Beyond Golf — 03 June 2013 by Jim Street
GW MLB West Power Rankings (Week 10)

GW’s MLB West Power Rankings (Week 10)

1. Rangers (1): Remove the five years third baseman Adrian Beltre spent with the Mariners, when he batted a pedestrian .266 and had no 100-RBI seasons, he would be mentioned prominently as a potential future Hall of Famer. That said, a few more seasons like the ones he has with the Dodgers, Red Sox and Rangers (four triple-digit RBI seasons) and he could be destined for Cooperstown.

2. Diamondbacks (3): Bet you didn’t know that the D-Backs have a player with the most hits in professional baseball this season — minor league (Triple-A) shortstop Chris Owings. As of Sunday, he had 84 hits, three more than the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera. Good luck to Owings in replacing Didi Gregarius, a definite keeper.

3.  Athletics (4): Fans attending A’s games this season should have learned by now to stay around until the final out of the game. The surprising-yet-again reigning AL West champs have nine walk-off victories and only one walk-off loss.

4. Giants (2): You don’t have to remind the diehard Giants fans that “June Swoon” has been etched into franchise lore pretty much since the team moved from New York in 1958. So, getting swept by the Cardinals – and being outscored 15-1 – on June 1 was not a good sign for the reigning World Series champs.

5. Rockies (6): It will be interesting to see how the Rockies perform for the next couple of weeks without closer Rafael Betancourt available, sidelined with a right groin strain.

6. Angels (5): The starting rotation skipper Mike Scioscia was counting on going into spring training finally has a familiar look to it with the return of ace right-hander Jered Weaver. The top teams in the AL West should be wary of the Angels getting hot as the summer heats up.

7. Padres (7): The longest game of the season – a 17-inning marathon against the Jays last Friday night – was especially satisfying for the Padres’ pitching staff as they put a 0-for-7 collar on superstar Jose Bautista.

8. Dodgers (8): Every MLB team sustains injuries during the course of a 162-game season, but the Dodgers seem to be cursed by the injury bug this season. One thing $2 billion apparently can’t buy is good health.

9. Mariners (9): After going through the first six weeks of the season acting like Mariano Rivera, closer Tom Wilhelmsen has been more like Bobby Ayala the past two weeks, blowing three of four save chances after being a perfect 11-for-11 to start the campaign.

10. Astros (10): About the only benefit of having the worst record in MLB the previous season is selecting first in the ensuing First-Year Player Draft and the woeful Astros are first up in Tuesday’s search for future stars. The draft experts, such as MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, has Stanford pitcher Mark Appel, a right-hander, as the No. 1 prospect.

(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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