Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

A'S need to Win it All This Year

If the Oakland Athletics
exit early again from the Playoffs
during the Divisional Series
this bunch will be labeled
with the tag that they
are just a good 162-game
season team.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezEverybody agrees that
the Oakland Athletics
should be in the Playoffs
again this year. This does
not requires a Science or
Technology Degree from MIT.
However the 2004 season
for the Oakland Athletics
is a defining moment in
the history of this team
in Oakland.

It is obvious that Oakland
City Hall doesn’t have
a plan for new stadium
in this city and that the
San José “relocation”is
a very very long shot since
the owners agree with
Commissioner Bud Selig that
the San Francisco Giants
own territorial rights
on that side of the Bay.
Then 3 or 4 years
from today what…
Las Vegas A’S ?
(By the way, Las Vegas
Nevada is the fastest
growing city in the US)

What is the best solution
for the A’S ? It is simple:
Win It All. Yes beat
everybody, including
the New York Yankees
(A’S finished 2-7 vs
Yanks this season)and
then take in the St Louis
Cardinals, Tony LaRussa’s
powerhouse in the Fall
Classic and win it.

Barry Zito needs to
develop a heck of a
new pitch for him to
turn it around,
Tim Hudson has to
stay healthy and
Mark Mulder just be
Mulder and -If you
are Catholic-, bring
a Rosary to the game
to pray when Dotel
comes in the 9th..
They should have
just enough hitting
to win the Division
but I am not sure
if that hitting would
show up in the
Playoffs. In my book
If I have to win a
game with a runner
in scoring position
the best A’S hitter
is not Dye, Chávez
Miller,Byrnes or
Durazo but
Scott Hatteberg,
one of the most
underrated players
in the league.

I think the A’S
probably will trade
Zito after the season
and try to keep a pitching
staff with more power
pitchers, guys like
Hudson and Harden
(of that mold) I think the
A’s had it with Zito’s
I would trade Zito
to the White Sox
for Magglio Ordoñez
a leftfielder that
drives in 100 runs
per season. Magglio
is hurt and will not
play the rest of the

As of today the Athletics
and the Marlins are the
only two teams in the
Major Leagues that share
their stadiums with NFL
teams(Raiders and
Dolphins) both of these
franchises need a new
stadium. The Marlins
(current World Champions)
need a stadium in the
worse way, their future
in Miami might depend
on it, the Athletics also
need a stadium in the
worse way and their
future might also
depend on it.

In the Bay Area -for
years- the Giants have
dominated the baseball
world even though their
last World Series victory
was 50 years ago in
1954 while they were
the New York Giants.
While the A’S have
won 4 World Series
since they moved to
Oakland in 1968, but
none have been under
the current administration.

Charles O’Finley was the
man that put together
those swinging A’S
that won 3 consecutive
World Series, 1972,
1973,1974. Then the
Haas family took the
A’S to 3 consecutive
World Series in 1988,
1989 and 1990, winning
the 1989 Earthquake
Series against the
San Francisco Giants.
(By the way the 1988
Oakland A’S team
that lost the World Series
against the Dodgers might
have been the best
Oakland team ever).

The current regime in
Oakland has done as
much as posible with the
budgetary restrictions
and seems to be a
model for teams competing
with the big boys at the
same time with small
payroll. Minnesota Twins
are another excellent
example of organizations
that can keep winning
with a modest budget.

Eric Chávez signed to the
largest contract in A’S
history ($66 million)
worth it in today’s market,
and If the A’S didn’t signed
him somebody else might
have given him $80 million.
The fear here is that the
A’S are becoming like
the Kansas City Royals
of the late 50’S and early
60’S when they basically
became a farm team
for the Yankees.
Maris,Bauer,Piniella and
others became stars with
the Kansas City team and
then jumped the boat to
the Yankees. Can the
present administration
in Oakland keep a guy
like Mark Mulder, who
is on his way to be the
Cy Young Award winner
this season in the American
League or even Tim Hudson
in years to come ? We know
that Steinbrenner will give
pitchers like that a big
bite of the Big Apple to
wear pinstripes.

Some people like to
compare the Giants
with the A’S. I do not
because, San Francisco
and Oakland are two
very different cities and
they play in different
leagues and one team
has a 4 year old
dream ballpark
and the other….well
that thing with a huge
wall of concrete in centerfield.
Yes, A’S fans might be
more involved in the
game, but the problem
for the A’S is that there
are not enough A’S
fans ! When Twins
visit Oakland the
attendance is like
12,500. The irony here
is that these two teams
might be the best of the
teams with reasonable
low payrolls. But when
the Yankees come to
town, it is old out !

Both teams A’S and
Giants have survived
in the Bay Area for
decades, both were
hours away from leaving
for Denver,Tampa and
other points east, both
are still playing here
and between both
the total attendance
is close to the total
population of the
Bay Area(well maybe
1 million under).
The Gianst will draw
3.2 million or something
like that and the A’s
2.2 million aproximately.

There are many factors
in the attendance for
Bay Area fans. SBC Park
has been like fantasyland
for millions since 2000
but Barry Bonds might
want to leave after 2005
if he cannot attain his
main goal, that of a
World Series ring in
San Francisco(he has
done everything else
in baseball)but
a World Series title.
Once Bonds departs
the Giants would be
left with a huge challenge
of keeping a winning
team on the field,
because as beautiful
as SBC Park is, the
park cannot pitch,
run,hit or score.
Peter Magowan is
a man that wanted
to keep the Giants
in San Francisco and
did. He was born in
New York and was a
fan of the Giants since
they played in New York
and Walter Haas and his
family were committed
to keep the A’S in
Oakland and they
did. But in today’s
world you need to
have something to
bring the fans, a
great team or a
great facility the
Giants have a great
facility but neither of
the A’S and Giants
have a great team.
The Giants also have
to pay $20 million
per year for SBC Park.

It is my opinion
that for the Oakland
Athletics it is paramount
to win it all this year,
the act of loosing in
the first round of the
Playoffs is getting old,
as old as the Giants
never winning a World
Series in San Francisco.

2004 is a key year for
the Athletics. They are
going to have to find
a way to beat the
Yankees and Red Sox
because in October
you are going to
have to play those
teams. Do not forget
the Twinkies also,
maybe the real
Moneyball team in


1 Anonymous { 08.09.04 at 11:04 am }

Interesting idea about trading Zito for Ordonez. A’s should do that and not re-sign Dye. Dye can’t hit. He has been playing fatigued the last month, he has no bat speed right now, and can’t hit offspeed pitches. Unless they can sign Dye for 3-4 million a year, forget him. He’s not worth it. For a lefty replacement, A’s should try to get Ted Lilly back.
-Mike E.

2 Anonymous { 08.09.04 at 11:35 am }

TO: Mike E.
Fr: Amaury
Good points. And yes I agree on Lilly.
Best wishes.

3 glenpark { 08.10.04 at 2:07 am }

Terrific road trip, 11 games against first place teams, seven wins. Of the losses, only the kevin Brown game in NYC was out of reach, and the A’s led late in the loss in Texas and of course in the Yankee comeback game.

The whole Twins series was world class baseball.

The schedule gets much easier from here on — the A’s will probably need at least 95 wins to hold off the Angels, but that appears to be in reach. Texas seems about to slip.

4 Anonymous { 08.11.04 at 12:41 am }

You are probably right.
And the World Series will be…..
Yankees and Cards !
Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

5 Anonymous { 08.15.05 at 12:24 pm }
6 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

7 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

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