Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Bay Area's Bruce Magowan's Playoff Predictions

Bruce Magowan, a valued contributor to was the Giants play by play announcer for six games this past season. Bruce hosts “The Insiders”, KNBR 680’s Giants pregame show on Saturday and Sunday as well as the post game radio show on the weekend, too. Bruce also writes for the San Francisco Examiner and is one of the most knowledgeable baseball people around.

Click below for Bruce’s analysis of the 2003 playoffs and check out which two teams Bruce thinks will meet in the World Series.

Thanks Bruce! Baseball has experienced some great Octobers, but these next four
weeks of the fall may go down in the books as some of the most exciting of
all time. Each one of the four playoff series is eye catching, and although
there are as usual, favorites in each series, it wouldn’t be that big of a
surprise if any one of the eight teams involved in the action goes all the
It seems appropriate that the Giants and Marlins open their series
today under what will probably be a bright sun
and blue skies. Although fans and players have gotten used to night
baseball, baseball is best when it’s played during the day. And with its
spectacular views and intimate setting, Pac-Bell should be at its finest for
the national TV audience and the 42,000 fans lucky enough to have tickets.
The Giants bring an experienced, calm, confident veteran team into this
game. They have a deep bullpen, probably the best bench in the game, and a
manager who has over 60 years experience.
As a player, coach and manager, Felipe Alou has seen and done it all so
no situations will surprise him. When he has to make a decision, he will
make it without hesitation. This quality may seem mundane to the casual
fan, but Alou’s calm decisiveness can’t be underestimated.
Here is a manager who doesn’t go “by the book,” but follows his own
After watching his team rout the Dodgers 12-3 in Sunday’s regular season
finale, Alou wanted to make some things clear. With about 30 reporters
and cameras clustered around his desk in the manager’s office, the 68 year
old Dominican spoke in his usual plain and straightforward manner. “I still
remember the first day of spring training, people questioning my age. (he’s
68 in case you didn’t know). My family knew I wasn’t fooling around when I
took this job…. But I’m glad for the players too, because they had to change
managers. They loved the guy who went to Chicago.”
Speaking of the “guy who went to Chicago,” I spoke with Dusty Baker last
week a few days before the Cubs were wrapping up a division title, and he
told me how much he was hoping the Cubs and Giants would meet in the League
Championship Series. Wouldn’t that be something?
Like the Giants, the Cubs have been playing great baseball down the
stretch. Like the Giants, the Cubs, Giants have loads of depth and
experience on their roster, and their starting rotation may be the best in
the National League. Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Matt Clement and Carlos
ёZambrano have flourished at Wrigley’s “friendly confines,” and Baker and
his staff deserve much credit for keeping them confident and fresh.
The Cubs will have a tough road being the underdog to the hard hitting
Atlanta Braves, but it wouldn‘t be at all surprising if Chicago wins that
series. Good pitching usually trumps good hitting, and in a five game
series it can get especially tough for hitters when they have to face the
top three pitchers of a superb staff in a short series.
Meanwhile the Giants know that the job of getting past the first round
will no cakewalk. Marlins’ skipper Jack McKeon has just as much experience
as Alou, and is a favorite for Manager of the Year. Mckeon took over a team
that was falling apart like a cheap suit in the early season and helped this
young team into winners. The Marlins have to be considered the biggest
surprise in baseball, and they showed great poise in beating the Phillies in
several close games when it counted.
Josh Beckett, the young righty who goes today against Giants ace Jason
Schmidt has one of the best young arms in the game. Schmidt, who may be the
best pitcher in the National League at the moment, had high praise for his
foe, saying Beckett reminded him of Curt Schilling.
Schmidt, Sidney Ponson and Kirk Reuter will have to keep guys like
speedy lead off man Juan Pierre off the bases if they don’t want to be
driven to distraction. The Marlins force the action by stealing bases, and
playing hit and run
and they also have one of the best catchers in the business in future Hall
of Famer Pudge Rodriguez behind the plate. Slugging third baseman Mike
Lowell is back and playing after recuperating from a broken hand, and
although he will not be at full strength, he can still break up a close game
with a big hit.
While the Giants deal with the Marlins these next two days, the’s have
to take on a team with the most explosive hitting attack in the game.
Tomorrow night’s pitching matchup between Tim Hudson and the Red Sox Pedro
Martinez in Oakland should be a classic, and since your chances of getting
into Pac-Bell are slim and none (unless you have tickets!) you might
venture across to the bridge to see one of two games of the Boston/Oakland
series. Believe it or not, the two games in Oakland may not be sold out,
although the expected appearance of several thousand Red Sox faithful will
enhance the atmosphere.
Pedro Martinez is still one of the most dangerous and sometimes
dominant pitchers in the game, and Derrick Lowe has also been throwing very
well of late. But the strength of the Red Sox lies in its offense, and Tim
Hudson will have his hands full dealing with the likes of Manny Ramirez,
Nomar Garciaparra, and league batting champ Bill Mueller.
To be sure, the A’s have their flaws, but with Miguel Tejeda and Eric
Chavez on track and Jermaine Dye back in the lineup, manager Ken Macha
should have a strong hitting attack. The A’s are also a young team that is
peaking at the right time, so a possible showdown with the mighty Yankees
looms large.
Speaking of New York, they should be able to beat Minnesota, but it
could be a tight series. Everyone knows that the Yanks have experience and
a great group of starting pitchers, but the Twins have succeeded in spite of
a skinflint owner who insists on keeping costs to a minimum. So while the
Yanks may be “the greatest team that we all know about,” the Twins are often
overlooked and underappreciated. The Giants and Yanks should meet in the
2003 World Series, but in these next few weeks, expect anything!


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