Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Batter Up July 10th, 2005

The Yankee clubhouse is known as the Bronx Zoo.

The Red Sox aren’t very far behind.

Terry Francona is losing his grip on the world champions.

First, Francona has his team mad at him for naming Anaheim’s Bartolo Colon to the all star team instead of his own pitcher Matt Clement. The slight costing Clement his $250,000 all star bonus.Next, Francona wants to try rehabbing Curt Schilling as his closer, replacing the injured Keith Foulke. The players clearly favor current set up man Mike Timlin over Schilling in this spot.

Finally, outfielder Jay Payton was designated for assignment because he challenged Francona in the dugout after the manager placed Payton in the sixth spot in the batting order instead of the one hole, where Payton thought he belonged.

The players are right about Schilling and Clement.

Can’t see Schilling as a closer especially when it takes him 50 pitches to get loose before coming into a ball game. Let’s see him do that two or three days in a row.

Not a happy bunch of “idiots” (the phrase Johnny Damon used to describe his teammates last October) in Boston right now.

Payton could very well end up in Oakland after the break for reliever Chad Bradford. The A’s tried to trade Bradford in spring training to the Mets before Bradford a slipped a disc.

If the A’s do get Payton, manager Ken Macha has another right handed hitting outfielder.

It’s finally time for the A’s to send Eric Byrnes to a team that will let him play everyday. Let’s face the facts, the A’s will never bring Byrnes and his two million dollar salary back next season.

Byrnes’ trade value is at its highest right now.

The Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Cubs are teams interested in adding Byrnes to their outfields.

The Orioles need to jump at the first starting pitcher that becomes available.

Baltimore got a bad break when Florida’s Josh Beckett strained an oblique muscle in his last start. Now, no way the Marlins move AJ Burnett to Baltimore because Burnett and Dontrelle Willis have to anchor the rotation until Beckett returns to the hill.

You wonder what Oriole manager Lee Mazzilli was thinking when he left closer BJ Ryan in for 45 stressful pitches against the Yankees this week in a game that Ryan let get away after his first 15 throws.

If Yankee rookie center fielder Mulkey Cabrera shows he is capable of handling the pressure of being the Yankees center fielder over the next month, then the Cubs will be all alone in their quest to pry Mark Kotsay from the A’s.

You ask why are the Cubs sinking in their quest for the playoffs?

Even with top flight starting pitching, the Cubs are playing bad fundamental baseball.

The Reds could be clearing house shortly. I Expect relievers David Weathers and Kent Mercker to be traded before too long.

Sean Casey can hit .300 with his eyes closed. The left handed hitting first baseman is a great fit for the Mets who are looking for help at first base. If Casey’s price is too high the Mets should go after JT Snow.

Left fielder Adam Dunn, who is on a pace to hit 40 or more home runs, and fellow slugging outfielder Wily Mo Pena are the same player. Neither covers much ground in the garden. If both played the outfield at the same time the Reds would need Willie Mays to play center.

The Reds have outfielder Austin Kearns buried in AAA. He’s hitting the ball again and would look awfully good playing for the A’s or Giants.

The Nationals are looking for a starting pitcher and a left handed reliever.

Washington GM Jim Bowden has some nerve, wonder if the Nats would consider moving outfielder Brad Wilkerson for Ricardo Rincon, Byrnes,and/or Juan Cruz or Kirk Saarloos.

With Pirate rookie left handed pitcher Zach Duke looking like the real deal, I expect to see lefty starting pitcher Mark Redman changing addresses very soon. Redman has pitched well and can help a contender. How about Texas?

If you are a fantasy baseball fan grab Tiger rookie pitcher Justin Verlander the next time Detroit gives him a start. Verlander’s stuff is electric.

The A’s might have hit the jackpot with first base man Daric Barton who came over from the Cards in the Mark Mulder trade.

Barton, only 19, ripped through the Cal league this summer, now is in AA Midland. When you hit like he does at his age against more experienced competition, something special is happening.

I guarantee you that Tony La Russa out manages Terry Francona in the all star game. Probably won’t change the result as long as Francona lets the big boys swing away.

I voted for Minnesota’s Torii Hunter as the AL’s extra all star. With the game on the line I want Hunter in center field, not Scott Podsednik.

The Mariners are hoping that someone makes an offer for second baseman Bret Boone before Monday. If no one antes up, then Boone becomes a free agent, chooses where he wants to play, and the Mariners pay the rest of this year’s tab.

I say Boone ends up with the Twins joining Cincy’s Joe Randa in Minnesota as the Twinkies try to shore up a shaky infield defense.

A Home Run Derby without Manny Ramirez, Albert Pujols, and Miguel Tejada just doesn’t make sense. I’ll take these three sluggers against the rest of the world.


1 Anonymous { 07.10.05 at 9:26 am }

Hi Marty,

Payton’s agent said in an interview the other day that the rumored trade for Bradford is not a done deal. The A’s signed Kotsay to a three year extension, so Payton is certainly not being considered as Kotsay’s replacement. I would also argue that Byrne’s value was much higher during the offseason than it is right now.

If Payton gets traded to Oakland and doesn’t get much playing time he will be just as discontented as he has been in Boston. The A’s are known to not like players who mouth off to the press or openly challenge the manager. If the Payton to Bradford deal still goes through, I think it’s more likely that the A’s will in turn flip Payton to another team for prospects. But I’m not sure that this wasn’t a smokescreen during the Kotsay negotiations.

2 Anonymous { 07.10.05 at 9:30 am }

Glad the A’ssigned Kotsay Saturday, he is the glue of this years team. I’ve got the futures game today in Detroit. The weather is perfect, the park looks good, and I’ll see Daric Barton hit today against top flight pitching.

3 marty { 07.10.05 at 9:37 am }

I’ll be surprised if the Payton deal doesn’t go down. The A’s are wary of Bradford’s health and they tried to get Payton years ago. Usually when Peter Gammons is so sure of something as he was about this deal he is right. BB uses Gammons to hype his agenda so maybe your point about scaring Kotsay during the negotiations is correct. We’ll find out Wednesday.
Hey how about the Mariners taking three straight from Anaheim? You just never know what is going to happen, this will be quite a summer.

4 Anonymous { 07.10.05 at 12:36 pm }

Hey Marty,

The Angels had the Mariners’ number, so like Wash said yesterday with Robert Buan “they are due”. Guess, LA Angels of I-5 will have to earn the division. Will Byrnes maybe a factor in the Payton deal? Find out Wednesday. In the NL Central, the Astros are looking good, Cubs should be worried. Most of the fans on don’t like the International format of the Home Run Derby, I would agree.

The Stars in Motown still isn’t great as Sunday afternoon in the ballpark,
Edgar B. Martinez, A’s Fan aka Pachyderm

5 Anonymous { 07.13.05 at 7:36 pm }

Hey Marty,

It’s a done deal Payton and cash to the A’s for Bradford to the Red Sox. Let’s see what happens to Byrnes in the next two weeks.

Hope Chad likes chowdah with some dirt water,
Edgar B. Martinez, A’s Fan aka Pachyderm

6 marty { 07.13.05 at 10:25 pm }

New bull pen: Jay Witasick and Joe Kennedy. Payton will replace Byrnes as DH/LF against lefties.
Overall good moves. If Kennedy shows he can start then Zito becomes expendable next season.
Witasick, Calero, and Duchscherer get the ball to Street. Not bad, since the A’s might need more innings from bull pen over the summer.
Good bye to Rob Flores (he might have some trade value) and Ryan Glynn.

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