He Was a Giant? Former A’s and Giant pitcher Brian Kingman feature By Tony the Tiger Hayes

Former Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Kingman featured with the A’s Five Aces in 1981 on Sports Illustrated (top far right) is today’s He Was A Giant? Feature (file photo from newsbreak.com)


By Tony The Tiger Hayes

BRIAN KINGMAN: Oakland’s Big Time Loser, Was Worse with San Francisco

Brian Kingman – RHP – 1983 – # 25

If a 20-game win season is the magnum opus for a starting pitcher, you would figure that 20 losses would be the equivalent of finding a turd in the punch bowl.

But not for Brian Kingman.

Since losing 20 games for the 1980 Oakland A’s, Kingman has not only accepted his place in the 20-game loss fraternity, he has became the ignominious club’s self-appointed president, treasurer and spokesperson.

His 20 -game loser status has became Kingman’s calling card – his reason to be remembered.

“I feel sorry for all those guys who (only) get to 19 wins – all that frustration and never be talked about,” Kingman, tongue pressed only partially in cheek, once said. “They might as well take the final step and lose 20.”

Kingman did not lose 20 games for the Giants in 1983 – in fact he had no desisions in the three games he appeared.

But the Los Angeles native did something as a Giant that he didn’t do quite as often as you might have thought in his Oaklandish 20-game loss season.

As a Giant, Kingman pitched exceptionally ghastly.

Why Was He A Giant?

After going 4-12, 4.48 for the 1982 A’s, Kingman was dealt to the Red Sox in a cash deal. But Kingman failed to make the Boston roster the following spring and wound up hooking on with San Francisco.

He debuted in Orange & Black at Candlestick Park in a pair of games vs. Montreal in early June and was promptly battered by Expos hitters.

After two relief outings he was suffering from a 13.50 ERA, which was worse than the 9.00 figure posted by slugger Dave Kingman after his two random mop-up relief appearances for the 1973 Giants.

Before & After

As a rookie in 1979, Brian Kingman was one of the bright spots for Oakland, going 8-7, 4.31 for a confused Green & Gold club that lost a staggering 107 games.

But the A’s made an incredible turnaround the following season after the hiring of fabled firebrand skipper Billy Martin.

An unforeseen Oakland team stunned the Junior Circuit posting a winning record (83-79) with an appealing brand of baseball that relied on daring base running, power hitting and macho starting pitching.

A’s iron -armed starters would complete a staggering 94 games that season. Kingman threw 10 of those full-games, but even that meaty figure ranked fifth among A’s starters.

Despite his very reasonable 3.83 ERA over 211.1 innings, Kingman frequently pitched in tough luck in ‘80.

He lost six one-run decisions. The A’s were shutout in five of his starts and OakTown scored a paltry average of 2.8 runs in his 30 starts.

Kingman had lost nine decisions in a row when Martin mercifully (Billy had a ❤️!) yanked the righty from the rotation late in the campaign with 19 losses on his ledger.

Still, like Wilbur Wood, Jerry Koosman and Phil Niekro, the three previous 20 game losers prior to Kingman – it seemed Kingman was destined to be a historic flop.

Ironically, Kingman’s 20th loss came in relief in a game he would have normally been scheduled to start.

Kingman was forced into the game in the second inning of a game vs. the visiting White Sox when starter Matt Keough was pulled from the game with an injury.

Kingman would allow just two earned runs over 5.2 innings of work in a 6-4 home defeat, but he absorbed the loss when the A’s kicked the ball around like FC Barcelona, committing four errors (9/25/80).

“I thought I was going to be stuck 19,” Kingman quipped at the time.

More than 20 seasons would pass before Mike Maroth of Detroit became baseball’s next 20 game loser. There have been none since.

By the way, the Giants have not had a 20 game loser during their SF era.

He Never Got His Own Bobblehead. But…

Several days after his distressing Giants debut, Kingman made his third and final Giants appearance at Atlanta and pitched decently – allowing three hits and one unearned run over two innings in a 7-3 loss to the Braves (6/10/83).

But it was too little, too late and Kingman was soon optioned to Triple-AAA Phoenix. He pitched in the Giants system through 1984 but never returned to the majors.

Giant Footprint

In the World Series era, 189 pitchers have lost at least 20 games in a MLB season. The group includes several excellent pitchers including a few of immortals, including Hall of Famers Niekro, Steve Carlton, Cy Young and Walter Johnson

That fact has helped Kingman salve the sting of being labeled a big-time loser.

