Power Rankings: Murky in middle of pack

Tim Brown

Whether it's parity, parody or, in the case of the Pirates, parrot-y, one could barely drive a bat shard between the game's middle 20 teams.

While that makes for some interesting races, it's devilish for the person putting them in order.

Fortunately, the Twins, Padres and Astros provide a nice respite.

Welcome the Indians to the top spot.

The rankings:

(Records through Thursday's games.)

Cleveland
Cleveland

1. Cleveland Indians (30-17; Previous: 2) – Indians sweep Reds, claim Ohio. Next plan to invade West Virginia, do some pillaging there.


Philadelphia
Philadelphia

2. Philadelphia Phillies (31-19; Previous: 1) – Kendrick's World Series ring discovered in a swamp, where Charlie Manuel wrestled an alligator for it, also got himself a new cocktail purse.


Florida
Florida

3. Florida Marlins (28-20; Previous: 3) – Wife of Jeffrey Loria offers recipes in "Diamond Dishes," on page 54 suggests husband's books be cooked with olive oil, dash of paprika.


St. Louis
St. Louis

4. St. Louis Cardinals (30-21; Previous: 7) – Pujols goes 105 at-bats between home runs, or, as it's known in the Pujols camp, keeping the Cardinals in the free-agent bidding.


Boston
Boston

5. Boston Red Sox (28-22; Previous: 16) – Sox climb rankings so fast they pause at No. 5 for a week in order to clear their ears, avoid altitude sickness.


New York
New York

6. New York Yankees (27-21; Previous: 4) – Losers of eight of 14, Yanks send Wilpon thank-you note, urge him to keep talking.


San Francisco
San Francisco

7. San Francisco Giants (27-22; Previous: 11) – Following Wilpon comments, Sabean lowers offer for Reyes to Lou Seal and a bucket of garlic fries.


Atlanta
Atlanta

8. Atlanta Braves (28-23; Previous: 10) – After dust-up with Giants fans, McDowell returns from suspension under caveat he not go near bat rack and that he wash his hands before going near food spread.


Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay

9. Tampa Bay Rays (26-23; Previous: 6) – Offensively challenged Rays to dress in pajamas during trip to Los Angeles, because, you know, Hef always scores.


Milwaukee
Milwaukee

10. Milwaukee Brewers (27-23; Previous: 20) – "Where's Bernie?" promotion goes all wrong. Bernie, turns out, was hiding in Bud Selig's storage shed, behind some old rakes and three pitchers to be used in case of extra-inning All-Star game tie.


Texas
Texas

11. Texas Rangers (26-24; Previous: 12) – In a single trip around bases, Hamilton dives head-long into first, second and third bases, pausing between each for a quick MRI.


Los Angeles
Los Angeles

12. Los Angeles Angels (26-26; Previous: 5) – Club attempting to determine which is faster: Bourjos first to third or Bourjos .300 to .200.


Cincinnati
Cincinnati

13. Cincinnati Reds (26-25; Previous: 9) – Volquez requests more run support, Reds ship him to Louisville, see if that offense can't carry his 6.35 ERA for a while.


Detroit
Detroit

14. Detroit Tigers (25-24; Previous: 14) – Furbush goes 3 2/3 scoreless, gets win in big league debut; Beavis and Butthead get serious case of giggles.


Colorado
Colorado

15. Colorado Rockies (24-25; Previous: 8) – Street, 28, calls Geren, "My least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports from age 6 to 27," leaving current staff, T-ball coach still in question.


Toronto
Toronto

16. Toronto Blue Jays (24-26; Previous: 18) – Jo-Jo Reyes'(notes) winless streak reaches 28 games, begging the question: If you never win (or lose), is the hyphen really necessary?


Arizona
Arizona

17. Arizona Diamondbacks (26-24; Previous: 24) – Surprising D'backs get a little thin on pitching, call Phils about "this Wilson Valdez(notes) guy."


Seattle
Seattle

18. Seattle Mariners (24-25; Previous: 22) – The Mariners figured their offense would get hot during interleague play, when they could get their pitchers some at-bats.


Oakland
Oakland

19. Oakland Athletics (24-27; Previous: 13) – Griping Fuentes sets team record for reliever with consecutive losses, sets world record for gall with 5.06 ERA.


Baltimore
Baltimore

20. Baltimore Orioles (24-24; Previous: 23) – Simon ends first inning back by striking out Francoeur looking. So, at least one of them couldn't pull the trigger.


Chicago
Chicago

21. Chicago White Sox (24-28; Previous: 26) – Pierzynski attempts to save former president from foul ball, can't believe lengths to which some people will go to get a W.


Kansas City
Kansas City

22. Kansas City Royals (22-27; Previous: 15) – Royals have 15 baserunners picked off, most in baseball. On bright side, leads to far fewer double-play grounders.


Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh

23. Pittsburgh Pirates (22-26; Previous: 21) – Management requests local pub end beer promotion tied to team losses. Funny, Pirates have always liked discount pitchers before.


New York
New York

24. New York Mets (23-26; Previous: 27) – New Mets investor Einhorn once dressed up on Halloween as Dave Kingman, then went on to slug .478 in hedge funds.


Chicago
Chicago

25. Chicago Cubs (22-26; Previous: 25) – Cubs almost disappointed when Rapture doesn't come, might have been nice to just get it over with now.


Los Angeles
Los Angeles

26. Los Angeles Dodgers (22-29; Previous: 17) – If McCourt sees one more lawyer, he's going to scream. Aw, heck, he's gonna scream anyway.


Washington
Washington

27. Washington Nationals (21-28; Previous: 19) – All things considered, Nats would rather not know how Wilpon feels about them.


San Diego
San Diego

28. San Diego Padres (20-30; Previous: 29) – Hitters so unnerved by home ballpark, several develop abnormal fear of chew toys and do-it-yourself tag etchers.


Houston
Houston

29. Houston Astros (19-31; Previous: 28) – Astros have tradable pieces to fortify future, but leery of paying Pence on the dollar.


Minnesota
Minnesota

30. Minnesota Twins (16-32; Previous: 30) – Twins lovingly bury photo of Killebrew under home plate, the whole season out beyond right-field wall.

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