Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Is Giant's Heart Enough?

Amaury’s column is provacative, as always. I question, however,whether “heart and passion” will be enough. It is too early in the season to be overly confident with predictions, as we all say, but even though early in the season we have history to fall back on.

Click Read More for my take Giants Baseball.The Giants have made some great moves in the off season, namely, Cruz and Durham. There is no reason not to be confident in their ability to maintain their excellent play thru the long days ahead. Durham, in his own way, may be more valuable to the Giants than Kent would have been. Cruz, as was pointed out, may be the right fielder the team has been looking for these past many years. There is, however, a disaster zone in the making. That is the left side of the infield. I do not share Amaury’s confidence in Alfonzo’s ability to snap out of his miserable start. His last two year history with the Mets doesn’t inspire confidence. It is painful to contemplate that this past history may simply be the beginning of a downhill slide with no end in sight. If that is the case, Sabean has bought himself another Bernard situation, a completely inadequate player with a long contract for multi bucks. With Bernard the team has been essentially playing with a 24 man roster for years. We may be seeing a repetition of that. The situation presented by Aurilia has similarities. He had a great year not so long ago but last year was discouraging. His play so far this year is, at best, a continuation of last year’s and, at worst, something less than last year’s. This team does not have “sluggers”. It has a number of hitters who can generate runs by timely hitting, Snow, if he keeps it up, Grissom, who is hitting better than expected, perhaps Santiago, altho that is questionable. (I agree with Amaury that Torrealba is likely to get a good deal more exposure than was expected) Bonds has not been hitting, will improve, but is not going to be the force he has been the past two years. The team needs contributions up and down the line to go along with what appears to be decent pitching, even without Nen. If Alfonzo and Aurilia are a dead loss, and I wouldn’t discount that.,all the heart in the world is not going to carry the day. Alou is already sounding the alarm. He has moved Alfonzo from hitting in the 5th slot, to the 2nd slot and now down at the bottom of the order, hitting 7th. He’s running out of places to hit him. Aurilia is not hitting. His average keeps dropping and pretty soon will be below .240. Where is Alou going to find a spot for him to hit? He certainly doesn’t want him hitting in front of Bonds. To make the situation somewhat more doleful, they have an uninspiring bench. It was uninspiring last year and has not been improved. The major problem is with their two reserve outfielders. These positions traditionally provide some punch off the bench. A left handed hitter who could be a pinch hitting force would be a big help. We’ve seen more than enough of Bernard. Rivera has never made it as a major league hitter. Perhaps Sabean can use Jensen, who has no place on this team, as trade bait. Everyone is looking for pitching and perhaps Sabean can get somebody to overlook the last half of Jensen’s last year. If the above analysis is well taken, Sabean and Alou, who can only work with the hand he is given, are in the type of trouble that “heart” doesn’t overcome.


1 marty { 04.30.03 at 12:51 pm }

Ed, Excellent analysis of the Giants. I’m starting to think Alfonzo may not have the bat speed to generate vey much. On the flip side he did hit .300 for the Mets and batted almost 500 times which is OK for a guy with a back problem. My take is the pitching will not hold up in August and September, both starters and relievers. You and Amaury cover the game very well.

Marty Lurie

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