Posts from — February 2004
Batter up Feb. 28th
You will hear the word â€œknowinglyâ€ all the time as the BALCO case unfolds. The interested parties are choosing their words very carefully lately, saying they never â€œknowinglyâ€ took or distributed illegal substances. Whatâ€™s up with all these sophisticated trainers and athletes, didnâ€™t anyone ask any questions when the expensive designer supplements were given out. Were blindfolds handed out too?
Click below for my column…Marty [Read more →]
February 29, 2004 No Comments
Batter Up Feb 21st, 2004
Alex Rodriguez, a Yankee , what does it mean? The Yankees will crush mediocre pitching. Derek Jeterâ€™s time at short will end either around the all star break or when Jeter suffers his first injury which you know is coming soon to a theater near you.
Jason Giambi will benefit the most hitting behind Rodriguez and in front of Gary Sheffield, who will mean more to the Yankee offense than A Rod. Even with all this offense, I expect pitchers Jose Contreras and Jon Leiber, two weak links, will be replaced in the starting rotation around July 1st?
This is a copy of my “Batter Up” column which appeared in the Oakland Tribune Sports Section on February 21st.
Marty Lurie… Click below for more of the column! [Read more →]
February 25, 2004 No Comments
Two and half years, a stint in jail, and the threat of a “tell all” book that would damage the game that he once was king of, Jose Canseco, 40, still hasn’t gotten baseball out of his system.
According to circulated reports, Canseco will attend the Los Angeles Dodgers open try out on March 1st. Jose tried to convince Dodger scouts to watch him work out at a private location, but they said they had no interest, so Jose will once again eat some “humble pie” and attend the tryout.
Is Jose in a fantasy land? Is he listening to his ego and pride instead of his realstic abilities to produce in the big leagues?
Or, is Jose Broken-man , humbled and has finally decided to return to his first love with a new attitude? Is he willing to go through the humility process and prove to everyone he’s a new man?
If I’m a general manager of a Major league team, I might want to take and extra look at this possible wise investment.
Any team that may consider signing Canseco may have finally found the perfect time. He’s served some time in jail, in which I’m sure he did some deep self-evaluation. From recent photos, Jose seems very thinner, which was his physical condition when he had the most success in the mid-eightees. The more bulkier he was, the more it effected his once-devasting swing.
Of Course, he is an admitted steroid user, but that jacket is light with the latest news of rampage use of performing enhancing drugs in the big leagues.
Canseco will not use steroids not only because of the policy of random testing in the majors, but because he loves his freedom way too much.
With all the success of Canseco in the past, and even his somewhat successful stints with Chicago and Tampa Bay, why haven’t the front office people given him a chance? He has proven he can hit .250 with 25-30 dingers. Will a guy like Eric Karross be that much of an upgrade for the A’s then Canseco?
Or is there another motivation that only front office people have for not giving Jose another shot?
Canseco’s only 32 home runs away from the milestone 500. Why not allow Jose to reach 500 with your team? The Devil Rays are giving Mcgriff that opportunity. Jose has constantly stated that he will play for the bare minimum, just like his fellow former Oakland star Rickey Henderson. Yet both former MVP’s are without a spring training facility to go to.
Timing is everything. Jose may be just the right and wise investment right now.
February 25, 2004 11 Comments
Marty; The pitchers have reported, the rest of the team will be there in a few days and spring training is upon us. The real world of baseball is once again, thankfully, here, and we can open the sports pages to meaningful matters. The free agents have made their commitments and we need no longer bewail the fates which allow the rich to get richer and the improvident to complain the world is unfair.
Good to have Ed Stern back with us with his first spring training report on his favorite team. Ed’s analysis on the Giants is superior to any writer’s column in the Bay Area!
