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 -- Simply the best.

2. Atlanta Braves -- 2 -- Total baseball.

3. Cincinnati Reds -- 4 -- Disgruntled Gant should quit and join motorcycle gang.

4. Boston Red Sox -- 3 -- Will big bombers turn into big bummers in October?

5. Colorado Rockies -- 6 -- Larry Walker won a game with a bunt Sunday. It must be destiny.

6. Los Angeles Dodgers -- 5 -- Last hurrah for Lasorda?

7. California Angels -- 7 -- Injuries suddenly a big issue.

8. New York Yankees -- 12 -- Looks like they'll be there after all.

9. Chicago Cubs -- 9 -- Found another cure for Cub Fever.

10. Seattle Mariners -- 10 -- If they get in, M's could be dangerously unpredictable playoff team.

11. Kansas City Royals -- 8 -- May be overmatched by Yankees, Mariners in wild-card race.

12. Texas Rangers -- 14 -- The heat -- both real and imagined -- apparently too much for them.

13. Philadelphia Phillies -- 13 -- Strange year should end quietly.

14. San Diego Padres -- 11 -- Haven't taken advantage of light opposition this week or last.

15. Chicago White Sox -- 15 -- Could boost attendance by naming Michael Jordan player/manager for final two weeks of play.

16. San Francisco Giants -- 16 -- Deion's impending departure is major organizational disaster.

17. Houston Astros -- 21 -- Can't buy a break, but they can get all the fractures they want for free.

18. Montreal Expos -- 18 -- Provincial law requires that fans say, "Wait until next year" in both English and French.

19. Oakland A's -- 17 -- Should bring Dave Stewart back as clubhouse coach.

20. Milwaukee Brewers -- 19 -- It was fun while it lasted.

21. Orioles -- 22 -- Plenty of good tickets suddenly available.

22. New York Mets -- 23 -- La Guardia may change landing patterns around Shea. Sight of Mets makes passengers skittish.

23. St. Louis Cardinals -- 24 -- Ram-mania has pushed Cardinals into background.

24. Detroit Tigers -- 25 -- Could be a severe winter.

25. Florida Marlins -- 20 -- Still shark bait after all these years.

26. Toronto Blue Jays -- 26 -- May have to change name of right-field nightclub to Soft Rock Cafe.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates -- 27 -- Shouldn't move to Orlando until they're good enough to beat the Pirates of the Caribbean.

28. Minnesota Twins -- 28 -- Worst thing to happen to Minneapolis since Lou Grant took that job in L.A.

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