Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

It's Not Who You Get, It's Who You Have

With all the wheeling and dealing expected to take place over the next week by teams in serious playoff contention, the key to getting to play October baseball lies not with the flashy new additions, but with the players remaining on the team.

No matter how the A’s add to their line up the most important hitters during the final two months are Mark Ellis, Frank Thomas, Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez, and Bobby Crosby.

Without significant improvements from Ellis, Crosby, and Chavez the A’s will find it very difficult to win the West.

Click below for more!Thomas has been a lifesaver over the first four months of the year. He better keep the home runs flying. Without Thomas hitting like the “real Big Hurt” the A’s offense will certainly suffer.

Even if the A’s add a starting pitcher, without strong pitching from Dan Haren and Joe Blanton an additional back end of the rotation starter won’t make the difference for Oakland in the division race.

Boston is looking for pitching help. Let’s say they add another starting pitcher, something very necessary with Tim Wakefield being the Hub’s latest addition to the DL. Can rookie closer Jonathan Papelbon continue to look like Dennis Eckersley?

Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz will get plenty of MVP votes. However the future success of the Boston offense rests with third baseman Mike Lowell, second baseman Mark Loretta, and first baseman Kevin Youkilis.

The Angels are intent on adding a hitter such as Miguel Tejada or Alfonso Soriano. Each would greatly boost the Angels chances.

On the other hand, if Bartolo Colon’s makeover hits a bump in the road, or if Chone Figgins gets moody again, or if Juan Rivera finally comes back to earth, the Angels will be one of the biggest underachievers in 2006.

The White Sox want bullpen help. Even if they add the Phillies Tom Gordon to set up closer Bobby Jenks, the Pale Hose’s chances to repeat as World Champs are tied to the resurgence of their starting pitchers.

Gordon won’t make the difference if pitchers Mark Buehrle, Freddy Garcia, Javier Vazquez, and Jon Garland can’t lower their ERA’s into the 3.00’s during August and September.

The Tigers are in the market for a left-handed power hitter. Even obtaining Bobby Abreu won’t mean much unless Pudge Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez, and Carlos Guillen stay healthy and continue to play as all stars the rest of the way.

Manager Jim Leyland has to hope that outfielders Craig Monroe, Marcus Thames, and Curtis Granderson, all keys to their first half run, don’t turn into Cinderella by September 15th.

The Yankees are going to add a pitcher and an outfielder by the trading deadline. The Boss better pray that pitchers Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina make it through the Dog Days of August. The heat takes its toll on aging players especially pitchers as the temperatures soar.

The focus in NY should be on A Rod and his nightly error show, Jason Giambi’s recent power slump, and the medical reports on Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, and Gary Sheffield.

Texas wants pitching. If Kevin Millwood and Vincente Padilla suddenly become hittable again, the Rangers are in trouble. How effective will returning starter Adam Eaton be this week?

The same goes for wild card hopeful Minnesota with pitchers Brad Radke and Carlos Silva finally pitching well. Can Joe Mauer continue to hit .380?

Toronto might add a starting pitcher, but AJ Burnett, Ted Lilly, and Troy Glaus are the keys to their chances of getting to the playoffs.

Shea Hillenbrand certainly will help the Giants score runs. Even with the new first baseman in the line up, all eyes will still be on Ray Durham, Barry Bonds, Matt Cain, Matt Morris, and Moises Alou during the next two months.

As the deals happen this week, stay focused who is still on the team, not which players are coming in to save the season.


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