Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball


The San Francisco Giants are ready to
defend their National League West
title starting Monday April 5 in Houston,
but this might be a tough year for
Felipe and the veteran team.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezThe Giants remain a talented and veteran
team but this season there are a lot of
questions specially in the health of
their pitching staff as the season gets
under way.

Worse news for Felipe Alou was the health
of his two key pitchers. Ace Jason Schmidt
and closer Robb Nen. Schmidt will not start
Opening Day in Houston, he remains with
a sore shoulder, this is not good news since
Schmidt had elbow surgery this winter.
Then closer Robb Nen is on the DL also
and we will have to “wait and see” when
those two can pitch for the team. It seems
to be sort of an epidemic. Lefty reliever
Scott Eyre is also out with a sore back
and the team only has two lefties left
in the bullpen to begin the season in
John Christiansen and Chad Zerbe.

Barry Bonds still the attraction in all
of baseball. More than likely in April
he will tie and break his Godfather’s
660 home run mark (Barry has 658
at start of this season) and then he
only have to catch Ruth and Aaron,
easy ? Well, Bonds will be 40 in July
and that is his only enemy, however,
he is like the wine in Napa Valley,
the older the better. Yes, there is
that “scandal”about BALCO Laboratories
in Burlingame. Barry lost his dad
last year, then this in 2004. It will
be a very interesting season for
Bonds who probably will see less
and less strikes from now on.

With 100-61 record Felipe Alou’s first
season with the Giants was magical,
until a team that nobody expected
to win, won. The Marlins took care
of the Giants in the divisional series
and went on to beat the omnipotent
Yankees in the World Series.

This season Ray Durham their leadoff
hitter and second baseman must
start hitting earlier and try to stay
healthier. Durham played in 110
games last season and only got
hot at the plate by the end of the
season. Similar is what happened
with Venezuelan third baseman
Edgardo Alfonzo. I spoke with him
in Scottsdale: “I feel beter than ever
before”. Alfonzo was cold until
September, this year that cannot
happen again. Marquis Grissom had
a great 2003 and he is as reliable
player as you could find.

No Rich Aurilia(Seattle) and no
Benito Santiago(Kansas City) yet
Brian Sabean, the Executive of
The Year in 2003 got players like
Brett Tomko,Michael Tucker,
Dustan Mohr and the Giants
are like a boat trying to stay

Lucky that they play in the NL
West one of the weakest divisions
in baseball. But the Dodgers still
have a respectable team and
It looks like enough pitching
(when do the Dodgers have no
pitching?)maybe be a contender,
with San Diego the mystery team
with a new downtown stadium and
the Diamondbacks with more
punch and the question mark
of a 40 year old future Hall of
Fame pitcher by the name of
Randy Johnson and how much
does he has left ?

In my opinion Barry Bonds and
the pitching staff are the keys for
the Giants this 2004 season. I think
everything else will probably be
consistent on this veteran team,
although I was expecting young
Pedro Felíz to play everyday and
that will not be possible since J.T.
Snow will be back at first. Maybe
Feliz will play in right field, might
as well, rightfield is the revolving
door for the Giants this year.

Can they make it to their third
straight playoff ? I think they
can if: 1-Avoid injuries to
their pitchers.
2-Alfonzo and guys
around Bonds can protect Barry.

Were to I predict the Giants are
going to finish ?

I am thinking second place and
putting the much hated Dodgers
on first, but this division is like
Wall Street, anything can happen
from one day to the other.

Amaury Pi-González is on his second season
as Spanish Play by Play Voice for the Seattle
Mariners Spanish Radio Network
( and on his 10th
season as Spanish Play by Play Voice for
the San Francisco Giants during home weekend
games over KZSF 1370 AM (La Caliente)for
the Bay Area. This past February Amaury
was inducted into the CSHOF(Cuban Sports
Hall of Fame)in Miami in the category of
Sports Journalist.He is the Vice President
of the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum
a popular non-profit organization founded
in San Francisco in 1999.


1 dazizmor18 { 04.01.04 at 10:26 pm }

With all due respect, I’m a bit skeptical about the Dodgers as your pick in the NL West. True, they posted a league best 3.16 ERA last season but their pitching stands to worsen. Their best pitcher, Kevin Brown, is now a Yankee – calculate last year’s team ERA sans Brown and it falls by nearly half a run to 3.65. Hideo Nomo also had a great 2003 campaign with 16 wins and a 3.09 ERA. However he hurt his shoulder late in the season and was ineffective in 4 September starts (5.00 ERA). Furthermore, reports out of the Grapefruit League say he’s lost about 5 mph off his fastball so it certainly sounds as though he has some health issues…plus he turns 36 this year. Kaz Ishii is good when healthy but he sprained his knee in July and had a whopping 6.07 ERA after the All-Star Break. Has he recovered fully? Odalis Perez should improve on his lackluster 2003 season but the 5th spot in the rotation is a question with prospect Edwin Jackson likely headed to the minors, Darren Dreifort still trying to regain his form after coming off Tommy John surgery 2 years ago, and Wilson Alvarez looking to go an entire season as a starter for the 1st time since 1999. The bullpen anchored by Eric Gagne should be fine but there are a lot of issues with the starters that can’t be ignored.

The Dodgers managed to hang in the NL West race last year because their great pitching made up for their weak hitting. If the pitching is worse, has the hitting improved enough to keep them in the race? Well, Shawn Green wasn’t healthy last year and should be better; Juan Encarnacion effectively replaces Brian Jordan; but the lineup isn’t remarkably different otherwise – Alex Cora, Cesar Izturis, and Bubba Trammel are easy pickings and Adrian Beltre, Dave Roberts, and Paul Loduca can all be pitched to. It certainly doesn’t appear as though enough changes have been made to offset what appears to be a drop in the pitching. I can’t see the Dodgers being better than the Giants or D-Backs and can even see San Diego pushing LA in the standings. The Dodgers should be happy that Colorado will be there to keep them out of last place.


2 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

3 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

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