Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Fantasy Baseball Different From The Real Game

Batter Up May 15th

Playing fantasy baseball gives fans a chance to run their own baseball team. As soon as you get the team in April it’s a thrill to trade players, pluck unknowns off the waiver wire, and make immediate changes in the roster.

Unfortunately a real baseball team doesn’t run that way.

Teams are built over the winter. Pieces are fit together during the six weeks spent in spring training. The finished product is put on the field in April.

Over the course of the first 50 games or so, the front office gets to see if the team meets expectations. If it doesn’t, minor changes can take place.

Click below for more.Injuries can change the timetable. The Giants closer is gone for the year, their top pitcher is on the DL, and their big slugger might not play until late July, if at all.

The Giants are looking for help right now.

The A’s are in different shape.

Lack of home run power is sinking Oakland. The biggest culprits are Eric Chavez and Erubiel Durazo.

At some point Chavez will break loose. Durazo might too.

So what can the A’s do now?

Shortstop Bobby Crosby and right fielder Nick Swisher are due back from their injuries within a few weeks time.

Eric Byrnes is giving the A’s energetic play in left field along with occasional bursts of power.

The only spot where a change can be made at this point of the season is at first base, a traditional power spot in the line up.

35 year old Scott Hatteberg has a couple of homers and a dozen RBI’s hitting behind Chavez and Durazo.

Not enough production for a first baseman.

Why not bring Dan Johnson up from Sacramento and give him a shot at first base? Johnson, the 2004 PCL Player of theYear has done everything possible in the PCL to warrant the call up.

It’s his time.

No one has taken charge in the AL West.

In fact, with Angel starting pitcher Kelvim Escobar now on the DL, Darrin Erstad in a deep hitting slump, and center fielder Steve Finley hurting, the Halos look vulnerable for the first time this year.

If I’m Angel GM Bill Stoneman, I’m calling Roger Clemens right now to see if he would consider pitching in Anaheim.

With the Astros mired in last place, Clemens, who has the right to approve a trade, will move to a contender in July.

The Red Sox Nation would welcome Clemens back with open arms. The Yankees would love to pair The Rocket with the Big Unit as they chase down the Orioles and the hated BoSox this summer.

If I’m Jason Giambi, I’m heading to Columbus to regain my batting stroke. Giambi is not pulling the trigger on a big league fastball right now. With DH Rueben Sierra returning next week, Giambi might find himself deep on the Yankee bench if he doesn’t start hitting on this Yankee road trip.

Tampa Bay can’t win on the road, but watch out in the “Juicedome” where Lou Piniella’s team can run you right out of the park.

The most exciting base runner in the American League is Detroit’s Nook Logan who scored from first base on a wild pitch against the Rangers.

Kansas City wants a veteran baseball man to manage the club in the wake of Tony Pena’s surprise resignation this week.

Art Howe heads the short list and is the best choice amongst a list that includes well traveled hotheads Larry Bowa, Jim Fregosi, and Terry Collins.

Don’t look now but the best lefty reliever in the AL could be Cleveland’s Arthur Rhodes. I’d have to see it to believe it based on Rhodes’s performance in Oakland last year, but he has been as effective as successful southpaws BJ Ryan, Damaso Marte, JC Romero, and Ricardo Rincon.

The Yankees need a lefty in the pen. Mike Stanton can’t finish hitters and Buddy Groom is not reliable.

At some point in the next six weeks Billy Beane’s phone will be ringing non stop as teams desperate for a closer will try to pry Octavio Dotel from the A’s.

The A’s should look to Cincinnati for outfielder Austin Kearns or Wily Mo Pena. The Reds need pitching and the A’s could part with Dotel and sweeten any deal with minor league reliever Jairo Garcia.

You’ll see these pitchers at the 2005 All Star game in Detroit:

AL: Frankie Rodriguez, Jon Garland, Mark Buehrle, Jeremy Bonderman, Johan Santana, Matt Clement, Joe Nathan, Bartolo Colon, Mariano Rivera, Kenny Rogers, Francisco Cordero, and Roy Halladay.

NL: Dontrelle Willis, Pedro Martinez, Brett Myers, Mark Mulder, Mike Hampton, Brad Lidge, Brandon Lyon, Carlos Zambrano, Josh Beckett, Chris Carpenter, Roger Clemens, Billy Wagner and Trevor Hoffman.


1 Dave { 05.16.05 at 2:43 am }

No love for Erik Bedard? Granted, he hasn’t faced Boston or New York yet, but he’s still putting up some solid numbers against Major League hitters.

