Beyond Golf — 16 April 2012 by Jim Street
MLB West Power Rankings (Week 1)

MLB West Power Rankings:

1. Rangers: When it comes to winning a World Series, a fast start suggests that the AL West power wants to test the third-time-is-a-charm theory.

2. Dodgers:  Who says money can’t buy happiness? Like magic, this $2 billion machine is operating on all cylinders right out of the chute.

3. Angels: Here’s a bold prediction for you: Albert Pujols will hit a home run for his new team this month — and every month of the season going forward.

4. Rockies: Todd Helton might be on the down-side of a fabulous career, but he still can come up with a huge hit. Just ask J.J. Putz.

5. Diamondbacks: If there was a Most Valuable Utility Infielder award, Willie Bloomquist would be a unanimous choice.

6. Giants: There’s a dark cloud hovering over the City by the Bay and it is raining tears – Buster Posey last season and Brian Wilson this season. Ouch.

7. Mariners: This Noesi-Montero battery acquired from the Yankees just might help inject much-needed life into a struggling franchise.

8. Athletics: The 6,000 or so die-hard fans the team has can hardly wait for the next Bash Brothers tandem – Manny Ramirez and Yoenis Cespedes – to bat third and fourth in the lineup.

9. Padres: The 7,000 or so die-hard fans are beginning to wonder if the Dodgers are the only other team in the NL.

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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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