Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

A's Face Mariners, Royals Meet Twins, ChiSox in Toronto

Baseball is heating up all over the US and in Canada today.

First of all, the A’s are expected to pick up Kelvim Escobar from their favorite trading partner, the Blue Jays for Ted Lilly. If that deal goes through, Billy Beane will have the one missing piece of his bull pen that he has sought for two years. Escobar throws in the mid nineties and will be the eighth inning man unless the A’s get nervous about Rich Harden and want Escobar to be their fourth starter. To me, he would be more valuable in the pen.

Once Peter Gammons reports something about the A’s it happens because it is well known that Beane uses Gammons as his own personal pipeline for information and must give Gammons the inside scoop about the A’s when it is available.

Gammons claims the deal is on.

So, stay tuned something is sure to happen shortly.

The Mariners throw Ryan Franklin to open the series. The righty has given up too many home runs to please his manager this year. Many scouts say Franklin is the most consistent pitcher the M’s have right now, and that is a scary thought for Seattle.

More importantly Arthur Rhodes and Jeff Nelson have been getting tagged lately and these two are usually very tough on the A’s. As usual the Mariners bull pen will have an impact on this two game series.

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With Edgar Martinez resting his sore leg last night John Mabry filled in as DH. Mabry is hitting .148 and is no threat at the plate. Somehow he walked four times in the Mariners big comeback win over Minnesota.

The A’s are poised to make their second half surge. It may not happen until they get off the road, but it is going to happen once the starting pitchers take over. Tim Hudson has been fantastic. Mark Mulder close behind, and Barry Zito only has to overcome focus issues to roll off seven to eight wins in a row.

Don’t expect perfect baseball from Rich Harden, but he should be able to keep the A’s in the game from his spot in the rotation. If he looks shaky, the aforementioned Escobar may (?) be there to bail him out.

The A’s are young and strong, Seattle is not, the off days are few, so it is just a matter of time before the A’s overtake the M’s.

The Red Sox picked up an excellent situational lefty in Scott Sauerback from Pittsburgh. It is the type of move that good teams make, very similar to Oakland’s acquisition of Ricardo Rincon last summer.

Jeremy Affeldt is asked to go into the Metrodome and throw seven good innings tonight. Most baseball observers feel that this series will be the beginning of the downfall of KC. The only thing I will say is this, the Royals are 29-9 in the AL Central, you are going to have to show me that Minnesota will beat this team senseless, I don’t hink it will be that easy.

The White Sox unfortuantely have to see Roy Halladay in Toronto tonight because the Blue Jays were rained out in NY Tuesday. The Sox are heavily loaded from the right side, not a good sign against Halladay one of the tougher righties around. Mark Buehrle gets the start, so we will see just how deceiving his 8-10 record really is.

Anyway, the Sox are 50-50, so I can get back on their bandwagon.

With July 31st only a week or so away the Sox are still not sure if they will move Bartolo Colon for more prospects. In ’97 Chicago traded Roberto Hernandez and Wison Alvarez to the Giants when they were only 3 games out of the lead, creating quite a backlash from the fans. Maybe they will tempt fate again even if they are close and move Colon because they won’t resign him for next year and someone will pay dearly for him now (SF?).

The Pirates are really trying to go younger. They now want to bring up most of their AAA and AA prospects. This means that they are trying to trade Brian Giles (The A’s would die for him), Jeff Suppan (good fourth starter), Kris Benson (number two or three guy), and Jason Kendall ( his contract carries a 40 million dollar tag). So, I expect a lot of action out of the Pirates over the next few days.

The Cubs did well picking up Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton for strike out machine Jose Hernandez and some prospects. The bigger problems for the Cubs involve the prolonged slump of Hee Sop Choi, what to do with Eric Karros (bench Choi), the injury to Mark Prior, and what to do with Shawn Estes.

St. Louis lost Matt Morris for a month with a fractured finger. Now the Cards must look for a pitcher or two and fast. Cory Lidle seems to be the one, which means if Toronto is in the mix the A’s can’t be far behind (some outfielder and not necessarily JD Drew). Who knows, the A’s could move Lilly and then have Toronto send him to the Cards also.

Trust me on this one, Billy Beane and his buddy JP Ricciardi have something cooked up.

Arizona just has to keep the Phillies and yes the Marlins in their sights. It will be tough to catch the Giants unless Arizona makes a trade for Richie Sexson or Juan Gonzalez and even that may not be enough.

Bob Brenly said it best when he said that even before they got hurt Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson weren’t pitching that well.

Arizona needs a big bat in their lineup, then they will look a lot better to me.

The Giants bull pen is very solid and Felipe Alou realizes it. He goes to the pen with confidence and very easily. Everyone around SF seems to think Matt Herges is a steal.

