The first thing you'll notice about the opening 2012 power rankings is the top six teams hail from the American League. The second thing is, they'll probably look nothing like this come September.
The rankings (Records from 2011, rankings from final regular season):
1. Tampa Bay Rays
(91-71; Previous: 7) – Rays shave off hair for good cause, discover Joe Maddon's head looks suspiciously like The Trop.
2. Los Angeles Angels
(86-76; Previous: 11) – C.J. Wilson
explains he tweeted his ERA from past two postseasons, not his fault it looks like Mike Napoli's
3. New York Yankees
(97-65; Previous: 2) – On the bright side, Joba Chamberlain
did get his bag of party favors before boarding the trampoline.
4. Texas Rangers
(96-66; Previous: 3) – Upon further investigation, Rangers find Jairo Beras is a 32-year-old school teacher from Plano.
5. Detroit Tigers
(95-67; Previous: 4) – Sunglasses save Miguel Cabrera's
season. Also gave him that sweet P. Diddy look.
6. Boston Red Sox
(90-72; Previous: 9) – In a perfect world, Bobby Jenks
and Matt Bush
would have slammed into each other, then fled the scene in one of those old baseball-with-the-giant-cap-on-it bullpen cars.
7. Philadelphia Phillies
(102-60; Previous: 1) – Ryan Howard
finally relieved of walking boot. In solemn on-field ceremony, passes it to Chase Utley.
8. Milwaukee Brewers
(96-66; Previous: 5) – Nyjer Morgan
beaned in exhibition game, wakes up with three more personalities.
9. Toronto Blue Jays
(81-81; Previous: 13) – After late-March start, Ricky Romero
declares he's "right where I want to be." Next morning, sure enough, clubbies find him in yesterday's uniform, still standing in front of locker.
10. Miami Marlins
(72-90; Previous: 22) – Debate rages over who benefits most at new ballpark: Hitters or pitchers. Prevalent opinion: Jeffrey Loria.
11. Arizona Diamondbacks
(94-68; Previous: 6) – Bees attack D-backs exhibition game. When neither smoke nor repellent works, groundskeeper asks Kirk Gibson to glare them away.
12. San Francisco Giants
(86-76; Previous: 12) – Giants try to vary routine by holding workouts on different fields each morning. Only problem: Barry Zito
keeps finding them.
13. Cincinnati Reds
(79-83; Previous: 18) – Robert Castellini completely misunderstands national drawing, thought it was "Votto" Mega Millions.
14. Washington Nationals
(80-81; Previous: 16) – John Lannan
gets good news, bad news. Told he'd be opening-day starter for third time. This time, however, for Syracuse.
15. Atlanta Braves
(89-73; Previous: 10) – Reliever Cristhian Martinez
has great spring on field, suffers from velocity and command issues off it.
16. St. Louis Cardinals
(90-72; Previous: 8) – Tony La Russa gets new job in commissioner's office. First task: Test the phone lines.
17. Los Angeles Dodgers
(82-79; Previous: 14) – Tommy Lasorda learns Magic Johnson will be new owner over dinner, still won't give up the dribble.
18. Cleveland Indians
(80-82; Previous: 15) – So, Ubaldo Jimenez
is still mad at Rockies over contract, hits Troy Tulowitzki,
is suspended for five games and loses more salary as a result. This seems somewhat counterproductive.
19. Colorado Rockies
(73-89; Previous: 23) – Cool that Jamie Moyer
will pitch for Rockies, as he remembers their inception so well. Not the team, the mountain range.
20. Kansas City Royals
(71-91; Previous: 24) – As season approaches, Royals remind selves not to stand too close to bubbly Jeff Francoeur
during nightly Kiss Cam.
21. Oakland Athletics
(74-88; Previous: 20) – Pitchers must have figured him out; Yoenis Cespedes
hasn't homered in a week.
22. Minnesota Twins
(63-99; Previous: 29) – Alleged extortionist wants something from Carl Pavano
for no apparent reason. Yankees' reaction: Shoe, meet other foot.
23. San Diego Padres
(71-91; Previous: 27) – Coach Dave Roberts caught driving 83 on return from spring training. Complained to officer that it clearly was a balk move.
24. New York Mets
(77-85; Previous: 19) – Fred Wilpon tells team to get him 60 wins; has a friend who can turn that into 90.
25. Chicago White Sox
(79-83; Previous: 17) – Kosuke Fukudome
gives Adam Dunn
a belt. White Sox fans believe they'll have a few themselves.
26. Seattle Mariners
(67-95; Previous: 28) – Mariners thought it was inspiring to go to Ichiro's
homeland, learn his history and discover the roots of his Day-Glo shoes.
27. Pittsburgh Pirates
(72-90; Previous: 21) – Team president and former MLB whip Frank Coonelly charged with DUI this winter after blowing .16. Isn't that way over slot?
28. Chicago Cubs
(71-91; Previous: 25) – Cognizant of untidy relationship between Chicago night life and Chicago day games, Theo installs batting cages in most popular watering holes.
29. Baltimore Orioles
(69-93; Previous: 26) – Camden Yards turns 20. Maybe it's time it gets up off the couch and makes something of itself.
30. Houston Astros
(56-106; Previous: 30) – GM Luhnow wondering where he can get one of those Mitt Romney Etch A Sketches by opening day.
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