Dan George
Wednesday May 4th, 2005

MLB Power Rankings
RankLW Team
11 Hard to argue so far with their new pitching-and-speed style. "It sounds like little girls baseball, but it's the way we have to play," says manager Ozzie Guillen. The Sox are 11-3 in one-run games. You go, girls.
22 Home-field advantage? Not against these guys. After going 52-29 (.642) on the road in 2004, the Cards are off to an even hotter start -- 9-3 (.750) -- this spring. Of course, those seven-run ninth innings help.
36 Then there's ex-Rockie Juan Pierre, whose blast last week at Coors Field ended his streak of 728 at-bats in the Denver ballpark without a homer. Somewhere Dante Bichette is spinning in his retirement.
45 They gave away 50,000 blankets listing their World Series wins to fans. Only problem, the list included 1962 (the Yankees beat the Giants) and '66 (the Dodgers lost to the Orioles). Fans will get replacements. The old ones? That's why God created eBay.
53 How about Brian Roberts winning AL Player of the Month honors? The 5-foot-9, 176-pound second baseman, who had a total of nine homers in his previous two seasons, already boasts eight this spring, along with a .371 average and 12 stolen bases. The best part? Nary a whisper about steroids.
69 Led by new closer Francisco Rodriguez (1-1, 2.25 ERA, 6 saves), the bullpen has allowed just seven earned runs in its last 45 innings and leads the majors with 64 strikeouts. Troy who?
74 Six Arizona pitchers have at least two victories already this season, which is as many as former Diamondback Randy Johnson has won for the Yankees. Not that anyone in the Valley of the Sun is counting.
87 Tom Glavine may be gone, but the Braves haven't forgotten him. They're 7-1 against the lefty since he joined the Mets ... and left Leo Mazzone behind in Atlanta.
98 Pro athletes are discouraged from playing other sports. Maybe they shouldn't even watch them. Shortstop Jason Bartlett tore the fingernail off his lefty pinky while trying to rotate his hotel room TV to watch the NBA playoffs.
1021 Manager John Gibbons, just one month into a one-year contract, got a two-year extension last week. Asked what he did to merit the new deal, Gibbons said, "Probably not much, to be honest." That's gotta make Carlos Tosca feel better.
1120 First, they waited in vain for Robb Nen to get well, then they signed Armando Benitez, who's now out till September with a bad hammy. Can the bullpen situation get any worse? Well, Jeff Fassero (three saves in 10 tries since 2001) is in the saves mix. So, yes.
1212 Who would've guessed their early season mantra would be "Thank God for Bronson Arroyo"? With Curt Schilling and David Wells hurt, Arroyo is the first Sox starter to start 3-0 since Pedro Martinez and John Burkett each went 7-0 in 2002.
1316 Last Wednesday, reliever Frankie Francisco found out he needs Tommy John surgery, then learned he's being sued by the woman whose nose was broken by a chair he threw into the stands last season. You have a nice day, too.
1428 Lyle Overbay needed 17 stitches after slamming his jaw into a plexiglass shield while trying to catch a foul ball. Teammate Chris Capuano used his camera phone to get a photo of the wound, then e-mailed it to Overbay and other Brewers. "His mom is a nurse," said Capuano. Well, OK then.
1510 We're learning things about RFK stadium. It's hard on power hitters (16 homers in 11 games, well below the major league rate of 1.92 per game). And, judging by those rain delays in that Mets game last week, it holds water really, really well.

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