Ranking the Intangibles of the NL Central

ESPN.com baseball writer David Schoenfield previewed the NL Central earlier this week ranking every team by position using the scientific Schoenfield method:

Rankings are based on my own subjective predictions for 2012 performance, including offense, defensive ability, durability and risk.

So if you disagree with him, that's just -- like -- your opinion, man. Anyhoo, he ranks all the positions one through six and then adds the points up and the team with the most points wins. Or something. It's really absurd and a terrible way to try to predict a division. That is not the worst of it, though.

1. Brewers
2. Reds
3. Pirates
4. Cardinals
5. Cubs
6. Astros

This is the worst of it.

He somehow ranked teams by intangibles, which by definition are unable to be grasped, thus are not able to be judged against other intangible things.


Today we go inside the mind of Schoenfield and into the locker rooms of the NL Central to find out just what in the devil is going on here.

1. Brewers - The departure of Prince Fielder leaves a huge vacuum at first base. A vacuum which will be filled by Mat Gamel's new giant Oreck Magnesium, which Gamel uses to clean up the crumbs John Axford leaves when he makes the team his traditional pregame Dagwood sandwiches. They go great during a game of Connect Four that Nyjer Morgan has organized (he's thinking about starting a tournament!). Everything is cinnamon and gravy up in Wisconsin.

2. Reds - Aroldis Chapman and Homer Bailey decided they'd be CO-CLASS PRESIDENTS after the campaign got a little too heated. They threw one of the greatest proms in Reds history ("Enchantment Under the Ohio River" is always a winning theme). Joey Votto spiked the punch but Miguel Cairo -- a licensed bus driver, mind you -- drove the whole team home on the school bus. The guys stayed up all night drinking Mountain Dew and Drew Stubbs talked everyone into tee-pee'ing Old Man Jocketty's lawn at four in the morning. It was the night of a lifetime and they'll keep those memories with them forever when they move on to State U this fall.

3. Pirates - If any franchise is known for their intangibles, it's one that has not had a winning season since the 1992. The locker room is lined with Michael Jordan posters, players get free Umbros, nobody ever runs out of Big League Chew or Gatorade (just three flavors available, though, and only in glass bottles) and Andrew McCutchen will totally show you how to beat Super Mario 3. The only times things get testy is when Charlie Morton and Nate McLouth get to arguing about whether they should vote for George HW Bush or Bill Clinton in November.

4. Cardinals - Did you hear Carlos Beltran made a pass at Allen Craig's wife last week at Matt Holliday's party? I didn't see it, either, but I heard David Freese and Jon Jay mention it to Adam Wainwright. Yadier Molina got pretty steamed, but Jason Motte was able to calm him down, then Lance Lynn was all like "HOLD ME BACK BRO, HOLD ME BACK" and Chris Carpenter pushed him in the pool and things got a little heated. Luckily Lance Berkman showed up just then with the new keg and everyone cooled out. Crazy night, man.

5. Cubs - Kerry Wood started a team book club. The first book he assigned was Marlon Byrd is an Asshole by Kerry Wood. It did not go over well.

6. Astros - Bringing in staunch segregationist Jack Cust will only make things more volatile in a locker room already torn apart by battles between Brett Meyers' Unified Astronian Front and Carlos Lee's League of Organized Players. Their only hope is Jose Altuve's patented backrubs translating to the majors.

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