Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Randy Johnson A Perfect Hall Of Famer

Watching Randy Johnson pitch a perfect game last night brought to light the argument of whether or not an active player should be eligible for the Hall of Fame before his playing days are done.

Why not?

The voting press could be trusted to enshrine those who are actually worthy of the honor. Why wait for Roger Clemens or Johnson to finish their careers, put them in right now.

Johnson is a different pitcher today as he worked on his game in spring training. He nows throws the split at 84, 85 MPH, but can still come back with the 95 mph fastball when he needs it. The split has revitalized his career, which was sliding when he could no longer throw gas for an entire game. Now that he can control the split, he is as effective as before.

Needless to say, with 33 million still left on his two year contract, Jonson is going to be a Yankee before too much longer. No other team can afford the luxury of having Johnson on its staff. Arizona isn’t going to win this year unless they come up with three more starters, so they just might peddle the “perfect game” pitcher in July.

Click below for more!The White Sox have something going with their pitching. Scott Schoenweiss has learned that if he throws his cut fastball with some accuracy he can actually win in the big leagues. Jon Garland is growing into a reliable starting pitcher every day. The bullpen is loaded right now. Billy Koch is a mystery only once in five games, which is getting closer to his big league average. The lefties Damaso Marte and Neal Cotts are going so well that Kelly Wunsch took his million dollar salary to the minors because there was no room on the staff for him.

If Frank Thomas and Paul Konerko would become team players instead of selfish sluggers competing for the spotlight, maybe the Sox could seriously challenge the Twins. Esteban Loaiza and Mark Buehrle aren’t half bad, so it isn’t impossible.

One trade for a big name pitcher could put this team back into the mix quickly.

Jeremy Bonderman can pitch. Alan Trammell pegged him last spring when the 20 year old was in his first big league camp with the Tigers. If he continues to throw strikes, watch him become one of the best righties in baseball. His games against Rich Harden have that old gunslinger look.

The A’s aren’t hitting with any gusto up and down the lineup. There is growing concern about the ability of Mark Kotsay and Bobby Kielty to ignite this offense. Something is missing and it seems to be a legit big average guy in the three spot. Eric Chavez is a wonderful player, a gold glove third baseman who will hit 35 homers, but he isn’t a feared hitter who can dominate an at bat. At least that is the way he plays until about August first.

Eric Byrnes ought to play the majority of games in the two spot, his speed helps and he can hit with some power. Kielty should come off the bench against certain lefties and that’s it.

It may be too much to ask Scott Hatteberg to hit .300 all year. Someone else has to step up and be “The Man”.

Yankees are still not hitting the ball, but it will come. Jason Giambi’s back and hip are bothering him to the point he plays about four games per week. That isn’t helping the Yankees.

So where is Jose Contreras? How much more AAA does he need? Why don’t the Yankees just let him pitch in the big leaguers? At 32 mil, he should be in the majors even if he pitches inconsistently.

The Angels are hurting. If the rabbits at the top of the order have big seasons, then maybe Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Guillen can carry the team. Truth be told without the pitching they are getting right now, this team would be toast because they just don’t scare you at the plate anymore with the big boys on the DL.

Jon Leiber against John Lackey. The Yanks seem to hit Lackey who might not be ready to dominate the bright lights in the NY order. Gary Sheffield ran into the wall last night and seemed to hurt his ribs. Unless the Yanks come to hit tonight, they might find themselves in another close game and that isn’t good news.

The Mariners number 7-9 hitters are John Olerud, Rich Aurilia, and Randy Winn. If they could hit them 10, 11, and 12, they would.

Hideo Nomo hasn’t pitched very well this year. The way the Phillies are, win one, lose one, he might sneak one out tonight against Eric Milton. Everyone is talking about the revamped Dodger offense, but it still looks dead to me.

Jason Schmidt loves to strike hitters out. He thinks it is safer to do that than let them put the ball in play. Throwing 144 pitches may not have been the smartest thing in the world for him, but these are desperate times for the Giants.

Just ask RA Dickey who has now pitched 14.3 innings in three starts since throwing 131 pitches for the Rangers against Boston.

Toronto is putting together a bullpen. Anyone see Jason Fraser throw in the eighth inning, just bullets and one tough young pitcher.

The Tigers may have a good lefty in Steve Colyer who was too wild for the Dodgers.

Tampa Bay is pinning its hopes of breaking their four game losing streak on the right arm of Rob Bell back from Durham tonight. His opponent Curt Schilling will try to outdo his former teammate Randy Johnson in some way.

So, the Braves are struck out 18 times by Ben Sheets and then get a perfecto from Johnson, nice couple of games.

Lost in the translation, Mike Hampton didn’t pitch badly losing to the Unit.

The Mets won another nail biter last night beating St. Louis in the ninth. Ricky Bottalico is helping their pen. Once Jose Reyes returns, whenever it is, the Mets will give teams trouble. Art Howe can win because he has the pitchers and knows how to handle the bullpen.

Jimmy Gobble and Chan Ho Park. Can KC keep hitting three run homers? They will need 7 runs to win tonight.

Mike Maroth beat the A’s last week. Mark Redman hasn’t fared very well at home. Having the game at night will help Redman who is a fly ball pitcher and gives up homers in the daylight more often than at night. Maroth will need to be on top of his game to win tonight because the A’s are hitting lefties right now.

