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Around the horn: Ratings roulette

A reminder that my weekly power ratings are done through Thursday's games (on the theory that a new series starts on Friday). I give you that once-in-a-while reminder because I would have certainly put the Twins a little higher up this week if I was doing them at, say, midnight on Saturday.

Whereas it looked like every division race was basically over at the start of the week, we suddenly have a hot one in the AL Central as Minnesota is just two games behind the suddenly skidding Tigers after back-to-back victories over Detroit. A fly ball lost in the Metrodome roof (what else?) keyed a five-run fifth Saturday in the Twins' 6-2 win. And this is all happening wtih Justin Morneau and Joe Crede apparently gone for the year with injuries.

As for the rankings, it's certainly easy to put the Yankees at No. 1. But Nos. 2-6 remain quite a mess. This week, it went Dodgers, Angels, Red Sox, Phillies, Cardinals and only the Halos were in the same spot as last week. Pretty unusual for this time of year.

In other diamond doings:

---No Inside Baseball column just for this week due to a double dose of Bills chats and Sabres training camp. We'll be back starting next week and running all the way through the World Series.

---If you didn't stay up to see the Yankees' 10-1 victory in Seattle, they got a huge scare when CC Sabathia took a Franklin Gutierrez line drive to the chest. He was OK but it was a couple inches here or there from a potentially dramatic turn to the Yankees season and some serious damage to their big-money ace. Check out the video here.

---It's Durham (Tampa Bay) vs. Memphis (St. Louis) in Tuesday's Triple-A National Championship Game in Oklahoma City. Formerly known as the Bricktown Showdown, the game will be televised at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

---Cleveland's Double-A team, the Akron Aeros, won the Eastern League title in four games Saturday with a 10-6 win over Connecticut (San Francisco). Lots of nice prospects going up to Triple-A next season for the Tribe. Too bad they're still not coming to Buffalo.

---Mike Harrington


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