What an honor it is to take the reins of Tim Brown's column for one week. Commence the vandalism of this pristine space.
The rankings (records through Wednesday's games):
1. Washington Nationals (68-43; Previous: 3) – Bryce Harper, feeling territorial, posts Facebook status: "Stay away, Machado. All the under-21 clubs are my turf!"
2. Texas Rangers (65-45; Previous: 2) – Roy Oswalt angry about losing rotation spot, lack of wild game to shoot in clubhouse.
[Related: Roy Oswalt doesn't seem long for Texas]
3. New York Yankees (64-46; Previous: 1) – Eric Chavez gives hopes to desiccated corpses everywhere by ranking second on the Yankees in OPS.
4. Cincinnati Reds (66-45; Previous: 4) – When not rehabbing, Joey Votto sits in corner, pouts, whittles bat into shiv, mumbles, "So much for them not needing me."
5. Atlanta Braves (64-47; Previous: 8) – The proud, the few: The people whose entries in Ben Sheets injury pools remain alive.
6. San Francisco Giants (61-50; Previous: 5) – To find his mojo, Tim Lincecum starts growing beard like Brian Wilson, shaves immediately when urge to wear Affliction T-shirts and drown self in Axe Body Spray won't relent.
7. Pittsburgh Pirates (63-47; Previous: 6) – Curious if Andrew McCutchen is a machine, Pirates ownership asks for clone. Blank look only creates more confusion.
8. Oakland Athletics (60-51; Previous: 9) – A's prove age-old adage: If you win in a decrepit football-only stadium with a fan base turned apathetic by a commissioner's indecision and an owner's dislike of the city, they won't come.
9. Detroit Tigers (60-51; Previous: 10) – Tigers ruing not calling tradesy-backsies on Anibal Sanchez-Jacob Turner deal.
10. Chicago White Sox (60-50; Previous: 11) – AL pitchers giddy at A.J. Pierzynski's offensive resurgence. Gives them actual reason to throw at him.
11. St. Louis Cardinals (60-51; Previous: 15) – Cardinals file formal appeal to MLB for playoff spots to be based on run differential. Pythagoras applauds from heaven.
12. Baltimore Orioles (60-51; Previous: 14) – O's dub left field Mannywood. Idea fails when club realizes no one sits in left field anymore.
13. Los Angeles Angels (59-53; Previous: 7) – Arte Moreno considers lowering beer prices even more, hopeful drunk fans forget A's are ahead of Angels in standings.
14. Los Angeles Dodgers (60-52; Previous: 12) – Upon Hanley Ramirez's return to Miami, Ned Colletti gets round of applause.
15. Tampa Bay Rays (58-52; Previous: 13) – Evan Longoria says "I'm not the savior" as he sips wine from a water bottle.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks (56-55; Previous: 16) – Chris Johnson slugs .794 in for nine games for Dbacks, credits being surrounded by actual major league players.
17. Boston Red Sox (55-57; Previous: 18) – Bobby Valentine tries to curry favor in clubhouse by bringing in trays of his famous wraps. Players mutiny, chant for chicken and beer.
18. Toronto Blue Jays 53-57; Previous: 19) – Opponents to socialized medicine point to Blue Jays' disabled list as proof system doesn't work.
19. New York Mets (53-58; Previous: 20) – Club refuses to eat Jason Bay contract, instead forces him to eat it. Bay heads to DL with throat contusions.
20. Philadelphia Phillies (50-61; Previous: 21) – Trying to shed salary for next year, Ruben Amaro Jr. places Phanatic on waivers. Dodgers claim him, of course.
21. Milwaukee Brewers (51-59; Previous: 24) – Ryan Braun, great season going for naught, enlists lawyers to seek repercussions.
22. Seattle Mariners (51-62; Previous: 23) – Kyle Seager likeliest candidate to be first player to lead M's in hits post-Ichiro. Pete Seeger and Bob Seger lament his superfluous A.
23. Miami Marlins (51-60; Previous: 22) – President David Samson claims: "We have to retool." Miamians suggest he drops the "re," changes "We have to" to "I am a."
24. Minnesota Twins (49-62; Previous: 28) – Twins management chides Glen Perkins for striking out too many hitters, says it's not Minnesota nice.
25. Cleveland Indians (51-60; Previous: 17) – Indians break 11-game losing streak, thank Minnesota and Kansas City for being even worse.
26. San Diego Padres (49-64; Previous: 25) – Frightened that Yonder Alonso has a higher OPS at Petco Park than on the road, Padres management requests an MRI.
27. Kansas City Royals (47-63; Previous: 27) – Royals, aiming to change culture, take entire team to see "Total Recall," pray for osmosis-by-movie.
28. Chicago Cubs (43-66; Previous: 26) – The Theo Epstein Era isn't quite yet in full force. Cubs need a few more bloated, untradeable contracts.
29. Colorado Rockies (40-69; Previous: 29) – Documents reveal Project 5,183 named for the number of runs Rockies pitchers expected to allow this season.
30. Houston Astros (36-76; Previous: 30) – Randy Travis, needing inspiration for new record, tries to spend a day feeling like an Astro. Ends up looking like this.
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