Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Just Wait, Home Runs On the Way

Batter up May 29th

“Sports Illustrated” tells us this week that the number of home runs hit this season in the majors has fallen dramatically. The implication being that drug testing has taken the power out of the game and that pitching is back.

I don’t buy it. The number of home runs will be right back on the upswing once the weather warms up and the pitchers get tired. Happens every summer.

The late esteemed Hall of Fame baseball writer Leonard Koppett was correct when he said that you can’t judge any baseball statistic until you see a full season’s worth of games.

The weather hasn’t even heated up in Texas yet, but the way the Rangers are hitting home runs, they might cure the power drought by themselves.

Click Below for More!The Rangers have to be glad they didn’t part with defensively challenged second base man Alfonso Soriano this winter. If the Rangers win the West, Soriano has a shot to be the AL MVP.

It’s going to take some nerve for manager Ken Macha to run Joe Blanton out to the mound Monday night on Fireworks Night at the Coliseum after Blanton got torched by the Devil Rays in less than one inning in his last start.

Why not give Juan Cruz a start? Cruz, one of the keys in the Tim Hudson trade, dominated in the off season as a starter in the Dominican winter league. The flamethrower could give the A’s a spark in starting role.

Once Dan Haren gets consistent command of all his pitches he will be a big winner in the American League. Haren has the arm to strike a hitter out with his fastball, but to really hit the big time he needs to keep the hitters off balance with more breaking stuff.

The Phillies are finally beginning to play better ball. Brett Myers has emerged as one of the top righthanded starting pitchers in the league, while Cory Lidle, Jon Leiber, and Randy Wolf are giving the team quality starts almost every time they take the ball.

The Giants should set their sights on Tampa Bay right fielder Aubrey Huff. The team has no left handed punch with “you know who” still on the DL. Huff is a quality hitter having a bad year and apparently is available for a price. San Francisco should pay it.

With just about every team in the majors looking for relief pitching, Cincinnati’s former closer Danny Graves will have no trouble finding a new team this week.

I could see Graves fitting very nicely in the Texas pen or even joining the five reliever per night parade in San Francisco.

Other than perhaps the Marlins, there isn’t a team in the NL that can stay on the field with the Cardinals. Sure, in an isolated game pitchers Jake Peavy or Jason Schmidt might shut the Cards down, but no team other than “The Fish” has a chance to beat them in a seven game series.

Make your NLCS reservations now in St. Looie and Miami.

Who is the best player on the field for the Padres? I’ll take shortstop Khalil Greene. He has pop in his bat and makes all the pays in the field. The kid from Clemson is just coming into his own as a big time shortstop.

Can the Padres win the West? If Ryan Klesko, Brian Giles, and Phil Nevin all stay healthy, and believe me that’s a big if, I think the Pads are the most balanced team in the division.

As good as the White Sox pitching is, I still think they need a legit lefthanded bat in the middle of the batting order to hold off the Twins.

Better news for ChiSox fans, the team has an 18-4 mark in the AL Central.

The A’s have another tough roster call to make when Bobby Crosby returns from the DL. More than likely outfielder Charles Thomas will go to AAA to try to regain the form that caused Atlanta manager Bobby Cox to proclaim that Thomas was one of the best leftfielders he had ever seen.

And I used to trust Bobby Cox’s opinion.

The next player to be booed out of New York will be Mets second baseman Kaz Matsui who can’t step out of the dugout without the fans giving him the Bronx cheer.

How desperate are the Red Sox? John Olerud, who retired twice already, is now back in the majors with Boston sharing time with Kevin Millar at first base.

Olerud’s return is a good baseball story, but with Curt Schilling buried on the DL, Manny Ramirez hitting .230, and Keith Foulke giving up homers, the Sox aren’t going anywhere but south in the AL East.


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