Beyond Golf — 02 September 2013 by Jim Street
GW’s MLB power rankings (week 23)

1. Dodgers (1): After falling all the way to ninth on the GW power rankings, in weeks 8 and 12, the Dodgers are primed to finish their improbable turnaround on as the top dogs among the 10 West Division teams.

2. Rangers (2): When it comes to perseverance, there might not be a better season-ending story than the one that unfolded in Arlington on Sunday, when Jim Adduci’s 10-year, 889-game minor league career ended with a start against the Twins.

3. Athletics (3): Everyone on the Athletics’ bandwagon, which actually fewer than most teams not playing in Florida, agree that the right choice was made with the AL West contenders padded their roster with, among others, outfielder Michael Choice.

4. Diamondbacks (4): Winning the NL West championship is out of the question, but the D-Backs can take some satisfaction in knowing they undoubtedly will play more extra-inning games (20 so far) than any team in the Major Leagues.

5. Rockies (6): When the chit-chat turns to Todd Helton as a potential Hall of Fame player, there are two things that must be considered. 1) On Sunday, he joined Stan Musial as the only players in MLB history with at least 2,500 hits, 550 doubles, 350 home runs and at least a .310 career batting average. 2) Helton’s entire career has been spent with the Rockies, where outs
in other parks are home runs in the Mile High city.

Musial and Helton have much in common

Musial and Helton have much in common

6. Angels (7): Sorry to hear that grossly overpaid outfielder Josh Hamilton had to leave a recent game in the second inning because of a “tremendous migraine”. Most Angels fans would say they have experienced the same thing watching Hamilton perform this season.

7. Giants (5): To the surprise of many, the defending World Series champs did next to nothing during the off-season and were at it again on Sunday, when rosters could be expanded to as many as 40 players. The lads added one player, infielder Tony Abreu.

8. Mariners (9): Good-news, bad-news for the organization: highly-touted right-hander Taijuan Walker became the youngest player in franchise history to win his Major League debut. That came just a few days after ace Felix Hernandez had one of the worst outings of his career.

9. Padres (8): Oh, Doctor should be the theme of the 2013 Padres. Four projected regulars have
missed more than 30 games apiece this season and a couple of them for significantly longer than that.

10. Astros (10): In case you missed it, the Astros recently were mathematically eliminated from the AL West and wild card playoff races, beating the Marlins to the punch-(line). Their “magic” number is now “9” – the number of losses needed
to reach 100.

(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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