Headline Sports podcast with Daniel Dullum: Rays Snell has support for saying he won’t play for less pay; Howe battling Covid-19; plus more

sfgate.com file photo: Former Oakland A’s manager Art Howe is resting in the hospital after suffering from Covid-19 he will be released if he doesn’t have a fever in the next 24 hours

Headline Sports pod with Daniel:

1 Rays pitcher Blake Snell declares ‘I want mine,’ said he won’t play for less than his full salary;  Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper supports him

2 Former A’s manager Art Howe in intensive care, battling coronavirus

3 Manfred: MLB could lose up to $4 billion if season is cancelled

4 If MLB plays, no high-fives, lots of Covid-19 testing, no spitting, no seeds

5 RIP Bob Watson, first black MLB general manager to win a World Series

6 The No Fun League strikes again, orders YouTube page to be shut down

Join Daniel for Headlines each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Yasiel Puig A Showman without a Show

Former Cleveland outfielder Yasiel Puig (66) is looking to play on a big league team as he seeks his fourth MLB team of his career. Is his “Wild Horse” reputation making him less attractive to joining a club? (sportscasting.com file photo)

Yasiel Puig – A Showman without a Show

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

If baseball returns in 2020 it will be without fans and maybe without Yasiel Puig. Puig still a free agent and there have been many rumors, one of them (seem like years ago) is that the San Francisco Giants were close to signing him. The talented Cuban-born outfielder is not in a hurry to sign as he said in an interview with Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald in Miami. Puig indicated his focus is slowly turning toward 2021.

In the occasions I have been able to interview Yasiel, he always indicated to me that his love for the game was the key for him playing baseball, he likes to talk baseball he enjoys every second he is on the field and I cannot think of any other player that enjoys to play in front of a crowd, more than Yasiel Puig.

The first time I spoke with him was during his rookie season with the LA Dodgers. The Angels were visiting Dodger Stadium for an inter-league Freeway Series and at that time he was doing stuff as a rookie and, his name was getting compared to Joe DiMaggio. Of course he is no Yankee Clipper but his talents are well documented. A great arm from the outfield, great speed and good instincts. Puig generates excitement from the time he is in the lineup and he plays with abandon and a lot of passion. As much as he wants to play this year, I do not believe the notion of playing at empty stadiums excites him at all. .

Yasiel’s best years were with the LA Dodgers 2013 to 2018, and then in 2019 he played for Cincinnati and Cleveland. There are many nicknames in the game of baseball some are corky or some might be even tacky. But when the great Vin Scully named Yasiel “The Wild Horse” he could not have described him better.

If there is no 2020 season we will not see Yasiel Puig, if there is a season there is a chance a team like the Giants, who were not supposed to be a contender this year might take a chance with him on a one-year deal. Like many Latino players Puig wants to play every day and with a team like the Giants, there would be no reason he could not do that. Image Puig wearing a Giants uniform,facing Madison Bumgarner now with the Arizona Diamondbacks? Many fans would pay just to see that.

In a way it is sad that this Showman doesn’t have a show to perform. For the real baseball fan, not to see him play is not a positive. But this is no “regular” year in baseball, so anything goes and nothing should surprises us. I am sure Puig would be content returning in 2021. But in case you forgot, he was a free agent before the virus, and he is a free agent during the virus.

Stay tuned and stay well.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for That’s Amaury’s podcasts each Tuesday on http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Television can only save Baseball

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred as he appeared on CNN with Anderson Cooper Tonight (cnn.com photo)

Television can only save Baseball

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Unless there is a bottom of the ninth walk-off home run, the first week of negotiations on trying to come to an agreement between the baseball owners and the players union did not produce much more than quotes from both sides, and signs of frustration from both sides. Commissioner Rob Manfred said on CNN “If we don’t play a season, the losses for the [club] owners could approach $4 billion.”

Blake Snell, Tampa Bay starter, who won the Cy Young in the American League in 2018, said that playing for anything less than his full $7 million salary is “just not worth it” as he cited safety concerns, something that Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle had said early in the week.

