Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Bonds' View of Giants' Problems as Discussed by Ed Stern

Marty– An interesting article in this morning’s paper reciting Barry’s take on the team’s hardship to date. For one thing, what is immediately impressive is his attitude, which is positive, lays no blame, and reinforces his position as the leader, not only on the field but in the clubhouse as well. Those who view him as a loner, self-interested and removed from the rest of the team, may have to give further thought to such judgment.

Interesting commentary by Ed Stern, click below for more!

It is clear that Bonds had hopes for the club’s success this year similar to that expressed recently by Sabean and Magowan, namely, that this team was at least as good, if not better, than last year’s. Bonds offered that the players added to the team had “good years last year” and could still be expected to repeat them. Leaving pitching aside for the moment, the players added were the trio of outfielders and Pierzynski. None of the trio had exceptional records last year or, for that matter, at any time during their combined many previous years. They were journeymen players, at best, and should not have been expected to add considerable strength to an outfield which was desperately searching for a right fielder who could hit behind Bonds.

As for Pierzynski, he did have a good year last year and could reasonably have been expected to add offensive strength. This has not been the case to date, although the last few days he has been swinging the bat better. He has had, since the beginning of the season, difficulty in getting the ball out of the infield and, when he did, it was usually a lazy fly,poorly hit.

Barry still has hopes for a turnaround. It is questionable whether these hopes, or Sabean’s, are well-founded. A realistic analysis of the team before the season started should have given rise to a concern that the team, despite their 100 game winning season last year, was in decline. It was a team which had depended on one player, Barry. It had obvious pitching problems. It’s two best players were in their late thirties. First base, in particular, housed a player who was long past his prime. Third base was still an open question, Alfonzo having had a miserable first half and an acceptable second half in 2003.

The pitching to date has been just about what could have been expected. They still need a closer. In that respect, one notes that Nathan, now closing for the Twins, has ten saves. The past two days he has saved two games in situations where he has entered in the ninth with a one run lead and proceeded to get the opposition out in order, with a minimum of pitches, including a strikeout. Nathan’s success should come as no surprise. He won twelve games in relief last year. He probably could start successfully as well. In any event, more thought could have been given to their pitching needs as opposed to their need for a catcher in place of Torrealba.

To turn this team around certain steps have to be taken. Even if taken, there is no guarantee that the present personnel have sufficient talent to make a run for a postseason spot. They cannot hope to contend with three starters, one of whom, Rueter, is a doubtful winner every time he goes out there. Hermanson and Tomko give no evidence of providing the high quality starts demanded of a team in contention. Sabean needs to come up with at least one replacement. If he has ideas along those lines they haven’t been disclosed as yet.

They need a closer other than Herges, who has done as well as could have been expected. One possibility is that, finally, Rodriguez may have developed a second pitch which will enable him to play the closer role. He should be given the chance. There is no apparent alternative.

Snow has to be removed from the everyday lineup. Bite the bullet. Play Feliz regularly. As Bonds points out. “he’s a pretty good ball player. Just give him time.” This would mean that Alfonzo has to play regularly. Let’s find out if Alfonzo can play back to the last half of 2003. We’re stuck with him, unfortunately, for the better part of three years. If he is the reincarnation of Marvin Bernard, the sooner we are alerted to this dismal future the better.

Pierzynski must hit better than .250, with one home run. That is where he is right now.

If all this happens, in all likelihood, they still will not be able to overcome today’s position, nine losing games behind the Dodgers. It would be very sad to see Bonds end his playing career saddled with a losing ball club.



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