That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: AstroGate – Sign-Stealing in Baseball?

Photo credit: foxnews.com

By Amaury Pi-González

Major League Baseball is investigating the Houston Astros for stealing signs during the 2018 and 2019 seasons and dating back to 2017 when the Astros won the World Series. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said last month MLB will be interviewing a lot of people,during the investigation.

Manfred said: “We are talking to people all over the industry,former employees,competitors, whatever.”

This looks like an old episode of the famous TV detective Columbo.

Before they bring baseball attorneys and experts on the matter and it becomes a huge scandal, we should all be aware that stealing signs in baseball has been part of baseball since most people can remember — before most of us where born. In a way, this investigation is laughable because this is absolutely nothing new. In the history of baseball, it is part of the fabric of the game. However, the game has changed so much that I have to admit they are much fewer stolen bases by players today, that stolen signs.

Actually, it brings me to the point of being in favor of stealing signs because that means that you are much more baseball-savvy that your opponent. Especially nowadays with all the replays and technology available and when the camera sees much more than the umpires. With all the technology today that we apply to the game it should be truly refreshing that players and coaches can steal a sign or two to help their team. How much impact can stealing signs have on a game, that is another matter, and for that, brings the baseball attorneys.

Here is a personal anecdote. In the mid 1980’s, I was broadcasting an A’s game from a tent-installed directly behind the backstop and home plate at field level at the Oakland Coliseum. The station was KNTA 1430 AM San José. We were going to be removed from that location because opposing teams believe that was a good location for the home team to steal signs. Some of the players that used to stand next to us,during the games like A’s pitcher José Rijo posed a potential for the “crime”.

There is no rule in baseball today that prohibit sign stealing.

Yes, there is “No Crying in Baseball”, but there is sign stealing.

Podcast: The Fantasy Football Doctors – Playoffs Week One

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Your hosts: Dr. Vasu Vaddiparty & Dr. Charlie O

  • It’s time to get very serious about your team because money is on the line
  • Which QB should you start this week?
  • What running back will put up the big points this weekend?
  • Who are the best wide receivers that are playing this week?
  • Don’t overlook the Tight Ends – those points could make the difference!

Plus, you will get Charlie O’s review of “The Irishman” from an Irishman!

And, you will hear an appeal to the Federal Government to bail out Detroit’s sports teams!

That plus much more on this week’s edition of the Fantasy Sports Doctors! 

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: He tried and tried, but A’s release Treinen; Raider-49er updates

Photo credit: nbcsports.com

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary:

#1 Former Oakland A’s reliever Blake Treinen, who had a spectacular 2018 season, was the A’s All Star rep that season, but has now been non tendered for his unconditional release. In 2019,Treinen had an 4.19 ERA, walked 37 batters and allowed nine home runs in 58 2/3 innings.

#2 How bad of a move was it for the Oakland A’s to let infielder Jurickson Profar get away? The A’s acquired San Diego Padres catcher Austin Allen and another player to be named later. How do the A’s make up for a loss like Profar? A’s catcher Josh Phigley is up for being non tendered and facing a release as well.

#3 Kevin Pillar was called a clubhouse guy for the SF Giants with career numbers .261, 76 home runs, and had 318 RBIs some have criticized Giants team president Farhan Zaidi for letting Pillar get away.

#4 The San Francisco 49ers lost by a narrow margin to the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore 20-17 on Sunday. One thing that 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan could agree on the Ravens were a worthy opponent.

#5 The Raiders continue to spiral dropping a key game to the Kansas City Chiefs 40-9. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr didn’t have a chance.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s Spanish play-by-play radio talent and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: What’s Next Regarding the A’s Howard Terminal Park?

Photo credit: bizjournals.com

By Amaury Pi-González

“We’re excited to enter into this next phase of negotiations with the A’s to ensure they remain rooted in Oakland!”

That was the last statement issued by City of Oakland Officials right after the city dropped lawsuit over Alameda County over the possible sale of the Oakland Coliseum to the Oakland Athletics.The team offered to buy out both halves of the 112-acre Oakland Coliseum site, with the goal of building a new ballpark at Howard Terminal.