Phillies mega star Bryce Harper reacted to Snell comments by saying: “He ain’t lying, he’s right. He’s speaking the truth bro. I ain’t mad at him. Somebody’s gotta say it, at least he manned up and said it. Good for him. I love Snell, the guy’s a beast. One of the best lefties in the game.”This is what Snell had said a day earlier:”Y’all gotta understand, man, for me to go — for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof. No, I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, OK? And that’s just the way it is for me. Like, I’m sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I’m making is way lower. Why would I think about doing that?”

The Commissioner made his case by saying that because baseball is a seasonal business, and the season never got started and there are no revenues, the sport could be devastated. He also said he has “great confidence” that both sides will come to an agreement to play in 2020. MLB concerns about the Coronavirus pandemic is understandable. “A laboratory in Utah, which MLB normally uses for drug testing for minor league players, will handle the testing, and there will be a 24-hour turnaround,” Manfred said.

At the conclusion of the week, the main issues remain salary of players and health of players.

Television could be the cure for 2020. No disrespect to radio and print media, but TV revenues for baseball are unmatched. With zero revenues, no attendance, luxury boxes, concessions, parking revenues, baseball will definitely feel that television would be the greatest medicine, to alleviate some of the financial hit taken by baseball, not to mention to heal the country as baseball is needed more than ever today as the National Pastime.

Have a great weekend. Stay tuned and Stay well.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the play by play Spanish radio voice for the Oakland A’s on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Universal designated hitter on the table for MLB; Greatest moments in MLB history

photo of New York Yankees hitter Babe Ruth pointing to the fences before going deep on an 0-2 count against Chicago Cubs pitcher Charlie Root at Wrigley Field in game 3 of the 1932 World Series. London discusses some of the greatest moments in MLB history (wikipedia.com)

Headline Sports with London:

#1 MLB is planning to introduce the universal designated hitter if and when the season starts back up again on July 1st. There are some players, fans and media who say that the uniqueness of the National League is allowing the pitcher hit why change it?

#2 There was a discussion today on yahoo sports about the most iconic moment in baseball history starting with the Boston Red Sox Carlton Fisk’s home run against the Cincinnati Reds in game six of the 1975 World Series

#3 Babe Ruth’s called shot in game three of the 1932 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field did the Babe call the shot or not?

#4 Willie Mays’ centerfield over the shoulder no look catch in the 1954 World Series and turning to throw the ball back into the infield in one motion while falling down.

#5 The game six NLCS at Wrigley Field with Steve Bartman fan interference play which he reached over for the ball and the Cubs outfielder Moises Alou lost it and blamed Bartman for interference which led to the Cubs losing the 1997 NLCS.

Join London each Friday for Headline Sports at http://www.sportsadioservice.com

 

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Back to the Future- Fox to Pump Crowd Noise

Oakland A’s Spanish announcer Amaury Pi Gonzalez (left) and former A’s announcer Evelio Mendoza (right) were a broadcast duel during the A’s glory years of 1988-1990 (photo from Amaury Pi Gonzalez)

Back to the Future: FOX to Pump Crowd Noise

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Talking from personal experience. During a recent interview with Joe Buck of Fox Sports said the network will use artificial crowd noise during games with no fans, old stuff comes back, because this has been done decades ago. Although with a high degree of technology nowadays, this method was used decades ago. When a baseball team didn’t want to send me on the road, to call the games because of budgetary reasons. I got permission to call the games from the radio station studios. This was done with the teams express permission; I also called games with “crowd noise” for television.

But it was not only on the radio. In the 1990’s when I was sports anchoring during the 6PM newscast at Telemundo CH 48 San José, Joe Cruz was the General Manager and he had the station build a set, especially for the games that we were going to broadcast on the road for the Oakland Athletics. The set had the colors of the team ‘green and gold’. If the A’s were in Baltimore, we would get the lineups via FAX. I would have the lineup and be ready for the game.

