Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Don't Give the Yanks a Break

Batter Up Sept 16th, 2007
Sometimes it seems that major league baseball relies on the comedy writers from Saturday Night Live for advice. The latest joke is giving the team with the best record in the AL one hour after clinching that distinction to decide if it wants an extra day of rest during the AL Division Series. What’s wrong with giving that team six or eight hours to make that decision?
Here’s the scenario I foresee: a team clinches their playoff spot and the best record on the same day. There is a wild celebration in the clubhouse. Peter Gammons soaked with champagne standing next to the GM asking, “With one more minute before the deadline, are you going for the extra day?”

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Assuming the Yankees win the wild card and Boston doesn’t have the league’s best record: there is no valid reason for the Angels, Tigers or Indians to choose to allow the Bombers to bring Chin Mein-Wang and Andy Pettitte back with normal four days rest. If I’m the opposition I want to see Mike Mussina, Roger Clemens and/ or Philip Hughes start the other two games in the series before facing the Yankee ace in game five.
The Angels are smart moving struggling starter Ervin Santana to the ‘pen for the playoffs. Scott Shields and Justin Speier have been inconsistent setting up shaky closer Frankie Rodriguez. Santana can throw hard for an inning. The righty will be a welcome option for Mike Scioscia.
Cleveland can count on a solid effort from CC Sabathia every time he takes the hill. The key for their playoff success lies with their next two pitchers: Fausto Carmona and Jake Westbrook. You wonder if the toll of pitching a full season will catch up with Carmona. Westbrook has a history of up and down pitching performances.
Doesn’t seem likely that Detroit will see the playoffs this fall unless the Tigers get a lot of help from some other teams over the next two weeks. Blame the pitching. Justin Verlander disappeared for six weeks mid-summer. The Tigers missed Kenny Rogers most of the year. Jeremy Bonderman’s elbow turned out to be a major problem.
With Daisuke Matsuzaka getting shelled lately there has to be some concern in Boston about who to start after Josh Beckett. Do you trust Tim Wakefield’s knuckler? Curt Schilling is throwing 86 mph fastballs. Lefty Jon Lester is still coming back from a serious injury. I’d go with no-hit rookie Clay Buchholz in game three or four with Matsuzaka getting the ball in game two.
Daric Barton looks like a major league hitter so far. Next season where does he play and what do you do with Nick Swisher and Dan Johnson?
The A’s ’08 pen will be fine. Unless they are used in a trade expect Ruddy Lugo and Andrew Brown to be effective set-up men. With Alan Embree, Dallas Braden (he gets lefthanded hitters out), and possibly Lenny Dinardo pitching in relief, the A’s are set from the left side.
A Rod has been hot all season and still might not hit 60 home runs. How did Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa reach that lofty total so often?
David Wright is quietly leading the pack for NL MVP. If somehow the Brewers hit their way into the NL Central title, then my vote goes to Prince Fielder.

Local radio/television broadcaster Shooty Babitt is more insightful than any former player currently analyzing the game on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. It’s painful listening to Fernando Vina, Eric Young, Eduardo Perez, and Orel Hershiser talk about the game each night. It’s almost as bad as listening to the nonstop nonsense of Rick Sutcliffe on the game broadcast.


1 OaklandSi { 09.16.07 at 12:15 pm }

I don’t often listen to ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, but if Shooty will be on today I’ll try to catch it after I return from the A’s-Rangers game. thanks for the head’s up.

2 marty { 09.16.07 at 5:16 pm }

My point is Shooty should be on the show. He is light years ahead of any ball player/analyst they have on right now.
Write to ESPN if you agree and let them know.

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