Beyond Golf — 11 August 2013 by Jim Street
GW’s MLB Power Rankings (week 20)

GW’s MLB West Power Rankings (Week 20)

1. Dodgers (1): An upcoming road trip to Philly and Miami looks mighty good for the resurgent club that is threatening to make it a runaway in the once-hotly-contested and parity-driven NL West.

2. Rangers (3): Put another star on the resume of GM Jon Daniels, who filled the void created by the cheatin’ ways of outfielder Nelson Cruz for the class act, and productive bat, Alex Rios brings to the team.

3. Athletics (2): The sigh of relief coming from the stinky Oakland Coliseum, or whatever they call it these days, was all about ace right-hander Bartolo Colon escaping another trip to the MLB suspension list for PED reasons.

4. Diamondbacks (4): Let’s face it, the D-Backs are the only NL West team that has any chance at all of catching the Dodgers. Landing one of the two wild-card playoff spots doesn’t look good, either.

5. Angels (5): The proverbial you-know-what hit the fan after Jack Clark, not the brightest light to begin with, connected disabled (foot) Albert Pujols with PED accusations. Clark lost his radio gig and might soon lose some of the cash in his bank account.

6. Padres (9): As far as GW can tell, just-promoted outfielder Jaff Decker is the first MLB player in the history of the game with that first name, and perhaps in the history of all sports.

7. Rockies (7): You haven’t heard this in a while, but “The Bucs stop here” is something echoing around Coors Field during a three-game series this past weekend. Not a good visit to his old managerial stomping grounds for Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle.

Mariners fans still love Junior Griffey

Mariners fans still love Junior Griffey

8. Mariners (6): The classy and emotional induction of Ken Griffey Jr. into the Mariners Hall of Fame on Saturday night surely will be remembered in the Northwest as the most memorable weekend of the season.

9. Giants (8): Back to the name game, the Giants are counting on Brandon Belt to live up to his last name – such as, “He belts the ball and it’s going into the seats for a home run.”

10. Astros (10): With 46 regular-season games remaining, the Astros have a 7-game lead over the Cubs and Marlins for the worst record and therefore the No. 1 selection in next June’s First-Year Player Draft. Hey, it’s good to be first in something.

(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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