Has it been 81 games already? It sure seems like the season flies by when your team performes better than everyone alive expected. This has been one of the most entertaining first halfs I have ever watched.
1. Tampa Bay Rays: Ladies and Gentlemen, your new King of the Hill. They are in top form right now, so I have to give them some respect, even if this is a trendy pick. Here is a scary thought: imagine how good these guys would be now if they had held on to Josh Hamilton.
2. Chicago Cubs: Clearly the class of the NL right now, but will they stay focused enough to realize their potential in the playoffs?
3. Boston Red Sox: Now, we hear that Manny had a scuffle with some team employee… I’m starting to think that his big problem is that he is just plain stupid. Simple as that. To me, when I hear “thats just Manny being Manny”, I hear “thats just Manny being stupid”. I wonder what his IQ is… or if he can even spell IQ.
4. Los Angeles Angels: It’s a shame that this team isn’t given the same respect in the media that the Sox and the Yankees of the world recieve. I’m starting to believe that there really is such a thing as “West Coast Bias”. Those who know me may remember me saying at the beginning of the season that Cleveland had a real shot this year because they had the most complete team. I apologize, I meant the Angels.
5. St. Louis Cardinals: I am starting to have visions of a Cubs vs. Cardinals NLCS this year. That sounds like some good times to me. Too bad they both can’t lose.
6. Chicago White Sox: I read somewhere that the Russians offered a girl for every player that scores a goal for them during EURO 2008. Jerry Reinsdorf probably should do the same thing for Jermaine Dye and Carlos Quentin.
7. New York Yankees: Somebody buy Jason Giambi a razor, or explain to him that it isn’t 1978 anymore. I get Issac Hayes’ style wah-wah guitar stuck in my head everytime I watch Baseball Tonight now. Now we get to find out of the Yank-mes are for real, as they have important series upcoming agaisnt the Rays and Red Sox.
8. Oakland Athletics: If you combine Oakland’s pitching with Texas’ lineup, you have one hell of a team. Unfortunately, we all exist in this realm that we refer to as reality, and in this place called reality, the A’s just don’t have the lineup to compete with the Angels right now.
9. Florida Marlins: We’re still very much alive despite the June swoon, mostly due to the fact that the Phillies have come crashing down to earth even harder than we have. Now that the Hammer is back, and JJ’s return to the rotation is imminent, the Marlins may follow up a cold June with a hot July.
10. Detroit Tigers: Unlike Minnesota’s recent hot streak, I think this one may be for real. However, they need to stay healthy. Fortunately, this team has a deep lineup, so they can probably survive losing Magglio Ordonez to the DL for a while.
11. Milwaukee Brewers: While I still think he is an overrated player, Ryan Braun definately is more deserving of a start in the All Star Game than Ken Griffey Jr.
12. Minnesota Twins: Their recent hot streak is mostly a product of playing weak teams at the right time. They need to keep it up at least another week before I give them some love.
13. Philadelphia Phillies: The luckiest team in baseball. These guys should be in third, not first. They better solve their pitching problems before the Marlins do, because what they have now is not gonna cut the mustard.
14. Texas Rangers: This team better hit the free agent market hard in the offseason. Two or three decent starting pitchers should put this team in the playoffs with the way they are hitting.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks: This is a far different team than the Diamondbacks we saw in April.
16. Baltimore Orioles: They would be 10 games over .500 if they played in the NL West. Aubrey Huff is having a great year.
17. Houston Astros: Another team that just doesn’t want to win. I hope Berkman is traded to Tampa or something, he’s too good to waste his talent playing for this rudderless franchise.
18. New York Mets: Surprisingly they still remain just outside the hunt despite doing everything to avoid competing this year. I happen to agree with Manuel, Mets fans are fertilizer.
19 & 20: Pittsburgh Reds: Or Cincinnati Pirates… whatever floats your boat. I really can’t decide between the two.
21. Atlanta Braves
22. Toronto Blue Jays
23. Los Angeles Dodgers
24. Kansas City Royals
25. San Francisco Giants
26. Cleveland Indians
27. Colorado Rockies
28. San Diego Padres
29. Seattle Mariners
30. Washington Nationals