Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Angels Have Tough Decisions, Mariners Too

It is becoming increasingly clear that the Angels will be without some of their top sluggers for an extended period of time.

But how long will that period of time last? How much help do they need right now and at what position?

Troy Glaus is out until September at the earliest. So, they need a third baseman pronto.

They could pick up a centerfielder and then move speedster Chone Figgins to third. Figgins has never played a full season in the majors, so it is unclear what kind of a bat he will be swinging in August. His legs are major league, no doubt.

It makes more sense to trade pitcher Ramon Ortiz to Arizona for Shea Hillenbrand and leave Figgins in center.

Garret Anderson is out with arthritis in his back. It took two months to determine what was wrong with him. He is now on medication. When will he be back? Who knows, but it doesn’t seem to be anytime soon. His back pain has never left him since this condition began in March. He is one hurting Angel and his value to the team in 2004 is questionable.

If I was GM Bill Stoneman, I’d look for an outfielder with some pop as well.

If the Angels make these two moves, then I think they will be right there because their pitching is better than expected from top to bottom. Brenden Donnelly will be back, but not for another month or more. There is no rush because the bullpen is one of the team’s strong suits.

Without retooling the offense the Angels will have trouble staying with the A’s once the summer heats up.

Click below for more!The A’s Mark Kotsay hit seventh Saturday because he wants to swing the bat, not pick around looking for the perfect count to hit in. As a leadoff hitter Kotsay lost his aggressive swing always trying to build the count into a 3-1 or 2-0 situation. More often than not he was 1-2 and on the defensive. Let him rip the ball, maybe some good will come out of it.

Everytime Bobby Crosby pulls the ball he jacks it. Trouble is the pitchers know this and work him soft away causing Crosby to hit weak fly balls to right or strike him out. When Crosby learns to go with the pitch he will be awesome at the plate.

Eric Chavez saved the game Saturday with his two out homer in the ninth tying the game off of Jeremy Affeldt. Someone forgot to tell Affeldt that Chavez can’t hit an outside curve over the fence, but he can crush a fastball over the plate the other way.

By the way, the Royals are an awful baseball team. They make the Tigers look like pennant winners.

Seattle has about another two weeks before trying to rebuild the team. John Olerud is toast. Freddy Garcia has immnese trade value and I wonder if they will trade him to the White Sox or possibly in the division to Texas for an outfilder who can hit. Texas could give up prospect first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez came over from the Marlins and is highly regarded. Kevin Mench is a possibility too.

Ken Huckaby is now the backup catcher for the Rangers with Gerald Laird out for three months with an injured thumb. Huckaby is best known as the player who dislocated Derek Jeter’s shoulder tagging him in a play at third base last season.

RA Dickey tries to recapture the magic today after three miserable starts, this time he faces Javier Vazquez and the Bombers. Something is going on in Texas and it ain’t bad. The more games they win like yesterday, the more they will believe they can stay in this thing.

The Red Sox have a new righty in the bullpen Anastacio Martinez. He came up from AAA where he struck out 13 batters in his last 5 innings of work with 0 walks. In his debut yesterday he pitched a clean inning in relief.

Cliff Lee, Cleveland’s number two starter throws today trying to stop the Devil Ray express which has won three in a row. This means Lee will open the series against Oakland on Friday night against Barry Zito.

The A’s will miss Pedro in Boston getting Bronson Arroyo on Thursday against Mark Mulder.

Jeremy Bonderman goes against Freddy Garcia today in Seattle. Detroit is on the verge of playing some baseball, they could be the Royals of 2003 if things break well for them. They aren’t half bad and if they would get rid of Carlos Pena, a sulker, they would improve the team. Anyhow, Dimitri Young will be back soon and he will help immensely.

Can Aaron Sele do it again? No one expected a sub 3.00 ERA from this injury plagued righty. Daniel Cabrera has pitched two nice games for the O’s.

Melvin Mora is hitting .386, does anyone realize this?

Ted Lilly struck out 10 Red Sox in 5 2/3 innings yesterday. The Blue Jay pen is a disaster unless Jason Fraser is pitching. Carlos Tosca will be gone shortly because JP Ricciardi won’t take the heat for this mess.

How about Carlos Delgado to the Giants right now? The Jays won’t resign him and the Giants realize they blew it over the winter not picking up a big time bat to help Barry Bonds.

The White Sox look to Jon Garland today to win a big game against the Twins. Garland is coming on and today is a good test to see just how far he has progressed.

