The San Diego Padres are still winning, still climbing in rankings.
Another month or two like this, they'll start looking legit.
Week 21 (Records through Wednesday):
1. New York Yankees (78-49; Previous: 1) – Yanks can't shake Rays, consider buying them and selling off parts.
2. Tampa Bay Rays (78-49; Previous: 2) – Maddon tweets ode to rascally dome: "Most recent whine was my getting on Trop roof, have since apologized to said roof and r now on much better terms, maybe best ever." Next, plans couples therapy with sticky office door lock.
3. San Diego Padres (76-49; Previous: 4) – Management bans German Shepherds, other allegedly menacing breeds, from ballpark event. The stadium subsequently is renamed SomePetco Park.
4. Boston Red Sox (73-55; Previous: 3) – What goes around comes around. Moral of the story: Be nice to your departed Idiots.
5. Atlanta Braves (73-54; Previous: 6) – Braves trying to hold off Phillies, feel they hold advantage in "sixth reserve left fielder" department.
6. Texas Rangers (72-54; Previous: 5) – Parachutist snagged on light pole at Rangers Ballpark. After rescue, new team owners marvel at Mark Cuban's determination.
7. Minnesota Twins (72-55; Previous: 9) – Mauer hits his first Target Field home run. Great to see relief come over him. Last 90 feet of moonwalk was a little much.
9. Philadelphia Phillies (70-56; Previous: 8) – Oswalt catches easy fly ball in left field, gets standing ovation, pretty sure it's as good a time as any to retire.
10. San Francisco Giants (71-57; Previous: 11) – Two-thirds of earth's surface covered by water, other third by Giants outfielders milling around hoping for playing time.
13. Toronto Blue Jays (66-60; Previous: 13) – Bautista facing steroids questions, says they're actually tougher than gopher-balling American League pitching.
14. Colorado Rockies (66-60; Previous: 14) – Rockies figured they'd be looking down on rest of division by now. And, well, from a mile up, technically they are.
15. Florida Marlins (63-62; Previous: 18) – Loria living high life on revenue sharing, which explains previous references to former Yankees owner as George (Sugar Daddy) Steinbrenner.
16. Oakland Athletics (63-62; Previous: 17) – Braden scheduled to pitch next week in the 718, already been advised not to run over A-Rod's trainer's table.
17. Los Angeles Dodgers (65-62; Previous: 16) – Manny prefers not to think of it as being run out of town, but as a really, really fun parade with torches and pitchforks.
18. Los Angeles Angels (63-65; Previous: 15) – Angels find a use for all those spare halos, loan them to scoreboard operator.
19. New York Mets (63-63; Previous: 19) – Bay says he's over concussion issues, club hopes that means he'll stop standing at Citi Field turnstiles welcoming people to Wal-Mart.
20. Detroit Tigers (63-64; Previous: 20) – Damon says he loves Detroit. People of Detroit rejoice, though admittedly a little suspicious.
21. Milwaukee Brewers (59-67; Previous: 21) – Club unveils statue of Bud Selig, folks somewhat amused to see it replicating Selig throwing pitch that clinched 1982 pennant.
22. Houston Astros (57-69; Previous: 23) – Judge issues Clemens gag order, legalese that apparently has nothing whatsoever to do with evidence photos of Rocket's gluteal abscess.
23. Washington Nationals (53-74; Previous: 22) – Strasburg goes to DL, elbow to Smithsonian.
25. Chicago Cubs (54-74; Previous: 24) – Sammy Sosa says no one should wear his uniform No. 21 again. Team agrees, says it's so stretched out they're using it to re-carpet executive suites anyway.
26. Cleveland Indians (50-76; Previous: 27) – Indians in AL bottom three in runs, ERA and fielding. They are, however, top three in bottom threes.
29. Baltimore Orioles (45-82; Previous: 28) – Ripken turns 50, reveals his friends now call him One A Day with Iron Man.
30. Pittsburgh Pirates (43-84; Previous: 30) – NL ballclub clinches another losing season, gotten so bad Somalian scallywags have asked to be referred to as "the swashbuckling Orioles."