CBS released a list of the 200 most common fantasy baseball team names; they're generally about as uncreative and unfunny as you'd expect. Here are some ground rules to make sure you're not the laughingstock of your laughingstock fantasy league.

Don't be too proud of your pop culture knowledge. So you like the Simpsons? Great, so do the other thousands of people who named their team the "Springfield Isotopes," the second most popular name. Don't pick a baseball movie, either: "Chico's Bail Bonds," "The Naturals," and the "Durham Bulls" all make appearances. Instead, go with a reference from a movie or TV show that's not about baseball, but could be. "Little Lebowski's Urban Achievers?" Gold. "Vandelay Industries?" Seinfeld's always gold.

•Puns can be your friend. "Honey Nut Ichiros" and "Jeters Never Prosper" are the only player-based puns to crack the top 200. That means you've got free rein to play Chris Berman, as long as you're clever. Bring on "Cameron Maybin RFD," "Lee Harvey Oswalt," "Remember the Alomar" and "Andre Dawson's Creek." Even better, combine it with some pop culture references. Examples: "I'm Bill James, Bitch!" or "Who Wants To Sex El Guapo?"

•Avoid current events. Sure it may seem funny and topical to make a joke based on what's in the newspaper. But come September, are people still going to laugh at your team named "Eyjafjallajökull?" It happens every season. Pope John Paul II died days before Opening Day in 2005. That year, in various leagues, I must have played against four different teamed named the "Zombie Popes." I'm guilty as well, with my own entry, "Weekend At Bernie Mac's." Okay, maybe that one's still funny.

Don't name your team after a real MLB team. So you want to trumpet your real life fandom. If you're in a league with friends, they already know. If you're in a league with strangers, they don't really care. "Yankees," "Red Sox" and "Cubs" all make the top 10 most popular fantasy team names, and only the Twins, A's, Pirates and D-Backs don't make appearances in the top 200. The Expos and Senators do, however.


•But even MLB team names are preferable to your school's mascot. Why else would the list be populated by boring names like Bulldogs, Wildcats, Mustangs, Dragons, Gators, Rebels, Stallions, et cetera, et cetera. You know what naming your team "The Warriors" says to your fellow fantasy players? It says you're going to be a carcass who won't add any enjoyment to the league.

So there you go. Just a few helpful pointers to get you started. I'm sure our commenters will have more to add. Godspeed, you giant fantasy nerds.