There will be a green screen behind and the moment we got the feed from the A’s regular flagship TV station we would be “on”. I needed a partner so I called Erwin Higueros, now with the Giants (who had his start with me on the radio) and we called a handful of away games from the Telemundo studio in San José, This was years before Telemundo was bought by NBC/Comcast and became a much bigger station with a much larger audience because the proliferation of the Hispanics in the Bay Area. As of today (prior to the US Census that was to take place this year) approximately 2 million Hispanics make their home here in the nine-county Bay Area.

But even way before that, I called games for radio from the radio studios, when the team was on the road. Evelio Areas Mendoza was my broadcast partner in the 1980’s on KNTA 1430AM Santa Clara. We would be at the main studios at the radio station at that time we will call the city where the team was playing, directly to the media person connection to get the lineups hours before the game. There was a “continuous cartridge with crowd noise” that would run during the whole game, sometimes it was not synchronized with the action on the field, so it was a little odd. For example, a player of the opposite team to the A’s will hit a home run and the crowd noise behind the call would not coincide with the sound. Nevertheless, the job was done. The games were called live from the studio when the team was on the road.

Everything has been done in sports broadcasting, really. If you like to adventure into the past. Ronald Wilson Reagan 40th President of the United States re-created baseball games. Reagan was a sportscaster for several radio stations between 1932 and 1937. This was more of an acting job, since he had to read the “baseball wire”, first read each play and then bring it alive with his imagination on the radio.

If there is a season this year, FOX Network will use “crowd noise” behind the games that would be played at empty stadiums. Not a surprise and nothing really new, maybe millenniums think that is cool and “new” but they will find it easy to research that this is really, old stuff.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary each week and catch Amaury’s podcasts Tuesdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: MLB could play in Texas, Florida and Arizona by July 1st

A cameraman walks through a crowd of spectators who are masked up for Korean Baseball between Hanwha Eagles and the SK Wyverns on May 5th at Incheon South Korea as MLB negotiates to return July 1st (AP photo)

On Headline Sports with Jerry F:

#1: Talks continue between MLB and the players to get the season started there have been reports that the two sides will get a deal done and opening day will be on July 4th.

#2 One idea that’s on table having baseball in three southern states Texas, Arizona, and Florida where they have re-opened and have ended shelter in place.

#3 Rules to be implemented social distancing, face masking, wearing gloves, to use a few house rules.

#4 Baseball is a gate driven league much more than football they are exploring the possibility of getting fans back in the stands and they have to make money some way.

#5 Talks have been about getting the season started in July the owners and players had one sticking point that was the revenue the players are asking for their full salary and the owners want to share 50-50 of the gate after they get started in July.

Join Jerry each Thursday for Headline Sports on http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

50 Years Ago: Pilots Land in Milwaukee Part 5 of 5 By Daniel Dullum

Seattle Pilots image from sportslogos.net

By Daniel Dullum

(Author’s note: This is the fifth of a five-part series detailing an unusual Major League Baseball franchise shift — In 1970, the Seattle Pilots arrived at spring training in Tempe, Arizona, and left at the end of March as the Milwaukee Brewers. This story is part of a baseball history book project.

At the conclusion of Part 4, the Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee with only six days to prepare for their 1970 home opener at County Stadium, an adjustment for all parties concerned, some with more serious issues than others. As the Brewers settled in to their new home, legal battles continued.)

Bob Bolin thought going to Milwaukee was “quite a thrill.” He added, “It’s a great sports town and of course the snow was a little deep that time of year. It was a little colder and we had to build a fire in the bullpen, things like that!”

Mike Hegan said, “The thing I remember most was the enthusiasm of the fans, in spite of the fact that there was only a week to get ready. [Angels pitcher] Andy Messersmith beat us 12–0 and people were still cheering for us in the seventh inning. I think people were just happy that baseball was back in Milwaukee. “The people in Milwaukee accepted the team and the players to a degree, I will say. There was still a lot of animosity because of the fact that the Braves left town. I think that Milwaukee, at that time, was considered a National League city more than an American League city.”

