Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

The Giants' Proper Off Season by Ed Stern

Marty; The story in this morning’s Chronicle, by writer Henry Schulman, who covers the Giants, is disconcerting, to say the least. Schulman quotes the Giants’ assistant general manager, Ned Colletti, as saying “We’re more focused on a closer and fixing the bullpen than we are on adding an outfielder right now. If we go into camp right now, we’re fine with the outfield we’ve got, with Bonds in left, Grissom in center and a combination of Tucker and Mohr in right and Pedro Feliz might get some time out in right field as well”. Colletti is the well thought of assistant to Sabean. There is no reason to believe that he doesn’t express the thinking of management.

Click Below for more from Ed, it’s right on the money.
One cannot argue with the proposition that the Giants should be focused on finding a closer who can protect a three run lead going into the eighth or ninth inning. Protecting such a lead did not occur often enough this past season. It is questionable whether Hermanson, who, according to the writer, the Giants “appear to be focusing on” is the closer they need. It may develop,unfortunately, that he is the only one available. It is unlikely that the Twins will consider the return of one of the game’s premier closers, Joe Nathan, for Pierzynski, a catcher the Giants don’t intend to re-sign nor should they.

Colletti goes on to say that, if they cannot re-sign Hermanson, they will look into the possibility of finding a closer from a mix of “other relievers and even a couple of starters.” None of this inspires a feeling of great confidence that the bullpen will be more successful in closing out games this coming season than it was last year.

However, this is not the most unsettling result of Colletti’s remarks. Apparently, the Giants are incapable, if one takes Colletti at face value, of focusing on more than one problem at a time. They are willing to go into this coming season with the identical outfield lineup which failed to protect Bonds in 2004. Colletti’s suggested improvement is that “Pedro Feliz might get some time in right field.”

In case anyone in the Giants organization is unaware, it should be pointed out that right field in SBC ballpark is the toughest right field in either league. Playing Feliz out there would bring back memories, for those of us whose memory goes back that far, of Babe Herman playing right field in Brooklyn. Colletti can’t be serious.

Furthermore, what has happened to the oft-repeated suggestion by Alou, and others in management, that it is necessary to find a position for Feliz which allows him to play regularly. The only position which meets that definition is third base. Moving him around, between third and first didn’t work last year. Adding right field makes it ludicrous. They should also be focusing, therefore, on resolving the problems the Alfonzo four year contract, with two years remaining, has produced.

This adds up to three problems on which the Giants should be focusing. They still need a closer, they need at least one hard hitting outfielder who can play center field adequately, they need to turn over third base to Feliz. If they are successful in accomplishing this they should be favored to win the West. They will not be successful if they are simply worrying about the closer problem.

The one encouraging aspect of all this is the expectation that all of the above is so obvious that even a management which gave away Nathan and received nothing of value in exchange realizes what needs to be done.

Ed Stern


1 OaklandSi { 11.19.04 at 6:30 am }

Perhaps the Giants should be looking at Jermaine Dye or Trot Nixon, both of whom are excellent right fielders.

I’m glad I’m an A’s fan!

2 marty { 11.19.04 at 9:24 am }

This morning Ray Ratto in the Chronicle suggested the A’s should trade Barry Zito. Here’s my reaction! I also posted this in the forum, so feel free to respond there too.

I wouldn’t do it unless Mark Teixeira was coming to Oakland. The A’s have three top of the rotation pitchers. Tell me another team in baseball other than the Cubs who are loaded this way. The playoff teams all were flawed because they did not have quality top of the line starters. Boston got great performances from Derek Lowe and Martinez and Schilling, but they weren’t completely expected especially Lowe’s games. Every time Zito Mulder or Hudson pitch I expect them to win. That sort of confidence is rare in baseball today. The big three are considered 1’s or 2’s on anybody’s staff. You just don’t trade them especially because they are underpriced for another two years.
Give them one more year to work along with Rich Harden and spend some money to fill the other two holes i.e. the bull pen and one outfielder.
Forget this poor mouth mentality, open the check book, find two free agents and life will be fine in Oakland next year.
Trade Zito absolutely ridiculous.


PS By the way I have suggested that the A’s will move Durazo, I think that’s a real possibility.

3 Anonymous { 11.19.04 at 1:30 pm }

Marty, your comments about the A’s are right on.
Letting Dye go will save them 11 million and if
Durazo goes probably about or million. Billy Beane
usually has a trick or 2 up his sleeve and will make
some moves that will help the team.

Jerry F

4 OaklandSi { 11.20.04 at 9:53 pm }

I absolutely agree, and have stated so in a number of forums. Why should the A’s weaken the strongest part of the team: the starting pitching, any earlier than they have to? They have a chance to play the 2005 season with a rotation that absolutely rocks at a still-reasonable price: Hudson, Mulder, Zito and Harden. If Beane is serious about competing in 2005 — and I believe him when he says he is — he is not likely to deal any of the Big 3 this winter.

5 Anonymous { 11.21.04 at 10:17 am }

Received this commnet from Bruce Grimes, thought you would find them interesting:
Don’t think Beltran’s a lock to play for the Yankees. If he’s smart, he’ll realize that there are other clubs who are even stronger pennant contenders. Tops on that list of contendes could be the Angels. I think they’re just a starter and centerfielder short of being the favorites in the AL West to go the Series. Just read where the Angels have “only” $59 tied up in salary commitments for next season. Even if they sign a couple of their arbitration eligible players, they could go after Beltran. Bet he’d love to play there. Can you imagine him alongside Guerrero? Boggles the mind.

If not the Angels, might Beltran stay in the NL? I think he enjoyed playing the National League brand of baseball. Who knows, maybe the Astros will step up to the plate and make him a competitive offer?

And if not the Astros, how about the Giants? Why don’t they view Beltran as they did Bonds in ’93? I realize they don’t want to tie up money in two players (which was one of the reasons Sabean traded Matt Williams years ago). But the situation of “05 is different than it was in ’94. Bonds will play no more than two more years (with SF, anyway). No one can impact a game more than Bonds, but his heir apparent is certainly Beltran. Plus, he can even impact a game with his defense. If Barry really wants that “ring”, he and the Giants just might want to defer some of the money owed Mr. Bonds and go out and sign Mr. Beltran.


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