Honestly, the Phillies need to pick a direction and stick with it, the Astros need to start spring training about six weeks earlier, and I'm thinking Roy Halladay(notes) would be worth a half-dozen places in the rankings for certain teams.
While wondering if those sweeps mean it's time to trust the Astros and Rangers, and how many series remain for the Cubs against the Nats, and whatever happened to Pedro being ready to go, we offer Week 17:
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (61-34; Previous: 1) – He is still beloved in Mannywood and his bobblehead is L.A.'s most coveted doll since Marilyn Monroe, but Manny cannot shake the hollowness of being unable to carry a child of his own.
2. New York Yankees (57-37; Previous: 3) – Mussina roughed up in Old Timer's game, but not entirely out of the question for fifth spot if Mitre struggles.
3. Los Angeles Angels (55-38; Previous: 6) – Angels take a hard look at Halladay. A little embarrassed when he catches them staring. Twice.
5. Philadelphia Phillies (53-39; Previous: 11) – World's oldest baseball card auctioned off; Moyer really wishes he'd shaved for photo.
6. Texas Rangers (52-41; Previous: 5) – Vizquel brings three pet kangaroos to ballpark, which is creepy enough. But then, it turns out, their names are Josh, Elvis and Marlon.
7. Tampa Bay Rays (52-44; Previous: 9) – Obama digs Maddon's glasses, strongly considered Rayhawk for press conference on healthcare overhaul.
8. San Francisco Giants (51-44; Previous: 4) – Lincecum, wary of previous All-Star issue, asks Cain to put a leash on him in hotel room. Maid a little uncomfortable the next morning.
9. Colorado Rockies (52-43; Previous: 12) – Rockies watch Timlin throw, wistfully wonder how much his rookie card would be worth.
10. Seattle Mariners (51-44; Previous: 19) – In Betancourt trade acquire minor league pitcher cited for urinating in public. M's figure with their bullpen he might have to pitch longer, but definitely won't have to relieve himself.
11. Detroit Tigers (49-44; Previous: 7) – Inge clanks Home Run Derby, admits it might have been a mistake to have Verlander pitch to him.
12. St. Louis Cardinals (51-46; Previous: 8) – Pujols to participate in reality show, happy to give Shaq opportunity to grow overweight and disinterested in a sport other than basketball.
13. Chicago White Sox (50-45; Previous: 14) – Sales of White Sox jackets skyrocket after Obama first pitch; Reinsdorf asks president if he wouldn't mind mentioning “Summer Nights Ticket Package” in State of the Union address.
14. Chicago Cubs (48-45; Previous: 17) – Soriano injures finger, hits first homer in six weeks, inspires Piniella to 2010 team slogan: “We'll dislocate a finger a week if it gives us a three-run homer.” Cubs lifers turn heads, offer up hands.
15. Houston Astros (49-46; Previous: 21) – La Russa walks Tejada to load bases for Lee. Funny thing about grand slams, they're always so much louder than other home runs.
16. Florida Marlins (49-47; Previous: 13) – Hough throws ceremonial first pitch in ballpark that isn't there. That's OK, though, Marlins pitchers regularly throw in front of crowds that aren't there.
17. Atlanta Braves (49-47; Previous: 22) – When the first edition is a huge success, Braves schedule second singles night. Joining in the fun, offense among last in league in home runs.
18. Milwaukee Brewers (48-47; Previous: 10) – Brewers beat Pirates 17 consecutive times, insist it was simply matter of being in right place at right time; that being on the field against the Pirates at about 7 p.m.
19. Minnesota Twins (48-47; Previous: 15) – Gardenhire, stumping for system of umpire challenges, wants red flag like NFL coaches. Umpires agree, but only if they can throw it back when Gardenhire makes dumb pitching change.
20. Toronto Blue Jays (47-49; Previous: 16) – Ricciardi says he'll hold onto Halladay rather than risk distraction for July 29 start. Mariners racking brains to figure out why game so important, suspect gamesmanship.
21. New York Mets (44-50; Previous: 20) – Bernazard warms up for next goodwill trip to minors by stripping down, greasing up, wrestling visiting clubbies at Citi Field.
22. Cincinnati Reds (44-50; Previous: 18) – Phillips benched for lack of hustle, also for leaving dishes in sink and bugging little brother.
23. Pittsburgh Pirates (42-52; Previous: 23) – Bucs trade LaRoche to Red Sox, get anonymous minor leaguers, continue to engage fans with thrilling reconstruction strategy.
24. Baltimore Orioles (41-53; Previous: 24) – Orioles to move spring training site to Sarasota, expected to need two, maybe three, semis to transport fans' emotional baggage accumulated over past decade.
25. Oakland Athletics (40-53; Previous: 25) – A's come from 10 runs down to beat Twins in Oakland. In other news, tree falls in woods, makes slight rustling noise.
26. Arizona Diamondbacks (40-55; Previous: 28) – Dbacks lead league in quality starts, think maybe they need to pick it up a little in other areas.
27. Kansas City Royals (37-57; Previous: 27) – Guillen: “Yes, I suck.” Guillen: “I'm embarrassed by the money that I'm making.” Dayton Moore: You have no idea.
28. Cleveland Indians (38-58; Previous: 29) – Tribe releases Kobayashi. Club explains reliever was pitching fine, but around post-game spread he was just so damned gluttonous.
29. San Diego Padres (37-58; Previous: 26) – State lawmakers reach budget agreement, Padres notified disaster relief checks to be cut in half.
30. Washington Nationals (28-66; Previous: 30) – You know how sometimes changing managers can alter a team's psyche, and make players feel like winners again, and redirect an organization? Yeah, well, this isn't one of those times.