for the A’s

After watching one of their own fall ass-backwards into money after heckling an opposing player harsh enough to get a chair thrown into her nose, the A’s fans spent the rest of the season seeking their own riches. Their problem, however, was that the heckling outbursts weren’t just directed at the visitors. As the A’s found out, playing in front of thousands of fans calling your mother names, mentioning your wife’s ugliness, or bringing up your past sex-change operation, isn’t a good feeling. Especially when it’s in your own ballpark.

for the Blue Jays

Once Roy Halladay made his extended trip to the DL (submarining any hopes of a first-place finish for either the Blue Jays or my fantasy team), Carlos Delgado put his own baseball career on hold after being bitten by the inspiration bug, deciding to spend the season developing his own reality TV series for Fox. Entitled Disabled List, contestants compete for valuable gift certificates to Old Country Buffet by re-enacting the most historic sports injuries. The pilot episode includes the segments “Napoleon Kaufman’s MNF Knee Whack-Out,” “Robin Ventura’s Slip ‘N’ Slidin’ Shin Split,” and “Dennis Rodman’s Body-Art Extravaganza.” Look for it in summer 2005.

for the Brewers

Randall Simon failed to give the team its yearly pep talk by beating the living shit out of a teenage girl dressed as a sausage with a baseball bat. Without the ambulances, PETA protests, and many, many lawsuits, the Brewers didn’t even know the season started.

for the Cubs

Well done, SI-Cover Jinx. (Baseball Preview 2004 Edition; Kerry Wood seen pitching on the cover with the title “Hell Freezes Over.”) You’ve outdone yourself this time, and shown yourself capable of leapfrogging Popular Mechanics in the cover-jinx rankings. Kudos.

for the Diamondbacks

Finally letting his selfish nature truly show, Randy Johnson refused to put his team first by pitching only once every five games. If he’d been out there, pitching every game, like the fans deserve, they would have made the playoffs. What arrogance!

for the Devil Rays

Don Zimmer’s 12th-century healing remedies (including leeches, bloodletting, and rusty-hacksaw amputations) did not mesh well with Lou Pinella’s 18th-century coaching style (telegraph wake-up messages, underhand pitching motion, and dispute-solving single-shot pistol duels). The good news, though, is that the two coaches are working on resolving the differences in coaching eras: settling next year on either the sodomy-laden 1500s or the revolutionary-enhanced 1700s. Rocco Baldelli, among others, hopes the geriatric duo choose the latter.

for the Expos

Actually, the Expos performed well above expectations. Yes, those expectations were created once Rocky Biddle was on the roster. Unfortunately for them, they are going to have to get used to what we Americans expect from our baseball teams. Namely, knowing how to hit, and, occasionally, how to pitch.

for the Giants

Ask five random people if they can name two people on the Giants. Besides Barry Bonds.

for the Indians

Saddened by this year’s final season of The Drew Carey Show, the Cleveland Steamers spent most of the season playing with tears in their eyes, Buzz Beers in their mouths, and heartbreaking orchestral arrangements of “Cleveland Rocks!” in their mind’s ears. Not many can perform under those conditions. Especially when you add the fact that the team decided to take down their locker-room pinup models in favor of erotic photos of Mimi. Some tributes should not be made.

for the Mariners

Everything not named Ichiro.

for the Marlins

Having to bear the load of God’s election-season hurricane punishment for their hanging-chad sins of four years ago, the Marlins never really had a chance. Here’s hoping they get it right this time, and the Marlins get to play their next four years of home games actually at home.

for the Mets

Simultaneously having to deal with (1) constant comparison to the Yankees, (2) pooling together bail money for Mr. Met’s latest aggravated-assault offense, (3) finding the extra salary cap maneuverability for their pitching staff’s Social Security payments, and (4) Mike Piazza’s latest Queer Eye for the Straight Guy makeover would leave any squad in shambles.

for the Orioles

Playing in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox can’t help any team, but the main reason the manager’s Mall Madness Shopping Spree of Sluggers failed this year was because of the team’s stubbornness: failing to take Raffy’s advice and consult their doctor’s about Viagra. And, as the ads should say, trying to score runs without an erect baseball bat is quite difficult.

(Let’s see here … “Cheap Bonerfied Penis Joke”? Check.)

for the Padres

David Wells’s weekly class on “Pitching With a Massive Hangover, and How to Obtain One” failed miserably, with only Jake Peavy, Adam Eaton, and Trevor Hoffman passing the course. The rest of the pitchers failed to understand the concept of drinking heavily the night before a big game, not the hours leading up to it. And contrary to popular legend, pitching drunk does not help a slider.

for the Phillies

Larry Bowa was not fired in time.

for the Pirates

The team was unable to recover from the Steelers’ 2002 cutting of Kordell Stewart, who took on five players as lovers/slaves during The Slash Experience of the late 1990s. Instead of spending the necessary time to learn Tom Emanski’s Fundamentals of Baseball, they wrote long, handwritten, cursive, quill-penned letters to Bill Cowher voicing their great displeasure. Those players who had already been queued up by Stewart as his next orgiastic feats wrote as many as eight letters a day.

for the Rangers

Since free agency was established, humiliating initiations aren’t just for rookies anymore. Case in point: Once Alfonso Soriano found his way onto the Texas roster, his e-mail account was flooded with newsletters and responses to a personal ad that featured his baseball-card photo, mouth agape following a batted home run. Knowing a nice prank when he sees one, Soriano simply blew it off and e-mailed the website with instructions to take his name off the newsletter list and cancel the personal ad. When the daily fashion tips and request for “Cock Pix” didn’t stop, Soriano called customer support. After he punched in the required information on his phone keypad, they assured Alfonso that he would be speaking to a customer representative as soon as one was available. They then proceeded to flood the phone with hold music, courtesy the Village People, Queen, and Aqua, as well as with spoken comedy by Ant. Two hours later, a representative got on the line and solved the problem. But Soriano never did get that damn “Barbie Girl” song out of his head. Hence, his play this season.

for the Reds

While it’s easy to blame The Third Annual Ken Griffey Muscle-Tear Experience for Cincinnati’s collapse, the real blame must be placed on Tom Sizemore’s wig while playing Pete Rose in ESPN’s Hustle. How can a team be expected to perform while having to don the same red-and-whites as Sizemore? You’d be breaking into giggles, snorts, and whooping belly guffaws, too. Especially when you heard the “I’m not only the president of the Hair Club for Men, I’m also a client” heckles.

for the Rockies

Did you draft any Rockies pitchers on your fantasy baseball team? No? I think I might be able to see the problem. Oh yeah. Chuck Johnson’s on the team as well. That can’t help anyone.

for the Royals

Showing his stubborn nature, Tony Pena failed to renew his subscription to Holy Shit!, a tri-yearly magazine produced by witches (held together with magical staples) that gives the subscription holder access to incredible feats with little or no talent, such as competing in the AL Central last year. His subscription card is in the mail, but rumor has it that Pena will use next year’s issues to win the 2005 World Series of Poker, like its previous three champions.

for the Tigers

The Tigers season was suspended by the city of Detroit in lieu of the yearlong celebration of the Pistons’ NBA glory. The hangover is scheduled to end August 2007.

for the White Sox

Sure. Some of the disappointment of this season can be blamed on losing their No. 1 and No. 2 hitters for much of the season. But that’s sidestepping the real issue here. Namely, Time-Life on DVD. I mean, look at the selection: Legends: The Ultimate Rock Collection; Elvira’s Box of Horrors; A Century of Warfare: WW2; The Hee Haw Collection. How can you worry about simple pursuits like baseball with all of that knowledge at the click of a button?