Major League Baseball will conduct a camp for prospective umpires Friday at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina.
Really, who needs instant replay when the alternative is push-ups for Tony La Russa?
(Records through Wednesday's games.)
1. Philadelphia Phillies (24-12; Previous: 2) – Utley coming back from chondromalacia. Had to lay over in Frankfort, then was delayed in Newfoundland, so running a little late.
2. Cleveland Indians (23-12; Previous: 3) – Given that he blew a .20, should Choo be castigated for driving or praised for finding his car? Still castigated, you're right.
3. Florida Marlins (21-15; Previous: 4) – Anibal Sanchez(notes) reportedly "flirts" with second no-no. Suspicious first no-no discovers texts between the two, considers leaving him, plots to gain custody of little two-hitters.
4. New York Yankees (20-14; Previous: 6) – Jeter nearing 3,000 hits. Would get there sooner, but – ever try to leg out an infield single towing an oxygen tank?
5. Los Angeles Angels (21-17; Previous: 7) – Scioscia reaches 1,000 career wins, credits scouts, farm system, ownership, players. Especially for that 75-87 season.
6. Tampa Bay Rays (21-15; Previous: 8) – Due to his mastery of activities such as ping pong, darts and pool, Andy Sonnanstine(notes) tells mlb.com he considers himself a "professional gentleman of leisure." The work is nice, but it's hell trying to find a decent martini in this town.
7. St. Louis Cardinals (21-16; Previous: 9) – Theriot returns to Chicago, clarifies that when he said he was now on "right side" of rivalry, meant, you know, geographically, like if you were standing in Iowa.
8. Colorado Rockies (19-15; Previous: 1) – Rockies don't hit at Coors Field. Like watching Namath leave Toots Shor's alone.
9. Cincinnati Reds (20-17; Previous: 10) – Reds make Leake a reliever, see if he can't steal a win or two.
10. Atlanta Braves (20-18; Previous: 11) – Concerned for fan safety on hard-hit balls, Braves erect protective screens at Turner Field for batting practice. And, of course, for when Astros come to town.
12. Texas Rangers (19-18; Previous: 5) – Rangers lend Mavs claw and antlers fad, souvenir stands left with old A-Rod T-shirts and Jose Canseco action figures.
13. Oakland A's (19-18; Previous: 13) – Rickey requests more dirt on Rickey bobblehead, also a little more "Rickey" in Rickey bobblehead, if you know what Rickey means.
15. Kansas City Royals (19-17; Previous: 18) – Future of Royals arrives on Hosmer wings, which, in Kansas City, generally comes with celery sticks and choice of ranch or blue cheese dressing.
16. Boston Red Sox (17-20; Previous: 21) – On the bright side, Crawford is one of the really dangerous eight-hole hitters in the game.
17. Los Angeles Dodgers (18-20; Previous: 14) – At owners meetings dinner, McCourt and Wilpon request table for two, something near the door.
18. Toronto Blue Jays (17-20; Previous: 15) – Bautista sidelined with sore neck. Previously, had only been a carrier.
19. Washington Nationals (18-18; Previous: 24) – Werth starts to hit after text from agent Boras, reading, "Your swing, LMAO."
20. Milwaukee Brewers (16-21; Previous: 16) – Roenicke reminds squad there's no "I" in "team," ruefully notes there's no "O" in "Brewers."
21. Pittsburgh Pirates (18-19; Previous: 25) – Pirates rise above .500, sadly must cut short parade in order to play game No. 36.
22. Seattle Mariners (16-21; Previous: 28) – Bradley DFA'd when Zduriencik rules him out of Mariners' present and future. Still deciding on Mariners' past.
23. Baltimore Orioles (16-19; Previous: 20) – Showalter club just a couple elements from becoming a very good ballclub: pitching, hitting.
24. Arizona Diamondbacks (15-20; Previous: 29) – Injured Matt Williams returns as third-base coach after passing "agility drills." Related, D'backs welcome back PA announcer only after he completes CPR class, interior design training.
25. Chicago Cubs (16-19; Previous: 23) – Just to try to spice things up a little, MLB TV's Hazel Mae now does all Cubs highlights in Lou Piniella body suit and Harry Caray voice.
26. Chicago White Sox (15-23; Previous: 19) – Ozzie, told Mike Scioscia does not have a Twitter account, points out, "He weighs 300 pounds more than me. He's bald, I'm not. He reads scouting reports, I don't. So?" Um, just sayin' …
27. New York Mets (16-20; Previous: 22) – RIP Bill Gallo, along with Basement Bertha, who leaves the Mets just where she found them.
28. Houston Astros (14-23; Previous: 27) – Sale of club held up when Jim Crane balks at two words in fine print: "As is."
29. San Diego Padres (15-22; Previous: 30) – In time-saving device, Associated Press now issues no-hitter alerts immediately following Padres' batting practice.