Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Category — Daily Dish

'07 All Stars Quite Impressive

Batter Up July 22nd, 2007
The All-Star game in San Francisco was a showcase for the best players in the game this season. How many of the players on this year’s roster will eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame?
In 1971 the All Star game was one of the most star studded of all time. The game featured 19 future Hall of Fame members including Frank and Brooks Robinson, Luis Aparicio, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Reggie Jackson, Johnny Bench, Jim Palmer and Juan Marichal among others.
Last week’s game won’t match the ’71 game for all time greats, but time will show that at least 12 future HOF’s were there.
Here’s my list of players from the ’07 game who surely are headed to Cooperstown.

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July 22, 2007   No Comments

The Long View: Earthquake Warning

This one’s not strictly about baseball. But if you want to learn more about the A’s – top-down, or inside-out – it’s valuable to know. Lew Wolff and his insatiable South Bay real estate dealings are again involved – as are, according to some reports, A’s President Michael Crowley and even another guy who knows a good buy when he sees one, A’s General Manager Billy Beane.

While that last connection remains tenuous, it’s a good indicator of why, as an A’s fan, this should interest you – even if you like your ball no bigger than a Golden Delicious. [Read more →]

July 18, 2007   No Comments

Trades Are Brewing in the Bay Area

Batter Up July 15th, 2007
Many questions remain about the Giants and the A’s as the second half of the 2007 season begins its winding journey through the summer months.
What does the future hold for Mike Piazza and Rich Harden?
The A’s continue to struggle without an established bat in the lineup. Shannon Stewart’s month-long surge has been wonderful. The continued absence of meaningful hits from Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez, Bobby Crosby, Jason Kendall, Mark Kotsay, Dan Johnson, and yes, even Jack Cust explains why the A’s are falling from contention as the July 31st trade deadline approaches.
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July 15, 2007   4 Comments

Red Sox Angels Are On Their Way to October Baseball

Batter Up July 8th, 2007
The All-Star break gives each team in baseball the opportunity to reflect on the first half. Each front office decides whether its team is in the race for keeps. If the answer is in the affirmative, it’s now time to assess what moves might be necessary to bring the flag home for their club.
The AL East is still a one-team race with Boston the leader. The Red Sox must be cautious not to rush injured starting pitcher Curt Schilling back before he is absolutely ready. When lefty starter Jon Lester is ready to return from his minor league rehab, Julian Tavarez should go to the ‘pen.

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July 8, 2007   No Comments

Jack Cust a Modern Day Paul Bunyan by Casey Tefertiller

OAKLAND – The Legend of Jack Cust has oozed through baseball for a decade. By legend, he s a Bunyonesque figure of a man who hits mighty home runs, plays faulty defense and has never made his opportunities count when he had his major-league shots.

He has teased and frustrated for years, putting up big minor-league numbers but never finding a home in the majors. Summoned as an emergency replacement by the A’s, the big question becomes whether he is a player around which they wish to set their future. It is a gamble, but Billy Beane has never feared big gambles.

Casey Tefertiller is an award winning author as well as one of the most astute baseball writers in the country. Thanks Casey, great story, Marty

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July 3, 2007   No Comments

Winners At Half-Way Point Of The Season

Batter Up July 1st, 2007
With the season reaching the half–way mark this weekend let’s look at the top performers for the first half.
AL MVP: The Tigers, Angels, and Red Sox are the league’s best teams. Detroit’s Magglio Ordonez has been hitting homers and driving in key runs all year. As Vladimir Guerrero goes, so go the Angels. When the Red Sox flip the batting order, managers always look to see who’s on base when number-three hitter David Ortiz is coming up. A Rod has done everything but sell programs for the Yankees. He’s a lock for 55 homers and 145 RBI’s. Unfortunately, his team has been awful the first half. My pick is Ordonez.

Click below for the rest of the awards.

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July 1, 2007   No Comments

The Long View: Israel Baseball League Begins

On the 8th of Tammuz (June 24 to you) in the year 5767 (or 2007, American) the first game of the Israel Baseball League was played.
Among other drama, the season has already seen a no-hitter that ended in… a home run derby.

