Dodgers still No. 1 (cont.)

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Friday April 22nd, 2005
MLB Power Rankings
Rank LW Team
16 7 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.
17 4 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.
18 10 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.
19 19 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 ...
20 13 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.
21 18 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.
22 28 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.
23 27 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.
24 22 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."
25 20 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."
26 11 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.
27 23 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.
28 21 They're 5-0 when scoring six or more runs. And 0-9 when they don't. Somebody call those SABR guys.
29 25 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.
30 30 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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