Beyond Golf — 26 May 2013 by Jim Street
GW MLB West Power Rankings (Week 9)

GW’s MLB West Power Rankings (Week 9)

1. Rangers (1): The first two months of the regular season is behind them and suffice it to say, Josh Hamilton and Michael Young are not being missed nearly as much as the so-called experts expected.

2.  Giants (3): Don’t know about you, but it sure is a treat to watch the reigning World Series champions pull out another heart-stopping victory before another full house at home.

3. Diamondbacks (2): The secret to left-hander Patrick Corbin’s success has been discovered. According to MLB.com, Corbin is wearing a mouth-guard that is supposed to align a player’s jaw with his center of gravity, thereby reducing muscle tension in the neck, shoulders and back, resulting in higher pitch velocity. Really? Well, whatever. It has jettisoned Corbin to a 7-0, 1.71 ERA start.

4.  Athletics (5): It will be something akin to “Turn Back The Clock to the 1989 World Series” this week when the usually-spirited Bay Area rivalry features two interleague games at the usually half-full Coliseum (or whatever it’s called now) followed by two interleague games at usually chock-full AT&T Park.

5. Angels (7): There’s nothing quite like an eight-game winning streak to settle down some folks calling for changes in one of the most successful franchises in the Major Leagues over the past decade-plus. If you’re fishing for answers for the current hot streak, look at Mike Trout first and foremost.

6. Rockies (4): Of all the interleague series on the docket this week, it doesn’t get much better than Rockies at Astros, who play a two-game set in Houston on Monday-Tuesday followed by a two-game series at Coors Field on Wednesday-Thursday.

7. Padres (8): Not sure about other rabid West Coast baseball fans, but the annual interleague clashes between the Peoria, Ariz., spring training pal Pads and Mariners is a must-watch delight. However, don’t expect to see many highlights on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight shows.

8. Dodgers (9): Benching one of his biggest stars (Matt Kemp) just might turn out to be the move that saves skipper Don Mattingly’s job, although job security in this profession is all-too-often a misnomer.

9. Mariners (6): After spending a few hours in second place last week, the team had a pinch-me moment in the clubhouse, realized where they were, and proceeded to lower periscope, falling into the depths of the division – again.

10 Astros (10): No truth to the rumor that the new owners have asked their MLB colleagues to move the team from the American League West to the Pacific Coast League’s American Conference South Division in 2014.

(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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