Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

No One Goes Seven Anymore!

The game of baseball has changed over the years. In today’s game you rarely find a starting pitcher who averages seven innings per start.

Roy Halladay is my choice for AL Cy Young. Halladay not only leads the league in wins, but he and Arizona’s Brandon Webb are the only starters in all of baseball averaging at least seven innings every time they take the ball.

The Tigers starting pitchers lead the AL in ERA. Detroit’s relievers are second to the Twins staff in ERA. With that combination, barring a total collapse in September the Tigers are in the playoffs this fall.

Joel Zumaya is the most valuable pitcher on the Detroit staff. The 21 year old throws 100 mph. In the playoffs a game can turn on one pitch in the late innings. Zumaya will throw that pitch for the Tigers.

Click below for more!Tiger second baseman Placido Polanco separated his shoulder this week. Detroit should look into obtaining Arizona infielder Craig Counsell once his rehab is complete from a rib injury. Counsell has two world series rings. He knows how to play baseball in October.

Huston Street’s groin strain is a major concern for the A’s. Last time the A’s had to shuffle the roles in the ‘pen, the results were not good. Justin Duchscherer and Kiko Calero are terrific set up men. Both pitchers have suffered from arm injuries in the past and don’t fare well working every day.

Texas right hander Vincente Padilla got tossed out of the game against the Angels this week for throwing at the Halo hitters. Padilla also was suspended for five games costing him his start today against the Tigers. Somehow I can’t envision this pathetic scenario ever happening to a pitcher on the A’s staff.

These beanball incidents can be prevented if the manager takes control of the situation. Don’t brush the hitter back when everyone in the park expects it. Timing is everything. Ken Macha understands how to play major league baseball. Buck Showalter doesn’t.

Seattle has the look of a team that can lose 25 of its next 30 games. Ichiro appeared disinterested during the M’s last visit to Oakland. The leadoff hitter continues to have his differences with manager Mike Hargrove. If Hargrove somehow survives this season, then Ichiro is history in Seattle.

Take note: While the A’s and Angels play seven times at the end of the season, Texas has 9 of its last 21 games against the hapless Mariners.

When you publicly tell the owner of the team to keep quiet as Marlins manager Joe Girardi did when Florida owner Jeffrey Loria was yelling at the umps the other day, it’s time to look for another job. Girardi will end up in Chicago as Dusty Baker’s replacement next season.

My top teams in baseball this week: Yankees, toughest line up in the game; Detroit, pitching says it all; White Sox, still the champs; Mets, best in the NL even without Pedro; A’s, get no respect back East; Twins, I like Ron Gardenhire; Red Sox, did nothing at the trade deadline, the ‘pen is sinking them? Rangers, can hit with the best in baseball.

Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is turning into a star. Zimmerman bats third in the order, is a good third baseman, has an OPS around .845, and hits in the clutch. He is NL rookie of the year without a doubt.

Toronto will have something to say about who makes it to the playoffs this fall. The Blue Jays face the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, A’s and Angels a total of 23 times over the course of the rest of the season.

The A’s could use reinforcements for the stretch drive. Adam Melhuse and Antonio Perez have contributed little this season. A back up catcher with good defensive skills and a veteran right handed hitter would be very helpful when the regulars need a rest.


1 Anonymous { 08.21.06 at 1:14 pm }

True, Marty. I totally agree that the A’s could use some reinforcements. What happened (or what didn’t happen) this year at the trade deadline goes beyond Billy Beane simply feeling the A’s were set once they got healthy as he stated. I suspect Beane not making any moves also has a lot to do with him being sick and tired of trading away young talent in order to beat his rap that he swindles other GMs at the deadline. After he made Allard Baird (Royals ex-GM) his b_tch on the trade market for so many years other GMs decided to be real careful in making deals with him. Some probably swore off dealing with him all together (Money Ball didn’t help his cause either). Thus, for the last several years he’s had to deal away top minor league talent in order to show that he’s not a thief (i.e. Bonderman, Cotts, Rheinecker,Wood, Teahen, German, Ethier, etc.).
Beane is sick and tired of looking around the league and seeing young studs that he drafted contributing to other teams. And I think that is truly why he didn’t make any deals at the deadline, and thats why he won’t make a deal before the end of the year.

As smart as he is, he has to know that this team can not survive in the playoffs. The A’s are good enough to win the division, and I think they will. But they’re not good enough to go anywhere in the playoffs. Their issue is the same as its been all year. Their offense pretty much sucks. Sure, lately its come around a bit, but imagine this offense going up against that of the Whitesox, Yankees, or even the Tigers in the post season. You’re looking at a first round exit yet again.

However, you’re looking at a slow and steady incline with the A’s. But this is not the year they go all the way. Last year, their “rebuilding year”, they missed the playoffs but far exceeded expectations. This year they will make the playoffs..and quickly lose. Next year is the year. They will continue to improve, not loosing anything crucial in the offseason (yes I’ve accounted for Zito with that statement…he’s not crucial) and all the young bucks will be a year better.

And yes, I do think Beane will get over his current hang up, and deal for major league talent to further improve his team in the offseason.

Next year is the year friends…next year.


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