Beyond Golf — 11 August 2014 by Jim Street
Power Rankings: “F’s” for Angels hitters

You can argue until the cows come home that the Angels have the most dangerous lineup in the AL West, if not the entire West Coast and even the Major Leagues.

But ever since the All-Star break, except for Mike Trout, Punch and Judy have been at the top of manager Mike Scioscia’s non-productive offense.

What in the world of Tinker Bell is going on in Anaheim of Los Angeles these days?

For one thing, going into this week, the team was 3-for-33 with runners in scoring position, which is not conducive to producing runs – 13 in the past 64 innings over the most recent five-game stretch.

Scioscia knows all too well that there isn’t anything the team trainer can give the hitters to get them untracked. But with the middle of August approaching and the first-place Athletics showing no signs of a slump, getting the Angels’ offense in gear can’t happen soon enough.

Now for the GW Power Rankings:

1. Athletics (1): The best home record (40-21) in the Majors keeps the Beane Machine purring right along.

2. Dodgers (2): If the team can play as well as Paul McCartney played Dodger Stadium Sunday night, the division leaders will become NL West champs.

3. Angels (3): A missing persons report has been issued for most of the Angels’ biggest boppers.

4. Mariners (4): A three-game series against the Blue Jays starting Monday night has playoff implications.

5. Padres (6): Don’t look now, but the Padres are the hottest team in the NL West the past 10 days (seven wins).

6. Giants: (6):  It takes a really good memory to remember that the Giants had 9 ½-game lead in May.

7.  Astros (7): A GW tip of the cap to broadcaster Milo Hamilton for being inducted into his SIXTH Hall of Fame, this one in his home state of Iowa.

8. Diamondbacks (8): Alumni Night (August 30) could be the best home game of the season for the struggling Snakes.

9. Rangers (10): Does anyone outside the Dallas-Fort Worth area know that Adrian Beltre is having another superb season?

10. Rockies (9): That familiar cry of “It’s football season!” can be heard throughout the state of Colorado.

(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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