That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Athletics Pitcher Frankie Montas, Exclusive Interview

2020 Topps baseball card of Oakland A’s pitcher Frankie Montas

Athletics Pitcher Frankie Montas, Exclusive Interview

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND– In a overcast day/afternoon, but without rain,as thousands of fans visited and mingled with A’s players during the 2020 A’s Fanfest at Jack London Square young Danay García, Special Events Assistant for the A’s brought to our kiosk at The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame, A’s starting pitcher Frankie Montas.

Frankie ended his 2019 season with a 9-2 record with a 2.63 earned run average in 16 games he started. Smiling and followed by a bunch of fans with ball and pen in hand they were lining-up to get this autograph, he sat next to me as he signed for roughly 20 to 30 minutes, once in a while standing up to pose with fans in selfies as well as group/family shots.

Montas dropped by with his wife Nicolette and son Michael. The young Dominican hurler seems very happy posing with fans signing one autograph after another. I conducted the interview in Spanish and here it is translated. Montas pitched this winter for the Leones del Escogido or Escogido Lions) in the Dominican Republic professional baseball league.

He said he pitched a little bit more this season. That makes sense because he only started basically half of the 2019 for the Athletics. I didn’t wanted to dwell on why he was suspended that was not the main goal, specially at this time in history when baseball is under heavy scrutiny because of the sign-stealing scandal. This is not the place anyway, this was a Fanfest, where positivism was in the air. The last thing I wanted to ask him was about his suspension and I did not.

Montas is about 6 feet 2 inches tall,at 240 pounds with a strong powerful right arm.

Q: Welcome to Oakland. Ready for Spring Training?

A: “Yes, I am happy to be here, and ready to go to Arizona”

Q:You live in Arizona, so basically you are going back home.

A: Absolutely,should be fun…and I am really looking forward this season.

Q. Do you consider yourself a fastball pitcher (you throw around 97 mph).?

A: Yes, I do, that is my best pitch, but I can also come at a hitter with other pitches, but yes, I think you can consider me a “power pitcher”.

ThIs will be his sixth season in the major leagues and fourth with the A’s,the Dominican pitcher will be 27 years of age next month. During his abbreviated 2019 season,he recorded 103 strike-outs in 96 innings of labor and was on a pace to win 18 to 20 and throw over 200 strike outs.

Q: Many people (including me) like to know, which player is the toughest for you to get out.

A: Joe Mauer of Minnesota, I cannot get him out. Mauer has played 15 years with the Twins and is the only catcher in MLB history to win three batting titles. The veteran has been a tough out for many pitchers, last week in a ceremony at Target Field,the Twins retired his famous number 7..

Q: Now that you have been in the majors for a few years, what is the one thing that has impressed you the most?

A: The discipline here, everything is done professionally,we have a schedule for everything, the speed of the game is another thing..

Q: Oakland Coliseum is the most spacious MLB park, with all kinds of foul territory,that benefits pitchers. Aside from here in Oakland,which parks are the favorites for you to pitch, favorites for you, not necessarily because you can get more outs,but because you like those places.

A: Kansas City…Anaheim and Houston, I would say those three.

Q:Luis Rojas was just named the new manager of the New York Mets, a fellow Dominican one of the sons of Felipe Alou, your opinion?

A; Great, I know him, he is a great guy, happy for that.

Photos and selfies all over the place with the very affable Frankie Montas,as his wife and son patiently waited on the sidelines, he was just getting to the end of his signing duties at our kiosk. We also took some pictures, he signed a few Topps baseball Cards for The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum, which someday (hopeful sooner than later) we’ll have a place inside the proposed new A’s Ballpark at Howard Terminal.

My last question.

Q:When you were a little boy like this kid that was taking a picture with you here. Who was your idol?

A; :”Pedro Martínez” Not surprisingly from a young pitcher to name the great Dominican Hall of Famer Martínez

The Oakland Athletics pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to their Spring Training home February 12.

We shook hands,as I told him,next time we talk will be at Mesa, during Spring Training. which he said Okay!

Good Luck Frankie!

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