Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

2003 Predictions (Part III)

And now the American

League East, the most

covered and publicized

division in Major League

Baseball. One word for

this “Yankees:.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezAmerican League (East)

1-New York. It would be insane

not to select the Yankees,unless

you live in Boston and are

a Red Sox fan.

It does not matter wheREYankees

finish second or win the

World Series they are always

hiring new talent.

This off season they got

Cuban defector pitcher

José Contreras for 4 years

and $32 million and then

they went to Japan and

signed Hideki (Godzilla)

Matsui for a few more


They also brought in

seasoned players

like Todd Zeile from

Colorado and reliever

Antonio Osuna from

the White Sox.

After all, they didn’t make

it to the World Series

last year and that was

a rarity since they have

won four World Series

from 1996 to 2000.

George”The Boss”

Steinbrenner said:

“it is time boys to get back

into playing late in October”.

The Yankees will open

the season without

super-reliever Panamanian

Mariano Rivera and that

could pose a problem, that

is why they got Osuna,

-an additional arm

in the bullpen- with

Karsay, Hammond and


Alfonso Soriano hit .300

39HR and 102 RBI, becoming

a big star on this team

loaded with stars like


Mondesi and company.

Their starting rotation

of Clemens-Musina-Pettite,

Wells-Contreras still

a very good one(although,

I wonder how much longer

does Clemens has left).

They also battled health

problems last year. This

staff could break down.

My sources tell me that

José Contreras is not

31 years old like the

Yankees are lead to

believe. But I also can

tell you Contreras has

been the best pitcher in

all of Cuba during the

past few seasons.

As a matter of fact in

Cuba the only person

in the island that hasn’t

lied about his age is

dictator Fidel Castro

74… that is problaby

one of the few things

he has not lied about.

2002 the Yankees were

#1 in batting, runs,


#2 in Homeruns, slugging,

total bases and saves.

Their problem is defense

were they finished

13th with a .979 fielding

percentage. They committed

127 errors and only

Detroit made more miscues

on the field.

Joe Torre is the perfect

manager with his laid-back

style for a team that

gets top talent each

year. This is the dream

of any manager, to have

an owner that has the

means to get you

talent to take you

to the World Series

just about every season.

Yankees were 103-58,

they could do at least

as good, although I

still have doubt on

their starting rotation

the ‘tear and wear’and

the big question mark

of how Cuban José

Contreras will do in

his rookie year.

Yankees Número Uno.

2-Boston. There was a

rumor the Red Sox were

ready to trade Nomar

Garciaparra to the A’S

for Miguel Tejada.

Did you hear that one ?

This was because A’S

ownership already told

everybody they’re not

going to be able to sign

Tejada, but why would

the Red Sox get rid off

one of their most popular

players today ?

It is all crazy.

Boston was one of the

busiest teams during

winter. Below listed

are the new faces in


Jermy Giambi

Todd Wal;ker

Bill Mueller

Damian Jackson

Mike Timlin

Adrian Brown

Chad Fox

Matt White

Cesar Crespo

…and I might have left

another two or three

out there.

Bosox have three great

players in Nomar,Manny

Ramírez and Pedro Martínez.

With Pedro and Lowe that

is one of the best one-two

punch in all of baseball.

Would that be enough

to take the Yankees

is the big question ?

They have a new 38 year

old General Manager,

after they tried to

lure A’S Billy Beane

but failed. Although

they won 93 games

they failed to make

the Playoffs last


Their pitching is very

good: Martínez,Lowe-


Since they do not have

closer Ugueth Urbina

this might be “bullpen

by committee ’03”.

With Frank Castillo,

Willie Banks,Ramiro

Mendoza and Allan Embry

I am kind of nervous

about this bullpen…

They are just good enough

to chase the Yankees all

season and finish second.

3-Toronto. Cuban manager

Carlos Tosca(I call him

the invisible manager

because very few people

talk or know about him)

the Blue Jays finished

6 games under .500

last season.

Management still rebuilding

with ex-A’S executive young

General Manager J.P.Ricardi

who is trying to

turn around this franchise.

Their young and inexperience

pitching could be a problem

although they do have

very good strong arms

and the ever present

potential for greatness.

Roy Halladay is their

#1 with Cory Liddle,

Tanyon Sturze,Pete

Walker and Mark Hendrickson.

Their lineup is loaded

with youth, Shannon

Stewart, A.L Rookie

of the Year Eric Hinske,

Carlos Delgado, Josh

Phelps, Orlando Hudson

and Frank Catalanotto.

Their defensive skills

is not very good, they

ranked #9 in fielding.

The Blue Jays are trying

to make it to the .500

mark this season which

would be an improvement

and something to look

forward to.

4-Baltimore. It looks like

the Orioles have no wings.

This season their lack of

offense is notable. They

lost 32 of their final 39

games last season.

Hell, with this bunch if

owner Peter Angelos

decides to take his

team back to Cuba for

an exhibition I think the

Cuban “B”team could

beat them.

Their #1 pitcher is Mexcian

right hander Rodrigo Lápez

(15-9) followed by Venezuelan

lefty Omar Daal (11-9)then

a cast ot thousands !

Well, let me tell you

that Scott Erickson still

in their rotation.

This bullpen is really

up-and-coming with

Jorge Julio leading

the way. Julio saved

25 games with superb

stuff in 2002.

Can they win more

than the 67 games

they won last season ?

Mike Hargrove has a

difficult task.

5-Tampa Bay. Hola Sweet

Lou !!! Lou is back in his

hometown. Lou Piniella

was the biggest deal

for the Devil Rays this

off season.

Actually the Devil Rays

lost their only All Star

player, outfielder Randy

Winn to Seattle.

Remember this name.

Rocco Baldelli a young

outfielder who was named

the Minor League Player

of the Year in 2002

Tampa’s top pitcher in

wins was Joe Kennedy

(8-11 4.53).

They were last or next

to last in most categories,


55-106 was their overall


In the land of the Bucaneers

the Devil Rays are just forgotten

and Lou Piniella’s best advantage

is that he is 15 minutes away

from the ballpark to his


Saludos Lou and Buena Suerte !




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