Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Category — Inside the Press Box

Where is the Love ?

You would think that with Barry Bonds chasing the most famous individual reacord in American sports the whole country would be going gaga because of Barry Bonds home run chase, but wait ….

By Amaury Pi-Gonzalez [

May 1, 2007   No Comments

Hope Springs Eternal, Even For The Giants

Marty: Shortly after the season began I followed the trend of many
others, including yourself, in predicting where teams would find
themselves at baseball year’s end. I restricted myself. however, to
discussing solely the fortunes of the Giants rather than the entire
major league world since my interest in keeping in touch is mainly
with the San Francisco team. In rather foolhardy fashion, I
concluded that the Giants were a miserable collection of over age
position players, with the only ray of hope being the pitching
staff. I even called for a public apology from management for
fielding a team that was destined to finish at the bottom of the heap.
Click below for more of Ed’s article.

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April 21, 2007   No Comments

Joe Saunders tribute to Virginia Tech

Joe Saunders a left handed pitcher for the Angels played college baseball at Virignia Tech and owned a career record of 27-7. On this day at Angel Stadium in Anaheim he pitched with a heavy heart.

By Amaury Pi-Gonzalez
Anaheim,CA. [

April 21, 2007   No Comments

Pitching, Pitching, Pitching . . .

Rick Kaplan
Staff Writer
OAKLAND (April 20) – Could ARod knock in 200 runs in 2007?
He’s well on his way. After 3 homers and 8 ribbies in the Yankees’ recent three game sweep of the Indians (by scores of 10-3, 9-2, and 8-6), he’s already at 10 round trippers and 26 RBIs in only the first 14 games of the season. In the history of Major League Baseball, no hitter has ever collected more than 190 RBIs in a single season (The Cubs’ Hack Wilson reached that number in the offensive free-for-all of 1930.).
In spite of how dazzling Rodriguez’ hitting display has been thus far, why does a voice inside me keep saying, "So what?"

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April 20, 2007   No Comments

The Giants: A Franchise in Disarray

Marty: For the first time since the day some four years ago that you asked me to contribute to your website articles following the Giants, I have been silent on this page for five months, the period from the close of the last season until today. During those past seasons in my mostly weekly aritcles, I have tried to maintain as positive an outlook on the Giants’ prospects as could reasonably be warranted. An accusation that I had been unreasonably positive at times could well be made.

Click below for more!

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April 11, 2007   1 Comment

How I Fell In Love With Barry Bonds

Rick Kaplan
Staff Writer
OAKLAND (April 6) – Once upon a time, even before the performance enhancement era, I was annoyed with the swagger too. His ego was so big he needed two lockers. And there was that disappearing act with the Pirates in the post-season in the early nineties.
It didn’t matter that he was already a great player before the whispering started. It was as if the four (4) MVP awards he had already garnered– and the rest of his Hall of Fame, Five Tool calibre accomplishments–that came BEFORE he not-so-mysteriously doubled in size had never happened.
I didn’t care. I just didn’t like him.

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April 7, 2007   No Comments

Vladimir Guerrero the most talented freak of nature

Of the 98 players this year in the Major Leagues born in the Dominican Republic one of the most talented is Vladimir Guerrero. How do you teach somebody to hit a ball that is on top of the shoes or throw the ball on the air from right field to third base ? You don’t, just like speed, you either have it or you do not.

By Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

I first talked with Vladimir when he was a very young and skinny outfielder for the Montreal Expos in the late 1990’s. He has not changed much, he just started his fourth season with the Angels and his eleventh season in the Major Leagues overall.

"Nunca usastes guantillas para batear? "Did you ever used batting gloves?"
"No, nunca, ni desde que era nino" "No,never even when I was a kid"
"No te salen ampollasen las manos? "Don’t you get blisters in your hands?"
"De verdad que no, no tengo problemas, me pongo un poco de tape en los dedos y eso es todo" "For real, no, I do not have any problems like that I just cover some of my fingers with tape".

You talk about "old school"there is nobody more old school than Vladi, he is a happy-go-lucky smiling Dominican. This is a man that was born to play the game of baseball. As simple as that.

For the second consecutive season in 2006 he lead all Major League outfielders in batting average 329 which was the fifth highest average in the American League.

In Nizao Bani, Dominican Republic, the little town where he was born he is "el hombre"and when the Angels are on television just about the whole town tunes in. He still single and used to live with his mother when he and his brother Wilson played in Montreal. He is as humble as when he was playing in Montreal for Felipe Alou’s team. He tells me that he is "lucky to have played for two excellent managers in Alou and Mike Scioscia. I asked him about Mike Scioscia’s Spanish(since Vladi speak very little English) "Oh, it is great, that he can speak Spanish and he communicates very well with all players here Hispanic and non Hispanics".

