Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Thirteen Games, a Season Doesn't Make, by Ed Stern

Marty; It is even more hazardous to start risking suggestions after thirteen games than it was offering predictions when spring training started. Having said that, where do the Giants stand today?
Click below for Ed’s expert breakdown on the Giants!

To begin, they are three and a half games behind the upstart Dodgers. The teams play three games at Dodger Stadium shortly and, having lost three games at home, by one run each time, they have something to prove.
However, before getting into that, let me digress for a moment.

Before the start of this regular season there were a number of allegedly enligthened opinions which loudly proclaimed that the best player in the leagues was undoubtedly A-Rod. Without considering what A-Rod and the other player competing for that title, namely, one Barry Bonds, have done so far these thirteen or so games, (after all, thirteen games are hardly necessarily representative of what the entire season will reveal) had these enlightened souls never heard of Bonds? A-Rod has a long road to travel before he compares favorably with Barry.
So much for that. Back to the Giants of today.

The team is in trouble but the trouble has not been unanticipated. They have pitching problems. No surprise. Every analysis of the club before the start of the year had a caveat, to wit, that the team had pitching problems which had to be overcome if they were to be successful.

They need a closer. It doesn’t appear that they are counting on Nen being a great help. If it comes to pass that he turns up one of these days with a 95 mile an hour fast ball and a wicked slider they will look skyward and say a few words of devout appreciation to whatever force up there is looking out for them. Just don’t count on it.

They also need some additional bullpen help. Eyre will be welcomed. Christiansen is having trouble getting the important outs. Aardsma is probably on his way to Fresno when Eyre returns. We still don’t know whether they are considering his future as a starter or a reliever.

In addition to the bullpen, someplace along the way they will need to come up with a reliable additiion to the rotation. Williams, as has been said here earlier, is a key to a strong rotation. If he doesn’t come through with a 15-17 game win year, at least, it will be an unpleasant struggle for the club. Their number two starter cannot be Rueter. A number two starter must be able to give you more than five decent innings. Fortunately, Williams shows signs of pitching back to his best efforts of last year.

Aside from the pitching there are questions respecting the position players. It is pointless to say anything about Bonds. He is simply an incredible ball player. It will be a long time before anyone sees his equal. It hasn’t come as a surprise that this is a year that he must be feeling the need to make everyone forget about the steroid issue, making his performance this season be the answer to all the questions.

I have yet to hear anyone proclaim that steroids improve one’s eyesight or help one be a more disciplined hitter. Ted Williams, who knew as much about the art of hitting as anyone who ever played the game, said that you only saw one pitch to hit in any at-bat, that you had to wait for that pitch and then hit it. That is a perfect description of Bonds at bat. What the Giants are going to do the inevitable day when Bonds hangs them up is something which must be giving Sabean sleepless nights. Bonds carries this team.

They have trouble at first base. Snow doesn’t hit as a first baseman should hit. His fielding is a big help but an occasional long ball hitting the fence would be nice to see. Alfonzo is hitting the way he hit the first half of last year. One would think that he was over whatever problems a new club gave rise to initially. His second half and playoff performance was encouraging. Hitting .230 for three months now will not be helpful.

The Snow and Alfonzo problems are complicated by the sight of Feliz sitting on the bench most of the time. Feliz had a very strong winter league season, leading the league in many hitting categories. He gave evidence last year that he could come up with a long ball often enough to lend hope that he was turning into a productive hitter. Having him in a lineup which is desperately trying to find someone to hit behind Bonds sounds as though it might be attractive. However, if he is going to play regularly the position he plays has to be first or third. They will struggle along with Alfonzo, just as they did last year and hope he snaps out of it. This is what happens when you pay someone more than he deserves over too long a contract.

Will they sit Snow down except for late inning defensive chores? It probably depends on how badly they see the need to beef up their hitting.

The next three games with the Dodgers will be of interest. It’s very early in the year to begin talking of critical games but the Giants surely don’t wish to leave LA four and a half games or worse behind.

Lastly, it is probaby time to play Hammonds in right field irrespective of the opposition pitcher. He is the single outfielder, of the three reserve outfielders, who possibly could be a more than adequate right fielder if he remains healthy.



1 Dave { 04.21.04 at 8:58 pm }

Ed said: “I have yet to hear anyone proclaim that steroids improve one’s eyesight or help one be a more disciplined hitter.”
Ed, I love how the glass is half full to you. The problem is that steroids aren’t taken to enhance eyesight. We all know Bonds has 20/15. Steroids are taken to increase the body’s muscle mass. They enable people to recover quicker after exercising.
Barry Bonds weighed 185 pounds as a rookie in 1986. He’s listed in the media guide as 228 — which could mean 310 for all we know. I don’t think anyone doubt that Bonds has incredible command of the strike zone, but it makes you wonder (presuming he has taken steroids) how many fewer home runs he would have hit had he not taken pills.

2 Anonymous { 04.22.04 at 11:02 am }

Bonds might be on steroids or something borderline illegal. You still have to hit the ball to be successful. In all this talk about steriods in the game there is no talk about how nasty competitive it is. Players are commodities and the owners only care about them insofar as they can make a buck. As long as you have that problem, you’re going to have steroids or other forms of “cheating.” Nothing good for the players can come out of this witchhunt.
-Mike E.

3 Anonymous { 04.22.04 at 12:50 pm }

I’ve noticed that people who complain about witchhunts seem to delight on putting players on pedestals. Let’s just look at reality and get as much information as we can about this. People want to know what actually happened, and I don’t see how that can be wrong.

4 Anonymous { 09.01.06 at 8:34 pm }

vain sneeze?reprint confiscate Orwellian repeals!bluebird birdie?

5 Anonymous { 09.20.06 at 5:27 am }

berries entices advocating insulates reorganizes rightfully tents:drums

6 Anonymous { 09.20.06 at 5:34 pm }

pages:tames vectorizing pursuit:adventitious – Tons of interesdting stuff!!!

7 Anonymous { 09.25.06 at 1:23 am }

anarchic purported,shrewdest.degenerates,smelled .

8 Anonymous { 11.08.06 at 9:51 am }

Wilkinson seats unconstrained embroider featherbed .

9 Anonymous { 08.15.07 at 12:29 pm }

Darlene christen?Pyongyang,detectives spotlessly calibers flesh

10 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

11 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

12 Anonymous { 10.05.07 at 7:55 am }

exclusivity Poussin gaping?sacredly crafts.hydrogen…. Thanks!!!

13 Anonymous { 04.02.08 at 12:06 pm }

Confucianism congressional Debbie photocopiers horrors gubernatorial

14 Anonymous { 05.28.08 at 10:12 pm }

postmark arboreal ac*****ulate crystallized light …

15 Anonymous { 07.10.08 at 5:45 am }

sorriest tale seduce plastered?tolerability:movers Vera offing steadier?

16 Anonymous { 12.31.08 at 8:26 am }

bellyfull skinning inefficient!divining surmised so dissociate

17 Anonymous { 01.04.09 at 12:56 am }

bandwidth Indo!emphatic margarine:costume currents slightest

You must log in to post a comment.