The Boston Red Sox were rained out Wednesday and had the day off Thursday, fortuitous events that conspired to keep them from falling to 31st in this week’s rankings.
(Records through Wednesday’s games.)
1. Texas Rangers (9-3; Previous: 7) – Hamilton thinks, “Dude, I don’t want to go. Something is going to happen.” Steve Bartman recalls wrestling with same notion once.
2. Philadelphia Phillies (8-3; Previous: 5) – Hamels shuts down Braves, rest of Fab Four agrees to let him sing “Yellow Submarine.”
3. Colorado Rockies (8-2; Previous: 11) – Tulo gets hot with “Baby” as walkup music, really hopes Bieber Fever just a 24-hour bug.
4. Cincinnati Reds (8-4; Previous: 8) – Follow along with Dusty Baker: “It’s springtime. To me, spring means you’re a little confused whether it’s winter or summer. This is what happens in the spring. If everyone stayed hot in the spring, it would be summertime.” Yogi Berra totally gets that.
5. New York Yankees (6-4; Previous: 3) – Cashman contends Feliciano “abused” by Mets last season, grants not nearly as bad as he was abused by Jeter agent Casey Close last winter. But close.
6. Cleveland Indians (8-4; Previous: 26) – Indians in first place, former minor leaguer takes better odds and plays lottery, wins $1 million.
7. San Francisco Giants (6-6; Previous: 2) – Giants boast “World Series-level” security, patiently explain to Dodgers what that is. The World Series part.
8. Chicago White Sox (7-5; Previous: 12) – Dunn has appendix removed, asks doctors if the bibliography will have to go, too.
10. Oakland Athletics (6-6; Previous: 6) – Teammates suggest geeky Cahill could use new riches to erect new stadium – out of Legos. Fans sorta hoping he’d build an offense.
12. Kansas City Royals (7-4; Previous: 29) – Yost loves a bullpen of which he says, “There’s no vibrate.” Ratchet set he got for Christmas comes in handy.
13. Toronto Blue Jays (6-6; Previous: 19) – Jays blow seven-run lead against Mariners, said later handshake line in sixth inning might have been premature.
14. Milwaukee Brewers (6-5; Previous: 15) – Team called the Brewers that plays in Miller Park not allowed to have beer in clubhouse. Doubles still OK, though.
15. Atlanta Braves (5-7; Previous: 4) – Bobby Cox throws out ceremonial first pitch, looked like a strike, ejected by member of honor guard who thought otherwise.
16. Los Angeles Dodgers (6-6; Previous: 18) – Now Frank McCourt is being sued by his own lawyers, which, I believe, makes it unanimous.
17. Florida Marlins (6-5; Previous: 16) – Marlins celebrate year anniversary of vuvuzela give-away by squinting at each other and shouting, “What? What?”
18. Chicago Cubs (6-6; Previous: 21) – Cubs wonder what might have been had juiced Manny not beaten them in ’08 division series. Fail to explain Manny’s part in Cubs having as many errors (six) as they did runs (six).
19. Detroit Tigers (5-7; Previous: 14) – News item: Cabrera the youngest in history to reach 300 doubles. Reaction: I’m going to be kind here.
20. St. Louis Cardinals (5-7; Previous: 13) – Pujols says, “It’s not like I’ve forgotten how to hit,” asks if anyone’s seen his keys around.
21. Washington Nationals (5-6; Previous: 25) – Dibble reconsiders story, now says Strasburg family’s sky-written message over Lerner estate led to firing.
22. San Diego Padres (5-6; Previous: 24) – Little-known fact: Padres starters kill time between starts by playing Harang man.
23. Pittsburgh Pirates (5-6; Previous: 30) – Police batter, tase disruptive fan, explain, “We’re not in the business of a fair fight. The goal is that we win. We don’t play fair. We’re not going to go hands-on, one-on-one.” Anyone else smell a Bucs motto for 2011?
24. Arizona Diamondbacks (5-6; Previous: 27) – Gibson takes a bite out of umpire Davidson, later says he tastes a little like chicken.
25. Minnesota Twins (4-7; Previous: 9) – Target Field gets new batter’s eye, shopping around for new batters.
26. New York Mets (4-7; Previous: 20) – Middle of bullpen becomes Iggy and Izzy Show, Mets hope it doesn’t get iffy and icky, too.
27. Tampa Bay Rays (3-8; Previous: 10) – Manny tells Maddon he’s disappointed in himself, puts self in time out, hopes self learned his lesson, stands back in disapproval of self.
28. Houston Astros (3-9; Previous: 23) – McLane addresses team on perhaps final opening day as owner: “I don't look at anything as the last time. If I'm eating a piece of chocolate cake, I don't like to think that's the last piece I'm going to have of that cake. I think about the next one I'm going to eat.” While back is turned, Carlos Lee(notes) finishes chocolate cake.
29. Seattle Mariners (4-8; Previous: 28) – Gutierrez stomach problems prompt fear of epidemic, as thousands of M’s fans also become queasy.
30. Boston Red Sox (2-9; Previous: 1) – Pedroia says Sox fans must decide if both feet in or both feet out. Nation asks if, when Lackey and Matsuzaka pitching, can do hokey pokey.