By Ted Keith
May 07, 2009

The Dodgers' record-setting 13-0 start at home takes a backseat to today's news of Manny Ramirez's positive drug test and subsequent 50-day suspension. Will Los Angeles, already up 6 ½ games in the NL West, be able to keep up its torrid pace until Ramirez returns to the lineup July 3? The stage is yours, Juan Pierre. (Records through Wednesday, May 6.)

MLB Power Rankings
1 Los Angeles Dodgers
Last Week: 4
The Dodgers' 6 ½ game lead in the NL West is more than triple the size of any other divisional advantage. The offense has been almost unstoppable in Chavez-Ravine, leading the majors in batting average (.302), on-base percentage (.404) and ranking fourth in slugging percentage (.494) in home games. They still have four more games against the Nationals and Giants on the homestand before heading back on the road next Tuesday.
2 Toronto Blue Jays title=
Last Week: 3
The only thing more unlikely than Scott Richmond winning American League Rookie of the Month honors is the path he took to the majors: after not playing baseball in high school in his native Canada, he went to an NAIA college, was undrafted and had to pay his own way to a tryout with the Jays, who gave the former Independent Leaguer a chance to pitch in Double A. Oh, and after high school he worked on the docks. In other words, he's a Bon Jovi song come to life.
3 St. Louis Cardinals
Last Week: 2
The Cardinals got a major scare this week when centerfielder Rick Ankiel crashed face-first into the outfield wall at Busch Stadium. Ankiel was left with only soreness, but at first feared for his career, and maybe more. "I thought that might be it," he said later. "I'm lucky to be walking today. Anything from here is a plus."
4 Boston Red Sox
Last Week: 1
Lost three of four to the Rays in Tampa but then came back to beat the Yankees twice in their first visit to the new Yankee Stadium. Jason Bay did most of the damage, homering in each game in the Bronx and driving in five runs, further endearing himself to Red Sox fans. "If you had said I'd be at this point last year I'd be happy," said Bay, who was acquired last summer in the three-team Manny Ramirez trade. "It's nice to be part of the team and not a novelty anymore."
5 Kansas City Royals
Last Week: 12
Zack Greinke is getting most of the attention, and deservedly so, but he's far from the only pitcher turning in an impressive performance thus far for the Royals, who lead the American League with a 3.72 ERA. About the only Royal pitcher not delivering so far is the only one who actually is a royal. Sidney Ponson, who was knighted in his native Aruba in 2003, has a 1-4 record and 5.91 ERA.
6 Philadelphia Phillies
Last Week: 6
At 8-3, the Phillies have the best road record in baseball, but are just 6-8 at home. That's not to say they don't enjoy a decided home field advantage, or play before some distinctly creative fans. T-shirts like these can only help get Mets-Phillies to the level of national consciousness enjoyed by Yankees-Red Sox, Cubs-Cardinals and Dodgers-Giants. The Phillies split two games with the Mets last weekend in the Amazins' first visit to the City of Brotherly Love this season before dropping the opener of their first series at Citi Field to Johan Santana on Wednesday night.
7 Milwaukee Brewers
Last Week: 19
The Brewers have been heating up of late, winning eight of ten entering Thursday night. Despite Prince Fielder's hot bat (.333/.486/.630 since April 22), the only Brewer to have really caught fire has been first base coach Ed Sedar, whose pants were burned by a dugout heater at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. "[Pitcher Jeff] Suppan yelled out, 'Somebody's burning!'" Sedar told "Luckily, I wear two pairs of socks. It had just started on the second pair of socks when 'Soup' said he smelled something."
8 Chicago Cubs
Last Week: 8
Chicago Cubs (15-12)
On Sunday, the Cubs retired #31 in honor of Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins and future Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux, making them only the fourth team to retire the same number for two former players. Maddux will surely get his number retired by the Braves as well, which will make him just the eighth player to have his number retired by two teams. Only one player has ever had his number retired by three teams (Nolan Ryan -- Angels, Astros, Rangers) but something tells me the Dodgers and Padres will not be making Maddux a member of that club anytime soon.
