On the A’s as underachievers, the Giants’ next trade target and occasional well-intentioned pipe shots:
The rankings (records through Wednesday):
1. Oakland Athletics (59-36; Previous: 1) – A’s were overachievers until we discovered they had seven All-Stars. Now we want to know why they don’t win more.
2. Los Angeles Angels (57-37; Previous: 4) – Trout skips Home Run Derby because winning it would have just seemed gluttonous.
3. Detroit Tigers (53-38; Previous: 3) – If Tigers knew Prince looked like that all oiled up, they might’ve kept him around longer.
5. Washington Nationals (51-42; Previous: 9) – If nothing else, Matt Williams wants to stay on Sarah Palin’s good side.
6. Baltimore Orioles (52-42; Previous: 12) – Orioles roll into first place. Just wish Chris Davis was around to enjoy it with them.
7. Atlanta Braves (52-43; Previous: 7) – Uggla explains he was stuck in traffic and is tired of not playing ever.
9. St. Louis Cardinals (52-44; Previous: 11) – Cards petitioned league to count All-Star result for their record unless they lost, at which point it should count toward Brewers’.
10. Milwaukee Brewers (53-43; Previous: 2) – There’s regression to the mean, then there’s plummet to the mean and then there’s the Brewers in July.
11. Seattle Mariners (51-44; Previous: 5) – For Cano, All-Star Game brings melancholy thoughts of a long career as a Yankee, a touching retirement farewell, and his own pipe-shot fastballs.
12. Cincinnati Reds (51-44; Previous: 15) – Frazier needed only one home run to advance to Derby finals. Surprise was that he opted for inside-the-park homer.
13. Pittsburgh Pirates (49-46; Previous: 13) – After long consideration, Hurdle doesn’t think Roger looks very jolly.
14. Kansas City Royals (48-46; Previous: 14) – Royals will remember challenging the Tigers in the AL Central as the best three or four hours of their season.
15. Toronto Blue Jays (49-47; Previous: 10) – It’s a shame, but a sign of the times: Jays doubtful they could get pipe shots through customs.
16. New York Yankees (47-47; Previous: 16) – If Jeter has one regret, it’s … nah, just joking.
17. Cleveland Indians (47-47; Previous: 18) – Indians want to know where LeBron was when they were carrying the hopes and dreams of Cleveland sports fans. Exactly.
18. Tampa Bay Rays (44-53; Previous: 21) – Everybody knows the Rays need a new ballpark. They choose Minnesota’s.
19. New York Mets (45-50; Previous: 26) – Fans think Mr. Met’s cap tip to Jeter seems a bit dupli2itous.
20. Miami Marlins (44-50; Previous: 17) – And to think, after all they’d done to ensure LeBron was the only winner in town. Marlins deeply disappointed in him.
21. Chicago White Sox (45-51; Previous: 19) – White Sox a little jealous the Cubs get all the sexy rebuilding plans.
22. Minnesota Twins (44-50; Previous: 20) – Twins wish they had rethought self-serve beer vending machine combined with photo booth.
23. Boston Red Sox (43-52; Previous: 23) – Brock Holt has played six different positions. By the looks of things, sometimes all at once.
24. Philadelphia Phillies (42-53; Previous: 27) – Papelbon demands liberty. Or death. Really prefers liberty.
25. Chicago Cubs (40-54; Previous: 22) – Rizzo takes on whole Reds bench, knew Clark the Cub had his back.
26. San Diego Padres (41-54; Previous: 24) – Padres need a new direction. Kinda tired of south.
27. Colorado Rockies (40-55; Previous: 29) – Rockies immediately trade for Geovany Soto. And Perez’s dog.
28. Houston Astros (40-56; Previous: 28) – SI reconsiders, thinks maybe more like 2019. Regrets error.
29. Arizona Diamondbacks (40-56; Previous: 27) – D'backs use All-Star break to catch their breaths, refocus and search for a rear exit.
30. Texas Rangers (38-57; Previous: 25) – Well, at least Kinsler’s happy.
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