Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

2003 PLAY BALL! (Part One)

With all going on in our world

this 2003 season cannot come a

minute sooner. As I just returned

from Arizona and have a chance to

review both leagues, here are

my 2003 Predictions.






OK. A’S fans. This is Miguel Tejada’s last

season with the A’S, but I think Eric

Chávez is ready for a monster year

maybe a “Tejada-like-MVP-season”.

There is no other team in this division

with the talent of the Oakland A’S.

Their rotation is the best. Their bullpen?

Well, ex Giants Keith Foulke (11 saves)

is the man to take Billy Koch’s place. He

is not among the best closers in the

game but take a look at this statistic:

Foulke walked 1.51 batters per 9 innings,

fewer than any other reliever and

had a 0.74 ERA in the second half

of 2002.He is not a flame-thrower

but a very skilled reliever.

With Erubiel Durazo the A’S got a guy

that could hit 30 home runs and drive

close to 90. That is all you need from

a DH.

Ken Macha will take over the reign of

this still young and talented team and

should make it again to the playoffs.

Interesting to see if Mark Ellis works

out as leadoff hitter. Great news is

that Terrence Long will not play center

field anymore.

With 296-189 (.610) record over

the last three seasons the A’S are

second only to Seattle’s (300-186)

in the majors. The A’S won 102 games

in 2001 and 103 in 2002, but have yet

to make it to the World Series.

This could be the A’s year, everything

seems to be in place. Except: the bullpen.

2-Angels. The World Champion have

a good team but I would not be

speaking dynasty yet. Maybe the

most incredible thing that happened

to this team last season is that with

the A’S amazing 20 game winning

streak they still made it to the

World Series and won it with

overachieving players.

Wasburn-Appier-Ortiz-Lackey and

Sele is a good rotation but I do not

see more than one guy here than

could win 20 (Wasburn)who was

18-6 3.15 last season. Not that

you need a bunch of guys winning

20, look at the Giants last season

in the NL West they still made it

to the 7th game of the World Series

with nobody close to 20 wins !

Although not a Barry Zito type of

lefhander,Washburn is still formidable.

Their lineup is solid and their

bullpen could get a boost if

Venezuelan Francisco Rodriguez

(who made a great impact as

a rookie last season)can develop

into a great set-up guy for

the Great Percival. However, their

99 victories last season was the

greatest for them in franchise

history (93 wins in 1982)

Their outfield is one of the best

with Garret Anderson,Darin Erstad

and Tim Salmon.

Angels will not win the

division, but just like last season

they could be the Wild Card team

and make it to the Series again.

It would not surprise me. Let’s

‘give it up’for manager Mike

Sciosia who really kept this

team together in 2002.

I still have those “monkey possesed”

Angels fans in my ears at

Edison field after the last out

of the 2002 World Series.

3-Seattle. In this the Wild Wild

West there is a great balance

of power and pitching. The M’S

got the great lineup with Ichiro,

Randy Winn(Tampa Bay). Boone,


and Cirillo. Jeff Cirillo needs to

come back to his form of a couple

of seasons ago when he was a

solid .300 hitter. Edgar Martínez

will retire after this season, the

best ever DH -if healthy- still one

of the best hitters in the game.

Their rotation ? That is the big


Freddy Garcia told me in Peoria

he lost his slider in the second

half of last season, yet he still

won 16 games. He needs more

confidence, he is only 27 (still

young for a pitcher).Jaime Moyer

is a very reliable 41 year old

lefty and Joel Pineiro might be

poised to have a great season.

I like Pineiro a lot, has great

stuff and I think he will do much

better than last season when he

finished 14-7 3.24. Ryan Franklin

could be their fourth starter(a little

shorter in the rotation compared

to the A’S). However, they do have

the deepest bullpen not only in

this division but maybe in all of

baseball. Sasaki,Rhodes-Nelson-


If they get the lead

after the 7th, they win and win

and win. Rookie Manager Bob

Melvin, one of the “nice guys”of

the game told me it will be a

challenge but he is ready for

the season.

It should be exciting at Safeco

where the M’S had the highest

attendance average per game in

all of MLB (47,116)

4-Texas. Here my prediction is

safe ! Their pitching is like

-what pitching ? Their offense

has a couple of future Hall

of Famers in Rafael Palmeiro

(almost 500 HR) and the great

A-Rod. Juan González has been

hurt last few seasons. Their

defense left with 10-time

Gold Glove winner Iván Rodríguez

who charged $1 million for each

Gold Glove he has won as the

Marlins gave him a 1-year $10 million


The Rangers didn’t have one pitcher

with 10 wins last year, it might be

the same in 2003.

I feel sorry for Buck Showalter, he

should have stayed with ESPN, but

once a manager always a manager.



_____________________________________Amaury Pi-González is in his ninth

season as the Spanish Play by Play

annoucer for the SF Giants over

KZSF 1370 AM(La Caliente) for

home weekend games.

Also this season Amaury will call

the action for all 81 home games of

the Seattle Mariners for the new

Seattle Mariners Spanish Radio

Network. A 6-network station in

Washington and Oregon.

Presently, Amaury is the Vice President

for the Hispanic Heritage Baseball

Museum a non profit organization

in San Francisco.


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