On the Mow-town vibe, snakes on the clubhouse, Dempster-izing the CBA and evil situational lefties:
The rankings (records through Wednesday):
1. Atlanta Braves (77-49; Previous: 4) – First sign your season isn’t going as well as you’d have hoped: Team recommends Lasik surgery. Second sign: Team won’t let you drive groundskeeper’s cart.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (74-52; Previous: 9) – In an effort to promote team unity, Mattingly organizes meet-and-greet for Puig and various cut-off men. Helpful nametag: Hi, My Name is Adrian.
3. Detroit Tigers (74-52; Previous: 7) – Makes sense that pitching staff with most strikeouts in baseball resides in Mow-town.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates (74-52; Previous: 1) – Excitable minor-league hitting coach: "God didn’t make Lambo, I made him!"
5. Texas Rangers (74-53; Previous: 11) – Press release: Rangers release Ramirez. Translated into Ron Washington-speak: That’s the way Manny go.
6. Tampa Bay Rays (72-53; Previous: 3) – Clubhouse visitor is 20-foot python, panic ensues when third-base coach carelessly flashes squeeze sign.
7. Boston Red Sox (75-54; Previous: 2) – Penalty structure in next JDA: First offense – Stand in against Ryan Dempster; Second offense – Ryan Dempster moves up 15 feet; Third offense: Ryan Dempster’s discretion.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (73-53; Previous: 5) – Well, that whole "Jack the Ripper" nickname feels a little sticky right now, doesn’t it?
9. Oakland Athletics (71-55; Previous: 6) – Looking for new place to call home, A’s try out second place for a while. Kinda smells there, too.
10. Cincinnati Reds (72-55; Previous: 12) – Reds don’t fare well in national uniform ranking. Do, however, score high on best facial hair on mascot, right behind Mrs. Met.
11. Cleveland Indians (69-58; Previous: 8) – Big Chief Boom-Boom celebrates 40th anniversary of banging bass drum in bleachers. Asked about amazing longevity, he answers, "What?"
12. Baltimore Orioles (68-58; Previous: 10) – Davis wonders if "cloves of garlic on my neck" would combat SI cover jinx, is told that only works against blood-sucking situational lefties.
13. New York Yankees (67-59; Previous: 13) – From now 'til end of season, he’d like to be known as Alex Sugariguez.
14. Arizona Diamondbacks (65-60; Previous: 14) – Gibson wonders if Braun has been "practicing" his explanation "at theater school," which, of course, is ridiculous. It’s called "rehearsing."
15. Kansas City Royals (64-61; Previous: 15) – MLB tells Tejada it’ll work on that Adderall TUE as soon as it’s done with the vitamin B12 TUE.
16. Washington Nationals (62-64; Previous: 16) – Davey Johnson musing on players who date porn stars: "Well, none of my guys could, ‘cause we can’t score.'" Basically, it’s bad O-Contact Pct.
17. New York Mets (58-67; Previous: 24) – A-Rod shouldn’t feel too bad; Brian Cashman doesn’t say much more than hi and bye to most of the Mets either.
18. Colorado Rockies (59-69; Previous: 17) – Helton confides he’ll likely spend the first three or four years of retirement in humidor, then take things as they come.
19. Seattle Mariners (59-67; Previous: 18) – Ready to resume managing, Wedge promises to avoid stress, will turn back during bullpen’s innings.
20. San Francisco Giants (56-70; Previous: 25) – Torture: In the basement, no one can hear you scream.
21. San Diego Padres (57-70; Previous: 22) – Quentin either doesn’t play very often or wears camouflage far more often than his teammates do.
22. Toronto Blue Jays (57-70; Previous: 20) – Investor Darren Oliver is in credits for new biopic "Jobs." Also in tragedy "Jays."
23. Minnesota Twins (55-70; Previous: 26) – With third consecutive losing season ahead, manager in Gardy-ed condition.
24. Philadelphia Phillies (56-70; Previous: 19) – Good thing Ol’ Cholly got that Wawa hoagie to go.
25. Milwaukee Brewers (55-72; Previous: 27) – Braun explains he’s sorry for the confusion, but accidentally brushed lips with synthetic testosterone.
26. Los Angeles Angels (55-71; Previous: 23) – Pujols to miss remainder of season. News expected to arrive to Angel Stadium press box within weeks, assuming bandits don’t intercede.
27. Chicago Cubs (54-72; Previous: 21) – In the "Where’s Starlin’s Head At?" quiz, voters asked to choose between: A. Wrigley Field; B. Infield; C. Strawberry Field.
28. Chicago White Sox (51-74; Previous: 28) – Former GM Williams professes love for grinders. Eavesdropping secretary was sure he requested the Cobb salad.
29. Miami Marlins (48-77; Previous: 29) – Puig fined when traffic near Marlins Park causes late arrival at Marlins Park. In bigger news, there was traffic near Marlins Park.
30. Houston Astros (41-85; Previous: 30) – In same game, Jake Elmore makes debut at pitcher and catcher. Not at same time.
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