That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Sports under Siege?

TNT’s Charles Barkley says that the whole conversation of “social injustices have become a circus” (NBC Sports file photo)

Sports under Siege?

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

In this unusual year of 2020 for weeks, the news/tease was that the Washington Redskins were about to change their logo/name of Redskins. While that has not happened yet, the biggest news from the Washington franchise was not their logo, but 15 ex-women employees claiming sexual harassment.

The NFL never seems to run out of scandals, a lot of them with absolutely nothing to do with play on the field. All kinds of surveys have shown that the NFL fans are not looking forward to more political demonstrations, but that seems to be inevitable. It would be interesting to see fan reaction and television audiences (if they ever play this year), the jury still out, but the NFL, as I said before seems to be making more news outside the field than on the field; and that is obviously not good. There is one thing for sure for fans, Roger Goodell is the most hated Commissioner in Sports.

MLB: The season is on schedule to begin their shortened version next Thursday July 23, when the Yankees face the Nationals on a nationally televised game on FOX and the Giants at LA Dodgers. The Oakland A’s open the 24th at home against the Los Angeles Angels. Every day players show they are positive for corona virus and earlier this week eleven (11) umpires opted out of the season, for personal reasons. With one week left until the start of the season, MVP Mike Trout has not made a decision if he is going to play or opt out.

But there is nothing normal about this baseball season. Yasiel Puig was to sign with the Braves but it never happened because it was contingent with his testing negative on a Covid-19 test, he tested positive. Yasiel, still a Free Agent. For baseball 2020 is as weird as ever, and I will not be surprised if there is more to come, because surprises now are expected.

All teams will play in empty stadiums. Some teams will pipe crowd noise into the park, traveling is limited to inter-divisional in each league as well against the opposite league. The players and owners through their negotiators ‘struck out’ of a deal to begin the season as scheduled back in March. MLB recently released their schedule for the 2021 season, maybe in a ‘spin’ to make everything look normal. But there is nothing normal about this season.

NBA: Is to reopen on July 30th, after a hiatus on March 11 because of the pandemic. A total of 22 teams returning to play. The league will allow players to wear jerseys with social justice messages, in collaboration with Nike the league apparel sponsor. Not everybody agrees with this. Hall of Fame player Charles Barkley said (quote) “racial injustice issues are turning into a circus.” About the legitimacy of a shortened season, Barkley added” “if everybody is healthy that is fine, but if everybody is sick with the virus and the Sacramento Kings or the New York Knicks win the championship, you know damn right it is tainted”.

The teams will play in Orlando, Florida at Disney World. The Golden State Warriors did not make it this season.

NHL. They plan to return to the ice with 24 teams competing for the Stanley Cup. Beginning with the best of five series, round robin games in two hub cities on August 1. The San José Sharks did not make this season. It seems that among all the four top pro-leagues in the country the NHL has been the most “quiet” during these turbulent times.

MLS: Already began their season.They are scoring goals. The San Jose Earthquakes have not lost a game yet they are 1-0-1 after their latest victory last Wednesday against the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-3. They now face the Chicago Fire in the bubble at Disney World on Sunday.

Stay well and stay tuned.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio talent for the Oakland A’s on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and at



Headline Sports podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Blackhawks Crawford “unfit for play”; A look at the Ted Lindsay Award winners; plus more

Corey Crawford in goal for the Chicago Blackhawks has not been in camp and is listed “unfit to play” Crawford has had a bout with two concussions over the last two seasons. (AP Photo)

On Headlines podcast with Marko:

#1 Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford is has been ruled “unfit to play” Crawford had suffered two concussions and had missed 80 games over the last two seasons.

#2 Crawford had split the goalie duties with Robin Lehner, Lehner was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights on Feb 24th. Crawford did play in the last eight games before the season was suspended on March 12th.

#3 The Chicago Blackhawks say their mascot name actually honors an actual Native American they refuse to change the name and mascot of the team. The actual Native American was Black Hawk of Illinois’ Sac and Fox Nation. The Blackhawks have been under pressure to change the name.

#4  Marko talk about the NHL Ted Lindsay Award finalists Leon Draisaitl Edmonton Oilers, Nathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche, and Artemi Panarin New York Rangers lots a hard work and achievement for these three to arrive as finalists for this award.

#5 Safety protocols and lots of precautions set up as the NHL season will start up on August 1st in the two Canadian bubbles Toronto and Edmonton. The circumstances are different as the players have to use all sorts of precautions to stay safe but frankly this is a physical game which calls for checking and contact do you see a lot of that being taken out of the game.

