Beyond Golf — 21 July 2013 by Jim Street
GW’s MLB Power Rankings (week 17)

GW’s MLB West Power Rankings (Week 17)

1. Athletics (1): It took almost 40 years, but the AL West leaders have another second baseman named “Green”. When Grant Green started Saturday night’s game against the Angels, he became the first player with that last name to start a game at second for the A’s since defensive whiz Dick Green retired after the 1974 season.

2. Dodgers (4): The current hot streak has removed skipper Don Mattingly from the hot seat to potential NL Manager of the Year. As the late Dizzy Dean would say: “Who would have thunk it?”

Ol' Diz was colorful character

Ol’ Diz was colorful character

3. Rangers (2): Unless GM Jon Daniels can find another quality starting pitcher before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the perennial playoff contenders could have a difficult time keeping up with the Athletics.

4. Diamondbacks (3): Coming out of the All-Star break with back-to-back losses to the rival Giants is the last thing the NL West leaders (barely) expected. A few hits with runners in scoring position sure would help.

5. Giants (5): How classy was it for the organization to bring back and honor Hall of Fame broadcaster Lon Simmons on his 90th birthday this past Friday? He was as good as it gets behind the microphone.

6. Mariners (8): To deal or not to deal is the key question for GM Jack Zduriencik as MLB speeds toward the non-waiver trade deadline. Fans have fingers crossed that 41-year-old Raul Ibanez will not be traded.

7. Rockies (7): The best “save” of the season goes to Rafael Betancourt’s 10-year-old namesake son. The kid informed the Rockies medical staff that his dad was ill – something dad kept to himself – and shortly thereafter underwent an appendectomy, apparently just in time.

8. Angels (6): A tip of the GW cap to Angels skipper Mike Scioscia for his 1,200th career victory, becoming the fifth active manager to reach that number. Chances are excellent that he’ll eventually reach 1,500, but it might not be with his current organization, which has the worst press box in all of baseball.

9. Padres (9): If outfielder Will Venable had his druthers, he probably would like to play more games at Busch Stadium, where he is batting .408 (20-for-49) in 14 career games at the Cardinals’ home.

10. Astros (10): The chances of left-hander Erik Bedard of ever pitching a no-hitter are practically zero because a pitcher must pitch a complete game to get one. Bedard had a no-no for 6 1/3 innings on Saturday night, gave up a hit and told his manager that he “was done.” Softy Erik has now made 207 starts in his MLB career and pitched one (1) complete game.

(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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