Beyond Golf — 23 July 2012 by Jim Street
GW MLB Power Ratings (Week 15)

GW MLB Power Ratings (Week 15):

1. Rangers (1): Mike Napoli has become the poster child for players who leave an organization against their will and then come back to haunt his former employers.

2. Giants (2): Something that would never happen in an AL game: A pitcher from both teams hitting a home run in the same game, let alone the same inning, as Matt Cain and Phillies’ lefty Cole Hamels did in Philly.

3. Angels (4): In case you hadn’t noticed, Albert Pujols has pulled out of his early-season funk and now is acting more like the real Albert. Of course, rookie sensation Mike Trout has something to do with that.

4. Dodgers (3): GW’s nomination for the best bobblehead promotion of the season: Kirk Gibson Fist-Pump on July 31 at Dodger Stadium against, yes, the Gibson-managed Diamondbacks.

5. Athletics (5): The Yankees’ mystique might cause some teams to tremble, but the Athletics were not fazed during a four-game sweep at the Oakland Coliseum, becoming the first team in history to sweep the Yanks in a four-game series with one-run victories every game. As the late, great Mel Allen would say, “How ’bout that.”

6. Diamondbacks (6): With the clock ticking towards the non-waiver trade deadline, OF Justin Upton remains in the lineup almost every day, which makes D-Backs fans really happy.

7. Padres (7): Further west, a three-year contract extension for OF Carlos Quentin gives Padres fans something to cheer about, not worry about, as July 31 deadline approaches. And can you believe Huston Street’s 0.99 ERA? How ’bout that!

8. Mariners (9): Jay Buhner hit a verbal home run when he said he would “vomit” if over-the-hill OF Ichiro Suzuki receives a new multi-year contract worth between $30-and $40-million.

9. Rockies (8): It has been a trying year for Rockies fans for sure, but nothing compared to what has been happening off the field throughout the Denver area this summer. They need a hug.

(Last Week’s rating in parenthesis)

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Jim Street

Jim’s 40-year sportswriting career started with the San Jose Mercury-News in 1970 and ended on a full-time basis on October 31, 2010 following a 10-year stint with MLB.com. He grew up in Dorris, Calif., several long drives from the nearest golf course. His first tee shot was a week before being inducted into the Army in 1968. Upon his return from Vietnam, where he was a war correspondent for the 9th Infantry Division, Jim took up golf semi-seriously while working for the Mercury-News and covered numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Open in 1982, when Tom Watson made the shot of his life on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach. Jim also covered several Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournaments, the women’s U.S. Open, and other golfing events in the San Francisco area. He has a 17-handicap, never had a hole-in-one, although once he came within two inches of an ace, and witnessed the first round Ken Griffey Jr. ever played – at Arizona State during Spring Training in 1990. Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Kapalua Plantation Course, Pinehurst No. 2, Spyglass Hill, Winged Foot, Torrey Pines, Medinah, Chambers Bay, North Berwick in Scotland, and Princeville are among the courses he has had the pleasure of playing. Hitting the ball down the middle of the fairway is not a strong part of Jim’s game, but he is known (in his own mind) as the best putter not on tour. Most of Jim’s writing career was spent covering Major League baseball, a tenure that started with the Oakland Athletics, who won 101 games in 1971, and ended with the Seattle Mariners, who lost 101 games in 2010. Symmetry is a wonderful thing. He currently lives in Seattle and vacations in Arizona (and other warm climates) as much as possible.

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