So what’s next? EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) was founded by the US government in 1970 about concern of environmental pollution. They will conduct studies about the location and what challenges they will encounter at Howard Terminal about the environment.

The New York Mets’ City Field was inaugurated in 2009, but was built with the highest environmental standards, with 95% recycled steel and a green roof to decrease energy needs along with water conserving measures like hand-free faucets and automated flush valves that save millions of gallons of water. It is not only the New York Metropolitans, but most new stadiums today are built similarly and the Bay Area is not different,

Earlier this year, KGO reported that the Bay Area is the most expensive place in the world to build. According to a report by United Kingdom-based consultant Turner and Townsend, the average construction cost in the Bay Area is $417 per square foot, surpassing New York’s $338. It is good news because the A’s will privately finance the park, so it will never go to a local election. When that happens here in the Bay Area,and there is an election to approve or disapprove the construction of a professional sports facility. The vote is “no” and you can just ask the San Francisco Giants.

Unlike states like Texas, Georgia or Missouri, the Bay Area is not easy to build a sports facility for a major league franchise. There are many decisions to be made and this is a project that involves hundreds of millions of dollars. This is the only professional big league franchise left in the City of Oakland, a once proud city that was named “City of Champions” in the 1970’s when the A’s, Raiders and Warriors all won titles, respectively. Obstacles remain and we will be talking about this until it happens or not. If the Howard Terminal location cannot be the place, the same place where they have been playing since 1968 to date would be the most sensicble solution for the A’s future. BART and Highway 880 are also not moving.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: A’s and City of Oakland get a Kumbaya on Coliseum property sale

photo from San Francisco Chronicle: Artists rendition of the Oakland A’s new ball park at Howard Terminal.

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1  How important is it now that the city of Oakland has dropped it’s lawsuit against the Oakland A’s regarding the sale of the Oakland Coliseum property?

#2 Will the dropping of the lawsuit clear the way for the A’s to build at Jack London Square?

#3 The Los Angeles Angels could very well be the next home for pitcher Gerrit Cole. Cole is from Orange County and the Halos are looking to contend in 2020.

#4 Stephen Stasburg could be a New York Yankee. The Angels and Padres have been mentioned in interests for Strasburg. The Nationals are trying to find a way to re-sign Strasburg.

#5 Madison Bumgarner’s name has been floated by the New York Yankees as someone they’d like to sign for the 2020 season. The Yankees consider Bumgarner a fit for their pitching staff.

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

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Chapman and Olson win Gold Gloves; First dual winners for A’s since the ’80s

Photo credit: sfexaminer.com

On Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Oakland A’s third baseman Matt Chapman received the Gold Glove Award with first baseman Matt Olson. Chapman had a .981. fielding percentage and Olson had .993.

#2 Chapman saved 17 runs that led MLB third basemen in defense in runs saved.

#3 Olson saved 13 runs leading all first basemen in the show in defense.

#4 It’s the first time since 1980 and 1981 that the A’s had two players win the Gold Glove in back to back years. Who were they? Centerfielder Dwayne Murphy and pitcher Mike Norris.

#5 The A’s have developed some great defensive players who got nominated for Gold Gloves — infielder Marcus Semien and left fielder Robbie Grossman.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice for Oakland A’s baseball on KIQI 1010 San Francisco and listen to Amaury’s podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Cardinals facing elimination in game at Washington; Yankees-Astros series tied at 1-1; plus more

Photo credit: bleacherreport.com

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary’s podcast:

#1 The series all tied at 1-1, the Houston Astros won Game 2 and they had to come back from behind against the New York Yankees in 11 innings to win by a run, 3-2.

#2 After facing some tough pitching in St. Louis, the Cards play an elimination game tonight in Washington. Down 0-3, the Cards faced some tough Nationals pitching over the last two games.

#3 Is it a lack of patience by the Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred with the City of Oakland and that lack of patience translate to the city council retreat or double down on the Oakland A’s and MLB in their lawsuit against the A’s?

#4 The 49ers have won five straight and are undefeated after their many struggles over the last few years. The question is are the 49ers the real deal?

