GW’s MLB West Power Rankings (Week 17)
1. Athletics (1): It took almost 40 years, but the AL West leaders have another second baseman named “Green”. When Grant Green started Saturday night’s game against the Angels, he became the first player with that last name to start a game at second for the A’s since defensive whiz Dick Green retired after the 1974 season.
2. Dodgers (4): The current hot streak has removed skipper Don Mattingly from the hot seat to potential NL Manager of the Year. As the late Dizzy Dean would say: “Who would have thunk it?”
3. Rangers (2): Unless GM Jon Daniels can find another quality starting pitcher before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the perennial playoff contenders could have a difficult time keeping up with the Athletics.
4. Diamondbacks (3): Coming out of the All-Star break with back-to-back losses to the rival Giants is the last thing the NL West leaders (barely) expected. A few hits with runners in scoring position sure would help.
5. Giants (5): How classy was it for the organization to bring back and honor Hall of Fame broadcaster Lon Simmons on his 90th birthday this past Friday? He was as good as it gets behind the microphone.
6. Mariners (8): To deal or not to deal is the key question for GM Jack Zduriencik as MLB speeds toward the non-waiver trade deadline. Fans have fingers crossed that 41-year-old Raul Ibanez will not be traded.
7. Rockies (7): The best “save” of the season goes to Rafael Betancourt’s 10-year-old namesake son. The kid informed the Rockies medical staff that his dad was ill – something dad kept to himself – and shortly thereafter underwent an appendectomy, apparently just in time.
8. Angels (6): A tip of the GW cap to Angels skipper Mike Scioscia for his 1,200th career victory, becoming the fifth active manager to reach that number. Chances are excellent that he’ll eventually reach 1,500, but it might not be with his current organization, which has the worst press box in all of baseball.
9. Padres (9): If outfielder Will Venable had his druthers, he probably would like to play more games at Busch Stadium, where he is batting .408 (20-for-49) in 14 career games at the Cardinals’ home.
10. Astros (10): The chances of left-hander Erik Bedard of ever pitching a no-hitter are practically zero because a pitcher must pitch a complete game to get one. Bedard had a no-no for 6 1/3 innings on Saturday night, gave up a hit and told his manager that he “was done.” Softy Erik has now made 207 starts in his MLB career and pitched one (1) complete game.
(Last week’s ranking in parenthesis)