Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Season Rings True, The Best Teams Headed to the Playoffs

In 2006 an old baseball maxim rang true. The best teams survived the grueling 162 game regular season. The cream rose to the top. Twenty-two teams are packing for the winter.

Thanks for playing. We’ll see you next spring.

This year’s playoff teams come as no surprise. Let’s see why the most deserving teams are headed to October baseball.

Click below for more!The Yankees made the right moves in July. New York added Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle. Joe Torre showed remarkable patience with left fielder Melky Cabrera, allowing the talented young player to come into his own, thus offsetting the losses of Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui. The Yanks rebuilt pen bailed out the starting rotation throughout the summer. The Bombers are a team of all stars. They played that way when the AL East was decided in August.

The A’s are heading to the playoffs because they excel in the parts of the game that produce winners. Oakland features steady starting pitching, excellent relief pitching, a gold glove defense, good management and an offense that has ranked with the best in the league since the break.

Boston never got its pitching untracked. Josh Beckett’s ERA hovered around 5.00 all season. Starting pitchers Matt Clement, Tim Wakefield, and David Wells failed to contribute much during the year. Manny Ramirez disappeared when the Sox needed him most.

Everyone in baseball waited for the White Sox to come around. Ozzie Guillen’s daily tirades directed at his players, major league baseball and the press undermined his team. Guillen’s refusal to pitch around Frank Thomas last weekend finished Chicago’s playoff hopes in ’06.

The Tigers answered the prayers of their long suffering fans by riding solid pitching, timely home runs, and manager Jim Leyland’s will into a sure playoff berth.

Minnesota’s young players developed into the core of a solid baseball team. The Twins catch the ball, win at home, and had the two best pitchers in the league, Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano, for most of the summer.

The Angels starting pitching and two-man ‘pen were not enough to compensate for an offense that never materialized and a defense that was the worst in the league.

Toronto’s hopes were dashed as pitchers Roy Halladay, AJ Burnett, Gustavo Chacin, and Ted Lilly spent too many days on the DL. Manager John Gibbons lost control of the team mid season, sinking the ship for the year.

Cleveland’s bull pen was the worst in the league. The Indians only trailed the Angels in defensive incompetence.

Texas underachieved despite an offense that featured fearsome hitting. Same old story for the Rangers: not enough quality starting pitching and inner turmoil under manager Buck Showalter.

The rest of the teams in the AL simply still cannot play with the big boys.

In the NL, the Mets boast a line up that can hit with any in baseball. These hitters might be the most fearsome group in Mets history. Don’t overlook their ‘pen. With Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez ailing during the season, the secondary pitching keyed the New Yorker’s climb to the top.

The inexperienced Marlins are a force to be reckoned with in 2007. With a reliable pen whoever replaces manager Joe Girardi next year will inherit a solid ball club.

The Giants never got their pitching in sync with the offense. When they hit, they didn’t pitch and vice versa. The ‘pen never was settled. Barry Bonds didn’t start to make a difference until September. Bon voyage Felipe Alou.

The Cards played the best baseball in the Central. The Astros, Reds, and Brewers all had serious flaws that sunk their playoff chances down the stretch.

The Padres, Phils, and Dodgers are the three remaining teams fighting for the playoffs. These teams are clearly the best of the rest in the NL.

After a marathon regular season schedule, baseball has its best teams heading to the playoffs.

And it all makes sense.


1 Anonymous { 09.26.06 at 3:12 pm }

Marty, are you concerned at all about the A’s not being able to close out the West? Street buckled under pressure and blew a three run lead last night.

Since the ’00 playoffs it has seemed like the A’s can’t close out that one last game. Let’s face it, thats when the pressure is on the most.

To be honest I am a bit concerned.

The Angels have all the momentum in the world, and the A’s are playing scared right now. They’re scared of blowing it. No way Street blows a three run lead otherwise. And no way the A’s let the M’s beat them after being up 9-3 otherwise.

This is a pattern we’ve seen before (letting teams back into the race or series) with the A’s quite a few times in this decade.

I’m just going to say this right now: with the immense momentum shift we’re looking at, I’d be really nervous about the A’s winning one out of four in Anaheim right now.

