On living upwind of the Oakland A’s, a proliferation of doubles, Sisyphus, NSA tactics and what else has been slipped into Vladimir Putin’s pocket.
The rankings (records through Wednesday):
1. St. Louis Cardinals (46-26; Previous: 1) – In NL, Cards first in runs, second in ERA, first in fielding, but somewhere in middle of pack in "play well with others" and "personal hygiene."
2. Cincinnati Reds (44-29; Previous: 4) – Dusty Baker attends Stanley Cup Final game, gets a better idea for Garza-Cueto conflict.
3. Boston Red Sox (44-30; Previous: 6) – In celebration of walkoff home run, Gomes punts batting helmet. The .209 hitter might have outkicked his coverage there.
4. Atlanta Braves (43-30; Previous: 2) – Upton family participates in Father’s Day first-pitch ceremony. Was very sweet, until B.J. swung through dad’s inside fastball.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates (42-30; Previous: 5) – Gerrit Cole beats former Cy Young Award winners (Lincecum, Greinke) in first two starts, is hoping from here to match up with a couple Comeback Players of the Year, maybe a Lady Byng recipient.
6. Oakland Athletics (43-31; Previous: 7) – Maintenance workers cleaning up sewage at O.co determine backup caused by long-term buildup of red tape.
7. Baltimore Orioles (42-31; Previous: 10) – O’s get printout of pitching matchups for Blue Jays series: Dickey, Wang, Johnson. Think maybe it’s time to fire that silly intern.
8. Detroit Tigers (39-31; Previous: 11) – Leyland on O’s young third baseman: “Machado leads the league in doubles. I’m second in doubles – double vodkas, double scotches …” … Double bogeys.
9. Texas Rangers (40-32; Previous: 3) – Rangers take long, hard look at themselves after losing four at home to Blue Jays. Wonder, “Do these sliding pants make my butt look big?”
10. Arizona Diamondbacks (39-33; Previous: 9) – Scientists continue to study possibility a D'backs-Dodgers tussle in Australia would spiral downward in opposite direction.
11. New York Yankees (39-32; Previous: 8) – Cashman compares club’s efforts to that of Sisyphus, a Greek mythology figure sentenced to a life of putting runners on base, only to leave them there, over and over.
12. San Francisco Giants (37-34; Previous: 14) – Giants agree to let A’s go to San Jose, primarily because it’s downwind.
13. San Diego Padres (36-36; Previous: 19) – Indiana guy Stults admits he played many imaginary games of one-on-one in driveway against Michael Jordan. Reveals that fake Jordan tended to push off, too.
14. Colorado Rockies (37-36; Previous: 15) – Rockies haven’t pitched a complete game since 2011, mostly because of strong union and liberal guidelines for snack breaks.
15. Tampa Bay Rays (37-35; Previous: 12) – David Price has a dog named “Astro.” He’s not much of a dog now, but, damn, in three or four years…
16. Cleveland Indians (36-35; Previous: 13) – That’ll teach Chris Perez to get an Airemail Terrier.
17. Toronto Blue Jays (35-36; Previous: 23) – If U.S. government is really intent on monitoring citizens’ private information, Blue Jays suggest it put a man with a two-way radio in a center-field hotel room. Really simpler that way.
18. Kansas City Royals (34-36; Previous: 25) – Royals slather heroes in barbecue sauce, then char them exactly eight minutes on each side, serve with slaw.
19. Washington Nationals (35-36; Previous: 16) – Werth, on playing through the noise: “That’s all part of being a big leaguer. … You’ve got to show up tomorrow ready to eat somebody’s face.” See, this is where the barbecue sauce comes in.
20. Philadelphia Phillies (35-38; Previous: 17) – Phanatic four-wheeler breaks down, decides that in Philly it’s not a good idea to call for a Tose truck.
21. Minnesota Twins (32-36; Previous: 18) – Wilkin Ramirez initially angry that he’d been placed on concussion DL. But, by the next day, he’d forgotten all about it.
22. Los Angeles Angels (32-40; Previous: 22) – Scioscia pretty sure NSA has been listening in on Angels’ team strategy meetings, which, you know, would explain a lot.
23. Los Angeles Dodgers (30-40; Previous: 20) – Puig announces he’d rather not address reporters after losses, which would explain postgame’s “The Cuban’s Missing Crisis.”
24. Seattle Mariners (32-41; Previous: 24) – Mariners and Pirates play next week. Winner gets grog and wenches.
25. Chicago White Sox (29-40; Previous: 21) – White Sox so rarely get on base that base coaches have started wearing name tags.
26. Milwaukee Brewers (29-41; Previous: 26) – Looking like Brewers will be sellers at trading deadline, as Melvin staples signs to telephone poles all over neighborhood.
27. New York Mets (27-41; Previous: 27) – Ladies of Cougar Life think David Wright’s season looks pretty good from a distance, but you probably wouldn’t want to wake up with it.
28. Chicago Cubs (29-41; Previous: 28) – Darwin Barney ponders whether .214 batting average might get him into top 20 of MLB’s hottest cubs.
29. Houston Astros (27-46; Previous: 29) – Many of young Astros’ fathers in stands for Sunday’s game. Of course, somebody had to drive the players to ballpark.
30. Miami Marlins (22-49; Previous: 30) – In an unusual coincidence, Vladimir Putin, thinking it was a gift, also stole Marlins’ credibility.
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