While mulling realignment and the number of teams that would form a line to be included in a six-team division that included the Pirates over the past two decades, we present the latest rankings.
(Records through Wednesday's games.)
1. Philadelphia Phillies (47-28; Previous: 1) – Phillies can't score on road, hire consultant Tiger Woods.
3. New York Yankees (43-30; Previous: 4) – New Yankees edition Ford Explorer has deep bench seat, sturdy back end, good for long drives. On other hand, can mishandle on short stops.
4. Atlanta Braves (43-33; Previous: 8) – In Atlanta, they're still talking about the Hudson home run. Course, he hasn't quite gotten around the bases yet.
5. Tampa Bay Rays (41-34; Previous: 11) – Maddon dekes umpires with fake Fuld warm-up. Umps should have known something was up when batboy was catcher, photographer was on field and Fuld wasn't wearing a glove.
6. Milwaukee Brewers (41-35; Previous: 5) – In ongoing sausage races, Prince likes oversized Bratwurst. And by "like," we mean with spicy mustard.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks (41-34; Previous: 12) – D'backs wear ties to K.C. that depict Kirk Gibson sitting in a bathtub. In other news, two utility infielders, a reliever and two clubbies found in closet with their hands and feet bound.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (40-35; Previous: 3) – By the time everyone finishes measuring the impact of Pujols' injury on the Cardinals, he'll likely have signed a $200 million contract with somebody else.
9. San Francisco Giants (40-34; Previous: 7) – Bumgarner starts game with eight consecutive hits, drives home and hits every red light.
10. Cleveland Indians (40-33; Previous: 6) – Indians decide they need "new voice" at hitting coach, go for tenor with a little of that raspy thing.
11. Texas Rangers (40-36; Previous: 9) – Washington thrilled to be in All-Star game, says he's always wanted to manage the Yankees.
12. Detroit Tigers (40-35; Previous: 10) – Verlander gets first look at Dodgers offense, thinks that by not pitching in Los Angeles this week that, yeah, maybe he left a no-hitter on the table.
13. Cincinnati Reds (39-37; Previous: 16) – The Reds so mediocre they're thinking of changing their name to the Puces. Or, Reds call up starter, hope it's LeCure to what ails them.
14. Seattle Mariners (37-37; Previous: 15) – Aardsma admits he once took himself with the first pick of a fantasy draft, later claimed he thought he had to go alphabetical.
15. Colorado Rockies (37-37; Previous: 20) – Weird thing about baseball in Colorado: Whenever the hitters go cold, Coors Field turns blue.
16. Chicago White Sox (37-39; Previous: 17) – Up until now, I didn't think Ozzie passed kidney stones. I thought kidney stones passed Ozzie.
17. Pittsburgh Pirates (37-37; Previous: 18) – The Pirates, apparently, are not going to go away. Same fear Pittsburgh has experienced for two decades.
18. Los Angeles Angels (37-39; Previous: 19) – McKeon returns to dugout, looks wistfully at Angels, remembers when they were just cherubs.
19. Minnesota Twins (32-40; Previous: 29) – Ozzie says Twins are no longer piranhas, but sardines. Apparently, the dugouts are very, very small at Target Field.
20. Toronto Blue Jays (36-39; Previous: 14) – Bautista loves math so much he calculated that Jays relievers' ERAs extended in binary code and converted to letters comes out to "RZEPCZYNSKI."
21. Washington Nationals (37-37; Previous: 25) – Nats at .500 this late for first time in six years, aiming for Gingrich approval rating, then go from there.
22. Oakland A's (34-41; Previous: 26) – A's find lucky gold jerseys working much better than lucky offseason signings, lucky home-run trots and lucky gloves.
24. Los Angeles Dodgers (34-42; Previous: 23) – Attendance at Dodger Stadium so bad foul balls into stands are no longer considered "souvenirs," but "annoyances."
26. Baltimore Orioles (33-39; Previous: 21) – In toughest division, O's decide to challenge elite with unconventional methods: below average offense, defense and pitching.
27. San Diego Padres (32-44; Previous: 24) – GM Hoyer returns to Boston, relieved to discover phrase "you can't go home again" generally only pertains to Padres baserunners.
28. Kansas City Royals (31-43; Previous: 27) – In order to freshen up "stale" batting order, Yost toasts it and slathers it in peanut butter.
29. Chicago Cubs (30-44; Previous: 30) – Quade suggests lacrosse for those who didn't enjoy the Cubs-Yankees series. The sport, not the city. Well, maybe the city.
30. Houston Astros (28-48; Previous: 28) – With realignment coming, Astros petition league to go wherever Pirates go.