Is Ryan Howard more powerful than Derek Jeter?

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I don’t mean which of those two can bench the most, I’m talking about power defined in terms of influence, appeal, marketability and money. Which of them can most easily impose their whims on we mere mortals and most expect us to do their bidding?

Well neither of them can, but the people who write BusinessWeek Magazine enjoy ranking people as if they can, and today they’ve announced their “Power 100” athlete list.  Topping the list is Tiger Woods, which means that they complied this thing before Thanksgiving.

But what about baseball players?  I was rather surprised to learn that Albert Pujols is the top ballplayer. I mean, he’s awesome and all, but he doesn’t exactly dominate the national zeitgeist in any appreciable way.  Derek Jeter does, yet he somehow falls behind Pujols, Ryan Howard, Joe Mauer and CC Sabathia (and Usain Bolt, Shaq and Jeff Gordon and some other questionable choices for that matter). Sure, they say that their methodology took on-the-field performance and things like marketability into account, but unless Subway Commercials get a multiplier of, like, a thousand, I’m having trouble seeing how guys like Howard outstrip Jetes no matter how you calculate it all.

Or — and sit down for this, because it may shock you — the people at BusinessWeek could have pulled this list entirely out of their rectums in an effort to get people to click through each of the 100 individual pages each athlete gets.

Nah. That would never happen.  

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.