The final rankings before they work it out among themselves:
Week 25 (Records through Wednesday):
1. New York Yankees (92-60; Previous: 1) – Jeter feigns hit by pitch. Girardi calls emergency room, tells Jeter he can come back now.
2. Minnesota Twins (92-60; Previous: 2) – Mauer was wondering which would quit first, his knee or the White Sox. Knee holding up.
3. Philadelphia Phillies (92-61; Previous: 4) – Phils win 10 in a row, wipe out Braves, feelin’ Beachy keen.
4. Tampa Bay Rays (90-61; Previous: 3) – Rays admit that, yes, and sadly, their John Daly pants are louder than a midweek crowd at The Trop.
5. Atlanta Braves (86-67; Previous: 5) – In Philly, Matt Diaz(notes) takes out Red Man in left. Not to be confused with taking Mark Redman(notes) out to left, which Diaz failed to do in two career at-bats. Or taking out Mark Redmond at the plate, which Diaz may or may not have done.
6. Cincinnati Reds (86-67; Previous: 8) – Check-check. Your attention please, ladies and gentlemen. The role of Brad Lidge(notes) in this October’s games will be played by Francisco Cordero(notes). Thank you.
8. San Diego Padres (85-66; Previous: 6) – Apple releases new iPadres, great for iTunes, iBooks and iCantbelievewedidn’tscoreanyrunsagain.
9. Texas Rangers (84-67; Previous: 10) – Hamilton will avoid alcohol in Rangers’ clinching celebration. Whipped cream, however, still in play.
10. Colorado Rockies (82-69; Previous: 12) – Tulo grows mullet for charity. Charity thinks that’s lovely, graciously declines over fear it will frighten the children, leave a mess.
13. Oakland Athletics (76-75; Previous: 16) – Breslow named smartest athlete by The Sporting News. Resumé includes Yale education, degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, and tendency to step over huge dugout puddles of tobacco spittle.
14. St. Louis Cardinals (77-74; Previous: 13) – Jack Clark says Cards have “poopy in their pants,” also points out that Tony La Russa has cooties and pitching staff composed primarily of belly itchers.
15. Toronto Blue Jays (76-75; Previous: 14) – Jose Bautista(notes), whose 50 home runs are 37 more than he hit last season, credits his new mechanics. Otherwise, apparently, he would have had to take bus to ballpark.
16. Detroit Tigers (77-75; Previous: 17) – Cabrera MVP hopes pinned to Tigers’ record, wooing of voters with gifts of nice blankets he weaved over All-Star break and on off-days.
17. Houston Astros (73-79; Previous: 18) – Astros, with 37 wins in second half, to be guided in offseason by tried and true organizational philosophy: delusional over-confidence.
18. Florida Marlins (76-75; Previous: 15) – Hanley Ramirez(notes) hoped to repair image by completing season despite elbow pain, saying he sees the finish line and it’s his intention to dawdle through it.
20. New York Mets (74-78; Previous: 20) – Manuel takes issue with Torre’s integrity, not to mention Torre keeps parking in his spot.
22. Los Angeles Dodgers (73-79; Previous: 19) – Based on Phil Jackson’s success, Mattingly believes soul patch alone will be worth three or four wins next season.
23. Baltimore Orioles (61-91; Previous: 28) – Guthrie hits Jeter with pitch, brings personal tally to 10 plunked Yankees, wins the big stuffed animal.
24. Kansas City Royals (62-89; Previous: 25) – Gordon says, “I’m going to dominate next year.” Royals applaud his confidence, really hope he’s talking about baseball.
25. Milwaukee Brewers (70-81; Previous: 22) – Brewers could have had Hudson for Fielder. The river, not the pitcher.
26. Washington Nationals (64-88; Previous: 23) – Bryce Harper declares himself a fan of: Yankees, Cowboys, Lakers, Texas football and Duke basketball. Also, tends toward Starbuck’s over Maggie’s Java Hut, swooping predatory birds over weepy-eyed bunnies.
27. Cleveland Indians (62-90; Previous: 26) – Indians announce recreational Snow Days at Progressive Field. Special Christmas Day guest: Jayson (Saint) Nix.
28. Arizona Diamondbacks (61-91; Previous: 27) – D'backs set record for striking out, a mark previously set by members of Mort's Dungeons and Dragons Club at the 1977 Delta Gamma spring formal.
29. Seattle Mariners (58-93; Previous: 29) – M’s, running out of people to fire, suspend three interns for failing to identify background issues of ink toner supply.
30. Pittsburgh Pirates (53-98; Previous: 30) – Bucs excited to get 2011 schedule, don’t see 82nd loss until mid-August, at earliest.