National baseball writer Peter Schmuck ranks the...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

National baseball writer Peter Schmuck ranks the 28 major league teams.

Rank, Team, Final '94 rank, comment

1. Atlanta Braves -- 5 -- No "dead arm" syndrome in Dixie.

2. New York Yankees -- 2 -- The Bronx Zoom: Yanks off to another fast start.

3. Cleveland Indians -- 8 -- Just letting first-place Brewers enjoy a rare small-market moment in the sun.

4. Toronto Blue Jays -- 14 -- Riding high after helping end umpire lockout.

5. Seattle Mariners -- 20 -- Should run away with AL West, but won't.

6. Colorado Rockies -- 16-- Only team that actually liked replacement umpires.

7. Montreal Expos -- 1 -- Fresh young lineup again could again defy small-market handicap.

8. Boston Red Sox -- 12 -- Bash-ful lineup already taking pressure off suspect pitching staff.

9. Milwaukee Brewers -- 22 -- Obviously weren't paying attention when Bud Selig said that they couldn't compete with large-market teams.

10. Los Angeles Dodgers -- 9 -- Pitching staff's new theme song: "We are the World."

11. San Francisco Giants -- 11 -- Bonds shrugs off slow start. Giants should take off soon.

12. Houston Astros -- 6 -- Just knocked the stuffing out of Cubs fever with three-game sweep at Wrigley.

13. St. Louis Cardinals -- 24 -- Upgraded pitching staff should keep Cards in so-so NL Central race.

14. Philadelphia Phillies -- 19 -- Loss of 18 April games could be a break for slow-starting Dykstra.

15. Chicago Cubs -- 26 -- Holy Cow. Cubs have winning record. For now.

16. San Diego Padres -- 28 -- Nice start for Lucchino and rest of Oriole execs in exile, but already coming back to earth.

17. Kansas City Royals -- 10 -- Not exactly loaded, but Boone/Mauch braintrust might just figure out a way to compete.

18. Chicago White Sox -- 3 -- Don't let the bad start fool you, they'll be in the top 10 next week.

19. Baltimore Orioles -- 7 -- Question recently heard in owners box: Did somebody forget to wake up Lee Smith?

20. California Angels -- 27 -- New Power Ratings rule. Second place AL West team must be in top 20 regardless of sub-.500 record.

21. Texas Rangers -- 17 -- Interim manager Jerry Narron was 2-3. Permanent skipper Johnny Oates is 0-3.

22. Minnesota Twins -- 23 -- Pitching staff gave up 8.2 runs per game through first five games. Nice.

23. Cincinnati Reds -- 4 -- After 0-6 start, should have named Frank Robinson manager.

24. Detroit Tigers -- 21 -- Mike Moore 2-0. Rest of pitching staff 0-5.

25. Oakland A's -- 13 -- It'll take a miracle this year...but miracles happen in the AL West.

26. Florida Marlins -- 25 -- Had some promise until stopper Harvey lost for season.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates -- 18 -- Without looking, name a member of the Bucs starting lineup who isn't Jay Bell.

28. New York Mets -- 15 -- Already doing vacuum cleaner imitation.

Note: Statistics through Wednesday's games

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