Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Batter Up May 8th

Former major league manager Buck Rodgers said it best when he shared his three basic rules for survival as a big league manager.

Buck said, “First, you must have patience, secondly, you need patience and thirdly you have to be patient.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

There are about 133 games to go before the 2004 season comes to a close. That’s an eternity in baseball life.

Unless you are 10 games above or below .500, it’s not the record that counts this time of year, but how you win or lose the game.

Cick below for more baseball!The Giants are losing because their starting pitchers are putting the team in a deep hole by the third inning. Other than the performances turned in by Jason Schmidt and Jerome Williams, the Giants starting pitchers have been awful.

When Barry Bonds speaks I listen.

Bonds said two weeks ago that when the Giants’ starting pitchers start holding the opposition down, order will be restored. I think he is right.

When you see scores of 4-3 or 5-4 at SBC Park, you’ll know that things are OK for San Francisco. Until that happens don’t get excited about the Giants even if they win at home 10-9 or 8-7, those are not the scores for success, no matter how entertaining the games might be.

The A’s on the other hand learned quite a bit about their team after losing five of six to the arrogant New Yorkers.

One, Ken Macha knows how to manage a big league club. The toughest part of managing in today’s game is handling the bullpen.

Macha knows exactly what moves to make in the pen, it’s up to the players to come through. If they don’t, then it’s up to the GM to get relievers who can do the job.

It became clear after the bullpen’s meltdown against the Yankees and the Devil Rays last week that Arthur Rhodes will need help closing games. Jim Mecir, Chad Bradford, Ricardo Rincon, and Rhodes are fully capable of getting three outs in the ninth inning. The question for the manager is figuring which combination to use each day.

I know this sounds like the dreaded bullpen by committee that almost sunk the Red Sox last season. Maybe it is, but the manager has no other options right now unless Rhodes proves he can throw the ball consistently past the best right handed hitters in the game.

Would you rather see Jose Mesa or Matt Mantei closing for the A’s? Fans, there isn’t that much out there for Billy Beane to pick through right now.

Macha’s best managerial move of the New York series came Thursday night.

In the sixth inning, Macha called upon Billy McMillon, his best pinch hitter to hit for Marco Scutaro with the bases loaded, two out, in the 4-4 game.

Was it too early to use the left handed hitting McMillon?

Absolutely not.

Joe Torre was caught by surprise, and didn’t have a lefty warming up. McMillon drew a tough walk putting the A’s in the lead for good.

By the time Torre reacted, up stepped Mark Kotsay, who greeted lefty Gabe White with a two run single stretching the lead to 7-4.

The A’s played the Yankees at the Coliseum like it WAS the seventh game of the world series.

They ran Jose Contreras all the way back to Tampa where Contreras has been summoned to Florida to see George’s personal pitching guru Billy Connors for more instruction. Wednesday Eric Chavez delivered in the clutch off the lefty White, driving in the go ahead run, hitting just like a number three hitter should.

Finally on Thursday, all Macha’s moves worked as the A’s delivered when it counted.

They say the Yankees comeback against the A’s in New York changed the course of their season, well, Thursday night’s 7-4 win might have done the same for Oakland.

So buckle your seat belt, it’s going to be a wild ride this summer on both sides of the Bay.

In other news:

Pirate righthanded starter Kris Benson is the hottest commodity on the market this week. With the Rangers, Yankees, Giants, Cardinals, and Diamondbacks in need of a quality starter, the scouts are following Benson wherever he pitches.

The Giants have always like Kevin Jarvis, recently designated for assignment by the Mariners. With Seattle on the hook for his 4.5 million dollar salary this year, expect San Francisco to be first in line for the right handed starting pitcher’s services.

If major league baseball doesn’t make a decision about relocating the Expos as promised this season, then I think something is fishy. Will the Expos will be contracted when the current labor agreement expires? Not impossible.

Word from Seattle is Rich Aurilia’s bat speed has slowed to the point of serious concern.

Will the Yankees win the East? I think so. The Red Sox are a different team away from Fenway Park. Boston will play about .500 on the road. Not well enough to beat the Yankees. On the other hand, the Yanks all star team has no problem winning on the road.

Sorry New England, but it looks like you can chalk up another one for the Evil Empire.

My Cy Young leaders today: AL, Curt Schilling, Mariano Rivera, Tim Hudson. NL Eric Gagne, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine.

Tell me again, why was Bud Selig in Oakland at the Colieum Thursday night?


1 Anonymous { 05.08.04 at 5:21 pm }

this fan,a man actually born and raised in boston,not in the burbs,can take marty’s slings and arrows. We live on hope. we live for the year . Don’t confuse us with cold hard reality. Emotion rules our lives as the Red Sox face another season trying to get to the series and a championship.New Englanders are patient. W have been waiting since 1918 . If we don’t win this year , what’s another 20 years or so before we get back into contention?
Jerry F

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