Beyond Golf — 02 June 2014 by Jim Street
GW Power Rankings: SF holds No. 1

The Mariners have one of the best one-two starting rotation punches in the Major Leagues with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, but with the way veteran right-hander Chris Young (5-2) is pitching,
especially at home, and lefty Roenis Elias throwing in an occasional dandy, good things could be on the way at Safeco Field.

An organization that has not been in the playoffs since 2001, and lost at least 90 games in four of the past six seasons, needs another bat or two in the lineup. But the pending return of starting pitchers Taijuan Walker and James Paxton bodes well for the future.

It would help even more for the offense to generate more runs before there are two outs. To their credit, Seattle is one of the best two-out scoring team in the big-leagues this season. Still, they need more no-out or one-out runs to make a run for a playoff spot.

And here are this week’s power rankings:

1. Giants (1):  It’s starting to look like the Giants will go as far as Tim Hudson takes them

2. Athletics (2): Meanwhile, across the Bay, Athletics salute the ’74 World Series champions

3. Angels (3): You have to wonder just how much Raul Ibanez, batting .147, has left in his tank

4. Dodgers (5): No one was calling Jamey Wright “Mo” after recording his second save in 682 games

5. Rangers (6): It was a pain in the neck for the Nationals in Yu Darvish’s return on Sunday

6. Rockies (4):  A 10-game homestand is just what the doctor ordered for the road-weary Rox

7. Mariners (8): Right-hander Chris Young is the early-season leader for Comeback Player of the Year

8.  Padres (7): The fifth-starter mystery man is slated to step forward on Tuesday at Petco

9. Astros (10): All eyes are on the AL West team heading into Thursday’s Amateur Draft

10. Diamondbacks (9): Miley says he pitched well after giving up four HRs and loses 4-3. Huh?

(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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