Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Felipe Alou was a God send to the Giants

Talking about unpredictable stories !

The San Francisco Giants replaced

popular manager Dusty Baker with

(in my opinion) the man they needed

in “life-after-Dusty,” Felipe Alou.

Brian Sabean, again, worked his

magic as General Manager of the

San Francisco Giants.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezI have known Felipe Alou since 1970

and 1971 when he played for the

Oakland Athletics. I also remember

him as a player with the San

Francisco Giants in the 1960’s, as

a kid living in Florida and going to

school and following baseball, I knew

that he was a good player, as well

as his brothers Jesús and Mateo.

When I arrived from Cuba as

a 17 year old in Miami I remember

watching the Game of The Week

on television and following some

of the great Latino stars, from

Clemente to Minñoso to the Alou’s.

Last time I spoke with Felipe he

was a bench coach with the Detroit

Tigers, that was just this past summer.

At that time managing was not really

his priority. He was hired by the

Tigers as a “baseball brain”to

help like on-the-job-train Detroit

manager Luis Pujols.

Felipe Alou started his professional

baseball career in 1956 with Lake

Charles and in 1958 he made it

to the show with the San Francisco


His first bout as a manager was

when he was a player in the

Dominican Republic , when the

manager of the team left,

management appointed Felipe

to manage that team since he

was the only player with Major

League experience on the team.

In 1992 Felipe Alou got the break

of his life to manage a major

league ballclub with the Montreal


Among all foreign born managers

Felipe Alou with 691-717 .491

percentage is number two,

behind Harry Wright’s 1,225-885

who was born in England. Wright

managed from 1871 to 1877

in the major leagues.

Felipe managed for 10 years

with the Expos. In 1994 his

team had the best record in

baseball, 74-40 but the season

ended because of a strike.

For the first five years he had

good talent and started to

build a great team, with the

likes of Pedro Martínez,Larry

Walker and others. But then

the Expos lost a lot of their

stars to other teams and the

last 5 years for Felipe in Montreal

were really hell.

During those last five years, Felipe

always reminded me of a

4th grade teacher that has a

new class each year, new players

young with little experience, but

Felipe always showed his great

patience(he has to, he likes fishing)

as he lead players like Guerrero,

and Vidro to develop into

stardom in Montreal.

Alou is one of eight men from

Latin America to manage in

the Major Leagues. And at

this time only the second

among 30 MLB teams, the

other is also Dominican Tony

Peña with the Kansas City


If you are going to go out

for lunch and Felipe tells

you” …”12:30 at the lobby”

you better be there at

12:30. He loves discipline,

he is as formal as a baseball

man you will see, but at the

same time very humble.

A good friend asked me what

kind of manager is Felipe

Alou. This is what I told him:

Felipe always plays funda-

mental baseball, he likes

discipline, he is a teacher

of baseball, he has the

patience for young players

and is very good developing

young talent and he lets the

veterans play to their potential.

But he will set the rules in the

dogout. He is no pushover.

He is one of the very best

I have seen judging talent

and has a great “touch”on

when to take or no to take a

pitcher out of the game.

Above doesn’t mean he is going

to go 162-0 next season, but do

not be surprised If he wins the

Division and takes the team into

the playoffs.

After the P.R. disaster between the

Giants executive suits and Dusty

Baker, the ONE man the Giants

needed was Felipe Alou. And they

got him !

Brian Sabean says he didn’t interview

anybody else. Felipe Alou said that

one of the reasons he signed with

the Giants (aside from the sentimental

one of returning to the city where he

became a star)was that the Giants

told him they are continuing their

commitment to winning in San

Francisco and the trip to the

World Series is something they

would like to repeat…soon.

Well, it is imposible to tell you

if Alou will take the Giants to

the promised land. Dusty came

within 2 innings and had to settle

for the National League Pennant.

The Giants have some holes they

have to fill. Second base, third

base, outfielders,pitching? They

all figure in what kind of team

Felipe will have in Arizona come

February 2003. We will have

to wait.

But If you like a “no nonsense”

type of manager that will talk

to media and fans after each

game, that can take criticism and

have nothing to prove to anybody,

Felipe Alou is your man.

Felipe is 67 years old. He is the

oldest manager in the Major

Leagues, but he still has that

passion for the game, that

desire to win in the field and

those great skills of communicator

(in two languages)the languages

of baseball: English and Spanish.

I for one, never expected Felipe

to manage again. I was very much

surprised by the Giants ability

to get Felipe Alou. Call it luck,

call it destiny but whatever you

call it it comes down to be a

much needed positive for the

San Francisco Giants. Specially

after the way the team and

Baker parted ways…

With Felipe Alou you can expect

the unexpected in many game

situations. He is that type of

manager, he manages with

tremendous knowledge confidence

but also by a lot of instinct. There

are schools for baseball players,

instructional leagues, schools

for umpires. But there are no

schools for managers, but If I

started a Managing School I

would hire Felipe Alou as my

chief instructor in a Dominican


Giants fans, you are the luckiest

fans in the world. After Life With

Dusty, what do you get ? Life

with Felipe !

How lucky can you get.

I hope we can do a pre-game

show in Spanish on KZSF 1370AM

with Felipe Alou prior to each

game of the season and the

moment he was announced as

Giants manager, that train”plan”

was already leaving the station.

Let’s hope the Giants can give

Felipe a good team and then let’s

sit back and watch a manager’s

manager manage a team.


Amaury Pi-González just concluded

his eight season as the Spanish

Radio paly by Play announcer for

the S.F Giants. Slated to call in

English the Caribbean World Series

2003 that will be held in the first

week of February in San Juan,

Puerto Rico for Fox Sports.

Amaury was recently selected to

be in the 2003 Marquis Who’s Who

in America book.

His articles are also featured in

Amaury is host of the weekly

program Sports Radio Talk on

KEST 1450 AM San Francisco

and KSFX in San José.With

Sports Radio Service.


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