Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

World Series Back to Normal Tonight

I’ve watched games in Pac Bell park since it opened and it is tough to score runs there.

Tonight, without the DH, Anaheim will need to hit more doubles than the Giants to win the game. Homers just don’t come easy in this park unless your initials are BB.

Nerves have played a part in both games, with Russ Ortiz, Kevin Appier, and the Angel bull pen (except for the 20 year old Francisco Rodriguez), all looking like a deer in headlights, while on the mound.

Livan Hernandez will not have that problem tonight since he has pitched many big gmaes in his career as an amateur in Cuba and in the NL.

Ramon Ortiz has thrown well at times, I think he is more susceptible to being too high for the game, thus getting out of his normal pitching rhythm.

Ortiz did beat Pedro Martinez two years ago in the best game he ever pitched, he did pitch well in Yankee Stadium in August this year, so he can keep the game close.

So, with no DH, and the game back in the NL, this should be a low scoring 5-4 or 4-3 type game with sacrifice bunts, hit and runs, stolen bases (I think the Angels believe they can run on Benito Santiago) and plenty of pitching changes after the sixth inning.

Click “Read More” for a few baseball thoughts.Watching these two teams play made me realize once again how there are two completely different seasons in baseball.

The regular season has a pace that we describe as a marathon. There is always tomorrow, that is until the middle of September when the games become more critical in the pennant race.

The post season is a different kettle of fish. The play is more intense, doing the little things in baseball become more critical because one or two games can knock you out. Look in the eyes of these players tonight, they are intense.

Veterans play a big role in the outcome. Sure, Rodriguez may be the MVP of the series, but how many players under the age of 26 have a chance to make an impact on this series (Eckstein?).

I feel it takes a player who not only understands the game and how to play it on a championship level, but it takes a real level of maturity as a player to maintain the discipline necessary to win a World Series.

Jeff Kent, JT Snow, Santiago, Rich Aurilia, Barry Bonds, Reggie Sanders, Tim Salmon, Garret Anderson, Scott Spiezio, Darin Erstad, Troy Glaus come to mind.

These are mature players who come to play every day and will do anything to beat you. They accept the challenge of playing in the post season and play like their lives depend on winning.

Since the A’s are now trying to make Art Howe the scapegoat for their early exits from the playoffs, it is about time someone looked at the make up of the club Howe is given.

The core group he has to rely on to win in the post season are all very talented young men in the baseball world. Many are still growing up as men. The only veteran Howe was given who can still play the game on a championship level was Ray Durham. Jason Giambi would have reamined in that role, but for financial reasons the A’s couldn’t step up and sign him two years ago when they had the chance.

David Justice, Randy Velarde, and Greg Myers are finished as big time players. To win in October, and I say it takes a different kind of player than one who is acceptable over 162 games, Howe needed vets who could still play the game with nerves of steel to do anything in the post season.

Tim Hudson didn’t pitch the way he was capable of pitching for whatever reason. I suspect it was something physical because he was spectacular over the last two months of the regular season.

The A’s were only going as far as their starting pitching was going to take them. It failed in the post season. During the year, the pitching wiped up the rest of the sorry sisters in the American League. This A’s team was built by the GM to play over the long haul based on what they did on the mound. When that failed in the post season, the rest of the team was not capable of picking up the slack.

One of the drawbacks of making millionaires out of 23 and 24 year olds, is that they may not be ready as people to put their nose to the grindstone when the going gets tough. They just haven’t grown up enough as men and as players, to be that mentally tough in October.

Terrence Long has an inflated value of himself, he is a milliionaire to boot. Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez acquitted themselves very well during the season, but Tejada reverted back to his immature ways in the playoffs. Ten million dollar per year player Jermaine Dye did his best during the season, but he was a shadow of what he was in 2001.

Millionaire Ramon Hernandez didn’t have a very good season. Look at the way Mark Ellis plays, he hasn’t made his millions yet. Billy Koch had a great season, he gave up the decisive runs in game five, and now will be signed to a multi year deal over the winter. In two or three more years he will learn how to pitch in the clutch.

Are you going to blame Art Howe because he pinch hit Adam Piatt for Scott Hatteberg? In three years you won’t remember that either player was in the majors.

Are you going to replace the manager because he was given the choice of bringing in Ted Lilly or Micah Bowie or Cory Lildle in middle relief? Tell me where these players fit on the star chart of major league baseball.

Ownership should take a look at the composition of the Giants, Cards, Yankees, and Angels, and then look at their own team and ask why aren’t we in the World Series?

Do you think the answer will be, we aren’t there because of the manager?