Anyone heard about Twins phenom Joe Mauer lately? Seems like it is taking a long time for him to return from a minor knee injury.

How about those Reds? Tied for first and Danny Graves has 20 saves. Can it last? No way not with Cory Lidle, Aaron Harang, and Todd Van Poppel in the rotation, but Paul Wilson knows how to pitch. Jose Acevedo, I’d have to see more before deciding about him.

Something just doesn’t seem right about the Astros and I can’t put my finger on it. They just go into these funks at the plate and and the mound that are inexplicable.

One more win and the Mets are at .500. This season is Art Howe’s finest managing job because this team is injured up and down the lineup. If they lay off Shawn Estes and his curve today, Tom Glavine can even the Mets season record at 22-22.

Jason Schmidt threw 144 pitches last time out. He won’t need that many to stop the Expos. Best thing is a rainout so Schmidt could pitch Tuesday against the Diamondbacks and Brandon Webb.

Randy Johnson and Dontrelle Willis. Willis got touched up big time his last start and Johnson threw the perfect game against the Braves. The Marlins are in for trouble today.

The Cubs look to Matt Clement to stop the Cards. When these two teams play anything can happen, homers, stolen bases, brilliant relief pitching, who knows. It is always good baseball. Matt Morris isn’t what he used to be and it seems that the Cubs have the edge today.

Brain Lawrence tries to make it two in a row for the Pads against the Phillies. Billy Wagner is still out for Philly, so is Jim Thome and that hurts the lineup.

San Diego is putting a bullpen together and they will need it today because the soft tossing Lawrence won’t go deep into the game.

Wilson Alvarez and Mike Hampton. The Braves don’t hit very well and Alvarez is having a nice year. Hampton matched Randy Johnson the other night pitch for pitch. Alvarez won’t throw a perfect game like Johnson did, so maybe the Braves can pull this one out.

Battle for first place. Cory Lidle and Wade Miller. Let’s see if the Astros have some game today.

Sunday baseball, my favorite time of the week.


1 Anonymous { 05.23.04 at 11:29 am }

Good thing the A’s have better overall hitting this season, or else the acquisitions of Kielty and Kotsay would look pretty terrible. Kotsay can’t hit the ball the other way which is unacceptable for a leadoff hitter. Kielty is a great righthanded hitter. Too bad there aren’t many lefthanders in the division.
I’ve tried to watch a few Jays games when Lilly was going. From the little I’ve seen, they have him throwing too much soft stuff, especially his change up. His changeup isn’t that good. And his most effective games with the A’s where when he was using his fastball on both sides of the plate and his slider. Someone wasn’t paying attention to this in the Jays’ organization. Too bad Lilly doesn’t have the savvyness to take charge and tell them how he wants to pitch. He has the potential to be really good.
-Mike E.

2 marty { 05.23.04 at 11:51 am }

Marty– I hope it catches on. At the very least, it should provoke some
wide spread interest. My May 15th article which speaks of Barry and his
comments on the team’s problems and the respect in which he is held by
the players is supportive of your imaginative suggestion. After all,
Bill Terry was a great player and, in his later years and to succeed
McGraw, he was made a player-manager. He was a very good manager for a
number of years. In many respects Terry and Bonds have much in common.
Each were great players. Each was out-spoken, kept to themselves as
players, didn’t show the greatest respect for the media and had the
support of the local fans. I think that Barry would jump at the chance.
It would be a great move for management, showing a willingness to think
creatively. It would also be imperative, in support of the move, for
them to realistically face the problems the franchise has and be
supportive of Bonds in meeting them. Great idea.
Ed Stern

3 Anonymous { 05.24.04 at 2:47 am }

I have to say, my loyalties lie with the A’s and not the Giants. But if I were a Giants fan, I’d be besides myself that the winter passed and we’re this far into the season without getting some support for Bonds. Did anyone in that organization really think Alfonzo could provide anything in the way of protection? Yikes.
I really like what the A’s are doing with Eric Byrnes. Not officially naming him a starter is genious. If anyone remembers, he entered his slump last year about the time the pressure descended on him with all the talk of a possible all-star election. He’s a great hitter. He’s been a geat hitter all the way back through the minors. Keep the pressure off Byrnes and he will continue to hit.
Gotta love the patterns produced by Harden too. You expect some up and downs from any rookie not named Prior, and I like that we’re starting to see a steady flow of quality starts from Rich. The A’s are one big bat away from being the best team in the division.

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