Rays top initial power rankings

Yahoo! Sports’ first MLB power rankings of 2009 find Tampa Bay in front, if for no other reason than they appear to be the best team in baseball’s best division. It’s about the pitching, which is why the first three look like the first three.

These things change, of course. In that spirit, here they are, one through San Diego:

Tampa Bay 1. Tampa Bay Rays (97-65) – View so different from top, Maddon forced to change prescription on Clark Kent knockoffs.

Boston 2. Boston Red Sox (95-67) – Pedroia begins defense of MVP season by growing dreadlocks, complaining of suffocating Boston fishbowl.

New York 3. New York Yankees (89-73) – Yanks ask Ransom to try to look more like A-Rod; he gives them “deliciously pouty.”

Philadelphia 4. Philadelphia Phillies (92-70) – Jamie Moyer comes clean, admits he was one who “might have dropped” Liberty Bell.

Chicago 5. Chicago Cubs (97-64) – Cubs claim curse was “so last century,” so get over it.

Los Angeles 6. Los Angeles Angels (100-62) – Management tells Vlad it gets joke, he can stop running like Fred Sanford now.

New York 7. New York Mets (89-73) – Minaya has just about enough, slaps restraining order on Pedro Martinez.

Cleveland 8. Cleveland Indians (81-81) – Hafner tries to adjust project-donkey balance after two down seasons.

Los Angeles 9. Los Angeles Dodgers (84-78) – Manny sues vaguely familiar former teammate for copyright infringement.

Minnesota 10. Minnesota Twins (88-75, Previous: NA) – Twins just happy to be warm for one more April.

Oakland 11. Oakland A’s (75-86) – Billy Beane to be played in Moneyball movie by Brad Pitt, Kevin Youkilis by crazy guy at mall who stands too close and stares.

Milwaukee 12. Milwaukee Brewers (90-72) – Prince Fielder comes off vegetarian fare, celebrates by eating two racing sausages and Craig Counsell.

St. Louis 13. St. Louis Cardinals (86-76) – Now that his elbow is fixed, Pujols named closer.

Atlanta 14. Atlanta Braves (72-90) – GM Frank Wren, wondering where the hell Furcal is, fines shortstop for missing all of camp.

Arizona 15. Arizona Diamondbacks (82-80) – Diamondbacks getting tired of Byrnes diving into post-game spread, call him out for “false appetite.”

Chicago 16. Chicago White Sox (89-74) – GM Kenny Williams’ organization strategy discovered in disappearing ink on back of original Declaration of Independence.

Toronto 17. Toronto Blue Jays (86-76) – Jays take long look at division, announce they’ll take wins in Canadian currency.

Florida 18. Florida Marlins (84-77) – Marlins management gets ballpark, conducts fan poll to identify what to whine about next. Ironic winner: Marlins management.

Cincinnati 19. Cincinnati Reds (74-88) – Dusty removes toothpick, plunges it into eyeballs.

Texas 20. Texas Rangers (79-83) – Annoyed by whole thing, Nolan Ryan kicks crap out of entire pitching staff, starts home opener himself.

Houston 21. Houston Astros (86-75) – Big Puma can no longer help himself, eviscerates former teammate Mike Lamb.

Detroit 22. Detroit Tigers (74-88) – Leyland asks hitters to stride directly toward pitcher, lest anyone by reminded of “other” bailout.

Kansas City 23. Kansas City Royals (75-87) – Seeking stability and character, Royals go with Sidney Ponson in home opener.

San Francisco 24. San Francisco Giants (72-90) – Giants opt to start season with one catcher, two if you count Bengie Molina.

Colorado 25. Colorado Rockies (74-88) – Todd Helton bunks in humidor; back feels better and hair has that silky smooth sheen.

Seattle 26. Seattle Mariners (61-101) – Ichiro dizziness infects Junior in left field, entire roster quarantined.

Baltimore 27. Baltimore Orioles (68-93) – Yes, the manager is Trembley. And you would be, too.

Pittsburgh 28. Pittsburgh Pirates (67-95) – After 16 consecutive losing seasons, Pirates vow to end streak one of these years. You know, very soon, before it gets too crazy and embarrassing.

Washington 29. Washington Nationals (59-102) – Nats hit regular-season form, draw fewest fans in spring training.

San Diego 30. San Diego Padres (63-99) – Moores loses shortstop Greene in marriage dissolution, but grabs beautiful cherry credenza and the crystal wine goblets.