Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

2005 Playoffs Baseball Drama Ahead

The 2005 playoffs promise to be better than ever.

Just imagine this.

The A’s win the West. The Angels are the wild card team. Boston and Chicago claim the final two October spots.

Red Sox – A’s open in Oakland. What a match up. The big booming Boston bats against the dynamic duo of Rich Harden and Barry Zito.

Click below for more!Picture the ninth inning, Houston Street facing Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz with the game on the line, 50,000 people going nuts in the Coliseum.

It could happen.

The Angels are counting on pitcher Kelvim Escobar returning to the active list within the next two weeks. Escobar is headed to the bull pen. Good move by the Halos.

Unbelievable that the Angels front office still hasn’t obtained a lefty to balance its over worked right handed ‘pen.

Righty Brendan Donnelly had no business facing Eric Chavez in the games most critical at bat Thursday.

Twenty nine of the other thirty teams in baseball would have had a lefty ready to face the A’s top home run hitter. Not the stubborn Angels. Chavez made Donnelly pay with a game tying three run homer.

I guess Seattle’s Jamie Moyer wasn’t watching how the A’s finally handled Vladimir Guerrero in Thursday’s finale.

Ken Macha ordered Guerrero intentionally walked the last three times the MVP came to the plate in the game.

Moyer took the other approach on Friday night. The lefty pitched tried to sneak his junk past Bad Vlad.

Two monster homers by the slugger, game over.

Not only is rookie Dan Johnson coming through with big hits day after day, but he is protecting Chavez in the batting order.

Angels skipper Mike Scoscia got burned twice when he elected not to pitch around Chavez and go after the rookie first baseman.

Don’t worry about Bobby Crosby’s lack of home run power. Having Crosby hit in the three spot is the key to the line up.

With Crosby hitting third Macha can alternate right handed and left handed batters, forcing the opposing manager to burn his bull pen as he tries to match his relievers against the A’s hitters late in the game.

If you don’t get chills looking at the drawings of the A’s new proposed ball park, then you aren’t breathing. Not only is the ‘yard a beautiful baseball facility, but what a positive project for Oakland.

When was the last time you could say those words?

You have to admire Yankee manager Joe Torre’s patience on two fronts.

Yankee owner George Steinbrenner constantly blames Torre and his staff for the Yankees pitching woes.

Torre says nothing.

Steinbrenner then throws barbs at Torre for his game management.

Torre turns the other cheek.

I have the feeling that when this season is over Torre will speak his mind and tell the Boss to keep the 6 million due to him next season and ride off into the sunset a very happy man.

Great idea to stage the 2008 all star game in Yankee Stadium before the Bombers move into their new stadium the next season. No one throws a baseball party like the Yankees.

The White Sox are showing great character going toe to toe with the Beasts of the East in New York and Boston.

Problem for the ChiSox, they are 6-10 against the A’s and Angels, two teams they could see in October.

Even with Aaron Rowand playing a fine center field for the White Sox, they are still trying to get Ken Griffey Jr from the Reds.

Since waivers must now be obtained to make a deal, the Yankees and Angels, two teams below the Sox in the standings, will put in claims for Griffey themselves, blocking any possible trade of the future Hall of Famer to Chicago.

The NL West will go right down to the wire with Arizona chasing San Diego to the finish line.

Pitching will be the key for both teams.

Arizona’s fireballing closer Jose Valverde is back on top of his game. The Diamondbacks get set up man Brandon Lyon back from the DL this week. Not a bad ‘pen for the stretch run.

Former Rangers Perdo Astacio and Chan Ho Park, now key members of the San Diego starting staff, are giving manager Bruce Bochy nightmares.

The Padres better hope that disabled righty pitcher Adam Eaton comes back soon. San Diego has a solid bull pen, but you have to get them the ball with a lead, not an easy task with two ex Rangers leading the way.

Absolutely no winners in the KNBR-Giants sordid media fiasco.

