Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Batter Up March 20th

A good major league bench is made up of players who understand their role.

Examples of players who have successfully filled that role recently on winning teams are: John Mabry, Olmedo Saenz, Ruben Sierra and Gabe Kapler.

The 2005 projected A’s bench players don’t fit that mold.

Here’s what I mean.

The projected bench players who will leave Phoenix want to play every day, not sit by waiting for a chance to contribute late in a game.Bobby Kielty, Charles Thomas and Keith Ginter are fighting for starting roles. They believe they should be starting players.

Catcher Adam Melhuse anticipated more playing time when Damian Miller was not offered a new contract in the off season. To Melhuse’s chagrin the club picked up ironman Jason Kendall as Miller’s replacement.

Last year’s starting second baseman Marco Scutaro could be playing in AAA or backing up Mark Ellis and Ginter at the keystone.

No one wants to have disgruntled players on the bench. A’s manager Ken Macha will have his hands full giving this bunch enough playing time to keep them happy.

The Padres are quietly staying under the radar in the NL West. With most of the attention being focused on the revamped Diamnondbacks and the rebuilt Giants, the Pads are quietly having a solid spring getting into playing shape.

Who knows, if 37 year old closer Trevor Hoffman holds up and sluggers Brian Giles, Phil Nevin and Ryan Klesko get their game together at Petco Park, they might give the Giants a run for their money.

Tough times for Cubs manager Dusty Baker.

Key pitchers Kerry Wood and Mark Prior might not be ready to start the season. Without these two in the rotation the Cubs will turn to Ryan Dempster, Sergio Mitre, and Glendon Rusch to fill the void.

The Cubs won’t catch the Cardinals with that trio on the hill.

Further sleepless nights for Dusty. Deposed WGN television broadcaster Steve Stone is back on Chicago radio already saying that Baker is responsilble for Wood and Prior’s current arm injuries because of overuse in 2003.

Seattle’s opening day lineup featuring Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson is so strong that Mariner fans won’t miss retired DH Edgar Martinez.

If Seattle can stay close and straighten its pitching out later in the season, they can make some noise after the all star break.
The Angels received bad news when starting pitcher Bartolo Colon went down with back spasms. If reliever Scott Shields has to move out of the bull pen to spell Colon, the Halos become mortal after the sixth inning.

As far as Senator Jim Bunning’s idea to wipe out all the records of any player found to have used steroids, I think he is way off the mark.

Gaylord Perry admitted that he threw a spitter. Anyone trying to get Gaylord removed from the Hall of Fame?

Every era in baseball has some quirks which affect the record books. It’s up to baseball historians to factor in the idiosyncracies of that particular period in baseball history and let the chips fall where they may.

Hack Wilson hit 56 home runs while driving in 191 runs for the Cubs in 1930, hitting a baseball that was wound tighter than a golf ball.

No one has questioned the validity of Wilson’s marks over the last 75 years.

By not answering the panel’s questions in Washington, Mark McGwire has all but admitted to illegal steroid use.

If you ask the voting members of the baseball press, McGwires’s Hall of Fame chances just took a downward turn.

I agree.

Who knows how many homers McGwire would have hit if he played the game on the level?

The question can never be answered. The debate will go on for years, initially costing Big Mac his spot in Cooperstown.

Bud Selig and Donald Fehr should get together and hammer out a new agreeemnt.

First offense for illegal drug enhancements: One year suspension. Second offense: Three years. Believe me the clubhouse needle concession will go south very quickly.

Saw the White Sox and they are an improved nine. Outfielder Aaron Rowand knocked two over the fence in Mesa, leftfielder Scott Podsednik can play left, and Jermaine Dye fits in very well in right field.

The Sox are relying on Jose Contreras to finally pitch like an all star. Good luck. He takes forever to throw the ball. When he does, he refuses to throw his best pitch, his fastball, constantly toying with the batters with an assortment of junk.

Just my opinion, Charles Thomas has the strongest outfield arm in the A’s camp.

No surprise. Without Barry Bonds in the lineup the Giants suddenly look like a very old team without a leader.


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