Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Baseball: Now That the Dust Has Settled (No Pun Intended)

Baseball fans never get a day off from following and speculating about their favorite teams.

The last two weeks have been something to watch. More is expected, but let’s see what has transpired so far.

The A’s continued their march towards creating a budget that will be one of the lowest in baseball when they dispatched Cory Lidle, one of their few marketable players, to Billy Beane’s best friend and adviser on life affairs, Toronto’s JP Riccardi, for a bucket of balls and two broken bats.

Talk about a one sided deal, this one makes the Ted Lilly deal look like one of the best of the century, any century.

Click “read more” for more views on the game.I thought the A’s would package Lidle with Terrence Long and at least get a regular player for the two Oakland veterans. Instead the A’s got two low level minor leaguers for the American League’s Pitcher of the Month in August 2002.

One of the noticeable traits of BB’s GM reign is that he overpays players with uneccessary multi year contracts before he needs to. Cory Lidle was given a two year 8 million dollar deal last winter, virtually insuring that the A’s would have to deal Lidle this winter and further reducing their options because who wants a fourth starter at that price.

Beane got lucky on the deals he gave to Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Miguel Tejada and Barry Zito, but got burned on Ramon Hernandez, Long, John Jaha (remember his two year deal) and Jim Mecir who have such hefty salaries that it becomes impossible to get anything for them. I guess that is what happened in the Lidle deal or else what in the world is he doing dealing Lidle for two very minor, minor leaguers.

As predicted the best buddy of BB, Bob Geren is now on the coaching staff, replacing the highly successful Mike Quade. Geren’s role is yet to be determined, that is until BB can feel comfortable leapfrogging Geren over long time coach Brad Fischer on the coaching totem pole.

The A’s still need to address the bull pen, outfield, starting pitching and catching in December, not to mention Migel Tejada’s contract.

The Giants did everything but burn the park down in the clumsy way Dusty Baker left town. Felipe Alou is a fan favorite, but just wait until you watch him manage. Without any scrutiny in the low expectation environment of Montreal, Alou could do whatever he wanted, here Alou will be under the microscope pulling moves that seemingly are from outer space on a team that will be expected to win the division. Next season will be an adventure for SF, without a doubt.

Jeff Kent seems all but gone. David Bell on a three or four year multi million dollar contract would be a collossal waste of money. The Giants will be better off if Bell signs elsewhere.

The Phillies can’t give their money away fast enough, dangling hundreds of millions in front of Jim Thome and Tom Glavine. Neither player is worth what is being offered and if the Phillies get both they will be sorry for years. Thome strikes out like crazy and Glavine is in his last year or two of effectiveness. He would be valuable on a team ready to win now and the Phillies aren’t that team.

Mike Hampton has one more chance, moving on to Atlanta. If Leo Mazzone is a magician he better put a magic act together to get Hampton to be productive once again. I saw Hampton pitch quite often and believe me he had a poor arm angle, no velocity and lacked reasonable control.

The Rockies may end up with Matt Williams, Charles Johnson and Preston Wilson. Wow, I can’t wait for spring training. Denny Neagle may join Art Howe in NY allowing two more losers, Rey Ordonez and Jeromy Burnitz to come to Colorado.

I think the Marlins did well in getting Juan Pierre and Tim Spooneybarger for the baggage they unloaded.

How will Bob Melvin do in Seattle? I just think that franchise is in for a big fall next season without the over achieving Lou Piniella as manager. Plus they lost the best bench coach in the big leagues when John McLaren went on to Tampa Bay to keep Lou company. Melvin is over his head.

Mike Scoscia has the most longevity of any manager in the AL West. Buck Showalter, Ken Macha and Melvin will find out how tough the division is very early on.

The Cubs will improve dramatically with Baker as manager. Not only will productive players want to play for him, but he will show these losers how to win. That is one trait a manager can bring to the table. Same goes for Art Howe who was manipulated out of the organization in Oakland by the GM who couldn’t run away from home. Howe will not settle for anything else other than winning, after 295 wins in three years in Oakland. The Mets got very lucky that Beane wanted Howe out, so he could orchestrate his staff moves (Macha and Geren).

Where will The Rocket end up? Ray Durham? Will the Reds pull the trigger on Ken Griffey, Jr?

Baseball still has many tales to tell including letting the world know that the Expos will play most of their home games on the road beginning in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Hot Stove League is just warming up, stay tuned for more.


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