Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Batter Up July 17th

Some years the race for the home crown, ala Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa ’98, sparks the interest of baseball over the summer. Not this year. 2004 will be remembered as the summer that 22 of 30 teams had a realistic shot at the playoffs heading into the second half of play.

With so many teams in contention, and13 weeks left to play, a team needs one well placed 7 game winning streak, and boom, smiles all over. This year if you play .500 by September 1st, you are in decent shape for the stretch run.

Which teams will be buyers as the trade deadline approaches? Tough decisions will have to be made with 60 days remaining in the season. After July 31st, teams making trades will need to slip the players involved past the teams below them in the standings.

Click below for more!Which teams will be buyers as the trade deadline approaches? Tough decisions will have to be made with 60 days remaining in the season. After July 31st, teams making trades will need to slip the players involved past the teams below them in the standings.

If the Padres are in third place, I don’t think they will let a pitcher pass through waivers in August, so he can land in San Francisco or Los Angeles.

If the Diamondbacks are smart they will move Randy Johnson to the Angels. Anaheim has the best prospects available starting with AAA players Dallas McPherson and Casey Kotchman.

The Cards are now supposedly in the race for The Unit. Waste of time for St. Louis, they can win the flag with their six man pen and their explosive offense.

The Red Sox can’t seriously be thinking of moving Nomar Garciaparra can they?. Unless they get a proven shortstop in return, Pokey Reese doesn’t cut it for me as Garciaparra’s replacement.

If the Yankees strike out in their quest for Johnson, Jamie Moyer will be their next choice.

The Cubs starting staff isn’t what it used to be. With Kerry Wood a six inning pitcher and Mark Prior heading back to the DL, Dusty Baker will have to be a magician to get the Cubs pitching through September.

New Astro manager Phil Garner more than likely won’t make a difference with the Astros. Unless Andy Pettitte, the Rocket, Jeff Bagwell, and Jeff Kent put monster second halves together, Garner will have his eighth consecutive losing season running a ball club. Other than being a Houston resident, why’d they pick this retread to take over?

Carlos Beltran will finish the season with Houston unless the Astros completely tank in the next two weeks.

By the way, after seeing how the ball travels to left field in the Astros home park, it is mind boggling that Houston is 8th in the NL in runs scored.

Did the ancient Mariner John Olerud really nix a trade to the Giants for JT Snow? That’s what the press is reporting in Seattle. If that is true, what could the Giants be thinking?

The Dodgers will make a serious effort to convince Toronto’s Carlos Delgado to approve a trade to LA before the deadline. If that happens and LA picks up a starting pitcher watch out, the Dodgers are a better team than you think.

The A’s are honoring the ’74 World Series team today. Why not take a page from the Yankees book and let the returning champs play a three inning game against a group of local former big leaguers. Who wouldn’t want to see Joe Rudi in left, Vida on the hill, or Reggie in right one more time? The Yankees have an old timers game every July and it is a huge success.

The Phillies need starting pitching. 11 million dollar righty Kevin Millwood has been a major disappointment. Scouts say he is out of shape (sounds like Bartolo Colon East). The Phillies could be in the market for Montreal’s Livan Hernandez who, when right, can take them deep into the game.

The Mets are looking at Seattle relievers Eddie Guardado and Shigetoshi Hasegawa. If I’m the Mets, I add starting pitching to take the pressure off aging vets Al Leiter, Tom Glavine, and Steve Trachsel. It’s always a long hot summer playing in Shea, so the big three better be watched carefully.

The A’s should consider picking up Seattle’s Guardado as their closer. Then Ken Macha could move Octavio Dotel to the eighth inning as the set up man, a spot he excelled in with Houston.

Colorado would love to trade catcher Charles Johnson, pitchers Shawn Chacon and Shawn Estes, along with outfielder Preston Wilson. Maybe someone like Texas will bite on Estes, but forget the other three, they will remain Rockies for 2004.

Arizona wants to move second baseman Roberto Alomar. He would be an ideal number two hitter for Oakland. Current second sackers Mark McLemore and Marco Scutaro will be more suited for limited play as the season wears on.

The Rangers front office wants to see at least two more weeks of good baseball before jumping into the trading pool. Pitchers Jeff Nelson and RA Dickey are coming back from the DL soon. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad news.

Here’s a scary thought for Rangers fans: Pitcher Chan Ho Park is ready to go on a rehab assignment.

If the Giants really do want a new first baseman, why not go after the Orioles Rafael Palmiero? He probably can be had for a mid level prospect and still has some punch.

The final irony from the all star game: Former Yankee Alfonso Soriano ices the game with a three run homer off Roger Clemens giving the current New Yorkers home field advantage, if they make it to the world series.

My final thoughts about the extravaganza in Houston: If the all star game is close in the last two innings (“this one counts”), the fans will stick around to see an exciting finish. If the game is an early blow out, nothing can save the game or the broadcast. Sorry Fox.


1 Anonymous { 07.17.04 at 11:46 am }


Why do you -and others-consider Scutaro a part-time player? I am very impressed with him and his clutch hitting. Yes, I know he never walks, but he is the best 9th place hitter in the league. I was happy to see him come to bat last night when we needed a hit because I knew he would do his best to deliver. And he did. He plays good defense, and with some time off to let McLemore play, he should be fine. Do you think he is wearing down? He had not been hitting, but I think that had to do with Chavez’s injury and all the lineup changes. Now the lineup is set with Chavez back, and his hitting has come alive. Just leave him in 9th and all will be fine.

2 marty { 07.17.04 at 11:54 am }

You might be correct, however with the arduous schedule coming up and the fact that he has never been down the stretch before I’d watch him carefully. He has been one of the top surprises on the team so far. Amazing what the infield has done without Ellis and Tejada.

3 Anonymous { 07.17.04 at 1:14 pm }

Marty, Apparently the Giants were willing to make the trade even though Snow has pointed out that no one spoke to him about it and as a ten year man he could have nixed it. It’s crazy for the team to be thinking about a first baseman. Go with Feliz. What they need is pitching, desperately. The last two games with Colorado were a stark demonstration of that. Rodriguez has completely melted down. Moving him from the 8th inning to the 7th is not enough. They have to move him off the roster. Then they need to add someone who fits the description of a closer and a few more arms in the ‘pen. Another starter would help also. Ed

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