Beyond Golf — 21 April 2013 by Jim Street
GW MLB West Power Rankings (Week 4)

GW’s MLB West Power Ratings (Week 4)

1. Athletics (1): Skipper Bob Melvin does more (win games) with less (paltry payroll) than any manager in the Major Leagues. Also, the A’s just set a franchise record for the most consecutive weeks (two) ranked No. 1 by GW, but 3-game series in Boston offers tough test.

2. Giants (2): The new-look Tim Lincecum had an old-look Tim Lincecum (finally!!) on Saturday when he shut out the Padres over 6 2/3 stellar innings at AT&T Park. Okay, it was only the woebegone Padres, who went down quietly against lefty Barry Zito on Sunday.

3. Rockies (7): Neither rain, nor sleet nor snow will keep the most surprising team in the big leagues from tacking on win-after-win-after-win at home – eight straight until Sunday. Raise your hand if you thought the Rockies would be the last MLB team to lose a home game.

4. Rangers (4): Club executive Nolan Ryan was seen pounding his chest in pride after the Rangers’ pitching staff blanked the Mariners in back-to-back games at The Ballpark. That had not happened since the spiffy park debuted in 1994.

5. Diamondbacks (5): Whenever you have a discussion about the Designated Hitter rule, consider this: The D-Backs’ pitchers were a combined 0-for-29 through their first 18 games.

6. Dodgers (3): Every struggling hitter can look at Matt Kemp and say, “See, even someone as great as Kemp can slump.” Look for the slump-induced benching by skipper Don Mattingly this past week to light a fire in the All-Star.

7. Angels (9): It’s no surprise to GW that Garrett Richards is the first Halos pitcher to take a game into the seventh inning this season. Yeah, right.

8.  Mariners (6): Not too sure just how many Mariners fans will cherish the “Dustin Ackley Bat Night” during the team’s next homestand at Safeco Field. As of Sunday, the second baseman was batting .161, so use the bats at your own risk.

9. Astros (8): What a difference 364 days made for Phil Humber. One day shy of the one-year anniversary of pitching a perfect game for the White Sox against the Mariners, Humber lasted one-third of an inning in a debacle against the Indians at Minute Maid Park.

10: Padres (10): A sure tipoff to how the Pads have started the regular season is reflected in the fact closer Huston Street has appeared in five games, but had just two save opportunities – converting both, by the way.

(Last week’s ranking 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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