In fact, the incoherent ramblings of Giants manager Felipe Alou about “messengers of Satan” and “words of the devil” make one wonder about his stability as a leader of the ball club.

Here’s a thought.

If the A’s don’t sign Ken Macha to a contract extension, the Giants should grab Macha to manage their nine next season.

No question the Giants will be in contention in 2006.

Macha has proven that he can win with either type of club, veteran or young. His three year managerial record can stand with the marks of any skipper in the game.

He understands and can teach the A’s offensive philosophy, an attribute that would help the Giants.

Macha loves living in the Bay Area.

You want to add spice to the A’s Giants rivalry, let’s see the Giants ink Ken Macha to run their team next season.

Now that’s baseball.


1 pachyderm { 08.14.05 at 12:48 pm }

Hey Marty,

That was a great article. The Tribe are still in it, so they could spoil both the A’s and Angels. Still some Halos fans think the A’s success is a fluke well you can please every one. Also, heard on radio Ozzie Guillen won’t pitch Burthrie(sp.) if Oakland makes the post season. The offense is carrying the Yankees right now but the Red Sox are still class of East. In the NL, true D’Backs pitching is an advantage to take the NL worst since the Padres lay an egg whenever they play the NL East. In the East and Central, the Braves and Cards, but the Astros pitching WOW and Marlins starting to play well. Lastly, glad the KNBR/Giants fiasco is over for a while it was getting tiring to listen to sports talk or read on the internet or in the newspapers about this topic.

Sunday afternoon baseball at the positive project for Oakland hope so.
Edgar Martinez, A’s Fan

2 Anonymous { 08.16.05 at 10:01 pm }

Marty; Isn’t there a question, indeed a serious one, whether the Giants will be in contention next year? Certainly not with the personnel they presently field. And doesn’t Alou have a contract through 2006? I don’t know anything about his stability but his handling of his pitchers leaves something to be desired. Ed

3 Anonymous { 08.17.05 at 1:15 pm }

You have to be aware, if not slightly concerned, about the A’s offense over the last week…if only because last year they went into a major funk like this as well and fell out of the playoffs.

As of the last week (which by the way has all of a sudden produced a losing steak) the A’s offense has gone into a collective slump.

Yet, its hard to compare this years team to last years because its core its younger…and thats huge.
What happened last year was for the first time since 1998 was the A’s weren’t able to rely on their starters to carry them.


Simply because they were used up from five seasons of being riden hard to the finish line. Last year was the first year that Hudson and Mulder were old. It showed in their breakdowns and injuries.

Which is why they were traded and Zito wasn’t. Sure Zito’s numbers were the worst of the three, but a turn around for him was clearly in the cards because he never got hurt or showed signs of wearing down and he’d been dominant before. No reason why he couldn’t be again. Just needed a boost in confidence.

Beane knew he had to get rid of Hudson and Mulder before the rest of the league forecasted what he did…that this was the beginning of the end for them. Mark my words, Mulder and Hudson will be good pitchers in the future, but never dominant for a whole season. Infact, I gaurantee neither one will have a DL free season again in their careers. And the reason for that is, like I said, they were over used in Oakland.

So Beane traded them for young starters to begin the cycle all over again with. We’re now in 1999 again, with young Mulders and Hudsons coming up. Except now their names are Blanton and Haren. Oh and let’s not forget that fella named Harden. And what if Dan Meyer gets it together (although unfortunately I don’t see that happenening…he couldn’t handle the expectations…forget the injury thing)?

So whats the difference between ’04 and ’05? The A’s once again have the starters they can ride to the finish line. Even with the offense all of a sudden struggling, in the end they’ll prevail because the backbone (the pitching) will stay strong. Look for Anaheim to send some of their starters to the DL before the end of the year.

Billy Beane knows how to recognize and obtain pitchers on their way up and usher out the ones on their way down. This year he has those pitchers headed upward. Thats the difference.

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