John McGrath’s Major League Baseball rankings

June 28, 2014 

1. Oakland Athletics (1): A’s scout John McLaren, the former Seattle skipper, played key role in acquisition of lights-out reliever Dan Ortero.

2. Milwaukee Brewers (3): Crew finished halfway point of season with 49 victories, most in baseball.

3. San Francisco Giants (2): Tim Lincecum among 32 pitchers to have thrown two no-hitters; Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens and Steve Carlton among those who never threw one.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (6): A year removed from career-threatening back surgery, Josh Beckett has become invaluable complement to Clayton Kershaw.

5. Los Angeles Angels (8): Angel Stadium of Anaheim is happiest place on earth for Halos, who’ve won 15 of last 17 at home.

6. Detroit Tigers (9): Tigers will celebrate 30th anniversary of 1984 World Series championship Monday.

7. Toronto Blue Jays (7): Injuries, more bothersome than serious, preventing Jays from breaking away.

8. Seattle Mariners (16): Taijuan Walker’s call-up to join rotation is tantalizingly close.

9. Baltimore Orioles (12): Orioles’ one-year, $8 million deal for MVP candidate Nelson Cruz looking like a steal.

10. St. Louis Cardinals (10): RIP Amadee Wohlschlaeger, the legendary St. Louis newspaper cartoonist whose subjects ranged from Dizzy Dean and Satchel Paige to Stan Musial and Whitey Herzog.

11. Washington Nationals (5): Ace Stephen Strasburg, shelled Wednesday for the second straight time, concedes he’s “not right mechanically.”

12. New York Yankees (11): A rivalry without luster: Yanks, Red Sox opened weekend series with combined record of 76-76.

13. Kansas City Royals (4): Alex Gordon a worthy choice for the mythical “Al Oliver Award” as baseball’s most underrated player.

14. Cincinnati Reds (19): Reloaded Reds are primed for second-half roll.

15. Pittsburgh Pirates (20): Rookie sensation Gregory Polanco drawing comparisons to Mike Trout, circa 2012.

16. Atlanta Braves (14): Memo to Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine: Can you make a start or two while preparing your Hall of Fame acceptance remarks?

17. Cleveland Indians (15): You’re next, Chief Wahoo.

18. Miami Marlins (13): Going into their weekend series vs. Oakland, Marlins had won 13 of last 14 interleague games.

19. Minnesota Twins (21): Named an “All-Star Ambassador” by MLB in April, hometown icon Joe Mauer a long shot to make AL roster.

20. Boston Red Sox (22): Decline phase of career is coming early for 30-year-old Dustin Pedroia.

21. Philadelphia Phillies (23): Chase Utley’s homer Thursday was his first walk-off hit in 850 games.

22. Chicago White Sox (17): If Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf approves a “White Flag” trade, it won’t be the first time.

23. Texas Rangers (18): Rangers closer to being the second-best team in Texas than second-best in the AL West.

24. New York Mets (26): Center fielder Curtis Granderson gradually rebounding from terrible April.

25. Chicago Cubs (27): First baseman Anthony Rizzo, 24, on the threshold of elite.

26. San Diego Padres (28): It took about 12 minutes for Triple-A call-up Jake Goebbert to assert himself as the hottest hitter in Pads’ lineup.

27. Houston Astros (24): This week’s Sports Illustrated cover story pegs ’Stros as 2017 World Series champs — and it wasn’t S.I.’s April Fool’s issue.

28. Colorado Rockies (25): Slumping Rox entered weekend leading majors in runs, hits, total bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

29. Arizona Diamondbacks (29): D-Backs 5-18 start foreshadowed five months of doom and gloom.

30. Tampa Bay Rays (30): David Price only 22nd pitcher in history to record five straight games of double-digit K’s.

john.mcgrath@thenewstribune.com

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