Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Posts from — December 2004

Giants corner market on Alou's

“Me gustaria jugar para mi
papá otra vez”
(I would like to play for my
dad again) were the
words from Moisés Alou
who will be reunited
with his father in
San Francisco next year.

By Amaury Pi-González [

December 24, 2004   No Comments

The Giants: Building for the Future by Ed Stern

Marty: The Giants, going into this off season, had readily identified needs. They were missing a closer, a shortstop, a catcher, since it was clear they were going to bid goodby to Pierzynski, and an outfielder, preferably a center fielder, who could hit behind Bonds and constitute enough of a threat that pitchers would think twice about walking Barry.

By signing Alou, after having come to terms with Vizquel, Matheny and Benitez, they have probably filled each of their needs, although questions still remain. It is true that the Giants are building for the future but the future they have identified is circumscribed by the 2005 World Series.

Click below for Ed’s well thought out take on the 2005 Giants.

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December 23, 2004   No Comments

Seattle Mariners on the rebound

Last two years I have worked
for the Mariners breaking
ground for them on their
first Spanish Radio Network
and I have experienced
a corporate organization
operate not a small
or big market but a
market where they
are the show.

By Amaury Pi-González [

December 21, 2004   No Comments


With the Athletics recent moves
there is only one logical
response to this Beane-Schott
they are getting ready to
unload the franchise.

By Amaury Pi-González [

December 19, 2004   No Comments

Who Knows What Will Happen Today?

The A’s have a rotation of two excellent starters, Zito and Harden, one possible third starter who may win 10-14 games, if all goes well, Dan Haren, and two completely unproven rookies who will need two years in the majors if they don’t get crushed in their first year, to mature into major league pitchers.

Now the good news. Baseball today requires a strong bull pen. You build a pitching staff from the back forward. Juan Cruz and Kiko Calero have an upside which might be better than Jim Mecir and Chad Bradford. Huston Street might make it, Jairo Garcia might be close behind too. Rincon can still get lefties out and Dotel might save 35 games if used correctly.

“Might” is the key word.

Hatteberg and Durazo are at first, Ginter and Scutaro at second, Crosby at short, Chavez at third. Right now Byrnes, Thomas, Kielty in left, Kotsay in center, and Swisher in right, Kendall catching.

What does it add up to?

85 wins if all goes well. Road trips will be a nightmare with young pitching in the rotation. Much too much pressure on the offense to carry this team.

Will it get better in 2006, I’ll tell you after I see about 100 games this year.

The A’s broke up a very good pitching staff by trading stars, the players they received in return could have been obtained by trading young players they have in their own minor league system.

These trades were made for money reasons pure and simple.

There was no reason to trade Mulder this year unless you really felt his second half meltdown was going to continue.

He may have had a nice year, anchoring the staff, then you could have made this trade next December just like the one this week for Hudson.

The team won’t suck, but it won’t be a favorite to win the division, in fact it will probably be picked to finish third or fourth.

Keep in mind the pitching in Anaheim, Seattle and Texas is not lights out. The offenses are, but pitching wins, so the AL West won’t be a runaway for any team.

Billy Beane’s legacy as a GM is now tied to six new players plus Jason Kendall, I wonder how he feels about that?

He fell into Hudson, Mulder, and Zito along with Tejada and Giambi. He creatively added Foulke, Damon, Isringhausen, Kotsay, Mecir, and numerous others, but didn’t win.

He blew up the A’s pitching this winter and will start a new.

His own drafts of Swisher, Blanton, and Street will now be judged on their merits.

Click below for more! [

December 19, 2004   No Comments

You've Got to Be Kidding!

Report: Athletics trade LHP Mulder to Cardinals

December 18, 2004
BRISTOL, Connecticut (Ticker) – The Oakland Athletics’ vaunted trio is down to one. is reporting the Athletics have traded lefthander Mark Mulder to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitchers Danny Haren, Kiko Calero and catching prospect Daric Barton.

The deal would come just two days after the Athletics sent righthander Tim Hudson to the Atlanta Braves for pitchers Juan Cruz and Dan Meyer and outfielder Charles Thomas.

Prior to the trades, the Athletics had one baseball’s best rotations with the “Big Three” of Hudson, Mulder and lefthander Barry Zito.

Click below for more! [

December 18, 2004   No Comments

This Week Shows Why We Love Baseball

Anytime your favorite team or any team for that matter makes a move by trading for or trading a player the reaction from the fans is immediate.

We all have opinions on the trade. We all want to give advice to the general manager before and after the move.

Personally I’m surprised that more general managers don’t consult with me before they send a player packing.

Baseball was the first interactive game. We all sit back and play along both before, during, and after the game, criticizing and analyzing the moves that were made or not made by the manager.

Legendary baseball owner and promoter Bill Veeck realized this phenomenon in 1952 when he was the owner of the hapless St. Louis Browns. Veeck had a “grandstand managers night” one evening. The fans behind the home dugout were given cards with a “yes” or “no” on them. They were then polled on such questions such as “should the pitcher be taken out” or “should we bunt”.

The fans loved it, the Browns won the game and for the first time the fan actually had a voice during the game.

We are all waiting for that chance today. The moment to influence the course of conduct a team takes.

Baseball has been the same since 1903. No rule changes since then. The DH isn’t a rule change, merely lets another hitter bat.

We as knowledgeable fans really do know the game, we just don’t understand the finances behind the scenes.