Ken Sanders recalled, “the guys really liked Milwaukee, but we had to do some embracing there because [of how] the Braves had left. And a number of us were familiar with Milwaukee because as American Leaguers, we played the White Sox in one game there. A lot of the players ended up making their home there.”

On April 16, 1970, the Atlanta Braves agreed to play a special exhibition game against the Brewers on May 14 at County Stadium — the Braves’ first appearance in Milwaukee since their acrimonious 1965 exit. — — Back in Seattle, Judge Volinn wasn’t through dealing with the legal woes of Pacific Northwest Sports, Inc.

In a U.S. District Court ruling on June 7, 1971, he ordered the Pilots’ old ownership group to pay the Pacific Coast League $150,000 plus interest to complete payments on a 1969 territorial indemnity fee of $300,000. The Pilots’ former owners felt their Chapter 11 bankruptcy ruling should have freed them from that obligation, but Volinn disagreed. As publicly promised, the City of Seattle, King County and the State of Washington followed through on their threat to file a lawsuit against the American League, but by the time the case went to trial on April 22, 1974, the dollar amount dropped from $82 million to $32.5 million.

Three days later, the suit was postponed until January 1975 to give the American League time to craft an out-of-court settlement. Washington State Attorney General Slade Gorton held a news conference, saying that a special meeting in Chicago produced assurances that Seattle would receive an American League expansion team by 1976. Gorton felt the league would make a “sincere effort” to field a team that would move into the yet-unnamed domed stadium that was under construction.

Negotiations continued on a cordial level, and on January 31, 1976, American League owners resolved to add Seattle as its 13th team on three conditions: 1) The State of Washington, City of Seattle and King County would drop the $32.5 million antitrust lawsuit. 2) The franchise would go to a Seattle group headed by local businessman Lester Smith and entertainer Danny Kaye. 3) A satisfactory lease agreement would be worked out.

While the antitrust lawsuit dragged on, the Kingdome was built and opened on March 26, 1976, originally to house the Seattle Seahawks, an NFL expansion team. Smith and Kaye called a press conference for February 7, 1976, announcing their purchase of the new Seattle franchise for $5.56 million.

A 20-year lease at the Kingdome was included in the deal, with a key clause binding the franchise to stay in Seattle. Still unresolved was the antitrust suit, as the City of Seattle wanted to recover $600,000 spent on renovations at Sicks’ Stadium.

On February 13, Seattle City Council members approved a plan to settle the antitrust suit, saying they would accept a proposal from the American League, King County, and the state of Washington to recess the suit until the new franchise officially took the field. Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman insisted on keeping the lawsuit alive in case the AL reneged on the agreement.

After smoothing out the details, the Seattle Mariners played their first official American League game at the Kingdome on April 6, 1977, and the seven-year lawsuit was dismissed. — — – As satisfying as it was for Bud Selig to bring major league baseball back to Milwaukee, landing in the American League initially was perceived as a consolation prize, mostly by older fans who followed the Braves.

Changing times provided an unlikely opportunity for the Brewers to again make a noteworthy relocation. When Major League Baseball expanded to Phoenix and Tampa in 1998, the resulting realignment gave the American and National leagues 15 teams each. But to properly accommodate interleague play, both leagues needed to carry an even number of franchises, and the owners decided that one team would move from the AL Central Division to the NL Central — a division that included the popular Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.

At this point, Selig was wearing two hats — owner of the Brewers and commissioner of baseball. To avoid the perception of a conflict of interest, he gave the Kansas City Royals first choice to make the move. The Royals declined, and, on November 6, 1997, the Milwaukee Brewers joined the National League as part of Phase One of MLB’s realignment plan, the first modern major league baseball franchise to make such a transfer.

Ken Sanders, who led the American League with 31 saves and 83 relief appearances for the Brewers in 1971, said, “I think it’s a good thing they went to the National League later, because Milwaukee was always a National League town.” Mike Hegan concurred. “Even though the Brewers stayed in the American League for that many years, they might even be more comfortable now back in the National League.”

