Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

The Giants: A Franchise in Disarray

Marty: For the first time since the day some four years ago that you asked me to contribute to your website articles following the Giants, I have been silent on this page for five months, the period from the close of the last season until today. During those past seasons in my mostly weekly aritcles, I have tried to maintain as positive an outlook on the Giants’ prospects as could reasonably be warranted. An accusation that I had been unreasonably positive at times could well be made.

Click below for more!

Despite my efforts to put a good face on the Giants’ efforts these past few years, I did point out on more than a few occasions that the team’s management was going down a path which would ultimately result in what we are seeing today. I made it known that in my judgment this was a ball club without a single position player on its roster one could point to and cheerfully say this is a player I will delight in watching in the years to come. The other day Bruce Jenkins ran down a list of young, interesting players on many of the teams. Successful teams, some not so succesful, but even the lowest ranking clubs could take pride in one or more of their players with great futures ahead of them.
One has to think long and hard before coming up with the name of a position player, nurtured by the Giants’ farm system, who has had any significant impact on the team’s fortunes lately. Where are the Cepedas, McCoveys, Jim Ray Harts, Will Clarks? They do not exist, as a result of the ill-fated refusal to pay the money needed to draft young position players and build a farm system which would produce players similar to those mentioned by Jenkins.
I take no particular pride in having mentioned these problems in the past. It took no great baseball wisdom, one didn’t need to be a rocket scientist, to come to the conclusions mentioned. When I spoke with you during the spring training season, you asked me what I thought of the Giants’ prospects for the coming year. I replied in four words, a reply that was not very elegant, couched in language that doesn’t bear repetition here.
A few days ago, I believe after the fifth game of this season, we had another talk in which you asked me, once again, what I thought of the Giants’ prospects for this season. You will recall that I told you that I was not basing my opinion on anything that happened during those few early games, that those games were irrelevant as far as I was concerned in arriving at my judgment. I told you in words that were also not elegantly phrased but at least could be printed on a family website. I said that “the Giants were the worst team in the division, the worst tearm in the league, the worst team in the major leagues.”
There was no point in going over the roster, man by man. There was no point in describing their third baseman as being the worst two strike hitter in the game, someone who has yet to understand what a strike zone means. There was no point in saying the obvious, although it was said, that paying 126 million dollars over seven years to a junk ball thrower, who seldom threw above 88 miles per hour, was the height of ridiculousness.
On a personal note: as you are aware, I have been a Giants’ fan for an unbelievable eighty years. I was born in Harlem, brought up in the Bronx. My entire family, my father, my mother, my uncles were Giant fans. We never went near Yankee Stadium. My father was a catcher for a U.S. Army team in World War One. We played sandlot ball and, when we weren’t, we were playing stickball in the streets. After the U.S. Army Air Force brought me from the Bronx to SF in the early forties, it was a happy day when the Giants followed me out here.
I realize that baseball and the fate of the Giants is less than an earthshaking problem in a world that has more than its share of earthshaking problems. Nevertheless, it is a great game and provides a distirnct measure of relief from other, more important problems. It is not unlike, in that respect, the theater or the symphony hall. It requires an appreciation of the skill and dedication necessary to succeed.
When all of the above is said and done, I have a simple request of the Giants’ management. Their present team is a disgrace. The fans are owed an apology. Following that apology, however, management must follow up with a rebuilding effort that doesn’t demand immediate success, but does demonstrate a willingmness to build a respectable team which, in a few years, will once again allow a fan to go to the game, sit back with a hot dog, and forget about life’s travails for a couple of hours.

1 comment

1 Anonymous { 09.17.07 at 10:35 pm }

Thanks for the early premonitions and thoughts.
Dr. Jm

You must log in to post a comment.