Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

The first Japanese manager ?

Here in the Emerald City, headquarters for the
largest coffee retailer in the world,home of UPS
and birth city for greats Bruce Lee and
Jimmy Hendrix something might happen for
the first time next season.

Amaury Pi-Gonzalez
Seattle,WashingtonAccording to some of my sources the Seattle
Mariners could well be the first Major League
franchise to hire a Japanese manager. There
are some serious vibes about this. This franchise
is seriously considering that choice.No, it will not be Sadaharu Oh who’s health is not good.He has
stomach cancer. Oh won the first World Champiosnhip Classic early this year for Japan.
And is revered as a hero in Japan.

Currently the Japanese influenced Mariners with
two players from that country, Ichiro Suzuki
(arguably the best ever from Japan to have played to date here in the Major Leagues) and
rookie catcher Kenji Johjima(first ever Japanese
catcher at this level) could very easily be ready
to have a new manager next season and it would
not be an American born manager or a Hispanic
manager. It could be a Japanese manager.

Although Mariners General Manager Bill Bavasi
said that current skipper Mike Hargrove has
done a “good job” and that “we’ve made progress”
there are some other people with much higher
rank that could make a radical change here
in Seattle.

Bavasi has given no indication that the Mariners
want a new manager for 2007,but in
the business of baseball and all the spin that
comes with it, with all respect to Mr Bavasi I
would not be surprise if the complete opposite
should take place.

Mike Hargrove had a goal of a .500 season but that will not take place. With a record of 76-83 with 3 games left the .500 goal has dissapeared just like a Richie Sexson home run over centerfield. Nobody picked the Mariners to win the West, but here in
Seattle the expectations were much higher.

The Mariners discovered their closer J.J Putz who
with a last place team has just three saves less
(34)that Huston Street with the western division
champions who has 37 saves, J.J Putz was not the
closer in April, it was veteran Eddie Guardado,but
circumstances dictated by default that J.J was
going to be the man. They gave him the ball,
he wants the ball in the ninth inning and with
a 98 mph fastball and a 91 mph splitter J.J Putz
is here to stay, or so it seems.

Two rookies have been flirting with the .300 batting mark. Cuban-born shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt
and Japanese-born catcher Kenji Johjima,the first
catcher ever from his country in professional
baseball in America. Yuniesky Betancourt still
has a shot at becoming the only shortstop from
Cuba in the Majors to hit .300 for a full season.

Adrian Beltre is finishing the season with a hot bat and better numbers than last season, but the starting pitching has to be remodeled. Joel Pineiro will not be here in 2007 and more than likely the same with Gil Meche. Jaime Moyer is gone and
the starting five has been broken. There are two
young arms in Felix Hernandez and Cha Seung Baek, the Venezuelan and the Korean do have a future in this town.

For Raul Ibanez this is his best season. If you look at the American League leaders Ibanez is #3 in runs batted in, just behind El Papi Grande Ortiz of the Red Sox and Justin Morneau of the Twins. It is between D.Jeter of the Yankees and Morneau of the Twins for the MVP of the A.L.

A Japanese manager that can win here will be
welcome. A manager from Mars that could win
here would be welcome.

It has been another interesting season here in
Seattle were they are not going to finish with
3 million in attendance but still do very well
among the “big boys”in the league as far as
attracting fans to the park is concerned.
We are looking at aproximately 2.5 million
people this season at the great Safeco Field.

The rest in Seattle is to be determined…


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