Join Marko Wednesdays for Headline Sports podcasts at

Headline Sports podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: NHL and Players close to a new six year deal; Only pandemic stands in the way

NHL Players Association statement announcing that they and the NHL have reached an agreement for four years with a two year option (NHL Players Association and Return to Play Committee image)

On Headlines pod with Mary Lisa:

#1 The NHL Players Association has voted to start the regular season through the Return to Play Committee reaching to extend talks for the CBA. Negotiations for the most part went without a hitch as the players and NHL could come to peaceful agreement at some point.

#2 The players and NHL are working on a four year agreement with a two year option. The only issue that both sides were concerned about was if the virus would infect the game and players could still consider to opt out.

#3 The Stanley Cup Playoffs are scheduled to start on Aug 1st at the two bubbles Rogers Place in Edmonton will hold Western Conference playoffs and Scotiabank in Toronto will host the Eastern Conference games.

#4 Mary, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Roman Polak and Vancouver forward Sven Baertschi have opted out from playing in the post season. The Canucks said that Baertschi opted out and Canucks GM Jim Benning said he knew it was a difficult choice but he understands.

#5 Mary, talk about the economic impact of losing hockey does to a city, we know working in downtown San Jose covering the Sharks that many taverns, retail, restaurants and food places that serve hockey fans are really feeling the hit with no hockey right now.

Mary Lisa is a San Jose Sharks beat writer and does Headline Sports every other Sunday at



Headline Sports podcast with Matt Harrington: Bruins enter post season coming off 100 point season; Rangers Lundqvist glad to be back in NHL camp; plus more file photo: The Boston Bruins had a 100 point lead tops in the NHL before the regular season was suspended due to the pandemic

On Headline Sports podcast with Matt Harrington:

#1 The Boston Bruins had an 100 point lead and should be have been the number team for the Stanley Cup Playoffs but with the playoff format despite the 100 points it looks more like a level playing surface going into these playoffs.

#2 Talk about David Pastrnak who became the first player since Phil Esposito to lead the NHL tied with the Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin at 48 goals. Goalie Tuukka Rask had a 2.12 goals against average the Bruins finished ninth in the NHL with a 3.24 goals against average.

#3 How big is it for 38 year old New York Rangers goalie Hendrik Lundqvist to return back to camp after working out in Sweden

#4 The Rangers 37-25-5 during the regular season will be in the qualifiers and are the No.11 seed in the post season they’ll face off against No.6 Carolina Hurricanes 38-25-5 in the best of five series.

#5 The San Jose Sharks have $648,000 in cap space and with a frozen salary cap according to CBA guidelines with contracts expiring for Joe Thornton, Melker Karlsson, and Aaron Dell. Considering a $50,000 bump up it will put the cap at $750,000 for the next four years how difficult will it be to bring them back?

Matt Harrington does Headline podcasts each Saturday at

Headline Sports podcast PT 1 with Marko Ukalovic: NHL and players look to finalize six year CBA; Both sides working on safety rules for playoffs

NHL and NHLPA logo image from

Headline Sports podcast with Marko Ukalovic:

#1 NHL players will be voting this week on starting the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs in the new CBA. Nothing is official yet on the two bubble cities Edmonton and Toronto but a vote is coming soon.

#2 Both sides are working out a Memorandum of Understanding know in the union-management trade that all rules and binding agreements are in place. Both sides are hoping to iron out a six year agreement. Both sides are looking to start the post season August 1st.

#3 One of the biggest concerns in the contract language is safety in procedures on how NHL personnel and the players will stay at local hotels and go straight to the rink and back everyday and how safety procedures will in place.

Marko does Headline Sports each Wednesday night at


Headline Sports podcast Part 2 with Marko Ukalovic: Laughton wins NHL Class Guy Award; Yzerman wants Red Wings fired up for next season

The Philadelphia Flyers Scott Loughton received the prestigious Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award for 2019-20 ( file photo)

On Headlines Part 2 with Marko:

#1 Marko talk about the Philadelphia Flyers Scott Laugton who just won 2019-20 Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award. The award goes to the player that shows class on and off the ice and the Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Association voted Laughton for the award.

#2  Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman challenged his players during this layoff to “figure it out” as the Wings will not be in Toronto for the post season. Yzerman wants to get his players fired up and motivated for next season.

Join Marko for Headline Sports each Wednesday at

Headline Sports podcast with Len Shapiro: Oilers McDavid and Draisaitl at morning skate as Edmonton prepares to host Stanley Cup Playoffs

@EdmontonOilers photo: The Oilers tweeted out a message “It’s happening everybody stay calm” and  “McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse & Kassian are all back in town.”

On the Headlines pod with Len:

#1 How crucial of a decision was it for the NHL to decide to play all of it’s post season games including the Stanley Cup Finals in both Canadian cities of Edmonton and Toronto?

