Team Rankings

October 03, 2004|By Joe Christensen | Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF

1. Cardinals (1)

Will they win their first World Series since 1982, or cry in their Busch beer?

2. Yankees (2)

Reached the 100-win mark for third straight year but still seeking first World Series title in that span.

3. Red Sox (3)

At least Pedro Martinez didn't say, "The Devil Rays are my daddy, too."

4. Braves (4)

Bobby Cox goes past 2,000 career victories, punching his Hall of Fame ticket.

5. Dodgers (8)

Milton Bradley misses five games for anger management -- therapy, the fast-food way.

6. Angels (10)

Took a firmer stance with their problem child, Jose Guillen, than the Dodgers did with Bradley.

7. Athletics (7)

Rich Harden looked stronger than Mark Mulder, Barry Zito and Tim Hudson all September.

8. Twins (5)

Will return to Yankee Stadium again this week, this time for the real thing.

9. Astros (11)

Owner Drayton McLane sounds confident they can re-sign Carlos Beltran.

10. Giants (9)

Felipe Alou will be entering final year of his contract at age 69 next year.

11. Cubs (6)

A fitting ranking, after two devastating 12th-inning losses last week.

12. Rangers (12)

Closer Francisco Cordero gives up first home run of the year, and playoff dreams vanish.

13. Padres (13)

Hung in there until final weekend, after losing 98 games last year.

14. Phillies (15)

Larry Bowa's firing is still a near certainty.

15. Marlins (14)

Armando Benitez has 46 saves, a 1.18 ERA and a .146 opponents' batting average.

16. Orioles (16)

Finally, a team that plays its best baseball at season's end.

17. White Sox (17)

Paul Konerko quietly posts 41- homer, 117-RBI season.

18. Indians (18)

Cheerleader boots have long been underrated for their bullet-proof protection.

19. Reds (19)

Barry Larkin says he wants to play next year, even in a utility role.

20. Tigers (20)

Since 2001, Jason Johnson has gone 6-22 after the All-Star break.

21. Pirates (21)

Jack Wilson joins Honus Wagner as only Pittsburgh shortstops with 200 hits.

22. Mets (23)

Omar Minaya is their third general manager hire -- in 15 months.

23. Devil Rays (24)

Team makes good on Lou Piniella's promise not to finish last.

24. Rockies (22)

Shawn Chacon blows 4-0, ninth-inning lead at Los Angeles before losing closer's job for good.

25. Brewers (27)

Their $220 million reported sale price is $40 million more than the Angels sold for last year.

26. Blue Jays (25)

Interim manager John Gibbons likely coming back, despite plunge to last place.

27. Expos (26)

Still pinching themselves because Bud Selig finally made a decision.

28. Mariners (28)

Manager Bob Melvin likely will join Bowa on the unemployment line.

29. Royals (29)

Former Oriole Denny Bautista has posted a 6.51 ERA with Kansas City.

30. Diamondbacks (30)

First NL team with 110 losses since expansion Padres and Expos in 1969.

(Last week's ranking in parentheses)

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