New Yorkers consider greater achievement: 27th World Series championship or 1st Yahoo power rankings title.
1. New York Yankees (97-56; Previous: 1) – Oh, and one more rule to consider: Joba does not get the ball in October.
2. Boston Red Sox (90-61; Previous: 2) – Francona, in benevolent gesture, offers to sell Angels back to Arte Moreno at 65 cents on dollar.
3. Los Angeles Angels (90-62; Previous: 3) – Or, perhaps, Moreno could trade ownership of Yankees to Boston for his old club back.
4. Philadelphia Phillies (88-63; Previous: 4) – Having exhausted all other options, Phils consider celebrating after eighth inning, see if other teams buy it.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (89-64; Previous: 5) – La Russa said he's not considering life beyond this season, figures he'll over-manage that when the time arrives.
7. Colorado Rockies (86-66; Previous: 8) – Tracy nicknames Jimenez “Chief,” Giambi “Gladiator,” elevator operator “Frank Coonelly.”
8. Texas Rangers (83-68; Previous: 7) – Had Millwood been pitching to Ordonez when both of their options vested, the collision likely would have sent folks at Boras Corp. on three-day bender.
9. San Francisco Giants (82-70; Previous: 9) – Scientists discover water on moon, life in Zito fastball.
10. Florida Marlins (82-71; Previous: 10) – Fish become ninth different team to benefit from Lidge blown save, a little embarrassed it took them this long.
11. Atlanta Braves (82-70; Previous: 12) – Rather than simply retiring, Bobby at conclusion of next season considering ceremonial ejection by plate umpire.
12. Detroit Tigers (81-70; Previous: 11) – Tigers push for division title uplifts downtrodden citizens, who, quite honestly, would prefer the cash.
13. Minnesota Twins (79-73; Previous: 13) – Twins get Royals six times, Greinke twice in final 10 games, put out desperate plea for Super Mauer.
16. Tampa Bay Rays (78-74; Previous: 16) – Rays rue April and September, also feel kind of funny now about those Ray-hawks, to be quite honest.
16. Chicago Cubs (78-73; Previous: 15) – In desperate search for theme of next hundred years, Cubs and Hendry appear to have found one. Or, as Milton Bradley(notes) himself might view it, seven teams down, 23 to go.
17. Milwaukee Brewers (75-77; Previous: 18) – Management points out Macha did not throw a pitch or take an at-bat for club during disappointing summer, however concedes he wasn't much of a pinch-runner.
18. San Diego Padres (70-83; Previous: 19) – Towers says he sees light at end of tunnel, honks horn just to hear echo.
20. Oakland Athletics (72-80; Previous: 21) – A's clinch winning month, just knew Holliday was dragging them down.
21. Houston Astros (71-81; Previous: 20) – Fans weren't saying, “Boooo,” they were saying, “Cooooop!” Oh, wait. That was Boo. Never mind.
22. Toronto Blue Jays (69-83; Previous: 22) – DH Randy Ruiz(notes), after getting hit in face by Yankees reliever, says, “I'm glad it was Josh Towers(notes) and not Josh Beckett(notes),” adds ultimate preference would have been Josh Groban.
23. Cincinnati Reds (71-81; Previous: 23) – This is the time of year when the Reds assess where they are as an organization, consider changes in philosophy, set goals for next season, and thank the good Lord for sending them the Pirates.
24. Kansas City Royals (63-89; Previous: 26) – If the season ran through December, the Royals might be onto something here.
25. Arizona Diamondbacks (66-87; Previous: 24) – Reynolds sets new strikeout record, sure, but on other hand defenses have no idea where to position themselves against him. Genius.
26. Baltimore Orioles (60-92; Previous: 25) – O's marginally better than Nats, which is sort of like being skinniest guy on fat farm … or, OK, brightest guy in press box.
27. New York Mets (65-88; Previous: 27) – Aroldis Chapman establishes residency in Andorra, which is so weird, because Mets fans were thinking Minaya would absolutely love it there.
28. Cleveland Indians (61-90; Previous: 28) – Tribe seeks DNA testing on international prospects to confirm identification. While at it, gets mouth swabs from Carmona, Hafner.
29. Pittsburgh Pirates (56-94; Previous: 29) – Pittsburgh hosts G20 Summit, Secret Service closes PNC Park upper deck for fear of snipers. In other news, Pirates offer half-priced tickets and $1 hot dogs to all snipers.
30. Washington Nationals (52-99; Previous: 30) – Riggleman says Nats not the worst team. Declines to name names, but hints those G20 guys have had a pretty crappy year themselves.