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The Times' baseball rankings

Monday is Labor Day, when the nation pauses to deliver a shout-out to the working man and woman. Times staff writer Kevin Baxter salutes the hardest-working of MLB's 30 teams.

August 31, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • Pitcher Zack Greinke is one of the key reasons the Dodgers are The Times' top-ranked team.
Pitcher Zack Greinke is one of the key reasons the Dodgers are The Times'… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Statistics through Friday's game. Last week's rankings in parentheses:

OPERATING AT PEAK EFFICIENCY

1. DODGERS Employees of the Month: Greinke, Nolasco 10-0, 1.44 combined in August (1)

2. ATLANTA Workplace safety: First-place Braves have 10 players on the disabled list (7)

3. BOSTON Production line: Regular 1 through 4 hitters averaging .301, 13 HRs, 64 RBIs (8)

4. TEXAS Called — and swinging — strike: Darvish leads MLB with 236 strikeouts (2)

5. DETROIT Look for the union label: Scherzer, team's union rep, is MLB-best 19-1 (6)

6. PITTSBURGH Seasonal employment: Steeltown about to see first fall playoff game since 1992 (4)

7. ST. LOUIS Swing shift: Cardinals hitting an MLB-best .326 with runners in scoring position (5)

8. OAKLAND Blue-collar guy: Minimum-wage Donaldson tops A's in 8 offensive categories (10)

9. CINCINNATI Foreign workers: Reds' top 2 hitters, Votto and Choo, hail from Canada, South Korea (9)

10. TAMPA BAY Proletarian revolution: Rays have MLB's 28th-best payroll, 10th-best record (3)

A LOT OF WORK FOR LITTLE REWARD

11. BALTIMORE Piecework: Orioles pinch-hitters batting MLB-low .132 (11)

12. N.Y. YANKEES Closing time: With 43 saves in 51 tries, Yanks have MLB's most efficient bullpen (12)

13. KANSAS CITY Fine craftsmanship: Shields (9-8) leads AL with 22 quality starts (15)

14. CLEVELAND Boycott: Playoff contender averaging less than 21,000 at home (13)

15. ARIZONA Outsourcing: Diamondbacks regular lineup includes 3 Venezuelans (14)

WOULD ANYBODY NOTICE IF THEY WENT ON STRIKE?

16. WASHINGTON Child labor: Harper, at 20, was youngest player on an opening-day roster (16)

17. PHILADELPHIA Workplace efficiencies: MLB's 3rd-highest payroll nets 3rd place in NL East (17)

18. ANGELS Laboring under false pretenses: Angels on pace for worst record this century (24)

19. COLORADO Working for the weekend: Rockies are 24-18 on Saturdays and Sundays (19)

20. N.Y. METS OSHA violation: Harvey kept pitching despite forearm pain, may now need surgery

21. SEATTLE Grandfather clause: Only 2 men in history hit more HRs at age 41 than Ibanez's 25 (18)

22. SAN FRANCISCO Toxic stock: Giants won 94 games in 2012, on pace for 72 in 2013 (27)

23. TORONTO Right-to-work state: Blue Jays have used 49 players this season (26)

CLOSED UP SHOP A LONG TIME AGO

25. MILWAUKEE Blacklist: Ryan Braun's "apology" hasn't appeased many peers in baseball (25)

26. MINNESOTA Job insecurity: Layoffs likely this winter if Twins lose 90+ for 3rd straight year (20)

27. CHICAGO WHITE SOX Working overtime: Chicago has played MLB-high 21 extra-inning games (23)

28. CHICAGO CUBS Surplus labor: 5 players who were on Cubs in opener now with other teams (28)

29. MIAMI On-the-job training: 13 Marlins have 2 years or less in the majors (29)

30. HOUSTON Minimum wage: Astros payroll an MLB-low $22 million (30)

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