Dan George
Friday April 22nd, 2005

MLB Power Rankings
RankLW Team
167 Injury-prone Darin Erstad wears something called a "balance necklace." According to the manufacturer, it contains minerals to "address the electro-pollution, toxic vapors, scars, surgeries and traumas to the skin by organizing the quantum nature of man." And all I have is a St. Christopher medal.
174 Third base coach Fredi Gonzalez agreed to give up uniform No. 33 to Brian Jordan ... after Jordan agreed to give him a $40,000 Bourget "Fat Daddy" motorcycle. Yes, they do live in a different world.
1810 Geoff Blum now has homered from both sides of the plate a game with three different teams -- the Expos, Blue Jays and Padres. Asked Blum: "Is that good or bad?" Given his 58 homers over seven seasons, just weird.
1919 Reliever Jeff Nelson doused Mike Hargrove with champagne after Hargrove's 1,000th managerial win last week. "There aren't many managers who have gotten to that level," said Nelson. "It's special." Now about those 970 losses ...
2013 Will Noah Lowry ever lose? The lefty has made 22 career appearances -- 16 starts -- over three seasons and is 7-0. The record for a rookie starter is 12, set by Hooks Wiltse with the Giants in 1904. And thus the Power Rankings' first Hooks Wiltse reference.
2118 Talk about motivational. The Boss goes off after a 4-8 start, and they promptly score 13 runs in one inning. Now if he can just speak to Randy Johnson about those five home runs in his last two starts, a career first.
2228 Before throwing out the first pitch at the Nationals' opener, President Bush met with the team and recalled trading pitcher Joey Eischen as owner of the Rangers in 1991. "Oil Can Boyd," said the president. "Bad trade." Your punchline here.
2327 Hideo Nomo held them to one run on one hit in six innings last week, but Eric Chavez was, uh, unimpressed. "Probably the worst stuff I've ever seen, to be honest with you," he said. That noise you hear is a Japanese raspberry.
2422 After slugger and WWE fan Travis Hafner signed a three-year, $7 million extension last week, someone asked if he planned to buy anything with all that money. "A couple of wrestling T-shirts," he said. "And not the ones on sale, either."
2520 How about some AL Central smack? "Forget the other teams," said Dmitri Young. "It's going to come down to us and Cleveland. No disrespect to the Twins and White Sox ... [but] that's our rival." Twins manager Ron Gardenhire: "Everybody says we're the weakest division. But we've got the strongest lips."
2611 Ben Sheets is staying put, signing a new four-year, $38.5 million contract last week. An encouraging sign, since they haven't had a winning season since the first Bush administration. George Herbert Walker's, that is.
2723 Their slow start extends to the team mascot, Raymond. He -- actually, it's a young woman -- fell while performing during a game and suffered a broken arm. Or flipper.
2821 They're 5-0 when scoring six or more runs. And 0-9 when they don't. Somebody call those SABR guys.
2925 Closer Jose Mesa needs four more saves to become the sixth active pitcher with at least 300. That, when you think about it, is a pretty incredible sentence.
3030 Drastic times call for drastic measures. Last week, for the first time in 1,149 at-bats, Preston Wilson actually ... laid down a sacrifice bunt! "I needed to put us in a position to get a run," Wilson said. He did, but the Rockies lost again.

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