Its still a long shot to blow this thing, but its more realistic than it would seem on paper, thats for sure.

What do you think about this situation?


2 Anonymous { 09.26.06 at 5:40 pm }

If the A’s can’t close it out in Seattle, it does not look good. The Angels have Lackey and Santana pitching the first two games against the A’s, which could be trouble. So, it may come down to the A’s trying to clinch on Saturday or Sunday in Anaheim. Or, worse yet, on Monday.

3 pachyderm { 09.27.06 at 1:11 am }

The A’S did close out in Seattle tonight as Marty and “The Captain” Ken Korach had a feeling that tonight was the night. The 2006 AL West Champs are the Oakland Athletics. Maybe next year Angelinos. Also, Marty thanks for being positive about today’s game, there was a lot of negative Nancys after last night’s game on the Internet and other media, but a positive outlook to counterbalance all this negativity.

-Edgar Martinez, A’S Fan

4 marty { 09.27.06 at 10:26 am }

The A’s are a solid ball club that has nothing to lose in the playoffs. They are under the radar and clearly not the “darlings” of the prognosticators.
By the way, I would start Rich Harden in game one and forget about starting him this Sunday in Anaheim. He is one again the ace of the staff after two starts.
The Cardinals might replace the ’64 Phillies as the biggest choke in baseball history. Can the Brewers knock them out? Can the Astros sweep the Braves?
Should be some weekend and you know the Giants are going to hurt the Dodgers too.
If I’m the Twins Santana is done until Tuesday no matter what.
I still would rather play Minnesota than Detroit. Power pitchers scare me in October. Even if the A’s lost to Santana in the first game they could beat any other pitcher on the Twins staff. Also the Twins are vulnerable to strong right handed pitching and the A’s have plenty of those ready to go.
Your thoughts?

5 Anonymous { 09.27.06 at 10:51 am }

most people prefer the Tigers to the Twins, but I agree with you, the Tigers are scary. In addition to the power pitchers they have Polanco and Rogers– A’s killers. Plus, Bonderman has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to the A’s. You could point Detroit’s recent mediocre play, but the White Sox were in a similar situation last year and it worked well for them.

The bottom line is you have to beat the best to be the best. It’s fine for us to opine, but they should concentrate on themselves.

Related note – I know the Tigers have been scouting the A’s. Are the A’s scouting the Tigers or Twins yet?


6 marty { 09.27.06 at 5:52 pm }

I don’t know who the A’s scouts are that are following the Twins and Tigers but I’m sure they are refreshing their notes and checking those teams out to see if there have been any changes since the last time they played.
Probably interested in radar gun readings more than anything to see if velocity and pitching styles have changed as the season wears down.

7 Anonymous { 09.29.06 at 12:51 pm }


Looks like you should have stuck to your guns and held firm with Houston. Then you could have really talked some trash to Shooty tomorrow. Now that they are only half a game back, do you think they’ll end up with Central crown, and if so, would they be the NL favorites to go to the Series now that Pedro is on the self for the postseason?

8 marty { 09.29.06 at 3:54 pm }

You are so right, it’s a 162 games and I shouldn’t ever forget that no matter how bleak the outlook might be at any given time it’s not over til it’s over. Pitching and defense wins in October. Mets have won in the NL all year long without Pedro so I can’t see that it will stop now.
Houston has Oswalt, Pettitte, and Clemens. I thought they were a threat in August now if Berkman gets some help on the offensive side perhaps they can win a series. They have playoff experience and that does count for something.
San Diego is a good team that grinds out wins like the A’s. San Diego is my sleeper in the NL. Dodgers are too streaky for me although Derek Lowe is a big game pitcher.

9 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:13 pm }

10 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:50 pm }

11 Anonymous { 02.04.10 at 1:28 am }

Hi, wanna be fffffrrrreindsssssss?,

12 Anonymous { 03.10.10 at 7:24 am }

Hi, I have seen your site when searching a few weeks ago and i really love the design! I just bought a new 3 character domain cost me a packet for a niche review blog, and i was wondering if your design is a free or paid one? Im new to WordPress and about to set it up, and i would really like to get something with a similar look to yours. Any ideas where i could download or buy something similar? Thanks for your help!,

You must log in to post a comment.