Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Just Stay close and September Will Be a Ball

If you look carefully every baseball season has a theme.

For instance in 1962, the Dodgers Maury Wills and his 104 stolen bases became the story of the year.

In 1998, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, enhancements aside, took us through a wild home run chase.

In 1968, pitching dominated the game to such a degree that the DH was adopted a few years later.

This season the underlying story is the fact that no team is running away with its division.

Click below for more!The middle of the road teams are playing decent baseball preventing the big boys from opening up comfortable leads.

Just last week, the Padres, leaders in the NL West were swept in Detroit. Toronto took two of three from the Cardinals. The Giants even upended the Twins in Minnesota.

If this trend continues the division leaders at the end of the year will win anywhere from 88 to 92 games.

The division races won’t be decided until the last week of the campaign.

The wild card race truly will be wild.

Just wait, if your favorite team is playing .500 ball on September 1st, you will have a shot at the playoffs.

Jermaine Dye is quietly becoming a force again at the plate. Dye still hitting in the sixth spot is carrying the ChiSox offense while GM Kenny Williams waits to see if DH Frank Thomas’s comeback is for real.

When National’s manager Frank Robinson blew up at Angels skipper Mike Scoscia this week after Robinson’s complaints to the umpires caused the ejection of Angel reliever Bendan Donnelly, it reminded me of how Robinson and Don Drysdale used to jaw at each other after Drysdale would throw at Robinson in the 60’s.

Classic baseball.

If you wonder why the Nationals are in first place in the NL East, start your analysis with the manager. Frank Robinson is a winner.

The Mariners are quietly in the midst of a climb back to the .500 mark. All of a sudden Aaron Sele, an after thought as Seattle’s fifth starter coming out of spring training, is the hottest pitcher on the staff.

If Seattle decides to move a pitcher next month, Sele might have the most trade value on the club.

Someone please explain what GM John Hart is doing in Texas with his pitching staff. The Rangers have tons of hitting but won’t part with any of it to get a front line starting pitcher.

Cloud with silver lining: Angels reliever Brendan Donnelly is suspended for ten days forcing Scoscia to give Joel Peralta and his sub 1.00 ERA some meaningful innings out of the Halos pen.

That freight train you hear in the AL Central is the Cleveland Indians who are starting to make the Twins and White sox very nervous. The Tribe has a solid rotation, a lights out bull pen, and a rising star in center fielder Grady Sizemore. Stay tuned.

If Colorado is serious about moving a starting pitcher I’d go after Jason Jennings who is a much safer bet than shaky lefty Joe Kennedy.

Once the Cubs get Kerry Wood and Mark Prior back on the mound next month, Dusty Baker will have a five man rotation that can throw with any team in baseball.

After due consideration The A’s all star rep should be Mark Kotsay. Houston Street is just too young and inexperienced to be chosen. Barry Zito’s 4.66 ERA and three wins won’t make the flight to Detroit either.

Don’t be fooled by Phillies manager Charlie Manuel’s West Virginia drawl. Manuel is the reason the Phillies will be in the race all season. His easy going demeanor has wiped away all the bad feelings from the Larry Bowa regime.

Phillies reliever Tim Worrell comes off the DL July 4th. Worrell is expendable because of the emergence of the young flamethrowers in the Philadelphia pen. Arizona, Texas, and SF should keep a close watch if Worrell regains his form.

If new lefty reliever Ron Flores shows he’s got big league stuff, the Yankees, Marlins, and Diamondbacks will intensify their efforts to pry Ricardo Rincon from the A’s.

Kiko Calero just doesn’t look the same since he’s come off the DL. Calero’s pitches lack the snap they had earlier in the year.

Bret Boone’s career in Seattle is coming to a close. The Mariners brought converted short stop Felipe Lopez back from the minors to play second base until they figure out what to do with the slumping Boone.

Number one starters are hard to find these days. The Giants should be very patient with Jason Schmidt before deciding to either trade him this season or decline his option for 2006.

With Schmidt struggling to find himself, I’d renegotiate his contract right now and sign him to a new three year deal at a below market rate.

He’s that good.


1 Anonymous { 06.20.05 at 2:12 pm }

Hey Marty,

The Tribe will go for 10 tonight, but it will be against the world champs. If the Indians and Tigers keep playing well plus the Twins will be in it, the AL Wild Card may come from the Central. Even though, the Yankees are streaking on the positive end and don’t count out the Red Sox. In the AL, the Rangers need a split against the Angels in Anaheim since the Halos have the lead in season series. Also, Texas and LAA of Buena Park eventually will not take the A’s and M’s for granted. In the NL, what is happening with three teams race in the West with Padres, D’Backs, and Dodgers are all having terrible Junes. Divisional play will help these teams see who is the cream of the crop. In the East, could the incident in Anaheim be the spark for the Nats to hang on, Philllies need to win on the road, don’t count the Braves, Marlins should realizes they’re the Marlins, and Mets are the other team in New York. In the Central, all the Cards are set, hope they don’t fold. I’m drink the Marty Lurie Kool-Aid, the Cubbies might be the NL Wild Card when Prior & Wood comeback with little help from Jerome Williams plus power hitting outfielder before the deadline, Wrigleyville will celebrate like 1908.
Have a nice day,
Edgar B. Martinez, A’s Fan aka Pachyderm

2 marty { 06.20.05 at 3:18 pm }

Excellent comment, some of the best baseball talk I’ve seen in a long time. On May 8th in my Batter Up column I predicted that Cleveland would win 10 in a row in June. Now only David Wells who kills the Indians stands between me and one of my best predictions of all time. If Cleveland knocks off Wells who simply has crushed Cleveland in the past, then good things may be in store for the Tribe. Minnesota is slowing coming apart at the seams. The ChiSox play the A’s 6 times over the next few weeks let’s see if Oakland can help Cleveland.

3 Anonymous { 06.22.05 at 1:18 pm }

Hey Marty,

Ron Washington, the A’s third base/infield coach told Robert Buan, “baseball can’t be predicted”, oh well, this is why we love the game. Boston is sure helping other Sox team right now. Also, did the hear about the Jets beat the Bucs 20-11, er, Yankees/Rays. New York had 13 run 8th and a lot of homers. With the Red Sox and Yankees starting to get hot, those teams in the AL Central should starting getting worried. Twins, Tigers and the Tribe need to get their act together. In AL West, the Rangers need Kenny Rogers to be the ace to stop those Angels. It seems Texas doesn’t play hard in Anaheim then in Seattle or Oakland. Speaking of Oakland, all the talk amongst my fellow A’s fans is the Kotsay’s situation from trade rumors to contract. In the NL, Padres taking the first two against the Dodgers, although with some injuries, is starting to be the cream of the crop. The D’Backs were helping San Francisco with their roller coaster season. A Cubbies update for the NL Central, the North siders may want to get Alou back or even Kotsay, but I hope not. Williams pitch well last night thanks to Lee’s home run. What is up with the Marlins, even though they ran up against John Smoltz, their talent is underachieving right now except for Willis. Come on McKeon, bring back the magic. The NL East race is the another reason that Wash is right, “baseball can’t be predicted”.

A Blue sky with a bright sun, a beautiful day for baseball, Edgar B. Martinez, A’s Fan aka Pachyderm

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