On Braves’ lonely pain, the spoils of Miggy’s next Triple Crown, Rafael Soriano’s talented 4-year-old and lush third baseman trees.
The rankings (records through Wednesday):
1. St. Louis Cardinals (30-16; Previous: 2) – Man City to play Chelsea in an exhibition at Busch III. La Russa suggests batting goaltender eighth.
2. Texas Rangers (30-17; Previous: 3) – When Pierzynski had to go to disabled list, police had difficulty narrowing list of suspects.
3. Atlanta Braves (28-18; Previous: 5) – New clubhouse thing is T-shirts that read “Suffer in Silence.” Better than original idea: “Suffer in Succotash.”
4. New York Yankees (28-18; Previous: 9) – Yankees reveal mix-up: Rivera not technically retiring, he’s being promoted to higher league.
5. Cincinnati Reds (29-18; Previous: 12) – Chapman reportedly gorges self on pastries, then blows save, loses game. Apparently couldn’t resist that creamy Phillie-ing.
6. Pittsburgh Pirates (28-18; Previous: 11) – Bullpen goes by nickname “Shark Tank.” Personally, we prefer our fish Grilli-d.
7. Cleveland Indians (26-19; Previous: 15) – The Indians are in first place, so it must be May. Or 2007.
8. Detroit Tigers (25-19; Previous: 4) – Miguel Cabrera seemingly on way to winning back-to-back Triple Crowns, automatically qualifying him for Iron Throne and a summer place on King’s Landing.
9. Boston Red Sox (28-19; Previous: 6) – Ortiz confirms that slump was due to oblique muscle of some tenderness, not oblique line of questioning from local columnist. Admits both are kind of annoying.
10. Baltimore Orioles (25-21; Previous: 1) – Pressure of previous No. 1 ranking gets to O’s. Fur of mascot – cleverly named The Oriole Bird – had started coming out in clumps.
11. Arizona Diamondbacks (26-21; Previous: 13) – Corbin best pitcher no one’s heard of. Well, not no one. The Angels have.
12. San Francisco Giants (26-21; Previous: 7) – Vogelsong observes, “It’s not always sunshine and roses.” You’d expect more optimism from a guy whose name loosely translates to “birds singing.”
13. Colorado Rockies (26-21; Previous: 8) – Fowler on Rockies clearing their heads during at-bats: “We try to leave the thinking up to [the media.]” Reporters stare back vacantly.
14. Tampa Bay Rays (24-22; Previous: 20) – Price allergies, including symptom of blurred vision, linked to Trop laundry chemicals. Performance clearly, um, hampered.
15. Oakland Athletics (25-23; Previous: 16) – Organization prefers to be called “Athletics,” admits the whole Bartolo Colon thing has thrown people.
16. Washington Nationals (24-23; Previous: 14) – Soriano says his 4-year-old son could have made play Harper didn’t. Later reveals his 4-year-old son is Ron Swoboda.
17. Kansas City Royals (21-22; Previous: 10) – Yost will stick with Moustakas, reminds reporters, “There is no third baseman tree.” But if there were, he notes, Aaron Crow would have a nice place to stay.
18. Philadelphia Phillies (23-24; Previous: 21) – Hamels declines comment after loss. Mother always told him, if you don’t have something nice to say, ixnay on the run support.
19. San Diego Padres (21-25; Previous: 17) – Padres don’t believe in third baseman trees either. Actually still prefer trust trees.
20. Chicago White Sox (21-24; Previous: 24) – Robin Ventura claims to have spent much of a difficult early childhood in a third baseman tree.
21. Los Angeles Dodgers (19-26; Previous: 25) – In radical effort to maintain Kershaw’s strength, Dodgers announce pitcher will make next two starts right-handed.
22. Milwaukee Brewers (18-27; Previous: 18) – Interestingly enough, Brewers still never lose when Greinke gets decision at Miller Park.
23. Minnesota Twins (18-25; Previous: 19) – Worley admits, “My ERA is killing me,” thinks maybe a couple Advil and a warm bath would do the trick.
24. Los Angeles Angels (19-27; Previous: 26) – In sad way – granted, very sad – Corbin success in Arizona proves to Angels fans Dipoto does know something about acquiring pitchers.
25. Toronto Blue Jays (19-27; Previous: 28) – Coincidentally, Bautista’s game-tying homer of Wednesday landed in same spot as Rodney’s invisible arrow of Tuesday.
26. Seattle Mariners (20-27; Previous: 22) – After six-game losing streak to end road trip, Mariners sent to corner of country to think it over for a while.
27. New York Mets (17-27; Previous: 23) – Mets can’t win. Now the Yankees are better at being plucky underdogs than they are.
28. Chicago Cubs (18-27; Previous: 27) – Cubs hold players-only meeting, agree that now would be a good time to make a run for it.
29. Houston Astros (14-33; Previous: 29) – In worst scenario, if Reid Ryan doesn’t work out, Astros could always replace him with two 8-7 presidents.”
30. Miami Marlins (13-34; Previous: 30) – In preparation for future major-league expansion teams, either real or imagined, seriously considered ranking Marlins lower.
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