Beyond Golf — 06 May 2013 by Jim Street
GW MLB West Power Rankings (Week 6)

GW’s MLB West Power Ratings (Week 6)

1. Giants (4): There might not be anything better for Giants fans than witnessing those back-to-back walk-off home runs against the Dodgers, delivered by Buster Posey in the ninth inning on Friday night and Guillermo Quiroz in the 10th inning on Saturday night at AT&T Park. The cherry on top came Sunday in another one-run Giants win.

2. Rangers (1): Every championship-caliber team needs someone like well-traveled Jeff Baker on the active roster. He gives skipper Ron Washington a plethora of ways to give his regulars some much-needed rest, something that will come in handy when it really heats up in Arlington this summer.

3. Rockies (2): Except for the crazy-cold weather that played havoc with the Rockies’ home schedule in April, the team made it through the month in fine fashion with near team-record achievements on offense and pitching. Kudos to MLB’s biggest surprise, so far this season.

4. Diamondbacks (3): Skipper Kirk Gibson was not at all bullish about his bullpen after the relief corps was battered during a three-game sweep to the Giants at home. Closer J.J. Putz and colleagues already have 10 blown saves in 28 save opportunities this season.

5. Athletics (5): The good vibes created in a 19-inning win over the Angels last Monday have been dampened with the loss of three players injured in that 6 ½-hour game. Outfielder Chris Young (left quad strain) joined pitcher Brett Anderson (ankle) and outfielder Coco Crisp (leg) on the 15-day DL.

6. Mariners (7): Once you get past starters Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, skipper Eric Wedge has no idea what he’ll get from his 3-4-5 hurlers on any given day. More times than not so far this season, he hasn’t gotten nearly as much as the team needs.

7. Dodgers (6): It appears that a $200 million-plus player salary doesn’t work as well in Los Angeles as it did in New York, which undoubtedly befuddles the face of the franchise, none other than Magic Johnson. Injuries have hampered the Dodgers, but winless right-hander Josh Beckett (0-4) says it all.

8. Angels (8): The worst start in franchise history serves the organization right for moving the press box down the left field line where the scribes have no chance of watching plays at the plate — except on TV replays. If Bud Selig were alive, this never would have been allowed to happen.

9. Padres (10): Huston Street has converted each of his seven save opportunities this season despite a 4.50 ERA, a figure that demonstrates the tightrope the veteran right-hander has been walking on. But as he says, a save is a save is a save.

10. Astros (9): Anyone who thinks the Astros would be better off of in the AL might have some second thoughts about that after the first month-plus of the season. On May 6, 2012, the Astros were in third place in the NL Central with a respectable 13-15 record. On the same date this year, they are 8-22. Yikes.

(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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