Hall of Famer Branch Rickey, the smartest executive ever to run a baseball team pioneered on base percentage formulas in the 1920’s, was the first to say it’s better to trade a player one year too early than one year too late.

The game has been the same for over 100 years, nothing really new. That’s the reason why we can spend a lifetime enjoying the different aspects of baseball, it never changes.

Trade your star pitcher for three players. One better be a phenom pitcher with great scouting reports. Will he make it in the majors? Who knows but we will watch every pitch along the way while he tries to replace the star.

We would have made the deal? No way, but it’s not our money, we are merely consultants after the fact.

Owners have plenty of money, more than you could ever imagine having. They will only spend it if they think it is absolutely necessary to keep the team competitive, keep the fans coming in to the park.

George Steinbrenner is the exception. He really does want to win the world series every year and will not stop spending until he thinks he has the team to do it.

I don’t feel sorry for any owner in baseball. They routinely have personal fortunes exceeding 500 million. If they want to fly to Europe for lunch, they’ll do it in a flash.

If they want to keep the star players they can do it. If they think they can keep the fans coming in by letting players go, they’ll do it.

Tim Hudson is in Atlanta. Would I have made the move now? No. Hudson was worth keeping for this season. The players the A’s received would have been available in July if the A’s were interested in moving Hudson at that time.

Now Joe Blanton is in the mix, perhaps before his time. Dan Meyer too.

So what happens now with Eric Byrnes, Chad Bradford and Bobby Kielty?

Click below for more!

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December 18, 2004   No Comments

Hudson traded to Braves for Three Players, What do you think?

A’s Trade Tim Hudson to Atlanta

Acquire LHP Dan Meyer, RHP Juan Cruz and OF Charles Thomas

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Oakland A’s today traded right handed pitcher Tim Hudson to the Atlanta Braves for left handed pitcher Dan Meyer, right handed pitcher Juan Cruz and outfielder Charles Thomas.

Hudson was 12-6 with a 3.53 ERA in 27 starts with the A’s last year. He ranked fifth in the American League in ERA, tied for the lead in shutouts (2), tied for fourth in winning percentage (.667) and tied for fifth in complete games (3). Hudson also tied for the second lowest slugging percentage (.366) in the A.L. but he allowed a career high .267 opponents batting average and his ERA was the second highest of his career. The 29-year old right hander allowed just eight home runs in 188.2 innings, for a major league low 0.38 home runs per nine innings.

Hudson is 92-39 with a 3.30 ERA in 183 starts in six seasons in the major leagues. His .702 winning percentage is third best in major league history among pitchers with 100 or more decisions and is an Oakland record. Hudson also leaves the A’s ranking fourth on the Oakland career list in strikeouts (899), fifth in wins, sixth in innings (1240.2) and games started (183), tied for eighth in shutouts (8) and ninth in ERA. He is in the final year of a five-year contract and is eligible for free agency following the 2005 season.

Meyer made his major league debut with the Braves last year, posting a 0.00 ERA in two relief appearances in September. He spent the balance of the season with Double-A Greenville and Triple-A Richmond where he combined to go 9-6 with a 2.49 ERA in 26 games, 24 starts. The 23-year old left hander is 19-19 with a 2.71 ERA in 67 career minor league appearances, 65 starts. In 352.0 career innings, he struck out 381 and walked just 87. Meyer was the Braves first round pick in the 2002 free agent draft.

Cruz was 6-2 with a 2.75 ERA in 50 relief appearances with Atlanta last year. He allowed a .224 opponents batting average and struck out 70 batters in 72.0 innings. The 26-year old right hander pitched for the Chicago Cubs from 2001-03 and is 14-21 with a 3.99 ERA and one save in 128 appearances over four seasons in the majors.

Thomas made his major league debut with the Braves last year and hit .288 with seven home runs and 31 RBI in 83 games. He began the season at Triple-A Richmond and was leading the International League in batting (.358) and on-base percentage (.416) when he was brought up to Atlanta on June 23. The 25-year old Thomas was originally drafted by Atlanta in the 19th round of the June, 2000 draft.

The trade between the A’s and Braves is the first major league transaction between the two clubs since March 29, 1977 when the A’s acquired Pablo Torreabla for cash considerations. It was the A’s longest trade drought with any team.

Click below for my immediate reaction!

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December 16, 2004   No Comments

Winter Moves Under Way

It’s not going to be that easy to trade Tim Hudson even though the A’s will try their hardest to move the heart and soul of their pitching staff.

You see any team that trades for Hudson and meets the A’s price, which by the way should rival what Arizona is asking for Randy Johnson and not a marquee player less, has got to sign Hudson long term or else lose him after one season.

The market is still not clearly defined for a pitcher of Hudson’s caliber. Is Pedro’s 13 mil the standard? If Carl Pavano gets 11 million what’s Hudson worth?

So, a new team needs days to negotiate with Hudson before pulling the trigger. These deals don’t happen over night. I don’t expect the A’s to move Hudson at the winter meetings because the logistics of such a move will take more than 48 hours.

What can the A’s expect?

Click below for more! [

December 10, 2004   No Comments

Fernando is back…

During last regular season
weekend series at SBC
Park I spoke with
Fernando Valenzuela
in lenght after the
game on Saturday
September 25,2004
and he told me…

By Amaury Pi-González [

December 9, 2004   No Comments