9 Seattle Mariners
Last Week: 5
Plenty has been made about Adrian Beltre's stunning lack of power (0 home runs? Seriously?) but even more stunning was the fact that teammate Yuniesky Betancourt just got his first walk of the season last week. Through Tuesday, Betancourt had taken 41.9 percent of pitches thrown to him, the second lowest mark in baseball. Only Josh Hamilton of the Rangers takes fewer pitches (35.9 percent), but I don't think Betancourt is going to be hitting 32 home runs or driving in 130 runs anytime soon, as Hamilton did last year, to make up for it.
10 New York Yankees
Last Week: 9
The Yankees, who have sunk back under .500 by dropping three straight home games, are having enough trouble getting fans to show up these days without keeping the ones out who have already shown up. But apparently that's just what they did on Monday night when some fans were told that the game had been rained out and were not let back in the Stadium when it was played after all following a two-hour delay. Other than the chance to boo Jonathan Papelbon for the first time in the new ballpark, they didn't miss much.
11 Texas Rangers
Last Week: 20
Texas Rangers (15-12)
Kevin Millwood leads the American League in innings pitched with 45.1. Millwood likely cares less about finishing first in that category than he does in simply reaching 180 innings pitched for the year, which will cause his $12 million option for next season to kick in. Millwood has gone at least seven innings in each outing and been the team's best pitcher this year, with four quality starts in six outings.
12 Detroit Tigers
Last Week: 10
Tigers manager Jim Leyland shuffled his lineup this week, dropping Curtis Granderson to fifth and Magglio Ordonez to sixth, among other changes. The moves paid off handsomely in a 9-0 win on Tuesday, but Ordonez and Carlos Guillen are still struggling. "We're not going to be able to win [this season] unless we get [Carlos] Guillen back healthy and producing and get Magglio going," Leyland said. "We won't win if we don't get that going."
13 Florida Marlins
Last Week: 7
The starting pitching that fueled their 11-1 surge is the biggest reason why they've gone just 4-12 since. Marlins starters have not won a game since April 16 while posting a 5.47 ERA. They've had just seven quality starts in the last 18 games through Tuesday.
14 Cincinnati Reds
Last Week: 14
Edinson Volquez did more than just toss his second consecutive eight-inning, no-run gem this week to improve to 4-2 and lower his ERA to 3.47. He also won the Fans Choice bobblehead voting on the Reds' official website, meaning 30,000 fans will get a Volquez doll on July 18. Volquez got over 41 percent of the vote, easily beating a host of contenders that included minor league pitcher -- and underground favorite -- Sam LeCure.
15 New York Mets
Last Week: 21
New York Mets (13-13)
Mets general manager Omar Minaya caused a stir this week when he said the Mets lacked an edge. "We have good guys, solid professionals," Minaya told "There is a smile on David Wright's face, a smile on Jose Reyes' face. But there is not an edge to them. Some people see edge as leadership. Sometimes, you need a little meanness to your game. Some people perceive leadership as meanness. I couldn't tell you that we have that type of guy. We have leaders. But everyone's perception of leadership is different." Minaya quickly back-tracked from the comments, but he might very well be right. There's no reason a team as talented as the Mets should be underperforming (again).
16 Chicago White Sox
Last Week: 13
Here's an idea that was way overdue: outspoken White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is getting his own column. Guillen will be penning a bi-weekly column on the team's Spanish-language website. It's doubtful he'll have very many nice things to say about his team, which has lost four straight before getting rained out Wednesday night. Nor will he be as, um, colorful as he is in some of his off-the-cuff moments, however. On second thought, maybe that's a good thing.
17 Minnesota Twins
Last Week: 17
Several of you wrote in to tell me how wrong I was to pick Justin Morneau over Kent Hrbek for the All-Metrodome era Twins team, which is being voted on at the team's website. Upon further review, you're right. I still think Morneau is the better player, but Hrbek is getting points for being a hometown hero and a two-time World Champion. It also can't hurt that he hosts his own outdoors show that airs throughout the Midwest (Hrbek hasn't made a play that nice since he dragged Ron Gant off first base in the 1991 World Series).
18 Atlanta Braves
Last Week: 21
The Braves have stolen just five bases all season, the fewest in baseball and one fewer than Carl Crawford of the Rays managed to steal in a single game against the Red Sox over the weekend. Shockingly, one of them is by Brian McCann, whose vision problems this season have been well-chronicled. McCann has now been given new glasses to try to correct the problem and could be back behind the plate this weekend when the Braves head to Philadelphia.
