1. Dodgers (1): Among the off-season improvements not scheduled for 51-year-old Dodger Stadium is an Olympic-size swimming pool in center field, surrounded by two dozen palm trees shipped in from a palm tree farm just outside of Phoenix. Therefore, all future Dodgers clinching pool parties will not cause the ruckus created one this past week at Chase Field in the Valley of the Whiners.
2. Athletics (2): Among the off-season improvements not scheduled for the 45-year-old Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (which has been renamed numerous times, not including the current but unofficial “Stinky Stadium”, is a complete overhaul of the entire plumbing system.
3. Diamondbacks (4): Among the off-season improvements not scheduled for 13-year-old Chase Field is an electrical fence around the swimming pool located in right-center field that would keep all unwanted visitors away — especially opposing teams celebrating a division-title-clinching victory.
4. Rangers (3): Winners of the “September Slumbers Award” for 2014 are the (drum roll, please) Rangers, the favorites to return to the top of the AL West way back in March, when the season started.
5. Angels (5): A missing persons report has been issued in Anaheim for Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, neither of whom produced the kind of season expected of them.
6. Padres (8): Heading into the final week of the regular season, second baseman Jedd (Clampett) Gyorko needs one home run to become the fifth second baseman to hit 20 or more home runs in his rookie season. He would join a select group that includes Dan Uggla (27 in 2006 for the Marlins), Hall of Famer Joe Gordon (25 in 1938, Yankees), Danny Espinosa (21 in 2011, Washington Senators) and Alexei Ramirez (21 in 2008, White Sox). Gyorko ranks second on the Padres’ rookie home run list, trailing only Nate Colbert (24 in 1969).
7. Giants (6): If their trendy decade remains intact, the Giants will capture the World Series championship in 2015. After all, they were MLB champs in 2010 and 2012.
8. Rockies (7): It seems like months ago that the likely last-place finishers in the NL West had a winning month. Actually, it was months ago. First-year skipper Walt Weiss directed his club to a 16-11 record in April.
9. Mariners (9): The late, great Hall of Fame announcer Dave Niehaus finally will get to meet
Mariners savior Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man most responsible for keeping the team in Seattle, preventing them from being moved to St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1992. That meeting will occur in Heaven.
10. Astros (10): Another season and yet another 100-plus losses. Well, you can say this much about the woebegone ‘Stros: they sure are consistent.
(Last week’s ranking in parenthesis)