“That would be like if you were a scientist getting linked to Einstein or something,” Kingman said. “I was being mentioned with Walter Johnson and Cy Young.”

He Was A Giant? Jose Cardenal 1963-64 seasons feature By Tony the Tiger Hayes

Jose Cardenal as a San Francisco Giant who played in San Francisco during the 1963 and 1964 seasons (Amazon file photo)


JOSE CARDENAL – OF – 1963-64 – # 10

By Tony the Tiger Hayes

If you collected baseball cards as a kid in the 1970s there were three givens: “bubblegum” that crumbled into brittle shards the moment you touched it; hideous air-brush art work, and, finally, the incremental Chia-Pet like growth of Jose Cardenal’s unwieldy Afro. (Think TV artist Bob Ross.)

A fiery competitor with a stylish hairdo, Cardenal was a career .275 hitter and a familiar presence on the MLB scene for parts of five decades as both a player and coach.

But before the Cuban fly chaser picked his hair out to resemble a spinning classroom world globe, Cardenal broke in with the Giants, appearing in 29 games over 1963-64.

Why Was He a Giant?

Cardenal was one of the last ball players to escape Cuba before Fidel Castro shut the island’s borders. He was just 17 when the Giants paid him $200 to sign with the organization in 1960.

Though off the field he struggled with assimilation process – fueled by being cut off from family back in Cuba – Cardenal had no such issues in the batters box and produced gaudy minor league numbers.

Cardenal was just 19 when he broke camp with SF in 1963. He came and went a few times over the next couple of seasons but never could crack SF’s All-Star studded lineup.

Before & After

Despite great reviews for his on field play in the Giants farm system – hitting for power and stealing bases like a bandit – Cardenal developed a reputation of being a bit of a scoundrel.

As a young man he got into scrapes and arguments with teammates and ran afoul of team management and opposing clubs.

In one 1962 incident, when he was with the El Paso Sun Kings, Cardenal menaced the opposing Austin Senators dugout with a letter opener.

Mouthy bench jockeys had gotten under the young Cuban’s skin by calling him a “Castro Lover” and a “Communist.”

Cardenal became so enraged he considered skinning an entire minor league club. He was stopped however before he could initiate his Davy Crockett routine.

“There’s a lot behind the boy’s flare up,” said El Paso manager George Genovese after Cardenal was placed on Texas League probation. “He is immature all right but he hasn’t been home in a long time and hasn’t seen his family in two years. And there’s a language problem.”

Due to his hair-trigger temper and the fact that the Orange & Black were already brimming with talented OF prospects, the club moved on from Cardenal after the 1964 campaign, trading him to the Angels in a swap for C Jack Hiatt.

Cardenal jumped from team to team for awhile before finding a home with the Cubs for much of the ’70s. He later appeared in the 1980 World Series with Kansas City.

From 1993-2003 Cardenal was a major league coach for several teams including the 1996 World Series Champion Yankees.

He Didn’t Get His Own Bobblehead Doll (Or Chia-Pet). But…

Cardenal smacked the only hit of his Giants career in his second MLB at bat, lining a two-run, pinch hit single to left off the Cardinals Curt Simmons. Cardenal was then nabbed however trying to steal second base in a weekday afternoon 4-3 home loss (4/24/63).

Giant Footprint

It was against the Giants that Cardenal assembled a career best six- hit game at Candlestick Park (5/2/76), batting 6-for-7 with four RBIs in a 6-5, 14-inning Chicago win at Candlestick in the matinee of a double header.

The last several innings of that game can be viewed on You Tube – providing a good look at Cardenal’s glorious Afro in action and a rare look at the Giants much maligned mid-1970s AstroTurf era.

Tony the Tiger does He Was A Giant? features weekly on http://www.sportsradioservice.com

He was a Giant? Feature on former Giant Rick Leach by Tony the Tiger Hayes

Rick Leach former San Francisco Giant on his 1990 Mother’s Cookies baseball card (ebay photo image)


Rick Leach – OF/1B – 1990 – # 25

By Tony the Tiger Hayes

In 1990, the “San Francisco Treat” didn’t just refer to the family of tasty Rice-A-Roni dishes, it also described the City’s gourmet collection of quarterback talent.

