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

THE BALTIMORE SUN

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

Rank, Team, Previous Rank, Comment

1. Cleveland Indians -- 1 -- Hargrove has been great, but Chief Wahoo could win with this team.

2. Atlanta Braves -- 2 -- Looks like a big year for politically incorrect nicknames.

3. Cincinnati Reds -- 3 -- Marge Schott a shoo-in for Superstitious Executive of the Year Award.

4. Colorado Rockies -- 4 -- Too legit to quit.

5. California Angels -- 7 -- Next year's uniform caps to have mouse ears.

6. Boston Red Sox -- 5 -- Mo can take care of himself, but Sox may need extra security to protect their place in the standings.

7. Texas Rangers -- 6 -- Always a good offensive team, but upgraded pitching has provided some Arlington symmetry.

8. Houston Astros -- 9 -- Hanging around just in case Reds don't.

9. Orioles -- 12 -- They'd be in first place right now if they could beat the Twins.

10. Los Angeles Dodgers -- 13 -- Too much pitching talent to be stuck around .500.

11. Seattle Mariners -- 16 -- The Big Unit is worth the price of admission all by himself.

12. San Diego Padres -- 15 -- Plantier trade shows frugal Padres serious about staying in NL West race.

13. Kansas City Royals -- 17 -- Injuries have stretched starting rotation too thin.

14. Milwaukee Brewers -- 20 -- .500 record would be moral victory for mini- market team.

15. Chicago Cubs -- 11 -- Got swept by Mets. Go back four spaces.

16. Philadelphia Phillies -- 10 -- Total collapse.

17. Oakland A's -- 14 -- Fell hard out of contention with recent losing streak.

18. Detroit Tigers -- 8 -- Ironically, it was Angels who put damper on miracle season.

19. New York Yankees -- 18 -- Still waiting -- and hoping -- for things to turn around.

20. San Francisco Giants -- 19 -- Too close for Rockies to get comfortable, but don't look very threatening.

21. Toronto Blue Jays -- 24 -- Have the time to get back in the race, but do they have the team?

22. Montreal Expos -- 21 -- Youth no longer being served.

23. Chicago White Sox -- 22 -- Worst road record in baseball (13-24) doesn't help.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates -- 23 -- Not nearly as bad as everyone expected, but that's not saying much.

25. St. Louis Cardinals -- 25 -- Next time in town, go see the breweries instead.

26. Florida Marlins -- 26 -- Still fishing for their first compliment.

27. New York Mets -- 27 -- Funny there has never been a Broadway show called "Damn Mets."

28. Minnesota Twins -- 28 -- Now losing ratings war to both "Mary Tyler Moore" and "Coach" reruns.

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