MLB Power Rankings: Cardinals again flying high

Tim Brown

On Freeman’s rehab instructions, soaring South American camelids, Puig’s bond with centerfold models, and Cliff Lee’s death stare.

The rankings (records through Wednesday):

St. Louis

1. St. Louis Cardinals (57-36; Previous: 3) – For All-Star Game at Citi Field, Beltran gets former locker. Wondered where that old white sock had gone.


2. Boston Red Sox (58-39; Previous: 2) – David Ortiz sets record for most career hits by a DH, also for most time spent in baseball uniform musing over sunflower seed spray patterns.


3. Pittsburgh Pirates (56-37; Previous: 1) – Sports Illustrated cover is first to feature a Pirate since 1992. Well, not counting that Gene Lamont swimsuit edition from the Seychelles in ’98.


4. Oakland Athletics (56-39; Previous: 5) – A’s open gates early on Fridays so public can watch Cespedes batting practice. Only request is fans not use restrooms more often than absolutely necessary.

Tampa Bay

5. Tampa Bay Rays (55-41; Previous: 10) – Cool thing about Rays getting only one All-Star, he could carpool to game with all their season-ticket holders.


6. Texas Rangers (54-41; Previous: 7) – Though severe weather near livestock communities often a problem in Texas, primary concern is not Sharknado, but The Alpacalypse.


7. Atlanta Braves (54-41; Previous: 4) – Extreme hugger Freeman jams thumb, doctors prescribe a week of rest, ice packs and air kisses.


8. Detroit Tigers (52-42; Previous: 9) – In All-Star introductions, Miggy low-fives Pedroia; Pedroia high-fives Miggy.


9. Baltimore Orioles (53-43; Previous: 8) – In a quiet moment, Manny Machado asks Chris Davis what the “true” doubles record is. Asking, you know, for a friend.


10. Cincinnati Reds (53-42; Previous: 6) – In doubleheader Tuesday at AT&T Park, Reds to be home team in first game, visitors in second. In between, they’ll change uniforms and put Mr. Red on a Delta flight.


11. Cleveland Indians (51-44; Previous: 11) – Noted blithe spirit Brett Myers slams Rivera All-Star MVP, because this time that sweet ‘Vette Stingray counts.

New York

12. New York Yankees (51-44; Previous: 12) – Given news A-Rod is back, traveling secretary books future charters through Southwest, where excess baggage flies free.


13. Arizona Diamondbacks (50-45; Previous: 13) – Reports say Towers lost his voice. Actually, he traded it for a power bullpen arm and an electrolarynx.

Los Angeles

14. Los Angeles Dodgers (47-47; Previous: 16) – Puig spotted at Playboy mansion with a lot of other people who’ve had one good month.


15. Washington Nationals (48-47; Previous: 15) – Well, if the Nats aren’t going to do anything for Washington baseball, least they could do is get to work on gun control and immigration issues.


16. Philadelphia Phillies (48-48; Previous: 22) – Cliff Lee’s All-Star death stare, turns out, was intended for those teams on his no-trade list. They know who they are.


17. Colorado Rockies (46-50; Previous: 17) – Rockies are 3-12 in interleague games, but, to be fair, one of those games was against NFL and two against NBA.


18. Toronto Blue Jays (45-49; Previous: 14) – In Cleveland, gleeful Jays fans chant, “We have healthcare! We have healthcare!” Promptly pummeled by amenable Indians fans.

Los Angeles

19. Los Angeles Angels (44-49; Previous: 18) – After another disappointing first half, Moreno sticks with Scioscia, relocates press box to groundskeeper’s shed.

San Francisco

20. San Francisco Giants (43-51; Previous: 19) – So, turns out Chad Gaudin was first to think of the whole “hugs for votes” strategy.

Kansas City

21. Kansas City Royals (43-49; Previous: 21) – At trading deadline, front office choosing between buying, selling or slathering the whole thing in barbecue sauce.


22. Seattle Mariners (43-52; Previous: 25) – M’s don’t expect to be overly aggressive sellers at trading deadline, but to be safe have reserved some space in display cooler at Pike Place Market.

New York

23. New York Mets (41-50; Previous: 24) – One-thousand re-tweets and Matt Harvey will hit Robinson Cano in the leg with a fastball.

San Diego

24. San Diego Padres (42-54; Previous: 20) – An analysis of new CEO hire shows Padres get a Dee.


25. Chicago Cubs (42-51; Previous: 26) – Cubs said to have interest in Independent League reliever, hope bullpen can go from bad to Wuertz.


26. Minnesota Twins (39-53; Previous: 23) – Terry Ryan says he’ll sink or swim with manager, thinks maybe Gardenhire is inflatable.


27. Chicago White Sox (37-55; Previous: 27) – Hawk insists his preference is to “die in a booth,” which is how the coolest mobsters have always been offed.


28. Milwaukee Brewers (38-56; Previous: 28) – In light of Snowden affair, Brewers vote to boycott playoffs.


29. Miami Marlins (35-58; Previous: 30) – Coming soon to a ballpark near you, the story of massive hurricane-spewing, wallet-eating creatures: Marlinado.


30. Houston Astros (33-61; Previous: 29) – Astros wondering if Snowden needs a wingman.

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