Dan George
Wednesday April 27th, 2005

MLB Power Rankings
RankLW Team
12 At 16-5, they're off to the franchise's best start since Al Lopez guided the Go-Go White Sox to an AL pennant in 1959. Yet the biggest question in Chicago remains ... who will Ozzie Guillen rip next?
23 They're 10-1 since Mark Mulder dropped a 6-5 decision to the Reds two weeks ago. In the meantime, Mulder is 2-0 and has tossed 18 consecutive scoreless innings. We sincerely regret last week's negative comments.
34 Sure, it's early but taking five out of six from the Yankees -- and outscoring them 47-26 in the process -- is impressive. A hot start certainly is one way to counter that novelty of the Nationals down the road.
414 Before finally placing Jose Cruz Jr. on the DL with back problems, they engaged in a little disinformation, listing him on the lineup card in Washington when he hadn't even made the trip. Hey, was that Karl Rove in the stands taking notes?
51 That Kevin Brown-for-Jeff Weaver deal is looking better and better. Throw-in Yhency Brazoban, filling in for injured closer Eric Gagne, has five saves in six tries with a 3.24 ERA. And he no longer has to worry about the Boss.
66 Jack McKeon and three players recently got a Pentagon tour by Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "He showed us all the places he could show us," said McKeon. "We had lunch, then we moved some troops around."
717 When they beat the Mets 4-3 behind John Smoltz on Tuesday, it equaled their offensive output for the right-hander's previous four starts. That's what they get for trading away Charles Thomas.
88 Johan Santana has won his past 17 regular-season decisions, just three shy of Roger Clemens' AL record. Of course, the latest came at the expense of the hapless Royals, which should stir talk of an asterisk.
916 See what they've started? The minor-league Lake Elsinore Storm say they're changing their name to the Anaheim/Los Angeles/San Diego Storm of Lake Elsinore, striking fear in the hearts of headline writers everywhere.
109 After averaging 9,356 fans per home game as the Montreal Expos last season, they drew an average of 32,012 during their first homestand at RFK Stadium. And that was just the lobbyists.
1110 They banged a team-record seven homers last week at Philly's cozy Citizens Bank Park, prompting Willie Randolph to remark, "This is a hitter's park." More news as it happens. We now return to our regular programming.
127 With 26 strikeouts in his first 20 games, Mark Bellhorn is on pace to finish with 210 whiffs -- 33 more than his AL-leading total in 2004. Just an ugly rumor, however, that the stamp on his bat reads "For Display Purposes Only."
1319 Ichiro Suzuki is batting a so-so (for him) .333, but there are already whispers of a run at .400. Why? April typically is his worst month -- a year ago he hit just .255 before finishing at .372 and a record 262 hits.
1411 Adam Dunn hasn't hit a sacrifice fly since Aug. 22, 2003. That's 851 plate appearances, including 50 sac fly situations. Of course, his 57 homers in that span have lessened the sting somewhat.
1512 Nomar Garciaparra, who may be out for the season with a torn groin, signed a one-year deal with the Cubs after turning down multiyear offers of $60 million and $48 million from the Red Sox. That's the kind of business decision that makes New Coke look brilliant.

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