Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

ALCS result not a surprise

What do you expect when a team almost last in hitting meets a team that is #1 in pitching ?
Usually the pitching wins!
The Oakland A’S were 13th in hitting this season in the American League while the Detroit Tigers were
first in pitching.

By Amaury Pi-GonzalezFor all of the ‘off field managers’ around, some asking for the head of A’S manager Ken Macha
others blaming Frank Thomas and Nick Swisher
for a “choke”special in the four-game sweep by the 2006 American League Champion Detroit Tigers
let me tell you honestly, anybody that follows the
Athletics knew that Swisher overswings like crazy
and that Thomas, who had a terrific regular season
was due for a slump. So there, baseball is a sport of
peaks and valleys and unfortunately for Frank Thomas the ALCS was a valley. For Nick Swisher,
even his own mananger Ken Macha told him prior to a game in Detroit “Nick a single is OK”.

Maybe the way the A’S disposed of the Twins in the
ALDS gave the Oakland team a false sense of
security. ‘We beat Johan Santana in Minnesota,
something that nobody has ever done in the last
two years”. But the Detroit Tigers also (to their credit)beat the lineup that Joe Morgan said on
national television “could be the best ever and
imposible to fool twice in a row”, the Tigers
deserved it, they beat the bad Yankees.
For those who still believe in common sense,
if the Tigers could iced the bats of the “best lineup
in history”, did anybody expected them to get
hit by the A’S lineup ? Who are we kidding ?

Against the Twins the A’S got all the breaks,on that Game Two; Twins gold glove centerfielder Tori Hunter missread a line drive by Mark Kotsay for an inside the park home run. That might have cost
the series to the Twinkies.
Against the Tigers, a couple of hits, here and there,
Thomas with the bases loaded in game two at
the Coliseum, Bradley in the fourth game at Comerica Park, if he hit that ball an inch or two
more towards the end of the bat they still would be playing…and remember if the A’S would have won game four in Detroit, Barry Zito was slated to pitch game five and I think this time we would see the
good Zito and then it was back to Oakland where
anything was posible. In Playoff baseball is basically a day-to-day grind. In a seven game series a big hit can change the whole series, but
the A’S never ever got that one big hit.

The Tigers won the ALCS but also the heart of the order for the A’S was not the heart but mire like the
‘kidney of the order’. Dave Dumbrowski is one of
the best General Managers in baseball and when
he hired his old pal from Florida Jimmy Leyland to
manage his ’06 Tigers he sealed the deal.

I remember interviewing in Seattle for my pregame show, Iván Rodríguez, Magglio Ordoñez,
Carlos Guillén and all to-a-man told me that this Detroit Tigers team believed in Jimmy Leyland a
manager that is not afraid of closing the door
after a lost and put his team through the ringer.
The Tigers also devored the Mariners in Seattle,
it was not only the Athletics who accomplished that.
Something had to be said about a manager that
lifted his team after he lost the division on the
last game of the season to the Minnesota Twins.

The A’S and Tigers were two evenly match teams but the Tigers were hot the A’S were not. The A’S could not hit with men on base, the Tigers could
and every decision that Jimmy Leyland made
worked, not every decision Ken Macha made did.

The fun of baseball. Not always the best team
wins, but in this ALCS the Detroit Tigers were the
best team, they played the best, they won it
fair and square. And I think regardless who wins
in the National League the Detroit Tigers are
destined to win it all this year. Their pitching will
be in very good order(although Zumaya might not pitch again this season)their rotation should be
solid. While the Mets and Cards have a lot of
holes in their rotations, the Mets minus Pedro
and El Duque and the Cards with a young bullpen by committe and a rotation that is Bill Carpenter
and Bill Carpenter and Bill Carpenter.

The A’S have to look to 2007 and have a few decisions, will Thomas be back ? Will they sign
another starter since Barry Zito will not be back ?
Can Rich Harden and Bobby Crosby be healthy
for a whole season ? Can Eric Chávez become the
MVP of this team ? And many other questions that
A’S fans have lined up for Billy Beane and the

Good for the Athletics in 2006 they finally won a
Playoff Series after beating the Twins in the
ALDS. They got that monkey off their backs and
now is on to the winter and see what changes
are in store.

Detroit is a great baseball town, they deserve a
trip to the World Series. The Tigers have lost
over 400 games last 4 years or so, Detroit fans
have suffered and today they see their team in
the World Series. This is a great baseball town
and their American League title has brought back
great memories of the 1968 and 1984 Tigers who
also won the American League and advanced to
the World Series.

Congratulations to the Oakland A’S for another good season. I drove by the land they have purchased here in Fremont for their new ballpark
and It will be the best shot they have to get
as close as possible to the San José market,which
is their goal since it looks like Oakland will not
be the city for the A’S for many more years.


1 Anonymous { 10.15.06 at 3:05 am }

Nice job of analysis,amaury.The A’s starting pitching could not hold the tigers down. Placido Polanco killed them. The tigers got the key hits while the a’s could no convert on their chances.
I thought if the a’s won game 2 they might extend the series to 7 games but after they lost game 2 it would be over in 5. However, the tigers were just too goodand the swept the oaktown boys in 4.

The season was not a disaster even though they fought through
a ton of injuries. Losing Crosby didn’t help and the loss of Mark Ellis sealed their fate.

Milton Bradley was the a’s mvp in the series with the tigers as he played as if he were possesed. Kotsay played up to his
standards I think the A’s have to resign Frank Thomas and
hope theat Eric Chavez can rebound from his injuries. They
need more consistency from Swisher. He needs to cut down on his stikeouts and try making contact and hitting the ball
up the middle. The A’s will have to replace zito. He was also
inconsistent but he will get a big contract somewhere in the
14 million bucks per year range.

So let’s thank the a’s for a great season.Only one team
gets to celebtrate and the guys from oakland made it to the semifinals. 26 other teams didn’t makeit that far.

Jerry F

2 Anonymous { 10.16.06 at 10:26 am }

I think the Cardinals’ pitcher is named Chris Carpenter, not Bill. But I agree with you about the A’s and Tigers.

That parcel in Fremont is five miles away from public transportation access. The one possible new station (which even in the most optimistic scenario won’t be open til 2013) is more than a mile away. Perhaps Wolff thinks he’ll gain enough new (car-dependent0 fans from the South Bay to offset the many fans they’ll lose in the rest of the Bay Area due to lousy access. But it’s not for nothing that suburban or rural development-oriented ballparks are a thing of the past elsewhere.

3 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:13 pm }

4 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:50 pm }

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