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30 teams, 2024 edition

I bought some more 2024 Topps last week, a blaster and a couple of loose packs to balance off the hanger boxes and jumbo pack I bought the last time. I thought that might limit the collation issues, but that is greatly overestimating Topps. I think I'm on my fifth Matt Olson card.

But I did get the nifty CC Sabathia relic with the gray swatch that doesn't match the pictured pinstripes, but does give me hope the cloth bit is actually from some other less-yucky team with gray road unis.
The new purchases also gave me enough new cards of each team so I can use nothing but 2024 Topps cards for the annual exercise of ranking all the major league teams in order of my preference.
Yes, I still really like 2024 Topps. Yes, I really don't like some of the below teams, they don't deserve 2024 Topps, maybe I should pick out a nice 2016 card for those ones.
Anyway, you know how this goes. I've been doing this for 16 years now! And longer when I include all those times I ranked teams as a youngster in my bedroom on sheets of lined paper.
Not many people use lined paper these days. But you can print out this post to place it next to your viewing device for this season as a guideline. 
I'm still going to include with each team a player I didn't know was on that team's roster. I'm more up on teams a little more than last year since I've regained my MLB subscription because I couldn't handle another year of ESPN.
Here we go:

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (highest ranking: 1st; lowest ranking: 1st)
He's on the roster?: I've watched more spring training games of the Dodgers than any other team by far, so I know everybody on the roster -- well, I know all their names, can't tell you much more on some of them.

2. Baltimore Orioles (highest ranking: 2nd; lowest ranking: 18th)
I think this is the year the Orioles are supposed to really contend? Last year was a bit of a surprise. O's are already dealing with injuries so hopefully the jinx isn't in effect. This teams is more appealing with the youngsters and the knowledge that it's my nephew's favorite team (along with my brother's).
He's on the roster?: Craig Kimbrel. This isn't great news, O's fans.

3. Kansas City Royals (highest ranking: 2nd; lowest ranking: 5th)
Royals should slip more considering their lack of contending but they at least seem to try.
He's on the roster?: Seth Lugo. Good to see he got out of San Diego, he can be likeable again.

4. Toronto Blue Jays (highest ranking: 2nd; lowest ranking: 8th)

The Blue Jays couldn't stay my second-favorite team for very long, but they're not playing in Buffalo anymore. I was watching a spring game of theirs the other day and I realized that George Springer and Justin Turner are on the same team now and wondered how that was working out.
He's on the roster?: Isiah Kiner-Falefa. I saw him during the same spring game.

5. Philadelphia Phillies (highest ranking: 2nd; lowest ranking: 10th)

Phillies were the most recent great hope against the Astros, so that's still helping. Philadelphia fans' fickle-and-loud nature rubs me wrong, but that's mostly with the Eagles.

He's on the roster?: Spencer Turnbull.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates (highest ranking: 3rd; lowest ranking: 7th)

Still not convinced the Pirates front office is behaving like a major league one and even watching their games in the spring I get a little sad, but I couldn't drop them lower this year.

He's on the roster?: Yasmani Grandal

7. Boston Red Sox (highest ranking: 2nd; lowest ranking: 7th)

ESPN has kind of ruined this team for me due to its overexposure habits.

He's on the roster?: Vaughn Grissom

8. Texas Rangers (highest ranking: 5th; lowest ranking: 12th)

Rangers jump four spots thanks to ensuring that no one perpetuates the travesty that the Diamondbacks are a World Series-winning team. Thank you, Rangers.

He's on the roster?: As often happens with World Series winners, their roster didn't change much. No real surprises. Don't know Owen White though.

9. Detroit Tigers (highest ranking: 7th; lowest ranking: 13th)

It's funny over the years which teams are popular among fellow traders, either bloggers or otherwise. Suddenly in the last year I'm hoarding Tigers cards.

He's on the roster?: Mark Canha

10. Cleveland Guardians (highest ranking: 6th; lowest ranking: 17th)

He's on the roster?: No real surprises.

11. Cincinnati Reds (highest ranking: 9th; lowest ranking: 16th)

Proof that these rankings are nonsense, in most interleague matchups between Cincinnati and Cleveland, I'm rooting for Cincinnati.

He's on the roster?: Frankie Montas. Good luck with that.

12. Minnesota Twins (highest ranking: 9th; lowest ranking: 14th)

He's on the roster?: Chris Paddack

13. Oakland Athletics (highest ranking: 4th; lowest ranking: 13th)

The organization's follies and disregard for fans puts the A's at its lowest point since I started doing this for the blog. I know the A's moving every other generation is in their DNA but this is ugly.

