Power Rankings: Tigers jump five spots

I’m not sure I can grasp a world where the Rangers pitch but don’t hit, Fernando Nieve(notes) carries the Mets and Brad Pitt isn’t free to play Billy Beane if he wants.

Week 13:

Los Angeles 1. Los Angeles Dodgers (47-26; Previous: 1) – Manny becomes an Isotope, which means he has the same atomic number as, say, Albuquerque teammate Jason Schmidt(notes), but is an entirely different kind of enigma.


Boston 2. Boston Red Sox (44-28; Previous: 2) – Other places Papelbon would pitch if the money was right: Cape Cod League, Brookline High School, Speed-Pitch Challenge at St. Francis winter festival, Jimmy’s Tire and Lube vs. Weehawken Red Lobster.


Detroit 3. Detroit Tigers (41-31; Previous: 8) – Leyland benches Magglio, somehow neglects to consult with Boras ahead of time.


New York 4. New York Yankees (40-32; Previous: 3) – Needing to get A-Rod hitting again, Yankees think banning cousin maybe wasn’t such a good idea.


St. Louis 5. St. Louis Cardinals (40-34; Previous: 9) – Audubon Society thrilled (this is so cool) to discover species of whippoorwill believed extinct in Ryan Franklin’s(notes) beard. Construction of nearby condominiums halted.


Toronto 6. Toronto Blue Jays (40-34; Previous: 11) – Jays to bring Halladay back on Monday, make a long weekend of it.


Milwaukee 7. Milwaukee Brewers (38-34; Previous: 4) – Miller Park flooded, Captain Macha bailing as fast as he can, orders pitchers to lifeboats.


Philadelphia 8. Philadelphia Phillies (37-33; Previous: 5) – Phils go 1-8 on homestand, put Howard in hospital, can’t close out games. Good news: Lidge getting A-ball guys out.


Los Angeles 9. Los Angeles Angels (38-32; Previous: 10) – When home runs don’t come after shaving dreadlocks, Vladdy considers more drastic measures – laying off sliders a foot outside.


Texas 10. Texas Rangers (38-32; Previous: 6) – Rangers name owner’s suite after George W. Bush, consider naming three-hole after Josh Hamilton(notes).


New York 11. New York Mets (37-34; Previous: 7) – Manuel says Mets lack identity, team later detained at La Guardia by overzealous TSA officials.


San Francisco 12. San Francisco Giants (39-32; Previous: 14) – Production shut down on “Moneyball,” Giants pitch “In the Shadow of Moneyball: How We Went to One More World Series than Beane Did During that Time.”


Tampa Bay 13. Tampa Bay Rays (39-35; Previous: 12) – Garza calls Wednesday night’s eight innings against Phillies “a huge personality win,” meaning it’s fine but you wouldn’t want your friends to see you with it.


Florida 14. Florida Marlins (38-36; Previous: 20) – Loria on Girardi: “It was never about me and Joe.” The owner further explained that, philosophically, he hates managers of the year whose teams overachieve in spite of his frugality.


Chicago 15. Chicago Cubs (34-35; Previous: 15) – Ryne Sandberg says Sosa and “quite a few others” won’t be getting into Hall, volunteers to stand at Cooperstown city limits with shotgun, couple boxes of ammo. Geovany Soto(notes) overhears, can’t stop giggling.


Minnesota 16. Minnesota Twins (37-37; Previous: 16) – Mauer on SI cover, goes 0-for-5, narrowly avoids stray bone in snapper almondine.


Cincinnati 17. Cincinnati Reds (35-36; Previous: 13) – Assistant GM Eric Davis says they can’t all be Greg Maddux(notes): “Our hitters are trying to think with the pitcher. You can’t think with the pitcher. The pitcher is the dumbest guy out there.”


Colorado 18. Colorado Rockies (37-35; Previous: 21) – Hurdle goes on TV and claims the difference between those Rockies and these Rockies is the manager. Last manager could not be reached for comment.


Seattle 19. Seattle Mariners (37-35; Previous: 18) – Griffey hits franchise’s 5,000th home run. Did not, as sometimes seems, hit the first.


Atlanta 20. Atlanta Braves (34-38; Previous: 17) – Hanson wins first three decisions; Glavine nods, waves, moves along.


Chicago 21. Chicago White Sox (35-37; Previous: 19) – Beckham struggling, eyes return to AC Milan.


Houston 22. Houston Astros (33-37; Previous: 23) – Rangers take Silver Boot, and just in time. McLane was about to give it to Cooper.


Baltimore 23. Baltimore Orioles (32-40; Previous: 29) – Trembley blasts Pie for all the stuff that made Pie available to the O’s last winter.


Oakland 24. Oakland Athletics (31-40; Previous: 25) – A’s honor 1989 World Series champion, marvel at how long it’s been since jokesters McGwire and Canseco crammed into that bathroom stall, the cut-ups.


Pittsburgh 25. Pittsburgh Pirates (33-39; Previous: 22) – Just a hunch on their part, but Pirates believe reliever Evan Meek(notes) was born to inherit runners.


Kansas City 26. Kansas City Royals (31-40; Previous: 24) – Farnsworth bitten in dog fight, says he would have won, too, were it not broken up.


San Diego 27. San Diego Padres (31-40; Previous: 26) – Giles goes to DL, Towers wonders where he’ll find another corner outfielder to hit him two home runs and bat .191.


Arizona 28. Arizona Diamondbacks (30-42; Previous: 28) – Webb nearing shoulder surgery, club asks if in meantime he wouldn’t mind pitching left-handed for a couple months.


Cleveland 29. Cleveland Indians (30-44; Previous: 27) – President Dolan trails team to Pittsburgh amid rumors he would whack Wedge. Sure enough, he brought a club: “I’m going golfing with a bunch of my friends.”


Washington 30. Washington Nationals (21-49; Previous: 30) – Their work done playing their way into Strasburg, Nats recommit and focus on “winning” Bryce Harper.