After a 21-win August, Yanks take a quick breather. Or, as the schedule-maker called it, three days in Baltimore.
1. New York Yankees (85-48; Previous: 1) – Jeter rumored to be engaged, single males age 21 to 45 stampede to New York for leftovers.
2. St. Louis Cardinals (79-55; Previous: 4) – Holliday suggests he might consider extension, Boras gets good laugh, thinks Holliday looks just fine bald.
3. Philadelphia Phillies (76-54; Previous: 2) – Hamels reminds himself, "Don't worry, just pitch," and shuts out Giants. Bobby McFerrin reveals he'd originally written same words, at last minute changed second part to "be happy."
4. Los Angeles Angels (78-54; Previous: 3) – Lackey: "There's plenty of money here if they want to keep me, let's be honest." And that, by the way, would be the downside of throwing $160 million at Teixeira. Unsuccessfully.
5. Boston Red Sox (77-55; Previous: 7) – Theo Epstein, explaining how Papelbon's reaction to arrival of Wagner might have been misunderstood: "He's not a Rhodes scholar to begin with, obviously." You know, you get the feeling he meant to help there.
6. Texas Rangers (75-58; Previous: 8) – Rangers, hoping to sharpen pitching staff at a time their margin for error is razor thin, call up Strop.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers (79-55; Previous: 5) – Leyland says he paid for Thome's flight to L.A.; of course he was joking. He used his miles.
9. Tampa Bay Rays (72-60; Previous: 9) – Rays trade away Kazmir, wonder how many Mets execs will be canned over it this time.
10. San Francisco Giants (73-60; Previous: 10) – Penny arrives, Giants see he's already gotten into the garlic fries.
11. Detroit Tigers (71-61; Previous: 11) – Katie Leyland talks husband into playing Huff. Huff drives in three. Husband never wins another argument. Ever.
14. Florida Marlins (69-64; Previous: 12) – Ramirez asks Uggla which is more harmful to Marlins, not playing occasionally because of sore hamstring or not hitting even .250.
15. Minnesota Twins (67-66; Previous: 15) – Nathan points out, "I'm not a machine," nods wordlessly at Mauer, everybody gets it.
16. Chicago Cubs (67-64; Previous: 17) – Falling behind in his quest to identify one perceived enemy at a time, Bradley finds 40,000 in one shot.
17. Chicago White Sox (65-69; Previous: 16) – Ozzie: "I'm stealing money from Jerry." While he gets the metaphor, Reinsdorf, just to be safe, has accountant review Guillen's last five expense reports.
18. Milwaukee Brewers (64-68; Previous: 19) – Down economy means it might take longer to pay off Miller Park. On bright side, club still in black against Pirates.
19. Houston Astros (63-70; Previous: 18) – Tejada accused of tipping pitches to countrymen; for the record, states he tipped for A-Rod only in WBC years A-Rod played for Dominican Republic.
20. Arizona Diamondbacks (61-73; Previous: 24) – D'backs run "Where's Augie?" promotion; turns out Ojeda is right where everyone left him, 241st in the National League in OPS.
21. Oakland Athletics (59-74; Previous: 20) – Marketing department evaluating which was better Coliseum give-away: Giambi's bobblehead or Cahill's 20 home runs allowed.
22. San Diego Padres (59-76; Previous: 26) – Pads sweep their first series since May. Nats still won't give Strasburg back.
23. Cincinnati Reds (60-73; Previous: 25) – Dusty wants to use Owings as hybrid, figures if nothing else it'll get him into I-275 carpool lane.
24. Toronto Blue Jays (59-73; Previous: 21) – Comic-strip character Luann's one-time boyfriend was named Aaron Hill(notes). Hill said he liked Luann and all, but that she didn't have much depth to her.
25. Cleveland Indians (58-74; Previous: 22) – Indians named one of best workplaces in Northeast Ohio, overriding criterion being Hafner contract.
26. New York Mets (59-74; Previous: 23) – Long Island considers seceding, becoming 51st state. New York lawmakers say sure, but only if you take the Mets.
27. Baltimore Orioles (54-80; Previous: 28) – O's charge $1 for bleacher seats; fans outraged over clear case of price gouging.
28. Pittsburgh Pirates (53-79; Previous: 27) – All over Pittsburgh this weekend there will be young men and women attending their first R-rated movies who have never seen a winning Pirates team. Just saying.
29. Kansas City Royals (51-82; Previous: 30) – Royals extend GM Moore's contract by four years, also announce five-year plan might have become, ahem, nine-year plan.
30. Washington Nationals (46-88; Previous: 29) – On very first day on field, Strasburg complains about media, public scrutiny. Somehow missed lecture on grace, perspective while being just a "normal kid" at Boras U.