19 Tampa Bay Rays
Last Week: 22
The Rays had their own Bartman moment on Sunday when Evan Longoria couldn't get to a ninth-inning foul pop by the leftfield stands because a Rays fan -- wearing a Longoria jersey no less -- took it away from him. By his own admission, Longoria had "a few choice words" for the fan, and both closer Troy Percival and manager Joe Maddon were upset about it as well. It didn't affect the outcome, as the Rays beat the Red Sox 5-3, but some Rays fans are still upset and think Percival should be suspended for yelling at the fan.
20 San Francisco Giants
Last Week: 18
The Giants starting rotation has quietly performed as well as any other in the National League, entering Wednesday ranking third in ERA, second in strikeouts, second in opponents' batting average and first in K/9. Unfortunately, they rank dead last in run support, getting just 3.51 per outing.
21 Los Angeles Angels
Last Week: 23
A headline in the Orange County Register during the Angels trip to New York read: "Teixeira Loves Angels, Blames Wife For Leaving." So far, the Angels have been better off without him. While Teixeira entered Wednesday night batting just .209/.354/.518 with five homers and 15 RBIs (and only .159 with men on base), Angels first basemen have been hitting .255/.296/.471 with four homers and 16 RBIs.
22 Pittsburgh Pirates
Last Week: 11
The Pirates have lost 8 of 9 and are back under .500, but at least their fans never got their hopes up. They rank dead last in attendance with just 15,899 per game and drew fewer than 10,000 fans for both games at PNC Park against the Brewers. Perhaps the fans stayed away because they knew what the outcome would be. Milwaukee won both games, extending its winning streak over the Bucs to 17, the longest losing streak against one team in franchise history and the longest in baseball since 1969 and 1970 when the Orioles beat the Royals 23 straight times.
23 Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Week: 27
Justin Upton has finally started hitting, batting .378/.451/.822 since April 24 with all six of his home runs, one of which was a moonshot against the Brewers that probably had Bernie Brewer looking for cover.
24 Houston Astros
Last Week: 26
Closer Jose Valverde's calf injury not only hasn't improved enough for him to come off the DL next week, but also it will keep him sidelined until next month at the earliest. Things haven't gotten out of hand in Houston just yet, but at least one local reporter is already trying to brace Astros fans for the worst.
25 San Diego Padres
Last Week: 16
Much like the Pirates, the Padres optimistic start now seems like a distant memory, and their fans have taken notice. Only 14,717 fans -- the smallest crowd in the history of Petco Park -- watched the Padres get slammed by Chris Iannetta and the Rockies Monday night. A sign of the times: closer Heath Bell has pitched only once since April 28.
26 Cleveland Indians
Last Week: 25
Matt LaPorta, the top prospect added as part of the CC Sabathia deal last July, made his major league debut last weekend and hit his first home run on Monday. He's likely to stay in the lineup for the time being, either as the designated hitter platooning with David Dellucci or in right field taking time away from Ben Francisco. Fantasy owners, take note.
27 Colorado Rockies
Last Week: 29
The Rockies entered Wednesday night having outscored their opponents by 14 runs but still tied for last place in the NL West with the third-worst winning percentage in the league. How can that be? The first place to look is their 0-8 record in one-run games, making them the only winless team in the majors in that category.
28 Baltimore Orioles
Last Week: 24
The O's pitching staff has given up an AL-leading 45 home runs and a big-league worst 172 runs. About the only thing going for them is that they're not the worst team in the Beltway area. Yet.
29 Oakland Athletics
Last Week: 28
The A's rank last in the American League in runs, hits, home runs, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and total bases. Their starting infield -- Jason Giambi, Mark Ellis, Orlando Cabrera and Bobby Crosby -- has combined for one home run.
30 Washington Nationals
Last Week: 30
You know you're having a bad year when you score 10 runs at home against a last-place team and not only don't get the win, you have to finish the game in the other team's ballpark. Such is life for the Nationals this year, who blew a ninth-inning lead against the Astros on Tuesday and had the game suspended while it was tied 10-10 in the 11th inning. Because the Astros don't come back to Washington, it will be resumed in Houston on July 9.
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