Toronto’s tattoo man Justin Miller has good stuff but needs to throw it for seven innings instead of five. Kyle Lohse can’t throw enough strikes for me and will be gone by the sixth.

Carlos Zambrano is the hottest pitcher in the NL right now and goes against one of the coldest in Kirk Rueter. Cubs should get healthy tonight in Wrigley.

The Pirates throw two aces today against San Diego with Kris Benson and Oliver Perez going. A split is likely with the former Padre Perez winning his game against Jake “six inning” Peavy.

The Mets have Steve Trachsel on the hill against Jeff Suppan, could be another happy day in Shea.

The Marlins are losing a little too often for comfort right now. The Astros throw fifth starter Tim Redding against a very good Carl Pavano. Now if Pavano can go eight innings, then the Fish might win, if not that bullpen is a big problem for Jack McKeon. How does he get the ball to Armando Benitez from the seventh inning forward.

The Braves face sinkerballer Brandon Webb tonight. What can happen next? 27 ground ball outs?

Milwaukee in San Juan against the Expos. At least Carl Everett is back for Montreal. Chad Cordero is some eighth inning guy for Frank Robinson, a closer in the making.

Joe Kennedy has been very good and goes against the Reds. Don’t look now but the Rockies are only 5 1/2 out led by the hot hitting of Jeromy Burnitz who has discovered why over the hill hitters love to come to Coors Field.

See you in Coperstown Randy, in about seven years. Too long!


1 Dave { 05.19.04 at 3:38 pm }

How funny is this… Bonderman will be eligible for arbitration by the age of 22 and will be a six-year free agent by the age of 25. Of course, permitting he lasts six years in the Tigers’ organization.

2 Anonymous { 05.20.04 at 1:36 am }

Marty, thanks for mirroring my sentiments on Eric Chavez. The A’s seem to feel he’s one of the leagues top hitters. I’ll be so bold as to say he’s not a good hitter. He has power, but he doesn’t know how to “hit”. That is to say, he goes out there and swings the bat. And with immense natural ability, he does well for himself when its all said and done. But he seems to have no plan at the plate, no idea of how to adjust an at-bat to a particular situation, and no ability to give the team what it needs at the right time.
And unfortunately, he isn’t becoming a more “mature” and “seasoned” hitter over the years. Giambi was such a professional at the plate for the A’s, and I don’t see Chavez as a professional hitter. Look at what he gives you in the play-offs…nothing.
To me, he’s a number 5, or maybe even a number 6 hitter. Not a guy who leads a team. That was Giambi for the A’s. That was Tejada for the A’s. Lets pick up a big bat to put in the three hole and drop Chavez down to 5 or 6.
Sorry for the same topic again, but I see the A’s placement of the weight of the offense on Eric Chavez’ back as a glaring problem for the team. He’s not a star. He’s a good hitter (for half the season at that).

3 Dave { 05.20.04 at 3:04 pm }

Ned, I have to disagree about Chavez. Yeah, he’s hitting .230 through late May, but obviously power isn’t an issue. In addition to that, while he’s batting .230, his OBP is .356. Adrian Beltre is hitting .344, but is getting on base just about as many times as Chavez. Eric is signed for seven years, and I don’t think that this year will be indicative of his entire career.
That playoffs comment is a cheap shot. While he did hit 1/22 last year against Boston, his postseason batting average is .224. It’s not pretty, but he has hit incredibly well for two of the four ALDS. In addition to that, he’s given incredible defense. Remember last year during game 1 when Chavez made that great diving stop and ran to the bag to save two runs and end the inning?
I think it’s safe to say that Chavez will begin to hit — but I hope he won’t wait until July 25th to do it.

4 Anonymous { 05.21.04 at 2:37 am }

Dave, Chavez’ defense is not one of my issues with him. I’ve never given that any ink because there’s obviously nothing to talk about.
In response to the comment about the seven year contract (six actually), its not a valid argument to assume he’ll come around. He’s been exactly the same hitter since year one. Thats to say, slow in the first half and solid in the second. I’d save 66 million for a guy who hits for two halves a year.
And lets face it, .224 in the playoffs isn’t 66 mil. material either.
My argument surrounding Chavez is not that he doesn’t help the team, but that he’s not as good as the A’s think. And he certainly isn’t the type of guy to produce well enough to carry a team to the World Series. Good pitchers know how to beat him in the playoffs. I love him hitting 6th, not 3rd.

5 Dave { 05.21.04 at 4:26 pm }

I’m well aware of Chavez’ six year extension. Chavez contract runs from 2005-2010. He is in Oakland for a total of seven (including this season) years.
There are three or four elite third basemen in the game, and only three in the class of Eric Chavez, Scott Rolen, and Alex Rodriguez. Hank Blalock and Joe Randa are right there too. .280 is .280, whether it’s .250 in one half and .310 in the other. I have to respectfully disagree with you that he’s not as good as the A’s think. He is as good as the A’s think, but he has yet to completely put it all together. And unfortunately, in the Athletics’ offense, there aren’t other options in that third spot. Do I think that he needs to be slid down? No. Do I think he needs a day to sit and reflect? Yes. Eric can hit well in the playoffs, but it seems to be a matter of luck. He’ll hit 1-22 or 8-21. Nothing in the middle.

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