Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Coaches First To Go When Trouble Looms

Batter Up June 12, 2005

For years the most vulnerable person on a major league baseball team has been the manager when the team hits the skids.

Times have changed.

As soon as a teams record dips more than ten games below .500 the coaches become the scapegoats. If hitting is the problem, the batting coach goes. If pitching is the culprit, then the pitching coach is held accountable.

Click below for more!The Indians fired their hitting coach, hall of famer Eddie Murray, when the Tribe’s hitters couldn’t get untracked this year. Toronto and Kansas City followed suit firing their batting coaches.

Now with the Yankees struggling to score runs batting coach Don Mattingly, a Yankee legend, might be next to go. Marlins hitting instructor Bill Robinson probably will get the axe if the Fish don’t start whacking the ball soon.

Thanks to the patience of Ken Macha and Billy Beane, A’s hitting coach Dave Hudgens, a hard worker, still has his job.

Don’t be surprised to see the Yankees make changes this week if they continue their uninspired play. George Steinbrenner has been itching to fire pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre for years. Unbelievable, but Joe Torre’s job might be at stake too.

For many obvious reasons Jason Giambi is unhappy in New York. It’s reflected in his play both in the field and at the plate. This could be the week that the Yankees and Giambi part company.

When things come apart in the Bronx, watch out, something dramatic is sure to happen.

Just about every team in contention needs bull pen help. Why not deal Juan Cruz right now since the righthander doesn’t seem to be in the A’s plans?

Kansas City has shown signs of life since Buddy Bell took over the manager’s job. Lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt is on the trading block. Affeldt has the power arm teams crave for in their pen. He would fit into the A’s pen very nicely. The A’s should beat the Yankees and the Red Sox to the punch right now.

The Cubs are back. Led by a revitalized bull pen and the hitting of Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez the Bruins are very much in the NL wild card race.

The last triple crown winner in baseball was Boston’s Carl Yaztrezmski in 1967. Amazing that Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada, Albert Pujols, and Derek Lee all have legitimate shots at leading their respective league’s in batting, RBI’s, and home runs this season.

Buck Showalter won the power struggle with his pitching coach Orel Hershiser sealing the fate of struggling Ranger’s pitcher Ryan Drese.

Drese was put on waivers and claimed by the Washington Nationals Friday because Showalter didn’t want Drese, a 14 game winner in 2004, on the team any longer. Seems that Drese got into a bench altercation with Rod Barajas, one of the manager’s favorites, a couple of weeks ago. The incident sealed Drese’s departure even though Hershiser felt he could straighten out the righty’s mechanical problems on the hill.

With just about everybody needing starting pitching it was unbelievable that Drese went unclaimed by every team in the American League. In fact all the teams below the Nationals in the senior circuit passed on Drese too.

Washington GM Jim Bowden has plenty of nerve. He might get lucky with Drese.

The Dodgers will sign oft injured righty starter Brad Penny to a three year 26 million dollar deal any minute. What’s the rush? Even though Penny will be a free agent next winter, I’d like to see him pitch into September before making that deal.

The Mariners are quietly staying within shouting distance of the leaders in the AL West. Richie Sexson is hitting homers and driving in key runs. If Adrian Beltre and Ichiro get going, Seattle might get back into the race this summer.

One refreshing trait possessed by Giants manager Felipe Alou, he doesn’t pull any punches when assessing his ball club. Alou doesn’t worry about hurting the feelings of today’s players when addressing his team’s chances.

Santa Rosa resident and former Philadelphia Athletic’s shortstop Eddie Joost, one of the teams most popular players in the 40’s, will throw out the first ball when the Phillies open their weekend series with the A’s Friday June 17th at the Coliseum.

Nice touch by the A’s honoring the connection between the old Athletics and their former rivals.

You have to respect Vladimir Guerrero. The AL’s MVP comes off the DL the day pitcher Kelvim Escobar goes on the list, and goes 3-5 with 3 runs scored. That’s an MVP.

By the way, I had no problem with the Angels Darin Erstad bowling over Braves catcher Johnny Estrada in a close play at the plate this week. That’s the way the game is supposed to be played. With the plate blocked Erstad had no other reasonable choice other than to go right through the catcher.

That’s baseball.


1 Anonymous { 06.13.05 at 11:10 pm }

but the plate wasnt blocked. half of it was open, behind estrada’s left leg

2 marty { 06.14.05 at 8:52 am }

Very difficult for the runner in a split second to twist his slide out of the way of the catcher with the ball coming in. If the ball comes in a split second faster Estrada plants Erstad’s shoulder with his shin guards if he tries an awkward slide. The ball was on its way, Estrada had it, perhaps Erstad should have gone lower in his collision with Estrada?

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