That season a pair legendary Hall of Famers: Joe Montana and Steve Young, topped SF’s depth chart. Waiting deeper in the wings was the athletic passer Steve Bono.

But Candlestick Park was also home to another record setting signal caller whose college career rivaled all three of those Forty Niners QBs.

This south-paw passer was a four-year Michigan starter, Sports Illustrated cover boy and noted Ohio State killer: Rick Leach.

A college contemporary of Montana, Leach choose to persue a pro baseball career after leading the Wolverines to three straight Rose Bowl appearances in the 1970s.

In a backup role for the Giants in ‘90, Leach batted .293 in 78 games before abruptly leaving the club under a cloud of suspicion in mid-season.

Why Was He a Giant?

After seven checkered seasons in the American League – he went AWOL from a couple of teams – the Giants took a flyer on Leach after Atlanta released him in spring training of ‘90.

Before & After

Leach was the rare athlete whose lengthy big league career was considered an after -thought to his amateur completion in another sport.

Leach will forever be known first and foremost for his quarterback play at Michigan from 1975-78 when he led Big Blue to three consecutive Big 10 Conference Championships.

Though he went 0-3 in the Rose Bowl, Leach is an icon in Ann Arbor because of his ability to beat bad blood rival Ohio State. Leach compiled a 3-1 career record vs. the Buckeyes.

Though he dominated on the collegiate gridiron, Leach was considered an even better pro baseball prospect.

Along with fellow Michiganensian Kirk Gibson – who starred at the same time in both football and baseball at Michigan State – Leach signed with the home state Detroit Tigers in 1979.

Though he never reached star status on the diamond, Leach was a serviceable back-up, compiling a career average of .268.

He was actually having one of my his best MLB seasons with SF when he suddenly vanished with a puff of smoke in early August of ‘90.

Actually that may have been the problem. After one of his previous unexcused absences with Texas, authorities discovered a stash of weed in his hotel room.

On 8/7/90 it was announced that Leach had failed a league mandated drug test and was suspended 60 games – effectively ending his season – and as it turned out his baseball career.

He Never Got His Own (Giants) Bobblehead. But…

After Giants opening day starting RF Kevin Bass was shelved with knee surgery in late May, Leach became the Giants de facto starting RF for a spell.

He was particularly adapt at hitting in difficult Candlestick Park, batting .341 there, a full 100 points better than his road average.

In a 7-3 home shellacking of Houston (6/3/90), Leach tied a career high with four hits, going 4-for-5, with an RBI.

Later, in back- to -back 4-3 home wins over division rival Cincinnati (7/26-27/90), Leach bashed a HR in each contest- his only long balls for the Orange & Black.

He socked a two-run dinger off Jose Rijo in the first game and ripped a solo round-tripper off Scott Scudder in the later.

Giant Footprint

Leach was a productive and popular Giant, making it all the more difficult for the club when it was announced he was suspended for the remainder of the ‘90 contests season.

“This is a real shock. He’s devastated,” said Giants manager Roger Craig. “He’s done so much for us. He’s been a real leader. We’re going to have to pick up from here.”

A year after winning the NL pennant in 1989, the Giants would finish third, six games behind Cincinnati.

Leach was with the Giants in spring training in 1991, but was a late cut. He never played organized ball again.

Tony the Tiger Hayes does He was a Giant? features at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

They were SF Giants? Chris Bourjos, Al Hargesheimer, and Mike Rowland former Giants history

Topps 1980 baseball card rookie card of San Francisco Giants Chris Bourjos, Al Hargesheimer, and Mike Rowland

Chris Bourjos – OF – 1980 – # 18

Al Hargesheimer – RHP – 1980-81 – # 40

Mike Rowland – RHP – 1980 – # 28

By Tony The Tiger Hayes

They Were Giants?

Unlike the “Chicago Eight,” the hirsute counterculture contingent of Yippies, socialists and Black Panthers that gained noterity for their arrests at the bloody Chicago 1968 Democratic Convention – this Giants’ “Chicago Three” were never accused of Inciting to Riot or Conspiracy.

Not unless you believe this trio – who were all born in Chicago -conspired to make their MLB debuts at the same time for old school, tobacco spittin’ manager Dave Bristol and the woebegone 1980 San Francisco club.

Then they would have been guilty as hell.

Why Were They Giants?