This past March during a game at Tempe Diablo Stadium Vladimir faced Royals right hander Gil Meche. Meche threw a pitch that almost hit Vladi in his left shoe top, Guerrero took a swing and hit a laser that hit the left center field fence. You cannot teach that, just like you cannot teach to throw the ball from right field on the fly to third base. These are talents that God gave Guerrero and if you do not believe in God, who is responsible for his hitting ? No batting coach would take claim to that ! Roberto Clemente and Yogi Berra where the only other hitters that I can remember that could hit like that.

Vicente Padilla, pitcher for the Texas Rangers told me about Vladimir:
"I try to get him out but he probably hit like .800 against me, he is the most incredible hitter I have ever faced, I can throw a ball over his head and he probably will hit it,if I come down-and-in he can also hit it".
Padilla hit Guerrero in the forearm during a game last August and during the next at bat he threw two pitches that sailed over Guerrero’s head.
I asked Guerrero about that during the recent three game sweep by the Angels over the Rangers and he told me there is not bad blood between him and Padilla. Plus Padilla is one of those pitchers that like to "experiment"when he is on the mound.

Everybody has their favorite team and favorite player and fans should root for their teams and players but Vladimir Guerrero is one guy that you cannot really root against. He is humble,sincere and just like to play baseball, as simple as that. I think he would play for free if they let him,

Vladi has the numbers and he has the talent, but in my opinion his personality is his biggest asset. You don’t see him mad for more than a few seconds even when he strikes out. In this clubhouse here in Anaheim there are no team clowns, but Guerrero is the leader, not by making noise but by leading by example, always early to put his uniform always ready to tke batting practice,always ready to talk to the younger Hispanic players on the team. Whatever he makes as far as salary is concerned, he is worth every penny.

How many players can you name better than Guerrero ? Probably not that many. But and most important, Vladimir makes the game fun, he loves the game and shows that enthusiasm every time he takes right field or comes to the plate. Watching Vladimir Guerrero play everyday is a real treat and if his knees are healthy the Angels of 2007 could be a special team.

Amaury is on his first season as Spanish Voice for the Angels over the powerful 50,000 Watts KLAA 830 AM. His partner is Jose Mota who does commentary and also goes from the Spanish booth with Amaury to join Mark Gubicza on the English television network of the Angels. Amaury and Jose broadcast all 162 games home and away in Spanish 830 AM the Los Angeles area,the largest Hispanic radio and television market in the United States. The station 830 AM is also owned by Arturo Moreno, the owner of the Angels ballclub and number one fan. Amaury’s permanent home has been Fremont,California since 1979.
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April 6, 2007   No Comments

A's Fifth Starter Never Was the Problem !

Rick Kaplan
Staff Writer
OAKLAND (March 28) – Oakland Super-Sub Marco Scutaro has more than adequately filled some big holes in the A’s line-up over the last three seasons.

But can he pitch?

If you followed the papers this spring, everybody but the bat boy and Erubiel Durazo were being considered to fill the last spot in the rotation.
A friend who probably reads the Chronicle too much asked me the other day my opinion concerning fifth starting pitcher "controversy."
Komine or Windsor, Duke, or even B.K. Kim? Nah. It was always Kennedy. And, now it appears that this non-issue will not travel north with the A’s as they break camp in Arizona, to the dismay of Bay Area baseball writers, who seemed to run out of Mark Kotsay inspiration stories and Tommy LaSorda-discovering-Mike Piazza anecdotes about two weeks ago.

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March 29, 2007   No Comments

Lack of exciment for the greatest record in baseball

As fas as I know the Major League lifetime Home Run record is the most
famous individual record in American sports. Barry Bonds is just 22 Home Runs away from that record, yet there is not real excitement about it.

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March 21, 2007   No Comments

It's True, Macha Really Didn't Have Kotsay's Back!

Rick Kaplan
Staff Writer
OAKLAND (March 11) – It’s become a spring training ritual for a lot of fans.

Ignore all the hyping and sniping of the spring. Keep one eye on the the home team’s camp, and just wait for the regular season Opening Day box scores to begin re-learning the free agency-and-trade-transformed rosters for 2007.

So, in that vein, I didn’t especially care about the Gyro-ball, or about Brian Cashman losing Bernie Williams phone number. Or Manny’s being Manny. Or even Gary (Matthews Jr.) being Barry.
But, still, notwithstanding ignoring the usual non-stories of the spring, this year it was different. I wasn’t even paying attention to the A’s buzz in Arizona. Now that’s something.
But it wasn’t really a mystery.

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March 11, 2007   No Comments