#5 Some of the candidates named for the open Giants manager position are Ron Wotus, Bam Bam Muelens, Bob Geren, Gabe Kapler, Mark Kotsay, Raul Ibanez and even current Dodgers manager Dave Roberts if the Dodgers let him go.

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

Headline Sports podcast with Barbara Mason: Raiders gain ground with win against Chicago on road trip; 49ers leave no doubt in win over Browns; plus more

Photo credit: nbcsports.com

On Headline Sports with Barbara:

#1 Which Oakland Raider (3-2) team is this? The Raider team who lost to Kansas City and Minnesota or the Raider team who beat Indianapolis and Chicago?

#2 The San Francisco 49ers (4-0)  left little doubt about their game on Monday Night Football against the Cleveland Browns (2-3) in a lopsided win at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

#3 The Golden State Warriors struggled in their first preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Are they showing signs or cracks of a different older team — not as fast, not as accurate — or is this a real study of them finding who they are without Kevin Durant?

#4 The Stanford Cardinal (3-3) got an important 23-13 win against Washington (4-2) on Saturday, thanks to the help of Cameron Scarlett, who carried 33 times for 151 yards and one touchdown.

#5 A tough loss last Saturday in Oregon (4-1) for the Cal Bears (4-2) and quarterback David Modster. The Bears only got one touchdown against the Oregon Ducks.

Barbara Mason does Headline Sports podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: China pulled out of NBA over Rockets GM tweet; A’s consider getting rooted in Vegas

file photo from Washingtonpost.com: In this April 19, 2011, file photo, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey discusses the direction of the team with the media during a basketball news conference, in Houston, after the decision to part ways with NBA basketball head coach Rick Adelman. Morey tried Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 to defuse the rapidly growing fallout over his deleted tweet that showed support for Hong Kong anti-government protesters, saying he did not intend to offend any of the team’s Chinese fans or sponsors.

By Amaury Pi Gonzalez

China’s mad over tweet by Rockets GM: A political triangle has the NBA’s Houston Rockets apologizing over a tweet by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong” as soon as that tweet was known China ended its relationship with the Houston Rockets and sponsors pulled out of all radio advertising in China.

The Rockets are the most popular team in China because of its relationship with former NBA player Yao Ming. The Rockets’ James Harden and Russell Westbrook quickly tried to go into damage control.

“We apologize, we love China. We love playing there. Both of us, we go there once or twice a year. They show us most support so we appreciate them,” said Harden.

The Chinese response was too late for the Rockets as a Chinese statement read, “Deeply disappointed by the inappropriate remarks.” Hong Kong has been protesting for the last four months about China having the ability to use extradition any Hong Kong citizen if they are wanted for any crime, espionage, or whenever deemed necessary to extradite a Hong Kong citizen when necessary.

Texas representative and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has said that the apology from the Rockets and the NBA is an embarrassment. That the NBA and the Rockets should stand pat on Hong Kong standing up to China and protesting extradition of any Hong Kong citizen and not to cave to China.

The Rockets and the NBA are in panic mode now as the league could face losing millions of dollars in revenue in NBA properties, NBA paraphernalia, and NBA branding not to mention their broadcast rights in China. The NBA and the Rockets have apologized but it may be a little too late as the Hong Kong issue is an extremely sensitive issue to China.

Oakland A’s consider getting rooted in Las Vegas: Sources say that baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is getting tired of the situation that’s gone back and forth between the city of Oakland and the A’s  There has been a lot of posturing between the A’s and the city regarding how to get started on working the land at Jack London Square the A’s were in discussion with the City Manager on Tuesday the day before the A’s wild card game with Tampa Bay. 90 minutes after the meeting with the city manager, Kaval found out the city was suing the A’s to stop them from developing at the Coliseum.

When the city handed the A’s a lawsuit on Tuesday to stop the team from developing on the Oakland Coliseum site, it baffled A’s team president David Kaval, who has been very guarded with his statements about the lawsuit. Kaval has been the spearhead of the new stadium for the A’s and for a brief moment it looked like the A’s were going to work something out with the city, but the city council are split on the A’s getting a downtown stadium. To clarify, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff and City Council president Rebecca Kaplan are both not on board with suing the A’s.

