On Bryce Harper’s cup of tea, how far umpires will take the transfer rule, and the Royals’ home run confusion:
The rankings (records through Wednesday):
1. Washington Nationals (6-2; Previous: 3) – Like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper is, according to Scott Boras, “part of the next generation of elite brand of teas.” Sounds like Harper is positioning himself for an oolong-term contract.
2. Detroit Tigers (5-2; Previous: 6) – Main difference so far between Brad Ausmus and Jim Leyland is fewer mustache trimmings.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (6-4; Previous: 2) – Scientists identify 15 new compound emotions, such as fearfully surprised, sadly fearful and Don Mattingly exasperated.
5. Oakland Athletics (5-3; Previous: 7) – A’s arrive to find their field flooded. Really, really don’t care to hear with what.
6. Tampa Bay Rays (5-5; Previous: 1) – Rays protest No. 1 ranking, say it totally harshed their underdog vibe.
7. Milwaukee Brewers (6-2; Previous: 24) – Ryan Braun says he loves the boos and derision. Well, we have really good news for him.
8. Atlanta Braves (5-3; Previous: 10) – On the anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, Braves let two fans at a time run the bases.
9. St. Louis Cardinals (5-4; Previous: 4) – Clint Eastwood sound-alike Mike Matheny advises players to "go ahead, make my day game."
10. Boston Red Sox (4-5; Previous: 5) – In a moving Opening Day ceremony, American servicemen in center field solemnly unfurl Jonny Gomes’ White House sport coat.
11. Pittsburgh Pirates (5-3; Previous: 14) – New motto: “Pride. Passion. Perky Parrot.”
12. Seattle Mariners (5-3; Previous: 21) – Mariners cap has an actual nautical compass on it. Magnetic north remains a challenge for Fernando Rodney.
13. Cleveland Indians (5-4; Previous: 16) – Outfielder Elliot Johnson, victim of new transfer rule emphasis, is notified that he must secure and be in possession of ball until umpires are safe in their hotel rooms.
14. New York Yankees (4-5; Previous: 9) – David Robertson says he’ll do his best to fill Rivera’s shoes. Under no circumstances, however, will he fill Rivera’s nasty old socks.
15. Kansas City Royals (4-4; Previous: 12) – Royals hit ball over outfield fence, check with umpires on what the ground rule is on that.
16. Toronto Blue Jays (5-4; Previous: 18) – Melky Cabrera has one more home run than he hit last year, apparently finally figured out that international WEP address thing.
17. Los Angeles Angels (4-5; Previous: 11) – RBI '14 a great throwback game. Also, pretty much summarizes Josh Hamilton’s first year in Anaheim.
18. Texas Rangers (4-5; Previous: 13) – Rangers a little weary after late nights on East Coast trip, good thing they have Cotts.
19. Baltimore Orioles (4-5; Previous: 17) – Adam Jones in favor of harsh measures against fans rushing field. Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are on board.
20. Cincinnati Reds (3-6; Previous: 15) – Joey Votto dons Canadian Mountie uniform for TV show, looks like that old cartoon character, Dudley Do-Walk.
21. Miami Marlins (5-4; Previous: 28) – Marlins start out so hot Jeffrey Loria forced to reconsider date on which he’ll trade them all away.
22. Colorado Rockies (5-5; Previous: 25) – Rockies have better ERA at home than on road, and now everybody needs a moment to collect themselves.
23. San Diego Padres (3-6; Previous: 20) – Once again, Padres searching for offense. Have now checked couch cushions three times.
24. Chicago White Sox (4-5; Previous: 26) – Bullpen already has three blown saves. Robin Ventura all for that seven-inning game people are talking about.
25. Philadelphia Phillies (3-5; Previous: 22) – Phils tell Ryan Braun not to react to all the booing in Philadelphia, as those things only tend to snowball.
26. Arizona Diamondbacks (3-8; Previous: 19) – Early-season travel allows D'backs’ season to circle drain in both directions.
27. New York Mets (3-5; Previous: 23) – While on the subject, Rutgers AD also rooting for Mr. Met to get canned.
28. Chicago Cubs (3-5; Previous: 27) – Fans ask ownership if it would consider placing giant billboards and video boards in front of bleachers.
29. Minnesota Twins (3-5; Previous: 29) – Twins a little jealous of Dodgers’ local TV situation. Not the money, the blackouts.
30. Houston Astros (3-6; Previous: 30) – After winning two of three against Yankees, Astros ask if it’s really necessary to play next 159.
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