2 marty { 05.16.05 at 8:35 am }

Erik Bedard absolutely has a shot at making the team. Let’s see where he is in three weeks.
How about Cordero from Washington, he might knock Trevor Hoffman off the NL team. Hoffman should get the lifetime achievement award for his 400th save.

3 Anonymous { 05.16.05 at 10:51 pm }

I’m not in Ken Macha’s corner anymore.

I don’t blame all the A’s problems on Ken Macha. I’d be a fool to think a manager ever takes all the blame for a bad team.

But it is reasonable to expect a manager to make the appropriate moves and conduct the appropriate experiments necessary to get a clearly ineffective operation moving again.

Ken Macha does not do this.

The A’s have one of, if not the worst offense in the majors and Ken Macha won’t even do as much as experiement with a line up change.

Try Kotsay in the position where the best hitter should be…batting third. Instead Eric Chavez hits third. Eric Chavez is batting a solid .194 on the year. He has an awe inspiring 2 homers. And a remarkable 7 extra base hits.

This is another example of Ken Macha not being proactive. He leaves Chavez in the three spot to prove to him that he believes in him. Are we playing “everybody feels good baseball”? Or are we trying to win games? Even Chavez wants to be moved down. For the love of sweets, use your brain Ken Macha.

Yes Eric Chavez is a good hitter. But move him down in the order while he does his best “worst hitter in history” impression and then move him back when he stops that silly game. I’m sick and tired of this Eric Chavez for president thing. He’s not that good. Of coarse he’s not this bad, but he’s not above having to perform. 30 plus homers and 100 plus RBIs in years past does absolutely nothing for the A’s this year.

But Ken Macha leaves him hitting third and lets the A’s keep losing.

Mix things up Macha. Just the change of pace alone would do wonders for this stale and hopeless offense. His self proclaimed managing style states that he “goes with the hot hand” and “the players make out the line up card” determined by their play. Bull crap.

If you are the manager of a baseball team, and your one way of doing things consistently produces losses, isn’t it a good idea to try something new?
Isn’t the manager in charge of making intellegent decisions for the team?

Why wait until July to make a change? These games are just as important as those. Don’t throw away half the season waiting for a change. Make a change Ken Macha. You’re the manager.


4 marty { 05.17.05 at 12:40 am }

Ned: You have to have some confidence in the players you move into the spots that you just vacated. In other words, Durazo isn’t going to do better than Chavez in the three spot. Kotsay might, Kielty won’t. Chavez is still the best option hitting third or else there is absolutely no threat to do anything. Granted 37 games and no production is alarming, but the real story right now is the starting pitchers can’t get a win. Zito is nothing more than an ordinary lefty in the league. Kenny Rogers, Bedard, and Buehrle are more reliable to name three. Haren and Blanton are learning and the rub is there may not be a stretch where the pitching can carry this club to 15 wins out of 20 games. Now the key is to get back to .500 and hope something good happens.

5 Anonymous { 05.17.05 at 9:44 pm }

I completely agree Marty. There is no one, with the exception of Kotsay, that would produce much in the three spot.

However, as of now, Eric Chavez is not a threat to do anything at all batting third. I’d say even less of a threat than Durazo, Kielty, etc. So even though those guys aren’t much of a threat batting third, I’d have to argue that they’ll be more productive there than Chavez…at this point.

I really think this could become a “throw in the towel” year real soon. Dotel, Zito, and Hatteberg (hopefully) will be traded in July. I see nothing wrong with any of that. Those three guys are dead weight and could bring solid young talent in return.

We’re starting over alittle bit this year. Let’s keep the revolving door moving.


6 Anonymous { 05.18.05 at 12:10 pm }

It should have been obvious when Beane traded both Mulder and Hudson that the A’s are “starting over.” Course, says something about Beane’s judgment (bad judgment), that the starter he decided to keep was the worse one. Zito’s a dud and Beane isn’t as smart as he thinks he is.
-Mike E.

7 Anonymous { 05.18.05 at 12:30 pm }

Beane, I suspect; kept Zito because he had the lowest value considering his post Cy Young numbers. Huddy was leaving after ’05 no matter what, and Mulder still had value despite his September meltdown.

There is still something to be said for Beane’s premise that Zito’s never had to spend time on the DL. We must also remember that Zito has been the most victimized by a lack of offensive support from his teammates; something that the entire staff is now experiencing this year.


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