Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Sunday Morning Muse

The Rangers missed a chance to get to .500 Saturday, no small accomplishment for a team that has Alan Benes and a soon to be returning Chan Ho Park in its starting rotation.

A Rod is a league leader in strikeouts, but Carl Everett, Michael Young (highly unknown infielder, and Hank Blalock are firmly entrenched among the top ten in hitting in the AL.

In case you are wondering, Texas is last in the league in pitching with an ERA hovering around the 5.80 mark.

With all that in mind, the Rangers are making life uncomfortable for the Angels and they did sweep the reeling Yankees in Yankee Stadium last weekend.

I’m keeping my eyes on Texas for a while, they just might be the Angels of 2003. They hit and don’t stop hitting, if only they had average pitching, they might scare the big boys in the West.

Kyle Lohse continued his hot pitching last night in Seattle. A native American from Northern California, this young man stopped the Mariners at home, not easy to do.

Click below for more!Anyone notice that the A’s aren’t hitting very much. Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez, and Jermaine Dye are lagging far behind with low averages with men on base. Clutch hitting is the key, not the homers the first two hit when the game isn’t on the line. Today is Tejada’s 27th birthday (at least we think he is 27, there are rumors floating around that he is older), it would be a good time for him to begin keeping his front foot steady at the plate thereby evening out his swing (I’m not a coach, but a scout pointed this out to me the other night).

Anyway, get off T Long’s back, the problem lies with the big boys not hitting ( Durazo has been no great shakes recently either) and stops right there.

Where would the Mariners be without the fine pitching comeback of Gil Meche?

Speaking of comebacks, the Dodgers hopes are tethered to the right arms of Kevin Brown and Darren Dreifort, two pitchers recovering from arm, back, knee and whatever body parts I missed surgery.

When asked about the prospects of the Mariners and Dodgers to win their respective divisions, I answer that the one factor to keep in mind is injuries. They are impossible to predict, often decide pennant races, and strike teams that have too many aging veterans, this reasoning applies to Seattle and LA, teams relying on older players.

Those two teams better hope Edgar Martinez, Jamie Moyer, John Olerud, and Fred McGriff keep taking their vitamins and get plenty of sleep.

Jeff Cirillo, a converted pitcher from college, is finally hitting .239. After watching him struggle at the plate for two seasons, I now know why Lou Piniella wanted to bench him last year.

The Giants are banking on the health of Barry Bonds. Good luck, for some reason Bonds looks like he is more vulnerable to injury this year. Maybe because I saw him limp off the other night. Nonetheless, the Giants are in chaos without a healthy Bonds, I don’t care how many homers Pedro Feliz hits in his stead.

ESPN commentator Bobby Valentine said Arizona is dead after they struggled last week against SF. Actually, the only thing dead is his managing career, Valentine is one of the least respected ex-managers in the game, only his exposure on ESPN keeps his name in the hopper for another job. Hey, it worked for Ray Knight, Jeff Torborg, and Buck Showalter.

Cliff Politte, one of my favorite relievers is doing the job for Toronto as its new closer. Kelvim Escobar threw very well against the Yankees the other night, but now everyone dominates the Bombers, so I’ll have to watch his next start before judging how well he is doing.

The Rocket goes for 300 on Monday night against Boston.

Bill Mueller had three more hits yesterday, raising his average to .393. If only it was September, he might hit .400, but alas it is May 25th. Ted Williams can remain calmly frozen in some lab Arizona, nothing to worry about yet.

Shawn Estes claims back miseries hampered him early this season. Maybe he is right, it’s no small feat to shut down the Astros with the Bagwell, Berkman, Biggio, and Kent.

I like Dusty’s choice of Antonio Alfonseca as set up man for Joe (Who?) Borowoski as closer.More Cubs: How about the impact Corey Patterson is making in the three spot while Sammy is on the DL, fabulous timing for Patterson to get his career going.

Matt Kinney made one bad pitch to Fred McGriff Saturday and the Crime Dog hit hit for a grand slam, ruining Kinney’s night and making Hideo Nomo, one tough pitcher, very happy.

Ken Griffey, Jr, 4-4, two homers, can it be, is he back? I hope so, he is still one of the most complete players around. The A’s should have tried to trade for him last year like I suggested.

Without Brian Giles the Pirates lineup is strictly AAA. Speaking if AAA hitters, the Padres Sean Burroughs is becoming a major league hitter after struggling like an overmatched minor leaguer last year. He is quietly becoming the player the Padres hoped for when they picked him number one.

If Claudio Vargas throws another gem for Montreal, then it must be the water in Canada. How do the Expos find these young pitchers? Billy Beane better send out the computer spies and figure out how Montreal comes up with these impact pitchers.

I hate to say it, but unless Arizona gets off their cactus and gets a hitter, they just might be dead, Bobby (Big Mouth) Valentine not withstanding.

Texas reliever Todd Van Poppel faced six Oriole batters Saturday night in the eighth, four hits and two walks, 5-3 game turned into a 10-3 rout. See ya, Todd.

Tigers outhitting the White Sox this weekend, now that is scary.

Used to be that Memorial Day was filled with doubleheaders and long days at the ball park, how many teams are off tomorrow?

If the playoff started after Memorial Day, one of the early season mileposts in years past, we would have:


Giants, Chicago, Atlanta, and Montreal


Seattle, Minnesota, Boston, and New York.

How many of these teams will be making October reservations?

About four months to go, the playoff teams still look like unsettled to me.

That’s good.


1 Anonymous { 05.25.03 at 12:49 pm }

the big question for thw A’s wil be what to do

when Jermaine Dye returns. When healthy,he is an Rbi man and a solid outfielder with a terrific arm. Who will be the odd man out? Byrnes has made the most of his chance to play every day.Does this mean CHris Singleton wil sit or T.Long? My feeling is that Long sits

or gets traded. He is okay in left or right

buy weak as a center fielder. Byrnes and Singleton give the A’s more speed in the outfield. Just a thought

2 marty { 05.25.03 at 1:00 pm }

Once Dye is healthy he plays full time, the lineup is desperate for his power and protection. Byrnes plays until further notice. Singleton and Long play as the pitching matchups dictate. T Long has little trade value unless he could play centerfield, he doesn’t hit enough for a corner guy.


3 Anonymous { 05.25.03 at 7:11 pm }

And here I sat thinking that I was the only one that asked….why on earth is Bobby Valentine on Baseball Tonight. What does this guy bring to the table?

His opinions seem forced and questionable, (much like his managerial skills), and he’s trying to do his best at being a Rob Dibble. With Rob it comes out honest, insightful, and entertaining….with Bobby I’m wishing Peter Gammons was sitting in his seat.

4 Anonymous { 05.26.03 at 1:26 am }

I agree with the view that T. Long should B. Gone. Marty, you say get off T’s back but the guy has been hitting 240. for a season and a half. Not only that but he seems uninspired out there. A change of scenery would probably do him some good and I know it would help the A’s. I say T. and Mecir to the Yankees for Erick Almonte (protection if we dont resign Tejada) to free up a little time for Piatt and a lot of time for Singleton and Byrnes!!!

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