The point is this, the core of the A’s are very wealthy young men who are still growing up as people. October baseball requires a team of people already grown up who are consistent performers.

Give Art Howe some real veterans to go with a potential Cy Young starting staff, and then watch what the A’s do in the playoffs.

Until then get off his back and appreciate the fact that he has led this team to 295 wins the past three years.

Will the A’s forsake Howe because he has been underpaid since he got to Oakland, and now deserves a raise of about $750,000 per year, the price of a mid level middle reliever?

The young A’s pitchers have learned to pitch, the young A’s hitters still haven’t learned to hit with the consistency necessary to carry the team in October.

Don’t blame the manager for that. Blame an economic system that made these players millionaires before their time, thus robbing them of their incentive to improve enough to look down the barrel of an October fastball and get the job done.

The A’s have a window of two or three more years to get it done, ownership should pony up and let the GM get some vets to teach these players to win in October, not players who repair toy cars.

Sign Ray Durham, bring Johnny Damon back as rumored, get a legit bench, get a back up catcher who can play, and a left fielder too, then you’ll see the A’s in the World Series and not have their post season be at the mercy of their starting staff.

By the way, the Giants will win tonight on a cold San Francisco evening that will freeze the Angels bats.


1 Anonymous { 10.22.02 at 1:51 pm }

… unless your initials are BB.

Bob Brenly?

Bob Bolin?

2 marty { 10.22.02 at 2:28 pm }

Barry or Bobby Bonds

3 Anonymous { 10.22.02 at 4:06 pm }


I always look forward to reading your daily dish as well as hearing Right Off the Bat. I agree with you about Art Howe. He is has the most wins over the last 4 years (tied with Torre). What else do you want? If the players could just play like they did during the season, the A’s would probably have at least 2 World Championships by now. I think signing Tejada to a long term deal is the first priority. Then, sign Durham and Koch. Lastly, go after a center fielder and possibly additional middle relief. I would love to see Randy Winn in center. I still think T-Long will produce if we play him in left, where he should be. Where did you hear about Damon? I thought the real reason he left was because he wanted to be closer to his home in TB?

Thanks for a great year of commentary! I value your comments and opinions 1000 fold over my fellow Cal Alum Glenn Dickey. He writes on impulse with little substance to back up his arguments, whereas you have a great knowledge of the game in addition to the facts to back you up.


4 Anonymous { 10.22.02 at 6:54 pm }

Marty: I agree with you 100% on you analysis of the A’s. I sure hope Art stays. Jeff Boyarsky

5 Anonymous { 10.22.02 at 7:26 pm }

Marty, I think a good catcher is our #1 priority. Ramon Hernandez will Never be more than a mediocre hitter. I think A J Hinch out hit him. I saw all three of our playoff games this year and every time our 8 & 9 hitters came up it was pretty much 2 outs.

Henry Mayo

6 Anonymous { 10.22.02 at 9:50 pm }

Actually Johnny didn’t like the weather here. It was the reason he couldn’t hit. Also, he liked it better in Boston where he didn’t feel like he had to carry the team.

7 Anonymous { 10.22.02 at 11:58 pm }


I agree with most of what you said, as usual. One thing, though: I agree that the money the A’s players make reduce incentive to try hard or get better. Ramon is a perfect example. He looked like he didn’t even want to be playing. However, the game is just plain difficult also. It’s hard to get better. Another reason to get veterans to support and diversity the team.

By the way, why do you think the Giants will beat the Angels? The Giants have no starting pitching.


8 Anonymous { 10.22.02 at 11:59 pm }

I mean diversify, not diversity. Although, diversity is good too.


9 Anonymous { 10.23.02 at 1:08 am }

It looks to me like the Giants would never win a game without Barry. They should NEVER pitch to Barry with runners on base. I’d rather be viewed as chicken than stupid. All of a sudden Benito can’t hit. The Angels play NL ball better than the NL. I guess playing in cold Pac Bell didn’t bother the Angels like Giants fans were hoping. In fact Pac Bell was perfect for their style of ball. They should tee off on Woody tomorrow.

10 marty { 10.23.02 at 2:03 am }

Livan Hernandez had absolutely nothing tonight. The Angels are loose and hitting doubles all over the yard. The A’s quality pitching seems like the only type of pitching that can stop this team. Reuter better have his best game of the season on Wednesday. Weather was absolutely no factor, Angels bats were. If Giants don’t pitch better, then we’ll see them next in Scottsdale in March instead of Anaheim this weekend.

I appreciate all the comments today.


11 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

12 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

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