The Sun's national baseball writer, Peter Schmuck,...


The Sun's national baseball writer, Peter Schmuck, ranks the major leagues' 28 teams.

Rank, Team, Previous Rank, comment

1. Atlanta Braves, 7, Recent slump just a minor inconvenience.

Make your playoff reservations now.

2. New York Yankees, 5, Everything going right, but George will think of something.

3. Baltimore Orioles, 4, Blue Jays jinx has been lifted. Could be ready to take off.

4. Cincinnati Reds, 2, Great start, but loss of Browning could be felt all year.

5. San Francisco Giants, 11, Bonds unchained. Giants should take a giant step in NL West very soon.

6. Boston Red Sox, 1, Early season supernova already starting to cool.

7. Montreal Expos, 3, Momentum flagging after early season burst of speed.

8. Chicago White Sox, 8, Quietly taking control of a very winnable division.

9. Toronto Blue Jays, 6, Injury riddled rotation? No bullpen stopper? No longer able to leap over Orioles in a single bound? Don't write them off yet.

10. Houston Astros, 10, Have yet to take full advantage of solid starting rotation.

11. Pittsburgh Pirates, 16, Can this team really be 12-6 at home?

12. St. Louis Cardinals, 9, Playing well, but need more than 7-0

Tewksbury to put real heat on Reds.

13. Kansas City Royals, 18, Cone has stepped up (6-1) and Royals are doing the same.

14. Cleveland Indians, 12, Slumping badly, but still may be second-best club in AL Central.

15. New York Mets, 21, Segui, Orsulak combine to keep Mets competitive this week.

16. Milwaukee Brewers, 15, Near top in spite of modest 6-5 record against horrid AL West teams.

17. Florida Marlins, 17, Surprising second-year club would be tied for first in NL West.

18. Los Angeles Dodgers, 20, Second place standing deceptive, but can't be overlooked in tentative NL West.

19. Seattle Mariners, 14, Supposedly legitimate pennant contender is 4-15 on road.

20. Colorado Rockies, 19, Soft pitching staff beginning to take its toll.

21. Texas Rangers, 13, How long will Rangers front office put up with this?

22. Detroit Tigers, 23, Moved into sole possession of first placed in AL West on Tuesday.

23. Philadelphia Phillies, 22, At least Mitch Williams provided some entertainment.

24. Minnesota Twins, 24, Team ERA more inflated than Metrodome.

25. California Angels, 26, Threatening to leave Anaheim. Will anyone notice?

26. San Diego Padres, 25, Have asked league to add extra games against Phillies.

27. Chicago Cubs, 28, Returning to Wrigley today to work on 1-12 home record.

28. Oakland A's, 27, Might already be mathematically eliminated in AL East.

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