Two years removed from the revolutionary 1978 season, the Giants bottomed out in a big way in ‘80, finishing 17 games off the pace of the NL West Champion Houston Astros. In the process the Giants drained the minor league system looking for anyone that might help going forward.

Among the dozen or so call ups that season were this trio of Windy City natives who would have been in high school when Bobby Seale, Abby Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and the other four All-Star Protesters were running amok in the streets of Chicago in ‘68.

Before & After

Bourjos (free agent, 1977), Hargesheimer, (free agent, 1978) and Rowland (22nd round, 1975) were all signed and developed by SF.

Bourjos, a Pete Rose lookalike, played four seasons in the Giants minor league system and jumped around each year. After batting .295, 9, 86 for Phoenix in ‘80, Bourjos was called up to the parent club in September.

After his Giants cameo that month – 13 games – he was traded to the Astros, but never got another shot in the majors.

The athletic Hargesheimer made a similar swift rise to the Giants, debuting in the summer of ‘80 and winning his first two starts. He finished the season at a respectable 4-6, 4.32. He returned briefly in 1981, but was soon traded to his hometown Cubs.

The burly Rowland – with his unruly curls and droopy mustache looked as if he may have picked up a few style tips from Abby Hoffman – toiled in the minors six seasons before joining the SF bullpen.

“I want to get there, I want to get there bad,” said Rowland prior to his promotion. “But I don’t think I’m obsessed with it.”

Despite better than expected results, turns out the Giants weren’t obsessed with Rowland.

He would stay up with SF just parts of two seasons, despite fashioning a 1–2, 2.74 record in 28 contests.

They Never Got Their Own Bobbleheads. But…

In a game at Cincinnati late in ‘81, Hargesheimer was dominate, putting a major roadblock in the way of the Reds postseason goals, allowing just four hits in seven scoreless frames. Greg Minton pitched the final two frames to preserve the W for Hargesheimer and a 4-0 shutout (9/28/81).

“He kept them off balance all night. I think he was more relaxed tonight. He was a little bit more prepared for this start,” said Giants manager Frank Robinson.

Rowland and Bourjos’ top performances as big leaguers came in the same Candlestick Park game vs. the soon to be ‘80 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies (9/3/80).

After starter Allen Ripley and reliever Tom Griffin allowed four runs through six innings, Rowland came on and pitched a perfect three frames, in the process getting Pete Rose on a grounder and striking out Mike Schmidt.

Philadelphia starter Dick Ruthven took a 4-1 lead to the bottom of the ninth when SF’s bats suddenly came alive.

Joe Pettini, another of the rookie call ups led off with a line drive single to left. With Rowland due up next, Bristol called on Bourjos – who had yet to collect a big league hit – to pinch hit.

On a 1-1 count, Boujos connected with a Ruthven fast ball and slugged it high and far into the warm September night for a breathtaking home run.

Unfortunately the Giants would lose 4-3, but it was still a memorable night, especially for Bourjos, who in his excitement sprinted around third base and had to put on the brakes before bypassing Pettini.

“I just couldn’t trot. I was too exited,” said Bourjos post game. “Right now I just feel full of energy.”

Giant Footprint

In the psychedelic era, head shop owners couldn’t keep “Chicago Eight” posters in stock. They were staples of radical college students dorm rooms everywhere.

Now, you won’t find much Giants memorabilia in Haight – Ashbury stores that sell funny pipes, but the “Chicago Three” did something the bull-horn toting crowd never did.

They got their own baseball card.

Topps “Future Stars” card No. 502 of the 1981 set pictured in neat alphabetical order left to right Bourjos, Hargesheimer and Rowland in clear head shots taken on spring training fields.

Now that was something to shout about.

He was a Giant? Carl Boles and the Case of the Mistaken Identity

He Was A Giant?

Carl Boles and the Case of the Mistaken Identity

By Tony The Tiger Hayes

What could possibly be better than having Willie Mays on your team? Well, having two Willie Mays’ on your team of course!

The 1962 Giants weren’t lucky enough to have an actual clone of the “Say Hey Kid” on the roster. But in 27-year-old Boles, the squad had a player many people believed was Willie Mays.

Not the “next” Willie Mays mind you. But Willie Mays himself.

Like Mays, Boles was a brown eyed, handsome man. The OF was of comparable height and similar muscular build as Mays.

Typically, fans and media joyously flocked to the rookie with pen and paper ready. But some turned away puzzled.

