vs. Twins on Monday night.
18. San Francisco Giants (16): Travis Blackley looking to emulate career path of late-blooming Ryan Vogelsong.
19. Milwaukee Brewers (17): No S.O.S. from Crew: Ryan Braun’s Achilles’ heel “just a little sore.”
20. Colorado Rockies (19): Slugger Carlos Gonzalez returning to MVP-ish form of 2010.
21. Boston Red Sox (22): Latest BoSox controversy: Is famous sellout streak trumped up by Beantown counters?
22. Arizona Diamondbacks (23): Daniel Hudson’s pain is Wade Miley’s gain: lefty named NL rookie pitcher of the month for April.
23. Seattle Mariners (18): Who’ll score more times this summer on a SoDo field: Sounders or Saunders?
24. Pittsburgh Pirates (24): Erik Bedard found alive, and well, and still challenged to pitch into the sixth inning.
25. Miami Marlins (25): Biggest shock of spring: Winless Carlos Zambrano is a model of comportment.
26. Chicago Cubs (26): Former Rainiers 1B Bryan LaHair producing with a swing that is the envy of former Rainiers 1B Justin Smoak.
27. Houston Astros (27): Happy 22nd birthday to second baseman Jose Altuve, the real deal.
28. Kansas City Royals (29): Royals victory over Yanks on Thursday was their first at home after a 0-10 start this season.
29. San Diego Padres (30): Friars could use eight more position players with the talent of third baseman Chase Headley.
30. Minnesota Twins (28): Hey, at least the “Little Leaguers” aren’t battling stadium issues and relocation rumors.John McGrath, email@example.com