Power Rankings: Phillies fading fast

With 3½ weeks to go, looks like we're locked in on Nos. 1 and 30. Still sorting through the rest.

Week 23:

New York
New York

1.New York Yankees (91-50; Previous: 1) – Jeter takes place among Yankees greats Gehrig, Ruth. In a hitless Monday doubleheader, however, ranked somewhere between Horace Clark and Henry Cotto.


St. Louis
St. Louis

2.St. Louis Cardinals (84-57; Previous: 2) – Cards win 15 consecutive series openers, also considering firm handshakes and eye contact as introductory devices.


Los Angeles
Los Angeles

3.Los Angeles Angels (83-55; Previous: 4) – Angels commit fewest errors in league; total does not reflect Matthews Jr., Speier signings.


Boston
Boston

4.Boston Red Sox (81-58; Previous: 5) – Schilling considers run for Senate, in hindsight says old observation that Bonds cheated on wife and taxes actually meant as a compliment.


Philadelphia
Philadelphia

5.Philadelphia Phillies (79-58; Previous: 3) – Manuel says he's sticking with Lidge, reflexively eyes life jackets, counts life boats, curses stupid iceberg.


Texas
Texas

6.Texas Rangers (79-60; Previous: 6) – Shortstop gets faux-hawk, Rangers start to wonder why all Elvises are kind of weird.


Los Angeles
Los Angeles

7.Los Angeles Dodgers (83-58; Previous: 7) – And to think Dodgers had monitored Kershaw's innings, limited his pitch counts, ordered strict between-starts workouts, all to keep him from hitting the wall.


Colorado
Colorado

8.Colorado Rockies (80-60; Previous: 8) – Rockies totally own Reds, wonder if that qualifies them for a little extra revenue-sharing money this winter from Yankees.


Detroit
Detroit

9.Detroit Tigers (75-63; Previous: 11) – Hang in there, Ernie. We're pulling for you. Seriously.


San Francisco
San Francisco

10.San Francisco Giants (76-64; Previous: 10) – Giants insulted by Prince/Brewers home-run celebration. Consider getting back at Prince next time by not throwing him pitch right down the middle with game on line.


Florida
Florida

11.Florida Marlins (74-65; Previous: 14) – Uggla believes to-do with Hanley has made team closer. He's right of course. Team much closer to dumping Uggla.


Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay

12.Tampa Bay Rays (72-68; Previous: 9) – Rays lose Pena for rest of season, ask if he wouldn't mind taking bullpen with him.


Seattle
Seattle

13.Seattle Mariners (72-68; Previous: 12) – Ichiro(notes) gets 2,000th hit, A's honor the moment by having exactly that many fans in stands at the time. Give or take a hundred.


Minnesota
Minnesota

14.Minnesota Twins (70-69; Previous: 15) – Looks like it'll be Mauer vs. Ichiro for A.L. batting title, or maybe they'll just save themselves all the exertion and go with coolest sideburns competition.


Chicago
Chicago

15.Chicago Cubs (71-67; Previous: 16) – Game starts with eight consecutive hits, hardened fans just knew it couldn't go on forever.


Chicago
Chicago

16.Chicago White Sox (70-71; Previous: 17) – Ozzie falls on sword, continues running in circles for three more hours.


Atlanta
Atlanta

17.Atlanta Braves (71-68; Previous: 13) – Subtle signs that only baseball people recognize determine the course of a ballclub, almost imperceptible shifts that become the difference between winning just enough to get into the playoffs or not. Yeah, the Braves got swept at home by the Reds. They're done.


Houston
Houston

18.Houston Astros (68-71; Previous: 19) – Valverde confirms birth date somewhere in 1978-79 range, admits memory of whole event kind of hazy.


Milwaukee
Milwaukee

19.Milwaukee Brewers (66-73; Previous: 18) – Cards show up and start Carpenter, all the Brewers lay down again, this time during game.


San Diego
San Diego

20.San Diego Padres (63-78; Previous: 22) – Pads knock off Dodgers twice in L.A., declare season success, will raise Labor Day Weekend banner in April ceremony.


Oakland
Oakland

21.Oakland Athletics (62-77; Previous: 21) – Tomko hits Pierzynski, umpires let it slide, figure if they were to eject every guy who hates Pierzynski …


Arizona
Arizona

22.Arizona Diamondbacks (62-79; Previous: 20) – Byrnes returns from disabled list, management startled to learn he's making all that money.


Cincinnati
Cincinnati

23.Cincinnati Reds (63-76; Previous: 23) – It's nearly awards season again, reminding us Volquez's elbow surgery undoubtedly will cost him a handful of Rookie of the Year votes this year.


Toronto
Toronto

24.Toronto Blue Jays (62-77; Previous: 24) – Ruiz hit with pitch in face, says it was nothing he hadn't already experienced growing up in New York, recalls first grade teacher had a mean, running four-seamer that got him twice.


New York
New York

25.New York Mets (62-77; Previous: 26) – Mets would have stayed healthier, played better had they known Phillies were going to collapse this September.


Cleveland
Cleveland

26.Cleveland Indians (60-79; Previous: 25) – Former Tribesman Cliff Lee(notes) says club would be better if fans showed up. Fans say their homes have been foreclosed, but would happily show up if Lee kicked them some of his $5.75 million this year, picked them up in his sweet new ride.


Baltimore
Baltimore

27.Baltimore Orioles (56-83; Previous: 27) – Thieves make off with Cal's No. 8, later foiled. Authorities say four men originally attempted to make off with other baseball trophy, but were unable to fit David Wright's(notes) helmet into back of pickup truck.


Kansas City
Kansas City

28.Kansas City Royals (54-85; Previous: 29) – Fans having hard time finding things to do between Greinke starts, now show up for Greinke teeth brushings, Greinke lawn edgings, Greinke back porch sweepings.


Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh

29.Pittsburgh Pirates (54-84; Previous: 28) – Russell says Pittsburgh ought to be “proud of the way this team plays.” Confused city asks, “The Pirates are still playing?”


Washington
Washington

30.Washington Nationals (47-92; Previous: 30) – Stras hanging with Nats and fresh off media misunderstanding, doesn't understand why teammates keep coming around, talking to him, sitting near him, staring, creeping him out.