Updated Aug. 25
Here's a word we haven't bandied around in this space for some time: Parity. Why, you ask? There ain't none.
Looking over these rankings of power, it becomes clear that the big-market teams have more or less buried the small-market ones (though I suppose you could call St. Louis a "nice-market" team, if you really wanted to split hairs). Of the eight teams likely to qualify for October play, only one –- the Rockies, based less on their payroll than their from-the-dead resurrection since May -– have underdog bona fides. If the Rays or Rangers manage to squeak past the Yankees or Red Sox, that would be two.
If you spend remotely wisely and manage to avoid roster-shredding injuries, you succeed. If you don't, you spend the second half of July peddling your best players to the big-boy teams that can afford them. This is not breaking news. It still sucks.
That's why I'm officially shifting my allegiances to the Rockies. They're not a small-market team by any stretch of the imagination, with a payroll in the $75 million range. But they play intelligently and athletically, and trot out a handful of guys who are a load of fun to watch: Dexter Fowler, Troy Tulowitzki, Ubaldo Jimenez et al. I don't even care that I'll have to wear a cap tinged with purple, or hear about "Rocktober" for five straight weeks (note to Colorado marketing staff: pinching marketing catchphrases from circa-1987 FM stations is bad form).
I want hope to be restored. I want the natural order to crumble. I want Rocky. Go, Colorado, go.