Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Mariners might decide who wins West

So here we are coming to the end of another
season, the Seattle Mariners might not loose
99 games again, they have a group of younger
players and these guys might decide if
the Angels or the Athletics win the West.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezAnybody in Oakland that watched Félix Hernández
pitch and beat the A’S were convinced that
(El Rey Félix)is the real thing.

The A’S might have to face El Rey again, but this
time it will be at Safeco Field, same place where
the Seattle Mariners just swept the Anaheim Angels
in a 3-game series.

With El Rey Félix the Mariners also have a new
shortstop that makes all the plays that a shortstop
has to make and then some… his name is Yuniesky
Betancourt, who duiring the last weeks of the
season is starting to make more contact.
The young Cuban shortstop should be with the
Mariners for many years to come, specially if
he can be a .250 hitter (don’t need to hit .300)
anything he gives you over .250 or .260 at the
plate should be a plus. Many things have changed
in the game of baseball, parks,salaries, the DH,
divisions,wild cards, but one thing that has not
changed is that of a shortstop and a catcher to
stay in the Major Leagues they have to field the
ball. And Betancourt can do that with the best
of them.

Then José Lépez the young Venezuelan that has
been given second-base. He can also make all
the plays at second, is very fast, but José
(unlike Betancourt)is expected to hit, the Mariners
believe he has a little pop on his bat and for
José this September might be the most important
of his young career. So José Lápez is motivated
to play the best. I like José and Yuniesly a lot
I am always talking with them prior to games
at Safeco and they are rookies but they are
intelligent rookies that not only love the game
since they were infants but understand the game
of baseball and what they have to do to stay at
this level.

Yuniesly Betancourt told me during Spring Training
he was excited to been given the chance to play
in the best baseball in the world, the Major
Leagues. He (whjo escaped Cuba in a raft) told
me he knows he can play at this level and he
starting to show everybody his caliber of play.
Lépez (who is more outspoken that Yuniesky)
feels the same way, but has been moved so
many times from Triple A Tacoma to Seattle
that he is dizzy and wants to stay in Seattle.

Right hander Jeff Harris finally made it to the Big
Leagues at age 31 he has looked very good during
his few starts and could be an influence and part
of the 2006 starting rotation for Seattle, although
31, Jeff is a rookie.

Greg Dobbs is getting more playing time and his base hit beat the Angels in the 9th inning of the
second-game of that recent series at Safeco.

And, do not forget a guy named Yorbit, his
last name is Torrealba and he has been given
the opportunity here in Seattle he never got
in San Francisco where he was #2 to Benito Santiago,A.J Perzynsky and then Mike Matheny.

The Mariners close the regular season with a six
game homestand from September 27 to October
2. Three games against the Texas Rangers, then
come the Oakland A’s for games September 30
and Otober 1 and 2.

The Mariners might have that extra motivation to
finish with a few wins at home (last homestand
they won 4 and lost 2)and with the Fan Appreciation Days ahead during that last weekend
the Mariners might not be the easiest team
for the contending Oakland Athletics.

But that is whay makes baseball fun, isn’t it ?
The integrity of the game.

I can see this scenario:
The A’S have to win on Sunday October 2, the
last game of the regular season and they face
the young 19 year old phenom of the Mariners
Félix (El Rey)Hernández, the same kid with a
98 moh fastball and 84 change-up and a nasty
curveball with lost of rotaion, all this at 19 !
The A’S are in for the fight of the season,
Ken Macha said that Félix was the pitcher
with the most stuff that his A’S faced all season.
Well, he might be looking at some more of that
good stuff in a couple of weeks.

The A’S might be in a fight against guys
like Félix,José,Yuniesky, Dobbs and company
and it might not be as easy as it looks for
the Mariners they might have the last word
on who wins the American League West.
It might not be Ichiro,Beltre and Sexton
that decide the West…

Stay tuned…


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