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February 22, 2004 2 Comments
What a difference a year makes. At this time last season, the Marlins were hardly on anyones radar, the Chicago Cubs were expected to be loveable losers once again, the Phillies were hopeful entering their last year at the Vet, Kansas City was known for its BBQ rather than its baseball team, the Padres were dreaming of their new park instead of getting ready to open it, and the Astros didn’t have a single ex-Yankee in its pitching rotation.
Fast forward to spring training 2004.
The Cubs are the favorites to REPEAT as the NL Central champs, The Marlins open spring drills as defending world champions, the Phillies have one of the deepest pitching staffs in the NL and are considered by many the team to beat this year, Kansas City signed everybody in sight and just might win the AL Central, the Padres are scaring the Giants in the West, and the Astros have the core of the Yankees pitching staff ready to open the season in Houston.
Click below for more! [Read more →]
February 22, 2004 No Comments
The Red Sox have no one to blame for this mess other than themselves. I wrote two months ago that egos were preventing the deal between Boston and Texas from going down.
The Yankees will simply hammer the bad pitching staffs even more unmercilessly than they have in the past.
A Rod will have motivation to play all out instead of mailing in his at bats when they really mattered for Texas.
I’ve never been a big A Rod fan ever since Roger Clemens brushed him back in the playoffs between Seattle and New York. Ever since then A Rod has been a loser in my mind.
I don’t doubt any of A Rod’s numbers, but it takes more than that to be a difference maker on a championship team, just take one look at Manny Ramirez and all his numbers and tell me how many rings he has?
Click below and let’s look at the Yankees and their prospects with A Rod in the lineup. [Read more →]
February 16, 2004 No Comments
It looks like the trade that willbring A-Rod to the yanks
is a done deal. They will gain a second mvp player
along with jason giambi and will lose a 30 homer, 30 base stealer in Soriano. Soriano’s fielding was less than desired. The big question that has to be answered is
pitching. Will the yanks staff be as good as those the past 8 years? We will find out once the season begins. Is there any thing left in Kevin Brown’s tank? Will
Vasquez win 15 to 20 games? The Red Sox will be potent on offense and their pitching should be better.
Baltimore has improved. Red Sox fans across the country are hoping that this will be their year.
All I can tell you is that my late father-in-law,who passed away 2 years ago at the age of 95 was one of the few people who could actually remember the Red Sox winning the world series. He was 11 years
old at the time. Camps open this week and it should be interesting.
Jerry F [Read more →]
February 16, 2004 No Comments
My goodness! And we shouldnt’ forget that the Yanks beefed up their bullpen too. Wow! What of their starting pitching though? It’s a huge question mark and they certainly can’t compete with the A’s starters. The A’s staff should be able to contain the Yanks offense. The A’s offense will have to do a better job at contributing to beat the Yanks and in order to compete for a playoff spot though.
As far as what it means for baseball economics, I don’t feel bad for the “small market” owners at all. Pony up some dough and be clever with your marketing, if you want to compete. A new stadium is not the answer. A’s need to sign Chavez before the season starts to show some good faith in their players and fans and to keep the distraction from the team.
-Mike E. [Read more →]
February 15, 2004 No Comments
a-rod to the yanks -yuk
Not a long comment by Jerry, but one shared by many Red Sox fans. I thought I’d post it anyway to get the ball rolling.
Marty [Read more →]
February 15, 2004 No Comments
Bobby Crosby is the heir apparent to Miguel Tejada. Everyone and their fungo bats know that, but the question is how secure is his job? According to Billy Beane at the question and answer session at Fan Fest, Crosby has all the time he needs to adjust to the big leagues. Beane said that Crosby may suffer the occasional slump, but the shortstop will be given the time and at-bats to fight through it. Expectations are certainly high after Tejadaâ€™s constant production of 30 home runs and 100 RBIâ€™s every year, but rookie phenoms (position players, anyway) havenâ€™t faired too well in Oakland in recent history.
Click below for an excellent discussion of “what is a prospect” from one of our fans.
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February 11, 2004 147 Comments