Beyond Golf — 08 July 2013 by Jim Street
GW’s MLB power rankings (week 15)

GW’s MLB West Power Rankings (Week 15)

1. Rangers (1): A lot of head-scratching is going on around Big D after third baseman Adrian Beltre was not selected to the AL All-Star team. Granted,  he is the third-best offensive 3B in the league, behind Miguel Cabrera and  Manny Machado, but Beltre is an All-Star, period.

2. Athletics (2): That awful odor coming from the Coliseum on Saturday wasn’t  because of another  sewer backup, but because of the stench created by only one player  (Bartolo Colon) being selected to represent the A’s at the mid-summer classic.  No place for closer Grant Balfour, who earlier in the week notched his 40th  straight save opportunity? Or John Donaldson? C’mon man.

3. Diamondbacks (3): One year after being an All-Star for the first time,  left-hander Wade Miley on Saturday put on a pitching clinic that has mysteriously  missing the past two months. That bodes well for the NL West leaders heading  into the All-Star Game.

4. Angels (7): Call it a wild hunch, but don’t be surprised if the resurgent  Angels, one of MLB’s most under-achieving teams, makes a second-half run at the  AL West-leading Rangers and Athletics. There is just too much talent on this  team to not be in a playoff hunt.

5. Dodgers (7): Speaking of resurgence, the team that actually plays in Los  Angeles had its best week of the season and despite being four games under .500  is very much alive in the wacky NL West, which has just one team with a winning  record. Dodgers fans can thank rookie sensation, and potential All-Star, Yasiel Puig for that.

6. Rockies (8): In the gone-but-not-forgotten category, Rockies shortstop Troy  Tulowitzki has missed 23 of his team’s 89 games this season because of  injuries, but played so well in the other 66 that he was selected to the NL  All-Star team. That says something about the (lack of) depth of the position in  the senior circuit.

7. Padres (6): The hot seat under skipper Bud Black has reached the boiling  stage as the team limps into the week prior to the All-Star Game, burdened by  its longest losing streak of the campaign — nine and counting.

8. Giants (5):  The season has gotten so  out of character for the reigning World Series champs that they can’t even bat  in the correct order, something that happened in the first inning of Saturday’s
game against the Dodgers.

9. Mariners (9): Every time Adam Jones hits a game-winning home run, as he did against Mariano Rivera on Sunday, or gets elected to another All-Star team, which he did on Saturday, Mariners fans unload another verbal barrage at former GM Bill Bavasi, who traded Jones and others to the Orioles for Erik (Softy) Bedard.

10. Astros (10): Even if there wasn’t an “every-team-must-be-represented-at-the-All-Star-Game”
rule, catcher Jason Castro played his way onto the elite team with a worthy first  half.

(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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