Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball


Taking a look at the American

League Central Division and

how I think the teams will


By Amaury Pi-GonzálezAmerican League (Central)

1-Chicago. I like the White Sox this

year over the Minnesota Twins.

They got one of the biggest

Free Agents of the off season

in Dominican right hander

Bartolo Colón. He won 20

games last year, 10 with

Cleveland and 10 with Montreal.

The Chisox also got closer

Billy Kock from the A’S and

Sandy Alomar Jr from Colorado.

A potent lineup with the likes

of Frank Thomas,Magglio

Ordoñez and Paul Konerko.

They had mediocre pitching

in 2002 and they finished

with a .500 record of 81-81.

However, this year with Colón

in front of Mark Buhrle (19-12)

a very underrated pitcher and

other starters that can win

betwen 12 to 15 games, like

Jon Garland,Dan Wright and

John Rauch, they can win this


Last season they were sixth

in the league in fewer errors,

so the Chisox are a very good

team and should compete all

the way under manager Jerry


2-Minnesota. The Twins last

year at this time were thinking

of contraction. But in 2002

were named Organization of

the Year in Major League

Baseball by Baseball America.

They were #1 in fielding in

the league Their pitching

is very good, specially

their bullpen with

Stockton’s Eddie Guardado

who saved 45 games,

Latroy Hawkins, Johan

Santana,J.C Romero and

Tony Fiore.

Their starters Brad Radke,

Eric Milton,Joe Mays, veteran

Rick Reed and Kyle Loshe

all can pitch over 150 innings

per season.

And their batting is very

respectable(specially inside

that “torture chamber”called

the Metrodome) Koskie,Hunter

Mienkiewicz, Pierynski. These

names sound like a bunch

of UN Diplomats but are a

very formidable lineup.

Tori Hunter is their big star

and a well liked player in

the dogout.

Ron Gardenhire managed this

team to 94-67 last season

and got them into the Playoffs.

The Twins are basically the

same team (budget restricted)

they do have two new faces in

José Moram whom they got

via rule 5 from Texas a young

and promising infielder and

Chris Gómez a veteran infielder

from Tampa Bay.

The Twins are a real “blue collar”

team, fighting all the time home

and on the road. They came back

to win 42 of the 94 victories

they had last season.

A big problem for them seems

to be the Eastern Division were

they had a negative 15-17

record, but they seem to handle

very well the good teams like

the A’S,Mariners,Red Sox and

are always a very dangerous

team, specially at home.

Second place is a good place

for them.

3-Cleveland. The Indians are

going with the young guys these

days. No more Thome,Travis

Fryman,Bartolo Colón Einar

Díaz,Charles Nagy, Steve

Finley, Paul Shuey,Bob Wickman

or Jarred Wright.

Talking about a young team?

The Indians new manager

Eric Wedge is 34 years old !

Last season they used 59

different players, a new record

for the franchise.

Their Opening Day starter

is Vallejo’s own lefty C.C.

Sabathia, but after him they

might as well ‘pray for

rain’. They do start to resemble

a bunch like the ones on the

famous comedy movie

Major League.

One posible future Hall of

Famer still plays with Cleveland.

Venezuelan great shortstop

Omar Vizquel, which(in my

opinion)when all is said and

done will have more Gold

Gloves than Ozzie Smith.

Last season only two pitchers

won 10 or more games, and

one (Danny Baez)was a reliever.

Sabathia won 13 as a starter.

Ellis Burks still one of the league

best hitters and as a DH still

good for 20-30 HR and 80 RBI.

It would be extremely difficult

for this team to finish over

The White Sox or the Twins.

4-Kansas City. Their total revenues

from Television rights is under $4

million per year. Not much needed

to be said about a team that

won 62 games last year.

Their two great stars are Mike

Sweeney and Raul Ibañez.

Their pitching staff is very

inexperienced with a bullpen

that could be a revolving

door all season.

Tony Peña was a very good

catcher and given some talent

he might still be a good manager

but with this team LaRussa,

Torrez,Alou…they still will

win maybe 60 games or so.

They hit a combined .256,

the Royals lowest since

1992. In the offensive minded

American League a team that

hits .256 needs to have great


The only reason I picked them

to finish fourth is because

the Tigers are in this division.

5-Detroit. There has been no

joy in the Motorcity for sometime.

And 2003 will be another depressing

season for this storied franchise.

Management in Detroit is hoping

that guys like Kirk Gibson, Lance

Parrish and manager Alan Trammell

can maybe return the aura

of success.

Dave Dombrowksi is a great young

General Manager who built a very

good team for a while in the Florida

Marlins but he needs more than

a miracle here to contend.

Their 55-106 record last season

was right there with Tampa Bay.

Take Me Out to Comerica, a nice

ballpark in downtown Detroit is

not an easy proposition. Their

average attendance in 2002

was 18,000 per game. This on

a great baseball city for many


As a matter of fact last season

the Tigers started 0-11 and the

rest of the way gave a migrane

headache to manager Luis Pujols

and assistant Felipe Alou. Both

of those guys are presently

with San Francisco with reversed

roles. Alou is the manager and

Pujols the coach. Luis Pujols

thanked Felipe Alou for taking

him out of the Motor City and

bringing him to sold out

Pac Bell by the Bay.

A cellar team all the way from

April to September.



American League (East)


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