Posts from — March 2004
The San Francisco Giants are ready to
defend their National League West
title starting Monday April 5 in Houston,
but this might be a tough year for
Felipe and the veteran team.
By Amaury Pi-GonzÃ¡lez [Read more →]
March 30, 2004 No Comments
The only thing not Wild about this
“Wild West” Division is the Texas
Rangers. We can all agree they
are the solid pick for last, but
for the other three teams ?
By Amaury Pi-GonzÃ¡lez [Read more →]
March 30, 2004 No Comments
Carly Simon’s great song “anticipation” is ringing through my brain as spring training is about to conclude and the 2004 season starts soon. I am eagerly awaiting the 1st pitch and I hope that there will be success for
My teams that I pull for, especially the A’s, Giants, and Red Sox. Failure for the evil ones from NYC and success
for Art Howe and Rick Peterson with the Mets. Lots of
players have changed teams and it will be interesting to see what happens as play starts. Will there be a cinderella team this year? Will Tampa and Detroit show improvement? Will Seattle, Oakland, and Anaheim go down to the wire in a 3 way race for the West? Will the Cubs
win it all ? Will the Braves fade ?
Soon we will hear the national anthem played and the umpires yell”play ball”
Jerry F [Read more →]
March 28, 2004 No Comments
The injury bug is starting to make itself known throughout baseball.
Boston is in jeopardy of not only losing Trot Nixon on opening day, but now Nomar Garciaparra is hurting with a leg strain.
Seattle is making noise about acquiring Ellis Burks from Boston, but with these injuries Burks is no longer expendable. in fact, Burks turned down more money from Seattle to sign with Boston, so it doesn’t make sense that the Red Sox would trade the veteran after he expressed his desire to sign with Boston.
More importantly, Pokey Reese may slide over to short until Nomar is ready.
How about Shane Reynolds and his last two starts for Arizona? The overmatched righthander has given up about 20 runs in his last two outings.
With Steve Sparks and his knuckler not doing much in Arizona, the Diamondbacks have to be looking for pitching.
Click below for more.
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March 21, 2004 No Comments
Last year the Giants won 100 games. They were so far in front of the other clubs that the last 10 games of the season were meaningless. If Cruz, who was celebrated for his fielding throughout the year, even if he was a loss at bat for most of the year, hadn’t dropped a fly ball that a bush leaguer woiuld have caught. the team could have beaten Tampa Bay in the playoffs.
It was no mystery, at the start of spring training, that the club faced uncertainties with the pitching. Schmidt ended the year with arm problems and Nen was lost the entire season. They hadn’t resigned Worrell, who had pitched well in the closer role. They were looking for a fifth starter, as so many clubs are experiencing these days.
The word now, from knowledgable observers, is that, in addition to pitching woes, without Bonds in the lineup the Giants are a worse hitting team than the Dodgers. It may be a cause for wonder why anyone is picking them to finish ahead of the Rockies.
A realistic look at the club today is in order. Last year they won 100 games. No club does that if they aren’t playing at a high professional level. No one can reasonably contend that this wasn’t a good ballclub last year. Removing Bonds from the lineup and then forming an opinion respecting the team’s ability is not meaningful. The other clubs would like to see Bonds removed from the lineup but, unfortunately for them, the last time I looked it appeared that Bonds was still on the team. There is no point in debating whether the Giants are a better hitting team than the Dodgers if Bonds is not playing. They probably are a better hitting team than the Dodgers, even without Bonds. But they are not without Bonds.
What has the team done since the end of the 2003 year? For one thing, they removed the three least productive players on the team which, despite them, won 100 games. Those three players are Cruz, Aurilia and Santiago. The pundits who are showing a lack of respect point to what they consider a loss of offensive strength by the departure of these three. Continual reference is made to the “pop” in Aurilia’s bat which it is contended will be missed.
For some difficult to fathom reason, all of these opinions respecting Aurilia’s “pop” overlook his actual performance these past two years. They continue to be beguiled by his performance in 2001, an aberration in a career that extends at the major league level for nine years. The past two years he has averaged 14 homeruns and 60 rbis. This is not exactly A-Rod numbers. Coupled with his clearly established lack of range in the field his departure will not be sorely missed.
Cruz was a disaster at bat the last three quarters of the year. Most of the hitting stats referred to in asserting how much power the team loses by giving away Cruz were stats produced in the opening days of the season. Even so, he ended up hitting .250. As for Santiago, he is far gone, both offensively and defensively. The pitchers much preferred throwing to Torrealba. Santiago, as well as Aurilia and Cruz, consistently hit into more double plays than good hitters should.
As for the admiitted problems with the pitching— the spring training season so far has offered some encouraging signs. Schmidt apparently has overcome what was troubling him at year’s end. Nen has been throwing without pain although he still needs to face opposition hitters. Hermanson may be the fifth starter thay need. Williams must overcome the so-called sophomore jinx and give them a reliable number two starter.
The bench, which was a disaster last year has been strengthened. The trio of outfielders contending for time in right field provides bench strength lacking in 2003. These are three reasonably good, major league players. They will collectively perform at a higher level than Cruz, not a difficult task.
Perez will give the team far better defense than Aurilia. He may not have any “pop” but overall the club is better with Perez playing shortstop than Aurilia. Catching is bound to be improved with Pierzynski and Torrealba.
This is a ballclub which won 100 games last year and could be an improved team this year. It is not worthy of despair. It may not win 100 games this year but it should be odds-on to win the division.
March 15, 2004 No Comments
Jermaine Dye increased his speed to first base this winter. Dye who suffered a broken leg in the playoffs 2001 now is slightly above the average major leaguer in his time down the line.
The big improvement in Dye’s speed is noticeable when he runs from first to third, I think it’s the best he’s looked since the injury.
Pitch him up and away and he can hurt you, low and in and he’s got more to worry about.
Click below for more. [Read more →]
March 13, 2004 No Comments
Eric Chavez who usually heats up in the second half of the season may get off to a fast start in 2004 and it won’t have anything to do with his off season conditioning.
Click “Read More” to read the rest of the story. [Read more →]
March 6, 2004 No Comments