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


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

1. Chicago White Sox, 7, If players strike in mid-August, Thomas may have to settle for 50 home runs and 120 RBI.

2. Montreal Expos, 6, Little known fact: Moises Alou is a French expression meaning "First victim of salary cap."

3. Cincinnati Reds, 4, Recent roll could be interrupted by injuries to Mitchell and Neion Deion.

4. Cleveland Indians, 1, Will find out what they're made of this weekend at Comiskey Park.

5. Baltimore Orioles, 2, It big Lee bounces back, Orioles will hold altitude.

6. Houston Astros, 8, Other half of a two-team race in NL Central.

7. Atlanta Braves, 3, Midseason wake-up call might actually be good for erstwhile best team in baseball.

8. New York Yankees, 5, Imagine how good they'd be if they all dressed like Ken Griffey Jr.

9. Los Angeles Dodgers, 9, Just opened 10-game East Coast swing. Could be pivotal show of strength or beginning of second-half slide.

10. Oakland Athletics, 10, Split four games with Orioles last weekend, but still among hottest teams in baseball.

11. Texas Rangers, 12, This has gone on long enough. Need to step up to .500. Now.

12. San Francisco Giants, 18, If the Straw can stir it up at the 'Stick, the NL West race is far from over.

13. Kansas City Royals, 11, No time to falter with White Sox and Indians facing off above.

14. St. Louis Cardinals, 14, Soon to be left behind if they don't make a move to close on Reds and Astros.

15. Boston Red Sox, 20, Big dive is over, but Sox don't figure to surface again in AL East race.

16. Colorado Rockies, 13, Still exciting. Still reasonably competitive. But how long can it last?

17. Florida Marlins, 22, No day at the beach.

18. Pittsburgh Pirates, 16, Not so bad that they couldn't end up in third place.

19. Toronto Blue Jays, 24, Beginning to show signs of life, though it may be to late for three-peat.

20. Philadelphia Phillies, 15, Manager Jim Fregosi won the All-Star Game. That's going to have to last him until 1995.

21. Minnesota Twins, 17, Gave the rest of the AL Central a scare in May, but no one is shaking now.

22. Detroit Tigers, 21, Still have entertainment value. What else is there to do in Detroit anyway.

23. California Angels, 23, Fell on hard times. Landed on Mariners.

24. Seattle Mariners, 26, Next time in town, check out the Space Needle instead.

25. New York Mets, 27, Won six of 10 to close out first half. Did anyone notice?

26. Milwaukee Brewers, 19, Just buying time until that revenue sharing check shows up.

L 27. San Diego Padres, 25, August strike might be a blessing.

28. Chicago Cubs, 28, Midseason highlight: Went three days earlier this week without losing any ground in NL Central standings.

1% Not including last night's games.

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