Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Batter Up July 10th by Marty Lurie

As we head into the all star break it has become very clear that every team in the hunt needs pitching. I can’t rememember a season where there was less dominant pitching available as the trade deadline approaches.

Pittsburgh’s Kris Benson is the number one choice on the market. At best he is a fourth starter in any rotation. the Yankees, Mets, Cardinals, and Rangers are all after Benson.

Click below for more!Randy Johnson so far isn’t going anywhere.

The Mets are the story in the NL East. Art Howe pushed for the Richard Hidalgo trade while others in the NY organization got cold feet about the Astros outfielder. The Mets can catch the leaders if they do three things. One bring up phenom third baseman David Wright who is tearing it up in AAA. Two, get a reliable fourth starter, and three add a lefty in the pen to replace aging John Franco. Third baseman Ty Wigginton is sure to go in any trade.

If the A’s looked to the Mets for bullpen help, they could grab hardthrowing righties Orber Moreno or Jose Parra for a pitcher, perhaps even Mark Redman if the A’s really wanted to upgrade the pen. If Joe Blanton is ready it may be worth the gamble.

For all those who want to trade Barry Zito, I say no way. Zito is still young and talented enough to make a complete comeback from his control issues. Zito’s problems stem from the fact that everytime he misses with his fastball it is belt high over the dish. Mark Mulder and even Redman at times can sink the ball away from the hitters, Zito is having trouble doing that right now and it is costing him.

The A’s need a hitter too. Once again you have to search high and low for the last game where Erubiel Durazo drove in some meaningful runs. With everyone looking for pitching, here’s Billy Beane’s chance to steal a hitter. Another left handed hitting outfielder to platoon with Eric Byrnes wouldn’t hurt either.

By being named a coach on the NL All Star team Jimy Williams has delayed his inevitable firing which should take place after the first week of the second half. The powers to be in Houston would be terribly embarrassed if they fired Williams on the eve of the game in their hometown.

The latest name to replace Williams is Met bench coach Don Baylor, a favorite of the owner. Jim Fregosi wouldn’t be a bad choice either.

If Houston doesn’t significantly close the gap in the Central by July 31st, Carlos Beltran will find a new home at the deadline too. How about Beltran for the A’s? If all the cards play out, it’s not impossible to rent Beltran for two months in Oakland.

The Angels just can’t part with pitcher Ramon Ortiz because Bartolo Colon and Aaron Sele might not last the season in the rotation, and Ortiz is the first in line to pick up the slack.

I’ve watched Frankie “K Rod” Rodriguez enough lately to realize he throws the 79 mph slider too often. Bobby Crosby beat him on one in Oakland and Timo Perez knocked in three runs off a hanger in Chicago.

K Rod has a great fastball, but wants to trick the hitters instead of ending the at bat by blowing the fastball in there. Ah, kids today.

The Angels still need a thirdbaseman. If the Expos deal free agent Orlando Cabrera, the Angels will be first in line. He could play third until phenom Dallas McPherson is ready for the big leagues next season.
Texas might be looking at either Colorado’s Shawn Estes, Cincy’s Paul Wilson or Cory Lidle if they become available. Any of the three are huge improvements over Nick Bierbrodt or John Wasdin, two pitchers the Rangers had been using in the rotation.

I’ve seen managers get votes of confidence from the front office, then the next day get fired. How about Brian Sabean and Felipe Alou calling in the entire Giant pen and giving them the dreaded confidence boost? If I’m a SF reliever I can’t feel real secure right now.

Many teams would love to have Felix Rodriguez even though he is turning into the reliever the fans love to boo. The Yankees have always wanted Rodriguez, but what could they give the Giants in return? How about bringing Kenny Lofton back to help in the outfield?

Cincinnati’s Danny Graves, the NL leader with 31 saves, might be available if the Giants would part with Pedro Feliz. I would without a doubt.

Wasn’t this the week that the Expos new home was to be announced by MLB? The whole deal seems fishy to me. What’s the delay?

If you are looking for a reliever these names are out there: Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Eddie Guardado, Jorge Julio, Buddy Groom, Mike Dejean, Ugueth Urbina, Rocky Biddle, and Shawn Chacon. See any pennant winners in that group?

I like the idea of the all star winner getting the home field advantage in the world series. Baseball thrives on dramatic game ending moments. Everyone still talks about Hank Blalock’s homer off Eric Gagne last year in Chicago.

Whoever is the late inning star of this year’s game will have a special moment in all star history and that’s good for baseball.

The All Star game had turned into a March exhibition game, but with this wrinkle the final few innings last year were outstanding.

Trust me, I was there to see it.


1 Anonymous { 07.10.04 at 11:33 am }

A’s should trade Redman for some bullpen help. Bullpen still needs to be shored up and Redman has been hideous. Even his wins have been dicey. Either Blanton, Duke, or Saarloos could provide a better chance to win then Redman right now. And Zito’s strength has never been his control. He has always struggled with locating his fastball. He may be struggling more this season with it, but both his changeup and curveball are hurting him more. Zito’s leaving his changeup in the zone too often this season and his curveball doesn’t have the big break anymore. Although, it did look good in the early innings against the Sox this past week. For some reason, though, he didn’t throw it for two strikes. Seems like he needs a psychiatrist the way he assesses his performance after his games. He sounds ridiculous.
-Mike E.

2 Anonymous { 07.10.04 at 12:22 pm }

I don’t understand all this trade Zito talk. I look for him to snap out of it soon. And I think a visit to the sports psychologist would be a big help.There is no other starter out there who would be a better choice for the A’s right now.

What about trading Redman for our old friend Ted Lilly? Numbers are similar but I think Ted can be good in the clutch. Redman is not. Some no stress games in Toronto would serve him well.

I think things will be better when Rhodes and Hammond return. Mecir needs to go. It would be classy of him to retire. Like the guy, but he has nothing left.

Chavez looks great. And I loved Macha’s comments about Kotsay. An All Star squad with 8 Yankees? Why? It was ridiculous to name Vasquez over several other pitchers. If it is a bonus issue, have George pay thim anyway and give someone else a chance.

3 Dave { 07.10.04 at 9:50 pm }

No sooner said than done: Durazo hits a pinch-hit grand slam to give the A’s a tremendous lead tonight. It seems like he should be hitting higher up in the order, though. The only problem is that Kotsay and Byrnes are the closest thing you have to leadoff hitters, and you don’t want Byrnes at the bottom of the lineup because he doesn’t succeed there.

4 Anonymous { 07.16.04 at 9:50 am }

Marty, Word is out now that the Giants were willing to trade Snow for Olerud. Olerud apparently turned it down, as he had a right to do, because he wished to remain in Seattle. This deal made no sense for the Giants. Olerud is over the hill. He had a bad year last year and this year he is worse. The Giants need pitching. Last night’s ninth inning was a sad precursor to what we have to expect the rest of the year if no help is forthcoming.

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