Beyond Golf — 01 July 2013 by Jim Street
GW’s MLB Power Rankings (week 14)

GW’s MLB West Power Rankings (Week 14)

1. Rangers (4): Considering the aches, pains and the amount of time six pitchers have spent on the disabled list so far this season, it’s impressive the way the Rangers have hung in there and returned to first place in the AL West and, more importantly, the top spot in the GW Power Rankings after a four-week absence.

2. Athletics (1): There is no doubt that ace right-hander Bartolo Colon will be selected to the AL All-Star team, but you have to wonder what will happen when the Biogenesis scandal is addressed by Commissioner Bud Selig. Colon (11-2) is among the many players being linked to the now-defunct Florida business.

3. Diamondbacks (2): Imagine the air-conditioning bill the D-Backs will get for keeping Chase Field at a comfortable temperature during the mother of all heat waves gripping the desert.

4. Angels (7): Sweeping the Tigers on the road might have been even more surprising than getting swept at home by the Pirates in the previous series. But that up-down syndrome seems to be the story this season for one of the most expensive and least productive outfits in the big-leagues.

5. Giants (3):  As we reach the midway point of the season, right-hander Matt Cain has a grip on “The least supported pitcher of the year” award. The Giants’ offense has scored a meager one run in
nine of his 17 starts and not even Cy Young himself could win with that kind of non-support.

6. Padres (5): A demoralizing June Swoon occurred late in the month for the Pads, who played their best ball of the season from June 10-17, winning eight straight. But the month ended with a 2-6 record. After one more game against the Marlins on Monday, the Pads head to Boston and Washington for the remainder of the week. Ugh.

7. Dodgers (8): Anyone following the Mariners could have told the Dodgers that closer Brandon League is a blown-save waiting to happen. It happened way too often the first two months of the season and skipper Don Mattingly made the switch to Kenley Jensen, who is 4-for-5 in save situations.

8. Rockies (6): Of all the players in the Rockies lineup that you might think could rattle off a 27-game hitting streak and reach base at least once in 46 straight games, Michael Cuddyer might be one of the least likely to do it. But he did it, thanks to a last at-bat hit in the eighth inning on Sunday.

9. Mariners (9): Fingers are crossed that rookie shortstop Brad Miller goes on an offensive binge early in his MLB career the way he handled Triple-A pitching with Tacoma – a 22-game hitting streak. Miller ended an 0-for-9 big-league start with a double on Sunday.  Not great, but, hey, Willie Mays, the Say Hey Kid, started his Hall of Fame career going 0-for-12.

10. Astros (10): A three-game winning streak got the woebegone Astros off to a terrific start to June, but a three-game losing streak at the end of the month was a bit of a bummer. But the Astros fans are kind of used to being bummed by now.

(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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