On goats (with or without heads), the Babe, dream sequences, Francona’s inner GPS and incendiary bullpens:
The rankings (records through Wednesday):
1. Atlanta Braves (8-1; Previous: 9) – GM Wren kicks Cubs from Turner Field outfield. Cubs explain the grass will be fine, that they don’t actually travel with the goat.
2. Washington Nationals (6-2; Previous: 1) – Analyst notes with arched eyebrow that back feet of Babe Ruth and Bryce Harper leave ground on power stroke. Fails to mention that so does Davey Johnson’s, when he posts lineup.
3. San Francisco Giants (6-3; Previous: 2) – Kevin Durant attends game, refers to catcher as “my man, Buster,” which, honestly, makes Joaquin Arias a little jealous.
4. Oakland Athletics (7-2; Previous: 12) – Reddick declares that he will not shave beard. First off, he’s in a beard-growing contest. Second, when he hangs around 7-Eleven he can make 50, 60 cents in an hour.
5. Cincinnati Reds (5-4; Previous: 5) – Booing Cardinals fans, Phillips says, are, “Letting me know they’re dreaming about me at night.” Especially weird when they wake up and 2011 World Series never happened.
6. Los Angeles Dodgers (5-3; Previous: 6) – Yasiel Puig could be hottest thing in Chattanooga this summer. Other than, you know, Chattanooga.
7. Texas Rangers (6-3; Previous: 11) – Rangers announce Nolan Ryan will stay with club, and that the two will continue couples therapy.
8. Detroit Tigers (4-4; Previous: 4) – Air Force flyover canceled due to sequester. Also, low visibility due to Marlboro.
9. Boston Red Sox (5-3; Previous: 20) – Empty seats at Fenway. Now the sellout streak can die in peace.
10. Kansas City Royals (6-3; Previous: 18) – First-place Royals stare at calendar. Damn, it’s like that thing never moves.
11. Baltimore Orioles (4-4; Previous: 10) – O’s honor Earl Weaver on opening day; first 25,000 fans at Camden Yards get chewed out by random ushers.
12. Arizona Diamondbacks (6-3; Previous: 16) – Dbacks just passed their ex, Justin Upton, in the mall – looks like he’s been going to gym, and is holding hands with that other team. Sigh, they never should have broken up with him.
13. Tampa Bay Rays (4-5; Previous: 7) – USA Today ranks Tropicana Field 30th of 30 major-league ballparks. A year ago, The Trop was 36th of 30.
14. St. Louis Cardinals (5-4; Previous: 14) – Jason Motte considers recommendation he get “Tommy John” surgery, wonders if doctor has anything in a less invasive, “Elton John” surgery.
15. Toronto Blue Jays (3-5; Previous: 8) – Catcher Arencibia has trouble catching Dickey’s knuckleball; ever clever Dickey discovers solution: 10 2/3 innings, 15 hits.
16. New York Yankees (4-4; Previous: 13) – Yanks lower standards, gonna go with “Pronk’s Bombers” for a while, see if they get any traction out of that.
17. Los Angeles Angels (2-6; Previous: 3) – Petty Arte banishes media to right-field press box. From way up there, amazing how small he looks.
18. Philadelphia Phillies (4-5; Previous: 15) – Revere couldn’t wait to get to Philly to try out the famous “cheesecakes.” Sadly, will miss Minnesota and the famous Uruguay on a stick.
19. Chicago White Sox (4-4; Previous: 19) – Under relentless questioning, mascot Southpaw admits that, yes, all right yes, he sent Ricketts the stinkin’ goat’s head.
20. Cleveland Indians (3-5; Previous: 17) – Before home opener, Francona gets lost on two-block walk to ballpark. No worries though, just Tito being Manny.
21. New York Mets (5-4; Previous: 26) – Daily News reports Mets have a “craving for a marquee outfielder,” which can only mean one thing: They’re pregnant!
22. Colorado Rockies (5-4; Previous: 27) – Rockies honor inaugural ’93 squad on opening day. Everybody agrees it was good to see Helton again.
23. Seattle Mariners (4-6; Previous: 23) – In recognition of his catcher in his perfect game, King Felix presents John Jaso with Rolex. Couple hours later, Jaso right on time for Felix fastball, doubles to left-center.
24. Minnesota Twins (4-5; Previous: 28) – Twins wondering what to give Mariano Rivera as retirement gift; thinking maybe Aaron Hicks.
25. Chicago Cubs (3-5; Previous: 25) – Prospect Soler reportedly charges opposing dugout while wielding a bat. In other news, did you know the Cubs’ new slogan is, “Committed”?
26. Milwaukee Brewers (2-6; Previous: 21) – “Warning: Before using bullpen, touch any metal on your dugout away from your bullpen’s closer with your bare hand. This will discharge static electricity on your late-game lead. Failure to fully discharge may ignite bullpen vapors. Do not get back in your dugout while summoning bullpen. Sliding across bench can create a static charge, which may ignite bullpen.”
27. San Diego Padres (2-6; Previous: 22) – After a Yankee signs with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, Padres a little bummed that all they have is Huston Street cred.
28. Pittsburgh Pirates (3-6; Previous: 24) – Hurdle admits that after almost four months he still has no idea how to pronounce “Melancon.”
29. Houston Astros (3-6; Previous: 30) – In face of long odds, seems likely pundits totally overrated Astros.
30. Miami Marlins (1-8; Previous: 29) – Marlins eject fans carrying critical signs. Also, charge them premature exit tax.
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