Beyond Golf — 19 May 2013 by Jim Street
GW MLB West Power Rankings (Week 8)

GW’s MLB West Power Rankings (Week 8)

1. Rangers (1): With a steadily-increasing lead in the AL West, you have to wonder why skipper Ron Washington would allow any of his starting pitchers, especially ace right-hander Yu Darvish, to throw 130 pitches in a game.

2. Diamondbacks (3): No truth to the rumor that right-hander Brandon McCarthy’s first win for the Snakes will have an asterisk because it came against the woebegone Marlins.

3. Giants (2): Until the reigning World Series champs get their sporadic starting rotation in order, there will be tough sledding towards capturing another division title.

4. Rockies (4): After all these years (eight and counting) it still boggles the mind as to how shortstop Troy Tulowitzki fell into the Rockies’ lap during the ’05 First-Year Player Draft when the Mariners surprised everyone by taking right-hander pitcher Brandon Morrow in the first round.

5. Athletics (6): Wonder what the chances are that the A’s will look past a three-game series against the Rangers in Arlington starting on Monday and lick their lips looking ahead to facing the Astros in Houston beginning on Friday.

6. Mariners (5): Winning a series at Yankee Stadium for the first time in several seasons quieted some of the doubters who don’t think they will live long enough to see the team reach the playoffs again, let alone play in a World Series.

7. Angels (7): All you need to know about the biggest underachievers in the AL West this season is this: Josh Hamilton needed a day to “recharge” his motor, which has been sputtering all season so far – .214 average, 5 home runs and 13 RBIs in his first 168 at-bats.

8. Padres (9): Perhaps someone should check the water in Peoria, where the Pads and Mariners share the spring training complex. Not even one player from either team with at least 40 at-bats is hitting .300.

9. Dodgers (8): There is so much parity in the NL West that the most underachieving team in the division is playing lousy, has a lousy record and were still just seven games out of first place after the first 41 games.

10 Astros (10): The biggest news to come out of Houston this baseball season just might be the hiring of Reid Ryan, Nolan’s son, as the struggling franchise’s president. They become the first father-son presidents of MLB teams at the same time in MLB history.

(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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