On the league’s finest baseball town, a rewards program at White House and Cousin Yuri’s big decision:
The rankings (records through Wednesday’s games):
1. St. Louis Cardinals (39-21; Previous: 1) – Study claims St. Louis is best baseball city, primarily due to accomplished team, reasonable prices and Mike Matheny’s sturdy, baseball-y chin.
2. Kansas City Royals (34-23; Previous: 2) – MLB admits it blew replay call that should have benefited Royals. Enough for Ned Yost that league officials know how deeply disappointed he is in them.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (35-25; Previous: 5) – With club having trouble scoring on road, Don Mattingly suggests maybe guys should shower after games.
4. San Francisco Giants (34-26; Previous: 7) – Giants need only two more visits to qualify for one free night at White House.
5. New York Yankees (33-26; Previous: 12) – After careful consideration, Cousin Yuri opts to go into prison as a Yankee.
7. Houston Astros (34-27; Previous: 3) – Astros picked second in draft. Admitted it felt weird to wait around that long.
8. Pittsburgh Pirates (32-27; Previous: 11) – Draft war room was actually just a conference space with vertical blinds and bagels. But “war room” sounded cooler.
9. Tampa Bay Rays (32-28; Previous: 13) – Rays confused by all this talk about Tampa Bay lightning, ’cause, you know, it’s OK, they play indoors.
10. Chicago Cubs (31-26; Previous: 9) – Joe Maddon doesn’t go for that “punk” stuff, except for The Sex Pistols, because they were awesome.
11. Texas Rangers (31-28; Previous: 18) – Rangers select first pitcher in draft, announce he’ll start against A’s that night.
12. Washington Nationals (31-28; Previous: 4) – Fan tosses phone to Bryce Harper, Harper takes selfie, Harper tosses phone back, fan killed by bro-ming charges.
13. Toronto Blue Jays (31-30; Previous: 23) – Blasted by team radio broadcaster, Jose Reyes says “only God can judge me.” You know, God has UZR, too, Jose.
14. Detroit Tigers (31-29; Previous: 8) – American Pharoah wins Triple Crown. Miguel Cabrera thinks he’s no Man o’ WAR.
15. New York Mets (31-29; Previous: 10) – Commissioner views Bartolo Colon at-bats as “entertainment” and so evidence DH is unnecessary. Also thinks funny limps justify Achilles’ tears.
16. Los Angeles Angels (29-30; Previous: 15) – Angels, seeking team identity, in meantime go with sunglasses and fake mustaches.
17. San Diego Padres (30-31; Previous: 19) – Padres seek bench help, give themselves a Melvin.
18. Baltimore Orioles (28-30; Previous: 17) – O’s panic on big day, draft anyone named “Ripken.”
19. Atlanta Braves (29-30; Previous: 16) – Now that David Aardsma, Hank Aaron and Tommie Aaron have played for them, from here on would like to be known as Aatlanta Braves.
20. Cleveland Indians (27-31; Previous: 21) – Indians’ bullpen holds Brandon Moss’ home run ball for ransom, gets Terry Francona thinking about how he’d make out lineup every day.
21. Cincinnati Reds (27-31; Previous: 26) – Maybe before the All-Star Game gets here we oughtta straighten up a little.
22. Chicago White Sox (28-30; Previous: 22) – The Melky Cabrera thing doesn’t seem to be working out. Maybe time to restore his Internet privileges.
23. Colorado Rockies (27-31; Previous: 25) – When Rangers come to town Rockies are ready with their Gallo’s humidor.
24. Arizona Diamondbacks (27-32; Previous: 20) – Wellington Castillo would just like to say he enjoyed his time with the Chiattlezona Cubarinerbacks. The, uh, Searizago Diamarinubs. Oh hell, where next?
25. Seattle Mariners (27-32; Previous: 14) – Lloyd McClendon’s rant ensnares three umpires, explains a fourth would have been totally excessive.
26. Boston Red Sox (27-33; Previous: 24) – To his credit, Hanley becomes second-best Ramirez to play left field for Red Sox in past 15 years.
27. Oakland Athletics (24-37; Previous: 29) – Which hand would Pat Venditte pitch with if he faced the Dodgers? Ethier.
28. Miami Marlins (24-36; Previous: 28) – You don’t even want to know how Giancarlo Stanton eats string cheese. Freakin’ barbaric.
29. Milwaukee Brewers (22-38; Previous: 30) – In a season in which nothing has gone right, even the Bud Selig statue looks a little disgusted.
30. Philadelphia Phillies (22-39; Previous: 27) – Asked for their draft pick, Phillies request a good lager, maybe an IPA.
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