That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: A’s, Giants on the road for Cinco de Mayo weekend

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By: Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, and it is the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, Mexico in 1862, which marks a Mexican military victory over the French forces of Napoleon. It is NOT Mexican Independence Day, that is on September 16. But Cinco de Mayo is a popular day that ironically is celebrated much more in the US than in Mexico.

What? How can that be.The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Bay Area is one of the most wealthiest areas of the country. The South Bay and Silicon Valley is leading the way when it comes to the world’s technology. Today, the nine-county Bay Area has a population of over seven million people and we are denied to have one our teams at home? For the record, it also happens in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, three metropolitan areas with two major league teams who play less than 50 miles apart.

The MLB’s 30 team schedule is truly a crazy one, with interleague games since 1997, beginning with the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants in Arlington, Texas. That day, Texas and three other games on the West Coast, teams from the National League, played teams from the American League during the regular season for the first time. In the end, they played a total of 214 games spread over three periods, the last ending on September 3.

I was working that first ever interleague game, broadcasting for the Giants when they played the Rangers in Arlington. On June 12 ,1997, a historical first interleague game where the Giants beat the Rangers 4-3. Mark Gardner (7-2) got the victory for the Giants, while Darren Oliver (3-8) was charged with the loss for the Rangers, and Rod Beck saved his 20th game for the Giants. I remember it well and I still have a souvenir they passed in the press box for that historical day.

It is a shame with the great weather we are enjoying in the Bay Area, baseball fans will not be able to attend a game this Cinco de Mayo. However, on Monday, September 16, the A’s will be at home hosting the Kansas City Royals, so you can celebrate Mexican Independence at the Coliseum that day. Also, on September 16, the Giants have an off-day in Boston and will begin a three-game set against the Red Sox the next day. Oh, yes…interleague play!

Anyways, Feliz Cinco de Mayo amigos!

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