1. San Antonio fighters (88-45, Run Differential: +278, Prev Rnk: 1)
San Antonio has scored the most runs of any non-Coors based team in Griffey. Not surprisingly, four fighters lead their positional races for the Silver Slugger award – C Alex Langston, 3B Dwight Meyers, SS David Murata, and LF Darren Charlton. Having held the top slot in the Power Rankings all season, the fighters look to be the World Series favorite in S9.
2. Pittsburgh Ponies (84-49, RD: +181, PR: 4)
The Ponies have been running neck-and-neck all season with the Duck Snorts, jockeying for the AL’s best record. Coming into the stretch, Pittsburgh trails Cheyenne by one game, but the Ponies dealt the defending AL Champs a three-game beatdown since the time of the last Power Rankings. Matt Ross bla bla bla, and not to be remiss, Dean Bukvich, bla bla bla – you’ve heard it before: these guys are more than a handful for any team facing them in a shortened playoff rotation.
3. Cheyenne Duck Snorts (85-48, RD: +234, PR: 3)
A trio of rookie standouts has helped Cheyenne maintain the AL’s best record. Lefty Norm Rapp ranks in the top ten for AL hurlers in the major rate categories (opponent AVG, OBP, and SLG as well as WHIP and ERA). With a .351 batting average, first baseman Pete Casian boasts Griffey’s longest hitting streak on the season. Victor Javier has belted 33 HR while swiping 22 bases.
4. Monterrey Rancheros (87-46, RD: +161, PR: 2)
The Rancheros, who previously held the second slot in the last Power Rankings, were dealt a severe blow in losing Chris McCarthy from their rotation. The young portsider had posted a miniscule 1.17 WHIP across 172 IP prior to the injury.
5. Fargo Fuzznuts (85-48, RD: +93, PR: 6)
A 27-13 record in one-run games coupled with a third-tier run differential suggests a strong team with a touch of “smoke and mirrors.” A tie for the third best record in Griffey, an eight-game lead in Griffey’s toughest division, and back-to-back NL Pennants says, “I got your smoke and mirrors right here, b%$#@.” Go figure.
6. New York Cyclones (77-56, RD: +141, PR: 7)
The Cyclones, boasting a dominating rotation featuring Terry Torres, Philip Black, and Miguel Perez, have limited AL opposition to the third lowest runs allowed. This fearsome rotation is balanced by the offensive feats of MVP candidate Richie Miller. Miller has thrashed AL pitching for a career best 1.033 OPS, while swiping 82 bases – an individual total which surpasses that amassed by 10 full teams in Griffey. As has been typical of past seasons, the Cyclones appear to be battling fatigue coming down the stretch.
7. Atlanta Ripettoes (79-63, RD: +117, PR: 5)
Perennial NL East frontrunner Atlanta has featured a top-shelf rotation, but has to be considered a second-tier contender in the NL due to a near league-average offense. Still, the division is theirs (the Ripettoes boast a 25 game lead in the division), and the Ripettoes will have more than a puncher’s chance of claiming NL glory.
8. Cincinnati Centipedes (77-56, RD: +123, PR: 8)
The centipedes have gone through a few rough patches since the last Power Rankings, including a seven game losing streak followed by a separate 4-9 stretch. While locking down a divisional title seems a stretch at this point, an offense featuring the likes of Pat Funaki (OPS: 1.057) and Pep Zentmeyer (OPS: .981) should be formidable from a Wild Card slot.
9. Chicago Cubs (73-60, RD: +147, PR: 9)
The Cubs boast the NL’s top two individual OPSs to date: Gabby Young (1.084) and Davey Hernandez (1.060). The Cubs have the misfortune of playing in the same division as Cincinnati and Fargo. Despite their strength, the Cubbies may be on the outside looking in as one Wild Card Slot will likely go to Monterrey.
10. Tampa Bay Lazer Beams (74-59, RD: +29, PR: 10)
The Lazer Beams still maintain a three game lead in the NL South over Charleston, but the Chew-baccas are a strong team and could pounce of Tampa slips. Tampa has been paced by AL Cy Young candidate Emmanuel Nieves, who has posted a 1.24 WHIP over almost 200 innings.
31. Colorado Springs Jack Rabbits (51-84, RD: -182, PR: ???)
The Jack Rabbits, Griffey's loveable nomads, may wander from city to city in the off season, but always manage to fight their way back to the AL West cellar. Contrary to form, however, Colorado Springs had been flirting with .500 for much of the season before Fate, neglecting her duty previously, set the Jack Rabbits on a 12-38 skid. In troubled times when $700 billion can be thrown around with nary a thought, such consistency anchors our reality and expectations. On that note, the "Seattle Anchors" seems to be a viable S10 choice...