Because of the lawsuit, Kaval and the A’s are regrouping and considering something they never thought they would and that’s moving the A’s out of town to Las Vegas. Fighting the city of Oakland is not on the A’s radar and it will be a sad day when the A’s make the official announcement that it’s over in Oakland. The A’s triple-A team, Las Vegas Aviators, are playing near the Vegas strip.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio talent for the Oakland A’s on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and on http://www.sportsradioservice.com for News and Commentary.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Oakland A’s after 2019

photo from bleacherreport.com: Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin says a game could go right down to a home run or a strikeout.

By Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

There are basically four ways of building a championship team:
1. Farms system
2. Free Agent signings
3. MLB Draft
4. Trade of players

Of course not one is always the easiest, but instead, a combination of all four.

“The focus next year will be winning more games and trying to win our division,” said manager Bob Melvin after the A’s lost the Wild Card game to the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 at the Oakland Coliseum.

For the second year in a row, the A’s ended 97-65 in second place behind the Houston Astros. The last game of the season this year at the Coliseum had a record 54,005 attendance, a record for a Wild Card game in all of baseball. Unfortunately, the same results for the Green and Gold dating back to 2000. The A’s have lost nine consecutive winner-take all games. We have to go back to the team of the 1973 World Series’ Game 7 against the New York Mets. That was the last time the A’s won a do or die game.

In today’s baseball, things are much different. We are now in a game where is down to “home-run” or “strikeout” — both keep going up each season. For the record, winning the division is important, like Melvin mentioned, but let’s not forget that in 2005 the Atlanta Braves won the Division championship for the 14th consecutive year (1991-2005). That is the current MLB record for winning consecutive division titles. However, during that record-setting streak the Braves, under manager Bobby Cox, only won one World Series in 1995 over the Cleveland Indians. In 2014, Cox was elected to the Hall of Fame as a manager by the veterans committee.

Under the current system, it is much difficult to make it all the way to the October Classic — especially for a wild card team — with the goal of winning 12 games in the postseason to bring home the hardware.Winning your division is definitely a better way of going into the postseason for obvious reasons. A one-game Wild Card playoff is basically a “coin flip” on who is going to win. In the case of the game against Tampa Bay, I did agree with starting Sean Manaea, who was pitching great after his return, but we also have to respect Rays pitcher Charlie Morton, an established mainstay in their rotation with experience, a guy that made the last out of the World Series giving the Astros the title two years ago.

The last handful of games during the regular season the A’s were not hitting, scoring one to three runs per game and unfortunately that carried into the October 2 Wild Card game against the Rays in a 5-1 loss. The future is bright for the young A’s who are getting younger in their rotation for 2020 with Luzardo. Montas. AJ Puk joining Sean Manaea and Mike Fiers. Minus a couple of relievers and possibly Jurickson Profar the A’s position players will be mostly the same as this year. They will not need the services of veteran pitcher rentals Homer Bailey and Roark. Piscotty and Ramon Laureano now could be joined in left field by Seth Brown a young player with talent who hits left-handed. Khris Davis could use this off season to clear his mind and work toward adjusting his batting so he can have a new approach to hitting and be the Khris Davis that we all know.

Do not expect the A’s to be actively trading this winter because they do not need to They still have the core of the young players under contract. In my opinion, Marcus Semien — the team’s MVP this season — should win in arbitration.

I picked the Houston Astros to win the World Series before the season began. After they picked up starter Zack Greinke on July 31, my opinion became much more easy to make.  But it is baseball, and it is not perfect science. I remember the 1988 World Series all too well, when the A’s lost to the Dodgers. I worked that series, and after that series, I learned that anything is possible in baseball so the main thing is to make it to the World Series and bring home the trophy. That should be every team’s goal. Postseasons are nice, the fans love it and get into it, but sometimes you have to deliver and go much deeper into October.

As for the A’s, they will have to wait another year for that chance and hopefully in 2020 they could be playing at the end of October.

Amaury Pi-González is the pioneer in establishing Spanish radio play-by-play broadcasts in the Bay Area since the middle of the 1970’s with the Oakland Athletics. He has been a longtime contributor to sportsradioservice.com