On Dodger salaries, the Cardinal Way, a Jeter tribute and Johan Santana’s repertoire:
The rankings (2013 records):
1. Tampa Bay Rays (92-71; Previous: 9) – Rays have the talent to go all the way. Course, they’ll be dressed funny when they get there, but still…
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (92-70; Previous: 3) – Dodgers surpass Yankees in payroll, change zip code to 90210.
3. Washington Nationals (86-76; Previous: 12) – Anonymous players vote Harper most overrated player in game. Wait 'til the anonymous scouts get ahold of them.
4. St. Louis Cardinals (97-65; Previous: 2) – Turns out, the Cardinal Way is a leafy cul de sac in Bel-Ridge where Tommy Herr used to live.
5. Boston Red Sox (97-65; Previous: 1) – Repeating is the hardest thing in sports. Repeating is the hardest thing in sports. Quite easy in rankings.
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6. Detroit Tigers (93-69; Previous: 6) – In Detroit, Miggy’s new contract is so big Eminem is going to be in its commercial.
7. Oakland Athletics (96-66; Previous: 4) – Running out of options, A’s consider relocating to Sydney Cricket Ground.
8. San Francisco Giants (76-86; Previous: 19) – Given early negotiations, Giants beginning to think Sandoval has rather inflated view of himself.
9. New York Yankees (85-77; Previous: 14) – Yanks to consider a more permanent location for Jeter statue after 2014 season.
10. Atlanta Braves (96-66; Previous: 5) – On a single day, Braves place five pitchers on the disabled list, declare Arm-ageddon.
11. Los Angeles Angels (78-84; Previous: 16) – Given state of Angels pitching staff recently, the local hockey rink isn’t the only place where there’ve been some mighty ducks.
12. Kansas City Royals (86-76; Previous: 15) – Royals very popular pick for postseason in 2014 or, as it’s known in Kansas City, breaking through the Glass ceiling.
13. Texas Rangers (91-72; Previous: 11) – Ian Kinsler rephrases his view of Rangers, now hopes they go oh-and-a-thousandy-jillion.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates (94-68; Previous: 8) – Pirates feel they had a really exceptional team last year. Which is good, because, well, they seem awfully similar.
15. Cincinnati Reds (90-72; Previous: 7) – Owner Castellini blames negative media for slow season-ticket sales. Waiting for time local newspaper blames underachieving team for killing its October circulation numbers.
16. Cleveland Indians (92-70; Previous: 10) – Francona goes to mound mid-inning, tells pitcher he’s made club, also that his car is in a red zone and is about to be towed.
17. Baltimore Orioles (85-77; Previous: 13) – Looks like Johan Santana’s changeup is coming along great. Wait, what?
18. Toronto Blue Jays (74-88; Previous: 18) – Jays say they’ve buried memory of 2013, authorities immediately seek warrant to search AL East cellar.
19. Arizona Diamondbacks (81-81; Previous: 17) – Totally uncool that, after two-game sweep in Sydney, Dodgers ran and jumped into Tasman Sea.
20. San Diego Padres (76-86; Previous: 18) – Padres a couple players away: Winfield and Gwynn.
21. Seattle Mariners (71-91; Previous: 25) – Wolf counters by asking M’s to sign 45-day stick-it-in-yer-earhole consent release.
22. Philadelphia Phillies (73-89; Previous: 20) – Galvis gets staph infection, and it just phigures.
23. New York Mets (74-88; Previous: 23) – Alderson shooting for 90 wins, wishes he’d scheduled more March split-squads.
24. Milwaukee Brewers (74-88; Previous: 24) – Whenever the union guys come around, Hank the Dog can smell Fehr.
25. Colorado Rockies (74-88; Previous: 22) – Despite gloomy predictions, Rockies’ confidence as high as, uh, as high as, geez, drawing a blank here.
26. Chicago White Sox (63-99; Previous: 28) – Of course Quintana got a five-year deal. But sorta wishes his parents had named him Octavio.
27. Chicago Cubs (66-96; Previous: 27) – Cubs think this could be the year. For what, they don’t know. But definitely, you know, the year.
28. Miami Marlins (62-100; Previous: 29) – President Samson urges team to play faster games, otherwise known as the Put Us Out of Our Misery Initiative.
29. Minnesota Twins (66-96; Previous: 26) – Given state of pitching, Mauer secretly figures he’ll catch as many balls this year as he did last year.
30. Houston Astros (51-111; Previous: 30) – Astros one of three franchises to lose value over winter, according to Forbes. Jim Crane will be happy to know we have them exactly where they were last year.
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