#2 Edmonton and Toronto has done such a great job with flattening the curve while the US leads the world in Coronavirus it made the choice easy for the NHL.

#3 Vancouver was a city that was in the running for being a hub city but the political concerns amongst Vancouver’s political leaders thought the better of it as Vancouver has kept the Corona flat lined and wanted to keep it that way.

#4 Len talk about the best of five series and round robin games in the two Canadian hubs

#5 To add extra excitement for this NHL post season the Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will be a couple of hometown favorites in the playoffs. Both were at Friday’s morning skate to add to the excitement of the return of hockey.

Len Shapiro was the former media relations manager for the NHL’s first Bay Area team the now defunct California Golden Seals and does Headlines podcasting every other Sunday at


Headline Sports podcast with Matt Harrington: Edmonton and Toronto gets the Stanley Cup Playoffs; All Canadian post season a great idea

Scotiabank Arena the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs has been named as one of the two Canadian cities to host the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs ( file photo)

On Headline Sports podcast with Matt:

#1 Matt the NHL is considering playing the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Canada away from a spiking US Coronavirus epidemic.

#2 Ten cities in the NHL were vying for a shot at being the hub to host the playoffs but the league after the last two weeks of Covid-19 spiking in the US places like  Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Pittsburgh are losing ground as Canada is looking more viable for hosting post season.

#3 After Vancouver dropped out due to political recommendations to avoid Covid-19 inflating, Edmonton and Toronto are leading favorites to host the games.

#4 With Alberta’s success in maintaining social distancing, face masking, and sheltering  they are excited about being rewarded and prepared to host the Stanley Cup Playoffs as Edmonton has flattened the curve and are anxious for some post season hockey.

#5 How important is it for Toronto and Edmonton to host the Cup and how much of risk is it for these two hubs to host.

Matt does Headlines Sports each Saturday at

Headline Sports podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Canucks Hughes and Wild’s Rantanen are back after 4 mo rest; plus more NHL news

The Colorado Avalanche’s Mikko Rantanen skates for the first time during phase 2, Rantanen suffered an upper body injury on Feb 17th ( photo)

On Headline Sports podcast with Marko:

#1 For the NHL Cup Qualifier Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks says he’s back and he’s a strong as he’s ever been. Hughes whose working out at Rogers Centre said that the four months off has been a blessing.

#2 Hughes also mentioned with that time off this is the best he’s ever felt compared to 3 1/2 months ago.

#3 The Canucks (36-27-6) will face off against the Minnesota Wild (35-27-7) the Canucks are the number seven qualifier team and the Wild are number ten.

#4 The players are now waiting for the NHL to move into phase three and four in the Return to Play plan. The hope is to get camps going by July 10th the start date and the Eastern and Western Conferences have 24 teams going if everything goes without a hitch it could bet pretty entertaining out there.

#5 Marko how important is it Colorado Avalanche’s right winger  Mikko Rantanen makes a come back from an upper body injury he sustained Feb 17 after getting tripped by the Tampa Bay Lightning’s defenceman Erik Cernak .

Join Marko each week for Headline Sports every Wednesday at

Headline Sports podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: Rangers employees “terrified” as Covid-19 spreads at team facility; Lightning still shutdown until further notice; plus more

The New York Rangers Kakko Kaapo who has a underlying conditon is diabetic and is expected to and get back on the ice. New York Ranger employees said they are terrified about the spread of Covid-19 at the Rangers training facility ( photo)

Headlines pod with Mary Lisa:

#1 New York Rangers are quote “terrified” by the return of NHL play with safety concerns of health after several Rangers employees have tested positive for Covid 19. In an email to Rangers employees it was announced that a number of employees have come up positive.

#2  Rangers employees who wished not to be identified said that the fear is that an older  and pregnant employee could get sick and it would be serious end everything right there.

#3 Three team players and two staff members who had come up positive for Covid-19 at the Tampa Bay Lightning and closed their facilities two weeks ago have announced that the Lightning are in phase 2 and that they possibly reopen if no more positive tests come out.

#4 The Seattle NHL team has said they will announce the new team nickname soon enough team CEO Tom Tod Leiweke said he wanted to wait until the protests in Seattle and Covid-19 situation is settled and not be a distraction in announcing the new team name.

#5 Doug Wilson, Jarome Iginla, Marian Hosa, and Doug Lowe were named to the newest class of NHL Hall of Famers last Wednesday also named was Team Canada’s  Kim St Pierre who is the first woman goalie to be enshrined in the Hall.

Mary Lisa does Headline Sports podcasts every other Sunday at