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The Idiot Strikes Back
by Tony Aubry,
August 8th, 2007

Some idiot Cubs fan writes for Baseball Evolution. His main feature this season has been the Weekly Power Rankings. Now I like the idea, and the “Line of Death” is a pretty cool feature, too. But I have a problem with this week’s rankings. I’ve actually had a problem with it for a while now, but I haven’t really said anything. The one thing that really widened my eyes was when a few weeks back, our idiot had the Devil Rays above the Yankees. Since then, the Yankees have obviously played better, and the Rays have played like the Rays.

Since then, the Yankees went on a tear (we’ll delve into that later), and are currently half a game behind in the wild card race to the Tigers, who are looking exactly like they did one year ago, and six behind of Boston in the American League East. I expected to see the Yankees above the LOD, not above the Red Sox, as you flippantly suggest. However, they’re still below that Line of Death. Of the thirteen teams above the LOD, the Yankees have a better record than seven of them, and one of which is the Cubs.

Since July 1st, the Yankees have gone 24-9, which is good for a .727 winning percentage. They have also averaged 7.6 runs per game and allowed 4.47 runs per game. Of course, any anti-Yankee fan with half of a brain will immediately point to the level of competition and claim that is the reason for their surge. However, is it really that simple? Are the Devil Rays, Orioles, Blue Jays, Angels, Twins, Royals, and White Sox the only reason for a surge that has lasted a month and a half?

The majority of those teams are most certainly below average ball clubs. However, those teams combined have .480 winning percentage, which means they have beaten 52% of the time as a group; not exactly 73%, is it? Now I would be biased not to mention that the Yankees have played more of these teams than others have, but I’m pretty confident when I say the main reason for their surge is not the level of competition. If you want to go into more detail, only one (the White Sox) of those teams score below 4.47 runs per game, and only two of those teams (the White Sox and Devil Rays) allow more than five runs per game.

On top of all this, the Yankees have added Joba Chamberlin, Phil Hughes, and Jason Giambi in the past week. I can only hope that Joe Torre realizes a good defensive first baseman who can’t hit isn’t more valuable then a poor fielder who can hit.

However, maybe I am overreacting to the situation, and maybe the Yankees really are only the 14th best team. Well, CBS Sportsline, The HardBall Times, ESPN, SI, and USA Today all have the Yankees in the top five. I myself would probably have them at number four behind the Red Sox, Angels, and Tigers in that order.

You could say that I’m an idiot, and I very well maybe one, but unfortunately, this idiot doesn’t take our Power Rankings seriously.

Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Tony resides in Queens, New York and can be reached at

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