He's on the roster?: Ross Stripling

14. Seattle Mariners (highest ranking: 13th; lowest ranking: 20th)

He's on the roster?: Jorge Polanco (I probably knew this at some point in the offseason).

15. Tampa Bay Rays (highest ranking: 14th; lowest ranking: 23rd)

Still hate watching their home games on TV.

He's on the roster?: Amed Rosario.

16. New York Mets (highest ranking: 16th; lowest ranking: 21st)

I went almost an entire year without watching the SNY crew and it hurt.

He's on the roster?: Joey Wendle

17. Chicago White Sox (highest ranking: 6th; lowest ranking: 17th)

He's on the roster?: Tim Hill

18. Miami Marlins (highest ranking: 13th; lowest ranking: 20th)

So much nicer now that they are no longer the "Florida Marlins".

He's on the roster?: Ryan Weathers

19. Milwaukee Brewers (highest ranking: 10th; lowest ranking: 23rd)

He's on the roster?: Gary Sanchez

20. Chicago Cubs (highest ranking: 18th; lowest ranking 25th)

He's on the roster?: Hector Neris

21. Washington Nationals (highest ranking: 19th; lowest ranking: 24th)

He's on the roster?: Joey Gallo

22. St. Louis Cardinals (highest ranking: 6th; lowest ranking: 25th)

Not having to worry about the Cardinals at all last year was a relief and a blessing. Doesn't move them much higher though.

He's on the roster?: Brandon Crawford is the obvious one, but I knew about that. There's nobody else really.

23. Los Angeles Angels (highest ranking: 23rd; lowest ranking: 26th)

These particular Easter parallel, blaster-exclusive things are terribly ugly, especially in hand. I don't know what that pattern is, bird heads? This is the type of parallel where I don't even want to collect Dodgers on it.

He's on the roster?: Brandon Drury

24. Colorado Rockies (highest ranking: 22nd; lowest ranking: 26th)

The City Connect uniforms that are wildly different from the team's regular uniforms, such as the Rockies and Padres (and Red Sox, though I really dislike those things) fascinate me and are easier to take than the other ones.

He's on the roster?: Cal Quantrill

25. Atlanta Braves (highest ranking: 19th; lowest ranking: 25th)

The most annoying thing about the Braves last year is how nobody got hurt the entire season.

He's on the roster: No surprises.

26. Houston Astros (highest ranking: 5th; lowest ranking: 28th)

The Astros started trending upward a little but then I pulled this guy. Also Dusty Baker is no longer part of the team.

He's on the roster?: Kendall Graveman

27. Arizona Diamondbacks (highest ranking: 26th; lowest ranking: 29th)

We're at the spot now where any team from this position onward could sink to the bottom at any point in the season.

He's on the roster?: Joc Pederson. I would have preferred that Pederson chose the Rockies as his latest NL West affiliation.

28. San Francisco Giants (highest ranking: 28th; lowest ranking: 30th)

Very uncomfortable with having the Giants this high for the second year in a row.

He's on the roster?: Tom Murphy

29. New York Yankees (highest ranking: 28th; lowest ranking: 30th)

He's on the roster?: Too familiar with this team unfortunately.

30. San Diego Padres (highest ranking: 26th; lowest ranking 30th).

Quite the difference for Grisham going from this to the Yankees. Hope it's another fall-on-their-face season for San Diego!

He's on the roster: Nothing I didn't know.

All right, that's enough rooting for one post. I always forget about how long this takes.

But more relaxing days are ahead. By the end of this month, there will be real ballgames again.


sg488 said…
Also new on the Orioles roster...Corbin Burnes.
Doc Samson said…
Thank you, Mr. Owl. It’s quite satisfying to see so many 2024 Topps cards in one place. Every time I see this set, I like it more and more. I might actually cave and get a complete set after Series 2 comes out. Thanks again.
bbcardz said…
I've also been watching the Dodgers spring training games too. They look really good so far especially the minor leaguers during the late innings--can't wait for the season to start!
AdamE said…
I don't see birds. I see the ships from Space Invaders...
Nick said…
I live in Chicago and still had that "when did the White Sox get HIM?" reaction a bunch of times when I was watching one of their games the other day. (Example: Mike Moustakas?!)
Fuji said…
This could be a great year for you... considering the Dodgers and Orioles both have solid shots at going to the World Series. I would say that I'd love to see your two least favorite teams make it instead, but I don't like the Yankees either :D