It took 32 years, but Selig’s quest to bring a National League baseball club back to Milwaukee was now complete. — – Within their first four seasons in Milwaukee, the Brewers gradually weeded out most of their Seattle on-field lineage.

By 1972, only infielders Mike Ferraro and Ron Clark, and pitcher Skip Lockwood remained from the 1969 Pilots. Lockwood was the last to go, traded to the California Angels after the 1973 season. In 1982, their 14th season, the Brewers reached their first World Series, losing in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals — the first Fall Classic hosted by Milwaukee since 1958. By that time, the Brewers’ only active links to the Seattle days were two selections from the 1969 amateur draft — two-time AL home run champion Gorman Thomas (1st round) and pitcher Jim Slaton (15th round).

Serving in a middle relief role, Slaton was the winning pitcher in game four of the ’82 Series. Five decades removed from their one glorious season in the Pacific Northwest, the Pilots have yet to completely disappear from the Brewers’ all-time individual record book.

As of 2020, they’ve maintained two final entries from 1969 — Tommy Harper’s major league-leading 73 stolen bases for the season; and his four stolen bases in a game at Chicago on June 18, 1969, against the White Sox, a record Harper shares with John Jaha, who tied the mark in 1992.

Locating visual evidence of Harper’s exploits on the base paths, or any other highlight of the Pilots’ brief history, has confounded baseball historians for decades. Very little film footage or audio recordings exist of Pilots’ games, a remarkable fact considering that the club played in 1969 — not exactly the Dark Ages of media coverage. KVI (570 AM, Seattle), the flagship station of a vast Pilots radio network that included 50 stations spread throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Montana, North Dakota and Alaska, didn’t record any of the team’s broadcasts. And given the nature of the Pilots’ history, it’s apropos that five of its network radio stations no longer exist.

Neither does Sicks’ Stadium, which was razed in 1979. The stadium’s location at the corner of Rainier Avenue South and South McClellan Street eventually became the site of a Lowe’s home improvement store. A display inside the store contains Rainiers and Pilots memorabilia and a plaque marks home plate near the Lowe’s exit. Thanks in large part to “Ball Four,” Jim Bouton’s classic memoir of his days as a knuckleball-throwing relief pitcher in Seattle, the one-year expansion team has achieved a cult status and popularity level that far exceeds their original fan base. And yet, the Seattle Mariners don’t claim the Pilots as their major league ancestor, saying they belong to the Brewers’ heritage.

Milwaukee doesn’t want them either, claiming they belong to Seattle. Thus, the Seattle Pilots have earned a unique status as the Flying Dutchmen of baseball history. For years, the Mariners turned a deaf ear to requests for a Pilots’ old-timers day. Begrudgingly, the team honored the Pilots with a “Turn Back the Clock” promotion for its game against Detroit on July 9, 2006, at Safeco Field, wearing replica Pilots uniforms and bringing back many of the former Pilot players for a curtain call. Shaking his head at the thought of the Pilots’ legendary status, Rich Rollins mused, “I played eight years with the Twins. I played in two All-Star Games, the World Series, and yet, I’ll bet almost 90 percent of the fan mail I still get is about the Pilots.” And Mike Hegan noted, “I played for three teams that were very popular in terms of memorabilia — the A’s, Yankees, and Seattle Pilots. And not necessarily in that order.”

A popular Web site devoted to the Pilots is http://www.seattlepilots.com, run by Mike Fuller, a Seattle paralegal. In 2006, he told The Seattle Times that his site receives more hits than the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, according to the Web company that hosts both. When Fuller got in touch with Jim Bouton and told him this fact, the old knuckleballer was struck with a 1960s flashback — a famous verbal faux pas by The Beatles’ John Lennon in particular — and responded, “Can I put it on my Web site that the Pilots are more popular than Jesus?