That’s right, there have been a few notable changes to make America’s Pastime a going venture in the Middle East. Games are scheduled for seven innings, and ties are settled by a home run contest. (In addition, no games are played on Friday or Saturday, in observation of the Jewish Sabbath.) Click below for more!
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June 29, 2007   No Comments

AL All Stars Should Be Powerful Once Again

Batter Up June 24th, 2007
With the all-star game approaching on July 10th a potential American League team is loaded with big bats and power pitchers.
Here are my picks for the 32- player AL team based on first half performances.
First base: David Ortiz. Big Papi hits third on the AL East’s best team, he hits third in this game too. Minnesota’s Justin Morneau. The 2006 MVP specializes in late game heroics. Boston’s Kevin Youkilis. He can play third if necessary.

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June 24, 2007   No Comments

The Long View: Dawn of the Chinese Era

Hello everyone, and thanks for reading the first installment of The Long View. Over the course of the summer, I’ll be using this space to peer a little deeper into some of the news and personalities around the game.

Today, for instance, an item crossed the news ticker that prompted precious few raised eyebrows among casual fans, as the New York Yankees announced the signing of a pair of teenage Chinese nationals. But ten or twenty years down the line, we – and a metric ton of new Chinese fans – may look back on today as an important moment in baseball history.

Not much information is available about left-handed pitcher Kai Liu and catcher Zhenwang Zhang, both 19. Both players, whom the Yankees will introduce at a July 6 press conference, have played in China’s six-team professional league. Zhang, who has won three titles with the Tianjin Lions, appeared briefly in one game of last spring’s World Baseball Classic, but did not bat.

Just last month, MLB representatives traveled to China to talk about the Chinese Baseball League, the possible return of baseball to the Olympic Games (in 2016 or 2020,) and even Major League exhibitions on Chinese soil. The importance MLB places on building a presence in China can be measured by a glance at the trip’s participants, among them the CEOs of three Major League teams, including the Red Sox’ Larry Lucchino, plus Bud Selig’s right-hand man, MLB COO Bob DuPuy.

What’s at stake is a massive, practically untouched economy. When it comes to American sports in China, everyone’s playing catch-up to the NBA. Fans who remember the long bargaining process that brought Yao Ming to the Houston Rockets know how deeply political bureaucracy colors relations between China and the outside world. Yet the question of whether it’s worth the effort has already been answered; now the only question is, “How?”

It’s more than possible that Liu and Zhang will never play under the Major League spotlight. But their signings represent a landmark event in what promises to be a long and important relationship between MLB and China (and represents the starting gun in the race to China between the Yankees, the Red Sox, and Everyone Else.)

In 1951, when Cuban dandy Minnie Minoso came to the Chicago White Sox, the game’s storied history was similarly devoid of Latin players. By 1965, no fewer than eight Latinos were on the All-Star team.

Neither Liu nor Zhang is the first Chinese player to be signed by a Major League team; instead, their signings represent the first successful attempt to bring Chinese players to the U.S. through the proper channels. The Seattle Mariners – who were owned by Nintendo magnate Hiroshi Yamauchi from 1992 to 2004, and have been active in the Pacific Rim since Kazuhiro Sasaki and Ichiro Suzuki won the 21st century’s first two AL Rookie of the Year awards – signed Chinese pitcher Wang Chao in 2002. But that signing, done without the permission of the Chinese Baseball Association, was not considered legitimate.

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June 19, 2007   No Comments

Beware the Ides of June

Batter up June 17th, 2007
Just as the soothsayer whispered to Julius Caesar, ”Beware the ides of March” any baseball team leading its division this month best beware the ides of June.
Call it a June Swoon or merely a correction in the market, but many of the division leaders who seemed so untouchable just two weeks ago all of a sudden are coming back to the pack.
The Mets and Red Sox have seen comfortable division leads reduced due to the lack of consistent hitting.

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June 17, 2007   No Comments