You know it's been a weird week when Jim Rice is talking too much.
1. New York Yankees (79-47; Previous: 1) – Other issues Jim Rice has with Derek Jeter(notes): Always parks car too close to the white line on left (we all know he cheats to get to balls in the hole), removes helmet by ear flap alone (imagine), and never leaves shortstop area tidy for next guy (selfish).
2. Philadelphia Phillies (73-51; Previous: 3) – Lidge admits he's been trying to set up triple play liner to Bruntlett all year, finally worked.
3. Los Angeles Angels (75-50; Previous: 2) – Pitching so bad they've changed ballpark nickname to The Big ERA.
4. St. Louis Cardinals (74-54; Previous: 4) – Cards join Giants, Cubs and Dodgers with 10,000 wins, expressly thank Cubs for their contribution over past century.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (75-52; Previous: 5) – Mannywood boos Manny, thinking impeachment. Or maybe stern letter of reprimand. Hell, at this point they'll take a hit with a runner on base and call it square.
6. Colorado Rockies (72-55; Previous: 7) – Tulo: “All the pressure is on [the Dodgers]. They had the huge lead. They were supposed to win the division.” And they, uh, just threw up in their mouths a little.
7. Boston Red Sox (73-53; Previous: 6) – Really, Papelbon likes Wagner (don't get him), thinks he's got plenty to offer a club (don't get him), believes it's a good time to upgrade the bullpen (please don't get him or I swear I'll pout), is happy to meet him (Hiya, Billy!).
9. Tampa Bay Rays (69-57; Previous: 10) – Angels impressed by former coach Maddon's work this season in the AL East, where the whole club has gone from first to third.
11. Detroit Tigers (67-59; Previous: 11) – Verlander and Laird get into it in Anaheim, seems Laird has been leaving dishes in sink and never takes out trash without being asked. It's just thoughtless.
12. Florida Marlins (67-59; Previous: 12) – Mets' Santana scratched from start against Fish, owner Loria jumps at perfect opportunity to give pregame clubhouse pep talk.
13. Seattle Mariners (66-61; Previous: 14) – Wakamatsu says Beltre still swollen. Seriously, how much longer do we have to hear about this?
14. Atlanta Braves (66-60; Previous: 13) – Church sits out with back spasms; Jerry Manuel hates to say it, but he's not that surprised.
16. Chicago White Sox (63-64; Previous: 15) – Ozzie says White Sox good enough to win World Series, later admits he meant the one in Williamsport.
17. Chicago Cubs (63-61; Previous: 16) – Bradley compares loss to “Rodney King beatdown,” later whinnies, Can't we all get a run?
18. Houston Astros (61-65; Previous: 18) – Boone heart good as new, after all these years gives Red Sox fans theirs back.
19. Milwaukee Brewers (61-65; Previous: 20) – Definition of team: Brewers win together, lose together. Definition of bad team: Brewers hit waiver wire together.
20. Oakland A's (55-71; Previous: 21) – Nerve in Braden's foot is “traumatized,” A's wonder if it'll grow up confident, secure and grounded like all the other little nerves.
21. Toronto Blue Jays (58-67; Previous: 23) – Halladay stumbles in August, Ricciardi starting to think he's just screwing with him now.
22. Cleveland Indians (56-70; Previous: 24) – Indians in highway wreck on way to Kauffman Stadium, alertly get license plate of truck that hit them: “ZAK KU 15.”
23. New York Mets (57-70; Previous: 19) – Owners say Minaya, Manuel, Santana will return next season. Assuming, you know, there is a next season.
24. Arizona Diamondbacks (55-72; Previous: 22) – Dbacks go 153 plate appearances without a base on balls. You know what they say, you can't walk out of the desert.
25. Cincinnati Reds (54-71; Previous: 25) – Harang appendectomy makes seven Reds surgeries, Obama seriously considers holding next town hall meeting in Cincy clubhouse.
26. San Diego Padres (54-74; Previous: 26) – This is a little embarrassing, but Padres admit Smoltz is still tipping his pitches.
27. Pittsburgh Pirates (52-72; Previous: 27) – Nutting drives past Ford dealership, wonders if Pirates would get him $4,500 toward one of those fancy pickups.
28. Baltimore Orioles (52-75; Previous: 28) – Baserunning so bad, now players running off at mouth are getting thrown out by 15 feet.
29. Washington Nationals (45-82; Previous: 29) – Nats first to clinch losing season, still can't help but feel bad for Cubs, those sorry bastards.
30. Kansas City Royals (48-78; Previous: 30) – Dayton Moore studies video of young right-hander, dispatches scout to go drag Sugar out of that Bronx diner.
- Jim Rice