Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

A Wing and a Prayer

This 2007 yours truly will be wearing a Halo. In this unpredictable world of sports broadcasting I got a call late in January from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim asking my availability and since my contract with Mariners and Giants at that time was not signed, I was at the right place and at the right time to sign with the Los Angeles team as their Spanish play by play announcer. Jose Mota in commentary and yours truly with the play by play will handle the full season all games home and away. Mota will also be doing 50 games on Angels English television.

A good friend of mine reminded me that with the Angels I have now done games for all the teams in the American League West, except the Texas Rangers. But so are the fortunes in broadcasting. Los Angeles is considered the #1 Hispanic radio and television market in the country and the Angels happen to be the only team owned by a Hispanic-American Mr. Arturo Moreno.They are very committed to keep serving the very large Hispanic community of Southern California.

The situation with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is really unique within the Hispanic market. Team owner Arturo Moreno also owns the powerful Spanish station where I will be doing the games, 830 AM. I just could not pass this opportunity after doing San Francisco Giants games since 1994 and Seattle Mariners games since 2003. However(except in
the late 90’s)when I handled all 162 games for Giants, most of the recent seasons has been for broadcasting selected home games for the Giants and all 81 home games for the Mariners. I will miss my Alaska flights up and down the coast.

Tempe, Arizona is where I will be this next March 10th for Spring Training and some work there for the Angels. The Los Angeles Angels season begins April 2 at home against the Texas Rangers then we go on the first road trip of the year to Cleveland,Boston and Oakland.

The Angels improved their defense and speed by signing free agent
(Bay Area native)Gary Matthews Jr to a 5 year $50 million contract. The Giants went after "Little Sarge"but he decided to sign with Angels because his son and his mother and father live in Southern California.

The Angels strength should be their starting rotation. Bartolo Colon, who has not thrown yet in Tempe might not be ready for Opening Day after rotator cuff problems last season. More than likely John Lackey will open the season for the team. If all the pieces are in place, the Angels have a
solid rotation with Colon,Lackey,Escobar,Santana and Jered Weaver and a bullpen that has Francisco Rodriguez, who led the league last year in saves with 47. Scott Shields continues to be the set-up man. They also picked up Justin Speier as a free agent to solidify their bullpen that counts with Hector Carrasco and veteran Darren Oliver a 36 year old veteran southpaw that
held lefties to a .208 average in 2006.

Their offense is not the strongest but with arguably the best player in the
league in Vladimir Guerrero leading the way and veterans like Garrett Anderson and Chone Figgins they could have enough offense to win with their pitching. In a way the Angels are very similar to the Oakland Athletics, both teams are built around pitching.

I am looking forward to watching young Howie Kendrick in Tempe soon. Kendrick is taking over for departed free agent secondbaseman Adam Kennedy. After Juan Rivera broke a leg while playing winter ball in Venezuela the Angels acquired ex-Giants Shea Hillendrand who probably will handle Rivera’s DH spot in the lineup. With the arrival of Gary Matthews Jr in centerfield the team has improved its offense as well as its speed.

Cuban-born Kendry Morales had a sensational winter playing in the Dominican Republic and is ready to challenge for first base. Jose Molina should be the #1 catcher but young Mike Napoli will try in Spring Training to show his progress. Napoli has a good stroke but scouts have said he will have to shorten his swing to hit for higher average. In 2006 he hit .228 with 16 home runs and 42 runs batted in(total 268 at bats).

The Angels and A’S might be contending again for the division. In 2006 the Oakland A’S won the West with a 93-69 record, while the Angels finished in second 4 games behind Oakland with 89-73.

Down in Southern California there is a lot of hope since both the Dodgers and the Angels are the early picks to win their respective divisions, but we
all know that the A’S can take a long siesta from April until mid-July and then turn on the after-burners in the second half, the A’S are the best the best second half team in baseball in recent years. Mike Scioscia is a very calculaing manager, he guided the Angels to a World Series title 5 years ago and is expected to bring the Angels back to serious contention this season.

I should mention also that since Angels Casey Kotchman has not played like the team expected, Shea Hillenbrand could also see some action at first base unless Kendry Morales continues in Spring Training with the torrid hitting he had during the winter in the Dominican Republic. Many scouts still believe that switchhitter Morales is going to become a star and at 23 he still has the "time on his side".

So there it is. A short look at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who could contend with the Oakland A’S of Fremont (future).

But in the meantime, Hasta la Vista !


1 Anonymous { 02.25.07 at 1:36 pm }

best of luck to you, will continue to build your legend in the largest hispanic market
in the country. Look forward to seeing you when the angels play th a’s.
Jerry F.

2 Randy_Bell { 02.26.07 at 7:48 pm }

OOhhh, — Amaury consorting with the enemy ?? {Grin} — j/k j/k — just kidding, much luck with your new assignment!  🙂

3 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

4 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:50 pm }

5 Anonymous { 02.09.10 at 7:17 am }

Sounds fishy to me…

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