Apparently, the top of the Yahoo! Sports power rankings is no place to be, not if you want to win a few games the following week, or sidestep calamity, or have the middle of your order go, uh, flaccid.
The latest to fall; the Dodgers, who hadn't ascended to early-May glory for more than a few hours before being struck down by Bud Selig's fists of drug-program fury, not to mention Manny Ramirez's(notes) desire to explore his feminine side. They lost four of their first five games in what we're assuming is not technically considered maternity leave.
Six weeks into the season, we'd already seen the Rays and Red Sox come and go, and the Dodgers rise and fall twice. The pressure is suffocating, clearly.
So, we return to the AL East. Tentatively. Or at least until Manny loses the cravings.
1. Toronto Blue Jays (23-14; Previous: 2) – In first 34 games, Jays played three in AL East – all at home against the Orioles. In college football, that's known as "service academy month."
2. Boston Red Sox (21-14; Previous: 3) – Given Manny revelation, Sox reluctantly have '04, '07 trophies tested for possible contamination.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (24-12; Previous: 1) – All things being equal, Dodgers would have preferred the fake knee injury, which would have cost Manny only a week or two, or the traveling secretary toss, which would have meant a few headlines and a short, transparent apology.
4. Chicago Cubs (20-14; Previous: 6) – Ryan Freel(notes) explains stories of imaginary friend "Farney" were greatly exaggerated, says invisible pal batted only against left-handers and even then had trouble with sliders, but was great company on bus trips.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (21-14; Previous: 4) – Cards have fielded 10 rookies already, bench beginning to look like a wayward class from Gateway Arch field trip.
7. New York Mets (19-15; Previous: 11) – So far for Paul Byrd(notes) no calls from Mets, other clubs with rotation holes. Byrd tells Yahoo! Sports, "I'm washed up, like Mickey Rourke in 'The Wrestler.' "
8. Kansas City Royals (18-17; Previous: 7) – Not so fast: Royals lose five in a row, Luke Hochevar(notes) implodes, manager Trey Hillman wonders, "You know, if, just askin', Byrd's doin' anything in five days?"
9. Tampa Bay Rays (16-20; Previous: 8) – Big Papi sees himself and Manny in Longoria and Pena. Also sees Sox logo in morning cereal, Francona profile in stray maple leaf, Pesky in grain of fungo bat.
10. Milwaukee Brewers (21-14; Previous: 12) – Brewers lead NL in home runs, big-headed mascot has already gone through three pairs of pants.
11. Los Angeles Angels (18-15; Previous: 14) – Saunders on A-Rod: "It's over for him." A-Rod on Saunders: Who's Saunders?
12. New York Yankees (17-17; Previous: 10) – Yankees reconsider moat separating high-end seats from ridiculously priced seats. And by "reconsider," mean filling it with saltwater and hammerhead sharks.
13. Florida Marlins (17-18; Previous: 9) – Loria ranks fourth in SI list of worst owners, vows to systematically knock off Glass, Hicks and Angelos in coming months.
17. Detroit Tigers (17-16; Previous: 21) – Jim Leyland has dropped Magglio Ordonez(notes) in the lineup and benched him in late innings with a lead. Next resort: Have him go stand next to Dontrelle Willis(notes).
18. Minnesota Twins (18-17; Previous: 15) – Life in Minneapolis looking familiar again: Mauer's back, Liriano's winning and Blyleven's eating earthworms.
19. Seattle Mariners (16-19; Previous: 13) – Junior leads kangaroo court, declines to reveal fine for homecoming superstars batting .212.
20. Chicago White Sox (15-18; Previous: 16) – Bobby Jenks(notes) says, yes, he threw behind Ian Kinsler(notes), fined for backing own hitters safely, sanely and entirely appropriately. MLB message: Get your money's worth, Bobby.
21. Atlanta Braves (17-17; Previous: 20) – Streaker at Citi Field a nice change of pace for Braves, who are 5-9 at Turner Field and therefore more used to getting undressed there.
22. Oakland A's (13-18; Previous: 22) – A's off to such a bad start Brad Pitt threatening to come down and overturn postgame spread. Of course, it might not be that believable.
23. Houston Astros (16-18; Previous: 27) – Hitting coach Sean Berry texts Hunter Pence(notes) about patience while recovering from cancer surgery. Seriously, Hunter, take a pitch and let's get the guy some sleep.
25. Pittsburgh Pirates (14-20; Previous: 24) – Frank Coonelly "quite frankly offended" by Post-Gazette suggestion that Freddy Sanchez(notes) was benched to protect the club from an $8.5 million vesting option for 2010. Pirates fans are offended by everything else, quite frankly.
26. Arizona Diamondbacks (13-22; Previous: 25) – A.J. Hinch gets manager job in part because GM Josh Byrnes says he understands "organizational advocacy." Hinch says he'll "connect the organization uniquely from top to bottom." Also considered: The man spits one helluva sunflower seed.
28. Colorado Rockies (13-20; Previous: 28) – Owner Dick Monfort backs manager Clint Hurdle so far, doesn't, however, mention Bud Black, Eric Wedge, Joe Girardi or Manny Acta.
30. Washington Nationals (11-21; Previous: 30) – Stephen Strasburg throws no-hitter, Nationals count that as complete game in their pitching stats.
- Red Sox