Beyond Golf — 28 July 2012 by Jim Street
GW MLB Power Ratings (Week 16)

GW MLB West Power Ratings (Week 16):

1. Rangers (1): When Nolan Ryan says Josh Hamilton is giving away too many at-bats, you have to believe him. Nolan knows more about hitting than most hitters.

2. Angels (3): The acquisition of RH Zack Greinke sent shock waves deep into the heart of Texas. The AL West rivals play six times in September and that should be fun to watch.

3. Giants (2): The loss of infielder Pablo Sandoval could leave the team hamstrung for a couple of weeks, the last thing they need with the Dodgers breathing down their necks.

4. Athletics (5): Winning the AL West is out of the question, but don’t count the A’s out as one of the two wild card teams. Wouldn’t that be something, considering that the team was expected to battle the Mariners for last place.

5. Dodgers (4): Whether he plays third base or shortstop, Hanley Ramirez could be the lift LA needs to overcome the Giants in the NL West.

6. Diamondbacks (6): Franchise record for back-to-back division titles — one (2001-02) apparently won’t be matched by a ’12 club that has not come close to matching the ’11 magic.

7. Padres (7): The last inning of Padres games going forward are in the capable hands of Huston Street (no relation) for at least the next two seasons.

8. Mariners (9): Did anyone besides me wonder why Ichiro did not utter one word of English during the press conference following his trade to the Yankees? A simple “Thank you” to the fans would have shown a touch of class. But that’s not part of his persona.

9. Rockies (8): Now that NLF camps have opened, all eyes in the Mile High region are on Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

(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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