A significant Power Rankings was released today. Let's examine, and feel shame.
Some would say eight days into the season is too early to draw conclusions. They would point to the inevitable early jitters, note how minor blemishes tend to be magnified under the first-week microscope. They would encourage us to wait until we have a larger body of data upon which to base our overarching assumptions.
To them I would respond: My God, have you seen the Astros play this season?
Yes, they were without Lance Berkman and yes, the competition was rather manly (Phillies/Giants). That said, the 'Stros don't hit or, on days when Roy Oswalt or Wandy Rodriguez are consigned to the bench, pitch. With the exception of Michael Bourn, they can't move; with the exception of Pedro Feliz, they can't field.
There's no help on the way in Triple-A and there are no trades to be made unless they put Oswalt or Berkman on the block. The only way out of this is for the bad players to start playing like good players. This would be an improbable turn of events.
While the Astros can't be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs for another few months, I'm time-stamping the team's death certificate today. The real question is whether games against the Astros should count in the standings, but I'll leave that up to the rules committee (motto: "Gingerly dodging the Players Association since 1968").
I'm not the slightest bit worried that I'll be proven wrong on this prediction (as opposed to my "Jason Heyward won't reinvent baseball" one). I only hope somebody will apologize to the good people of Houston for what they'll be forced to endure in the months ahead. Godspeed, sweet Texans.
Setting the record on the earliest reported death of a season (previously held by the Houston Chronicle - May 15, 2005) is CBS Sports.