Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

National League West: Real Survival

Reality shows on television are
among the highest rated today,
but in Major League Baseball
the National League West
is like Survivor every day.

By Amaury Pi-González
Bay AreaSo, last time I wrote about
the Giants on this site my
angle was “do not give up
on Giants, not yet”…

Back then the Giants were in
last place, today they are
a couple of games out
of first place because
the Dodgers are taking
a deep dive while the
Giants have gotten
hot on the road and
at home.

A very old saying
“in the land of the blind,
the one-eye man is king”
And that could be the
story for the National
League Western Division
this 2004 season. You do not
need to win 100 games
to win this division, maybe
85 would do fine
–thank you.

I picked the Dodgers to
win it because somebody
is going to have to win it
even if it is by default.

The Giants brought Damon
Minor back, he is like 35 lbs
lighter and still as big
as ever at the plate, he
would be playing a lot
for the injured J.T. Snow
at first base. It was my
opinion from the start
that the Giants made a
mistake by re-hiring J.T.
Snow, I would have used
that money for a couple
of younger players. The
M’S had 4 Gold Gloves last
season and established
a new MLB record for
a 162 game season with
only 65 errors.
The Mariners didn’t even
came close to the Playoff.
Defense is great
when you have the
pitching and hitting
to go with it. The Giants
didn’t needed J.T Gold
Glove at first, they need
a first baseman than can
hit for power and drive in

The Diamondbacks are
without their slugger Jimmy
Sexton for a while and
veterans like Luis González
Steve Finley are going
to have to carry the
load of their offense.
Their pitching is not
intimidating anybody,
unless Randy Johnson is
pitching (he than became
older ever to pitch a perfect
game a couple of weeks
ago) he has a 6-4 record
this season and it is not
like he is after another
Cy Young year.

The San Diego Padres
are like the Giants
great survivors on this
race, but I still
do not see the Padres
winning this division.

A lot of people in the
Bay Area believe that
the Giants have been very
lucky during the past few
seasons. General Manager
Brian Sabean makes a trade
and it is always seems to
help the Giants, this year
it might be tougher since
they Giros do not have
much to give on a trade
to get another bat in
that lineup.

The situation of this Division
is not the Giants fault.
Remember in the early
90’s when they won 103
games and lost to the
Division to the Braves
because the Bravos
that year (1993)won 104 ?

Things go in cycles in baseball,
I remember when the American
League West was one of the
weakest divisions in all of
baseball. Just go to the
books and look at the
late 1970’S to see that
the A’S biggest star was
a guy named Mitchel Page.
I was doing Spanish Play
by Play for the Athletics
during Finley’s ownership
days and I remember
the 8,545 people each
night at the Oakland
Coliseum and when there
was nothing to be happy
about and when the A’S
were rumored to a
different city each morning
in the newspapers.

I ran into a Major League
scout recently in one of
my travels from Seattle
to San Francisco. This was
at Sea-Tac airport, he was
a Dodger scout and told me
that the Dodgers wanted
Freddy García from the
Seattle Mariners. I said to
him: “You mean the Dodgers
are loking for pitching ?”
He said, yes indeed.
So you see there is no
justice anymore in today’s
game, the Dodgers are
looking for pitching, that
is like to say the Yankees
are looking for a home run
hitter or the Red Sox for an
RBI man. But such is the
state of the NL West.

So the Giants are hanging
around with little offense
and Jason Schmidt talent
and Kirk Reuter experience
and a bullpen that is on
a survival mode almost
100 % of the time.

Last time I spoke with
Felipe Alou he told me
“desde luego que podemos
ganar esta división” (of course
we can win this division)
Why would you doubt a man
like Felipe ? Are we so arrogant
to think that we know more
baseball than this man ?
You might not like Neifi
Pérez, but Felipe loves him
and Neifi loves to play for
Felipe. Sure Felipe would
love to have Alex Rodríguez
at short, but so would the
other 29 teams in the majors.

If you are stranded in a
remote island in the
South Pacific and you
have one pitcher to use
to win you a pass out
of the island and that
pitcher has to be from
the NL West..whom would
you pick ? Jason Schmidt
might be as good as anybody
going today in the NL
West. Would that be
suficient for the Giants ?
Probably not, but is there
anybody out there in this
division that looks so much
better than the Giants ?
Probably not. So here
we are again “even Steven”.

Next week I will be working
again up in Seattle for their
longest homestand of the
season, 12 games in 14
days. But while I am here
in the Bay Area this weekend
following the Giants beat
on Arizona and Colorado
I can tell you that so far
the Giants have as great
of a chance as anybody
I have seen in the NL
West, the real Survivor

Why watch SURVIVOR
when we have the National
League West each day of
the week ?


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