Beyond Golf — 03 September 2012 by Jim Street
GW’s MLB Power Ratings (Week 21)

GW’s MLB West Power Ratings (Week 20)

1. Rangers (1): It is downright shocking to see “.267” listed as Michael Young’s batting average this late in the season. This could be his worst season, batting average wise, since 2002, his first full season in the big leagues. We’re talking about a .301 career hitter and future Hall of Fame inductee.

2. Giants (2): Familiar surroundings should give Xavier Nady and the Giants a boost heading into the final month of the regular season. He is a Bay Area native, being raised in Salinas, Calif., and starred at the University of California-Berkeley.

3. Athletics (3): The September schedule is daunting. Starting on Monday, 20 of their next 23 games are against teams with winning records, including playoff contenders Yankees (3), Orioles (3), Tigers (3) and Rangers (4).

4. Dodgers (4): That blockbuster trade that was supposed to pump new life into the team has yet to make much noise at all and time is running out.

5. Angels (5): There are such things as “looking ahead” but veteran skipper Mike Scioscia took it to a new level this week when he said ace right-hander Jered Weaver was “in rotation” to start either the regular-season finale against the Mariners on Oct. 3 or the Wild Card elimination game.

6.  Diamondbacks (6): In the no-brainer department, general manager Kevin Towers is right on the money suggesting that picking up the option year of J.J. Putz’s contract worth $6.5 million would be a wise thing to do.

7. Mariners (8): Compared to the way he pitched en route to the Cy Young Award two years ago, Felix (Perfect Game) Hernandez could be a shoo-in to add a second Cy to his collection – unless the Angels keep beating him in September.

8. Padres (7): Eighteen wins in August? If that’s a sign of things to come, perhaps part-owner Phil Mickelson could pull off a FedExCup victory (and pocket the $10 million first prize) in September.

9. Rockies (9): Not that it will make much difference in the overall bleak picture, but getting SS Troy Tulowitzi back would make September much more palatable for the Rox and their fans.

(Last Week’s rating 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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