Three wins, three impressive starting pitching performances, five hitters batting above .350, 21 runs and three raucous sellouts.
You would think exciting numbers like that would make the undefeated Phightins a surefire candidate to be tops on any list of Major League baseball teams.
That is unless you are in Yankees-happy Bristol, Conn. It seems that the folks over at ESPN (located in Bristol) don’t see the Phillies as tops of the MLB.
The Phightins placed second behind the Yankees in the opening week edition of ESPN’s 2011 MLB Power Rankings despite having more impressive stats.
While the Phillies were busy sweeping away the normally hard to handle Astros, the Yankees were winning two out of three against the formidable Tigers. In their three game sweep Phillies pitching allowed just 11 runs while the Yanks staff allowed 19 runs while going 2-1.
Yet the Bronx Bombers placed ahead of the Phightins?
Come on ESPN -- could you be anymore of a bunch of homers for your Bronx neighbors to the southwest?
I’m not angry that the Phillies aren’t No. 1 on a list that let’s be honest is pretty much meaningless but I’m angry that the Yankees who lost were the only team ahead of the Phils.
How about giving some dap to the defending American League champion Rangers who swept the current World Series favorite Red Sox right out of Texas? Or giving love to the Reds for sweeping the Brew Crew or the Orioles for surprisingly picking apart the Rays on the road?
But no, the vaunted Yankees could never be placed behind franchises like the O’s, Reds, Rangers or Phils it would seem.
But maybe this is a case of voters just overvaluing the Yankees offensive explosion in the opening weekend. You can’t claim that the voters on this week’s rankings were all homers. Tim Kurkjian, a Maryland native who used to cover the O’s; Jayson Stark, a Philly product who covered the Phillies; and David Schoenfield who grew up in Seattle were the voters on this week’s rankings so maybe it isn’t just another case blind Yankees love.
But then again, this isn’t the first time that ESPN made the Yankees No. 1 even when they aren’t even atop their division.