Daniel Dullum authored the five part series of the defunct but well remembered Seattle Pilots from 1969 in his book 50 Years Ago the Pilots Landed in Milwaukee

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Day One of Negotiations–Owners 0 Players 0

nbcsports.com file photo: Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle (right) spoke out on Tuesday saying the players concerns were safety and a vaccine is needed to guarantee safety concerns before returning back

Day One of Negotiations: Owners 0 Players Union 0

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

The negotiations began today in New York. The main point of contention is two-prone. One is financial, the other health.

1-How to split the revenues if they agree to start the 82 games season during the 4th of July weekend, as the MLB/Owners proposed a 50-50 split. The players union is not happy with that arrangement.

2-The situation with Covid-19, what happens if a player gets infested, testing, local, state, federal authorities quarantines and the whole enchilada during this unprecedented time in our country.

It is said that without any revenues the owners have already lost in the hundreds-of-millions of dollars (each team) thus 2020. In 2019 the revenue in MLB was between $10 and $11 billion among all 30 teams.

If they get an agreement, the season would begin with no fans in the stands, no broadcasters and probably no baseball writers at the actual locations of the games. Television cameras at location with announcers calling the games from the studio watching on video screens. Writers could probably cover the game at home, looking at their television screens. I refer to this over a month ago, speculating how games can be covered if announcers are not on location, since I have extensive experience doing this during regular times.

Both sides did agree in one thing today. Health and safety of all involved, coaches, managers and staff, these are the primary concerns

Super agent Scott Boras said he is not telling the players to sign on this deal as proposed by MLB/Owners. Ex-Oakland Athletics reliever now with the World Champion Washington Nationals Sean Doolittle “We want to restart the season again,” Doolittle posted on Twitter again Tuesday. “We also want everyone it would require to resume a baseball season to be as safe as possible.”

Looks like both sides played by the rules, there were no ejections (that we know) but nobody scored….yet.

Stay tuned and Stay well.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Major League Baseball Hispanic Heritage Museum Vice President and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Barbara Mason: Players and MLB on starting season July 1st

MLB Baseball and the players negotiated on Tuesday to play the regular season starting July 1st (MLB opening day baseballs image wsj.com)

Barbara Mason on Headlines Sports podcast:

#1 Barbara MLB was discussing today ways to open up the season with a target date of July 1st. The biggest concern is safety and how to prevent Covid-19 getting into the park and all the precautions for the players, front office staff, media, security, scouts, medical and trainer staff and so forth.

#2 The gate revenue will be 51 percent local gate revenue and 49 percent MLB total revenue. The players would receive an agreed upon amount of this revenue.

#3 Baseball at the very latest could start August 1st and run through October 31st. It would be an 81 game schedule with teams playing regionally only West, Central and East in each of the American and National Leagues.

#4 MLB said that teams would share 48% of it’s revenue with the players and the owners came away optimistic that the players would be on board with the idea when the go to vote on it on Tuesday.

#5 This will be the first time in MLB history that revenue will be lost at 20% but the owners were just relieved to get something in front of the players union and get some daylight into opening up the MLB season.

Join Barbara each Tuesday night for Headline Podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: MLB Players and owners negotiating on opening season; NBA considering opening season Christmas Day; plus more

logo image from mlb.com file

On That’s Amaury’s podcast:

#1 MLB players agent Scott Boras says that what the owners are proposing a 50-50 revenue and the players are not interested in that offer plus testing, safety, social distancing and how that will work has been a factor in Tuesday’s negotiations.

#2 Players are guaranteed safeguards social distancing, masking, disinfecting, and protections in prevention of Covid 19 virus.

#3 The NBA is now considering opening up their regular season on Christmas Day. After having the NBA season suspended in March the league wants to open up on Christmas.

#4 The idea of opening the season on Christmas had also been suggested but some don’t think it’s a good idea and would like to keep opening month in October.

#5 One of the ideas of the NBA wanting to open on Christmas Day is because there is much less competition with the NFL at that time of the year as the NFL season is winding down towards post season.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s heard on the A’s Spanish flagship station 1010 KIQI San Francisco and Amaury does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com