With another third or fourth starter and some more bench strength, the Giants are set for the stretch run.

Mark Redman gets a major test against the Braves. Atlanta creams lefties and Redman is a lefty the last time I checked. The Marlins could gain some more credibility if they can take the series with the Braves.

Randy Wolf and Matt Clement in Wrigley today. If it was day game and Mike Schmidt was playing with the wind blowing out, then I’d say 15-12 Phillies. But it is at night with two decent pitchers on the hill, so I’ll say 5-3 Phils.

A’s and Seattle. The trick is to stop Ichiro and Bret Boone, then hold on for dear life late in the game, these two teams play each other very well, good match ups with the result usually very close.

Seattle has struggled for over one month so the A’s can pick up some ground here behind Zito and Mulder.

The trade winds are blowing and as long as the phones are working in Toronto count on something happening. Beane is like a kid with a deck of cards looking for a game with a willing partner.

I think between JP, the folks in St. Louis and the panicked front office in Pittsburgh, something will happen with Mr. MoneyBall and soon.

I can’t wait.


1 Anonymous { 07.23.03 at 12:32 pm }

great writing. The A’s experiment with Lilly has been a disaster. Rick Peterson could not make his magic work. What bothered my from day 1 about Lilly is the fact that the Yankees traded a left handed starting pitcher. Lefties perform great in NYC and if they wanted out,why did the A’s want him? There may be a 3 way deal and if the A’s get Drew great but he has been fragile. Brian Giles

also would be great but they are left handed and

we need a big right handed bat.

As for Bartolo Colon, the word is out that the Giants have scouted him and pitching at Pacbell

would be a plus. The Red Sox are also interested so it will be interesting to watch

Jerry F

2 marty { 07.23.03 at 1:08 pm }

Jerry thanks for the comment. The Padres can be in the mix for trades too. Mark Kotsay even though lefthanded has a bigger upside than the frequently imjured Drew. Don’t forget the Blue Jays have Kielty who the A’s covet also. Eric Chavez is from San Diego, maybe that should be noted. San Diego moves into a new park next year and need a shortstop too. They like next year’s import from Japan, Matsui very much. Maybe the A’s can get Giles and San Diego will take Kendall off the Pirates hands in a three way deal (Loretta this way). With BB at the controls anything can happen.


3 Anonymous { 07.23.03 at 1:14 pm }

Great article, Marty

Giles is the missing link. Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope it happens. And maybe Piatt can provide the A’s with some righthanded pop after the trade happens. Everyone knows the guy can crush a fastball. I don’t know where I’d play him in the field, however. He isn’t fast enough for the outfield. I’ve been wondering why the A’s haven’t used him at firstbase.


4 Anonymous { 07.23.03 at 1:25 pm }

I had great hopes for Lilley, but he just does not seem to have the mental fortitude right now. It is interesting that Weaver’s numbers this year are almost identical to Lilley’s so the Yankees didn’t make out so well on this deal either. And they are paying alot more for the same type of player. And Carlos Pena has struggled, too. Nobody is really worse off for having made the trade. I don’t think the A’s can do much more with Lilley. Perhaps he will shine somewhere else. He certainly has the talent, but we know that the mental toughness is what makes great athletes successful.

Hudson is certainly the ace of the staff right now–he may well be the ace of the league, too. It is nice to hear the Baseball Tonight guys speaking so highly of him lately. We are now expecting him to give up no runs in every outing. Lilley could learn much from him as to focus and consistency. Hopefully it will rub off on Harden who seems to have similar stuff to Hudson. Adding Escobar and a bat could put the team where they want to be. I feel a trade coming before the trip to Anaheim.

5 Anonymous { 07.23.03 at 1:55 pm }

love both Kotsay and Kielty.Wow


6 Dave { 07.23.03 at 5:10 pm }


Beane denied the Escobar trade in the Chronicle. Personally, I think that Escobar for Lilly and Blanton is too lopsided. Beane might require someone else in return, and thus adding in the third (or fourth?) team, or maybe he’s just trying to pry someone like Kielty away.

7 Anonymous { 07.23.03 at 9:41 pm }

Chavez is hot against franklin with 3 homers in 9 at bats. Look for him to do well tonight, he hits in Seattle. Zito has pitched well, it always comes down to one late inning situation for him. Hopefully he will keep focused. The A’s need a spark, not unlike Dye gave them in the second half of ’01 and Durazo provided at the start of this year. Giles would be a nice aquisition, but a potential rode block await Jermaine Dye’s seemingly unmovable salary, SERENITY NOW!!!

Lloyd Braun

8 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

9 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

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