Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Batter Up

He can sell refrigerators in the Arctic. He can peddle igloos at the equator. Billy Beane has done it again.

The A’s needed a closer to quell the unrest among the pitching staff. The team needed a top flight reliever to stop their free fall through the standings.

Bingo! The A’s ship two prospects who had no foreseeable future with the organization to Kansas City for the plum of the trade market, Carlos Beltran.

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The A’s, knowing Houston’s offense needed a jump start, then packaged Beltran to the Astros for its closer Octavio Dotel. Houston, with manager Jimy Williams on the hot seat, quickly jumped at the chance to add Beltran, one of the best players in the game, to its stalled attack

The result for Oakland: the A’s can move 9 million dollar set up man Arthur Rhodes back to the role he does best, that is getting lefties out in the eighth inning. Rhodes becomes an expensive set up man for a team that doesn’t throw money around, but what else can you do?

With the addition of Dotel, the A’s now have a strong bullpen. The kind of bullpen they should have had to start the season. Relievers Chad Bradford, Ricardo Rincon, Jim Mecir and Rhodes should be able to get the ball to the new closer.

The A’s could further help themselves if they could pry hardthrowing righty reliever Duaner Sanchez from the Dodgers for a minor league hitter, then add him to the late inning mix. If they could make that deal, the Oakland bullpen would be set for the summer.

Dotel was not the dominant closer Houston had hoped he would be this season. In fact, many in baseball thought Brad Lidge was a safer choice for the Astros in the ninth inning. However, Dotel does give the A’s a reliever who throws the ball in the upper 90’s. One who can get righties or lefties out with a big time, major league fastball.

I love the deal!

The Angels have trouble beating lefthanders. Hard to understand with all the righthanded pop they have. With Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Guillen leading the way, the Angels are a fastball hitting team. Lefties who keep the ball away can beat them. When the Angels come into the Coliseum beginning Tuesday night they will face Mark Redman, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito, all lefties. Good planning by Ken Macha and Curt Young.

Baseball is finalizing plans to hold its World Cup tournament next spring. I think the timing is ridiculous. How many players are going to leave their teams in the middle of spring training to play meaningless exhibition games half way around the world?

Baseball teams plan spring training routines to the minute, beginning each February, just to get ready for a season that begins around April 1st. Who will care about a final World Cup game that might be played March 22nd?

Heck, Mark Prior may be limited to throwing 65 pitches if he pitches in that game because he would still be building arm strength for the championship season? Also, which organization is going to let an important part of the team train on his own for three weeks in March?

Baseball is so consumed with marketing the game around the world, that it is jeopardizing preparation for the regular season with this exhibition tournament. Just playing two games in Japan to start the season caused havoc for the Yankees and Devil Rays, imagine what this three week tournament will do.

Schedule it in November and maybe I’ll feel differently.

Are Padres Ryan Klesko, Brian Giles, and Phil Nevin so concerned by the spaciousness of the outfield in PETCO Park that it is effecting their game? The Padres can’t seem to figure out how to score runs in their new yard and unless they start hitting line drives into the gaps, it will continue to be a long summer for the team.

My all star pitchers:
NL: Randy Johnson, Carlos Zambrano, Danny Graves, Jason Schmidt, Carl Pavano, Armando Benitez, Tom Glavine, Roger Clemens, Eric Gagne, Eric Milton, Akinori Otsuka, and Ben Sheets.

AL: Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Curt Schilling, Keith Foulke, Francisco Rodriguez, Mark Buehrle, Joe Nathan, Mariano Rivera, Javier Vasquez, CC Sabathia, Freddy Garcia, Kenny Rogers, and Francisco Cordero.

Rumor has it that former Yankee Aaron Boone is about to sign with Cleveland. Can the Tribe stay with the White Sox and Twins in the Central? Not without serious bullpen help and more depth in the starting rotation, but they are in the same area code this season, which is a major improvement.

That sigh of relief you heard came from Boston as Beltran packed his bags for Houston instead of The Bronx.

Think it’s going to rain in the desert? Need an umbrella? I know someone who has them for sale.


1 Anonymous { 06.26.04 at 11:36 am }

with 13 saves and 14 blown saves,beane had to do something. many thought rhodes was not the guy to close out the game. just think where the a’s would be if
they won just half the games that the bullpen blew.
don’t know too much about dotel but i wonder why the astros would get rid of their closer. maybe lidge is their man. the a’s still need another big right hand bat.
we are at the halfway mark and the big surprises for m
are tampa and texas in the AL and seattle a big disappointment. The NL has but one team over .600
right now but the races in all 3 divisions are tight. I think the Giants are playing well now. St.Louis,Chicago are doing well too. Houston disappointing but not out of it. The Phillies and Marlins are about where they should be and Art Howe and Rick Peterson have gotten the Mets respectable,in my opinion. The Dodgers are starting to fade but they could get hot. The Padres are fading too. With races this close in all the divisions, the owners will be very happy this year. Jerry F

2 marty { 06.26.04 at 11:39 am }

Good analysis of the pennant races. If the A’s could find a reliable alternative at lefthanded set up, then Rhodes will be traded, perhaps to the Astros as rumored, or how about the Yankees who will need a lefty in the pen once October comes around?

3 Anonymous { 06.27.04 at 11:29 am }

Marty, A’s should keep Rhodes for the remainder of the season as their lefty specialist or 8th inning setup guy. The A’s pen is still too much of a question mark. I actually think Rhodes and Lehr should be used in the 8th. Rhodes can be used against tough lefties and Lehr against righties. Mecir can’t be trusted, as showed again last night. And Rincon can only be relied upon to get lefties. A’s can always deal Rhodes after the season. He is one of the premiere lefties and Yanks will always covet him.
-Mike E.

4 Anonymous { 06.27.04 at 9:27 pm }


Any realistic chance that Torre chooses Hatteburg for the All Star team? I was at the game today, and the Giants fans were their usual obnoxious selves. But several around me were really impressed with Scott. He is such a professional hitter–you always know you will get the best possible bat out of him. He never swings at garbage and and works the count beautifully even after getting down 0-2. And he is so clutch when it matters. I think an All Star invitation would be huge for such a hard working guy. He has turned himself into such a valuable member of the team. Oh, that he could teach some of his dicipline to other teammates.

5 Anonymous { 06.27.04 at 11:44 pm }

I’ve been saying Hatteberg should be on the all star team for the past month. Unless Jermaine Dye goes on an unbelievable tear over the next ten days I think Joe Torre will pick Hatteberg as the A’s offensive rep. If Torre doesn’t pick him than I think it is likely he will be in the internet run off for the last spot. Anyway every at bat is as you describe, the A’s miss Chavez right now and his power, that is why righties are giving them so much trouble.

6 Anonymous { 06.29.04 at 1:36 am }

I can’t understand all this lovey dovey talk about Hatty going to the All Star game.

After all, all he is good for is coming off the bench as a pinch hitter and he is so weak defensively.

Hey Mikey what’s your take on this crazy talk???

Reno Bill

7 Anonymous { 06.29.04 at 11:42 am }

Hey Reno, it’s called a career year. A’s should probably trade him after this season like they did Ramon.
-Mike E.

8 Anonymous { 06.29.04 at 9:09 pm }

Beauty! Mike.

Glad you weighed in with that.

Reno Bill

9 Anonymous { 10.24.05 at 5:28 pm }

indeed goood =)

10 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

11 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

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