Beyond Golf — 30 June 2014 by Jim Street
Power Rankings: No-No is fun to watch

There might not be anything better for a baseball fan than to watch the final inning of a no-hitter.

That opportunity presented itself again last Wednesday afternoon when Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum retired the Padres in 1-2-3 fashion in the ninth inning to close out his second career no-no, both against the Pads.

The final inning was televised by both ESPN and the MLB Network.

While Lincecum isn’t the same overpowering pitcher he was when winning two National League Cy Young Awards, he still has the wherewithal to deliver a gem like the one he unleashed at their NL West rivals at AT&T Park.

He looks different and pitches different.

The shoulder-length hair is gone and the mustache he’s sporting looks pretty cool. His fastball peeks in the 80s, compared to the old-day 90s, but he changes speeds and when he locates the way he did against San Diego, he is one tough hurler.

Kudos from GWE to the Renton, WA native.

And here are this week’s Power Rankings:
1. Athletics (1): Oh, great, at least 10 more years of much-deserved bashing of the Oh, no.com facility.

2. Dodgers (4): It’s starting to look a lot like last season’s mid-season surge for the Bums of LA.

3. Angels (3): The hot over-under bet is how many consecutive games AP will play before getting injured.

4. Giants (2):  Lincecum’s no-hitter sure put the brakes on what had been a rock- solid season.

5. Mariners: (5): King Felix and Robinson Cano is the Mariners’ best star tandem since Johnson- Griffey Jr.

6. Astros: (8): The up-and-coming Astros have reached rarified air, for them, in the GW Power Rankings.

7.  Rangers (6): It’s hard to believe that the Rangers are the second-best MLB team in the state of Texas.

8. Rockies (7): If nothing else, the slumping Rockies certainly have seen some weird base-running lately.

9. Diamondbacks (10): 1B Paul Goldschmidt looks like the D-Backs’ first All-Star starter since ’01.

10. Padres (9): The only thing “perfect” about this season is closer Huston Street, 21-for-21 in saves.

(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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