Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Category — Daily Dish

2007 Major League Awards

Batter Up September 30th, 2007
The baseball season is like no other in sports.
The season begins during the beauty of spring then moves on through a summer dotted with rain, thunder and stifling heat finally concluding during the cool breezes of autumn.
The story unfolds every day. One never knows how the games will play out, but one thing is for sure: each season will have its distinct set of heroes, names forever immortalized in baseball history.
The following are my favorites for the 2007 post-season awards.

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September 30, 2007   1 Comment

Ingredients for a Champion

Batter Up September 23rd, 2007
The formula for success in the post season is simple. Pitching wins championships. A World Series team must have at least one hard thrower in its starting rotation. At the back end there must be a flame throwing eighth inning reliever, then a reliable closer to seal the deal.
The White Sox won a championship with pitchers Jose Contreras and Bobby Jenks. The Red Sox won with Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke. The Angels became champs with John Lackey and Troy Percival. Last year St. Louis won with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.
This year the contenders in the AL all have the ingredients for a championship.

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September 23, 2007   No Comments

Don't Give the Yanks a Break

Batter Up Sept 16th, 2007
Sometimes it seems that major league baseball relies on the comedy writers from Saturday Night Live for advice. The latest joke is giving the team with the best record in the AL one hour after clinching that distinction to decide if it wants an extra day of rest during the AL Division Series. What’s wrong with giving that team six or eight hours to make that decision?
Here’s the scenario I foresee: a team clinches their playoff spot and the best record on the same day. There is a wild celebration in the clubhouse. Peter Gammons soaked with champagne standing next to the GM asking, “With one more minute before the deadline, are you going for the extra day?”

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September 16, 2007   2 Comments

Look For Trades Not Free Agents

Batter Up Sept 9th, 2007
Over the past decade the off-season trend has been for teams to sign free agents in hopes of building a championship club.
Not so this winter. Trades will be back in the headlines. The change in philosophy is due to a weaker than normal group of impact players being available in the free agent market.
This year the top free agents, outfielders Ichiro Suzuki and Jermaine Dye, plus pitchers Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano have already resigned with their current teams.
Who are the remaining players who will become headliners this December by virtue of their contracts expiring or teams not picking up their options?
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September 9, 2007   No Comments

Down the Stretch They Come!

Batter Up Sept 2nd, 2007
Immortal racetrack announcer Clem McCarthy said it best as he described the turn for home and the frantic charge down the stretch in the Kentucky Derby. McCarthy wove a compelling picture of 10 or more horses fighting for the lead as they bumped their way through the final turn on the track before heading into a mad sprint to the finish line.
Baseball has the same compelling moments as the season heads into its last month. The contenders jockey for position eyeing each other as they meet on the field. For the fan the day-to –day drama is excruciating. First your favorite team takes the lead by a game, then falls back, only to regain the top spot three days later.
Who can forget the Yankees overcoming the Red Sox in ’78? The New York Mets breaking the Cubs hearts in ’69? The New York Giants forcing the playoff with Brooklyn Dodgers in ’51?
In 2007 not only are the final playoff spots still up for grabs with four weeks to go, but the major individual season awards are hanging in the balance too.

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September 2, 2007   No Comments

Rookies Take Over?

Batter Up August 26th, 2007
September 1st is a key date on the baseball calendar. The best players in the game take center stage as the pennant race heads into its final climactic month. It’s also the deadline for adding players to the roster in order to make them eligible for postseason play.
In year’s past, you could count on a number of transactions during the last week of August as the contenders jockeyed to add veterans for the final pennant push.
The old Yankee teams of the 1950’s routinely added seasoned players in August such as pitchers Ewell Blackwell and Johnny Sain, slugger Johnny Mize, and pinch hitters Dale Long, Enos Slaughter, and Harry Bright.
In the 70’s, former A’s owner Charlie Finley secured Rico Carty, Matty Alou, Dal Maxvill, and Cesar Tovar during late August transactions. The Orioles grabbed pinch hitter Tommy Davis while the Tigers added big Frank Howard in late summer moves in 1972.
My how times have changed. Today the contenders are looking at minor league players as the Angels did with reliever Frankie Rodriguez in ’02, to ignite their clubs instead of adding tested veterans who have been through the pressure of September baseball.
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August 26, 2007   No Comments

Home Runs Coming Back to Earth

Batter up August 19th, 2007
Is it the new drug policy? Are the pitchers getting better? For some reason the season totals for the top home run hitters in baseball is starting to look like the numbers posted in the game from 1950 until 1995.
With less than 25% of the season remaining only A Rod, Prince Fielder, Adam Dunn, and Ryan Howard look like sure bets to hit 40 home runs or more.
In the AL Justin Morneau, Carlos Pena, Hideki Matsui, and Jermaine Dye should reach the 30-homer plateau.
In the NL, only Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, and Carlos Lee are locks to go above 30 homers.

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August 19, 2007   No Comments

Bonds and Nixon, Two of a Kind

Batter Up August 12th, 2007
Baseball has a mystical side for me. I’ve long felt that the spirit of former players is transferred to the players currently playing the game. It’s the way baseball connects from generation to generation.
Here are some players whose careers are linked together; Rod Carew and Ichiro; Ty Cobb and Pete Rose; Lefty Grove and Randy Johnson; Stan Musial and George Brett; Josh Gibson and Roy Campanella; Jimmie Foxx and Harmon Killebrew; and Duke Snider and Reggie Jackson.
The next coupling hit me this week as I watched all the hoopla surrounding Barry Bonds. Click Below for More!

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August 12, 2007   No Comments

Best Player in the Game Today?

Batter up August 5th, 2007
Baseball is a talking sport. Debates about players can quickly lead to heated arguments.
For instance, if you were starting a team today who would be the first player chosen for your mythical team based upon 2007 performance.
Some scouts, general managers, broadcasters, and managers discussed this question the other day. Their answers, filled with emotion and conviction, ranged all over the field.
Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer got the most support. Mauer plays a key position on the diamond, hits for power plus average, and is a team leader.

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August 5, 2007   No Comments

August and September; Two Distinct Months

Batter Up July 29th 2007
The two most unique months of the baseball season are August and September.
In August, the grinders take over. These players come to play hard every day. They do the little things to win ball games. In September the pros take over. These players excel under pressure. These players become the MVPs. The pros become the legends of the game.
No matter what trades are made over the next few days the grinders will be key for the contenders this month.
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July 29, 2007   No Comments