“I’m signing more autographs than the veterans. The only thing is, after I sign my name they get mad at me,” Boles said in 1962. “Even newspaper reporters come up to me and start to interview me. They’ll say ‘Say Willie, about that hit…’ And when I say ‘I’m not Willie, some of THEM get mad.”

Why Was He a Giant?

Mays’ doppelgänger was promoted to San Francisco from the farm system in mid-1962 and remained with the club the final two months of the season.

The Giants were impressed with Boles rounded tool set.

“I don’t know how he’s going to hit up here,” said farm director Carl Hubbell, the former Giants Hall of Fame lefty. “But he’s not going to make many mistakes in the outfield and he’s a excellent base runner.”

Boles was on the Giants active roster as they clinched their first ever West Coast Pennant in Los Angeles.

In a bizarre scene, when the club returned home, still dizzy from their champagne celebration, they were met by a frenzied mob that spilled out on to the SFO tarmac.

As they tried to motor away, team bus was surrounded by a mob of frenzied Giants fans chanting “We Want Willie! We Want Willie!”

Unbeknownst to the throng – who how began rocking the coach back and forth – Mays had slipped into a taxi and was on his way home.

Of course there had to be a wise acre in the traveling party and OF Bob Nieman sarcastically crowed : “Let’s throw ‘em Boles and get the hell outta here!”

Before & After

The native Arkansan was signed by the Giants in 1954, but his career was interrupted by a military commitment with the Navy. By the time Boles got out of bell bottoms in 1959, he was an expert at knot tying, but a number of other Giants prospects had past him up in the pipe line.

Still, Boles clawed his way to Candlestick Park in ‘62, after batting .337, 18, 74 in 89 games at Double-AA El Paso.

“He’s fast and has a fine arm… He’s a fine OF prospect,” said Giants manager Alvin Dark.

Boles did all he was asked of in a reserve role, pinch hitting and running and spelling Felipe Alou in LF.

Unfortunately Boles would not return to the big leagues after ‘62.

A broken leg the following spring halted Boles momentum and he missed most of the 1963 season.

In 1965, it appeared Boles was retiring from playing when he took a position in the Giants scouting department.

He Never Got His Own Bobblehead. But…

Boles played in a total of 19 games with the Giants in ‘62, batting a satisfying.375 (9-for-24). Four of his hits came as a pinch hitter.

In a rare start, the Giants were trailing 2-1 in the 4th inning at Milwaukee when Boles drilled a game -tying RBI single off Bob Hendley. Later that frame, Boles scored the go ahead run on a Jose Pagan triple. SF hung on to win 6-4 (8/18/62).

Boles did not leave the dugout in the World Series vs. the Yankees that fall.

He did however score a game tying run as a pinch runner in the 7th inning of Game 2 in the special playoff series at LA. The Dodgers would eventually win the contest 8-7 (10/2/62).

Giant Footprint

Just when it appeared Boles’ baseball playing days were over he returned to the field… in Japan.

From 1966-71 Boles played with the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes and Nishitetsu Lions of the Japan Pacific League.

It was overseas that fans realized that not only did Boles resemble Willie Mays off the field, but on the field as well.

In his six seasons playing in the “Land of the Rising Sun,” Boles would slug 117 home runs.

When the Giants toured Japan for a series of exhibition games in 1970, one of few Americans to greet them was… Carl Boles.

He Was A Giant? Feature on former Giant Bob Schroder

1965 Topps Rookie card of former San Francisco Giant Bob Schroder (right) who autographed the card is Tony The Tiger’s featured player in today’s article “He was a Giant?” (photo from baseball.almanac.com)

He Was A Giant?

By Tony The Tiger Hayes

Bob Schroder – IF – 1964-68 – # 10, 15

As odd as it seems to label someone who played in four straight seasons with San Francisco as an “unknown” – Schroder would qualify to be that guy.

A left-handed hitting utility infielder, Schroder batted .217, 0, 12 in 138 games between 1964-68 for the Orange & Black – failing to make any obvious impact other than providing a warm body with steady glove in blowouts and late inning situations.

In fact Schroder’s only claim to fame as a big leaguer was replacing a future Hall of Famer in the lineup after said high-kicking legend conked a Dodger over the head with a Louisville Slugger in the most infamous brawls in MLB history.

Why Was He A Giant?

Giants scouts found Schroder enjoying a dish of gumbo and char broiled oysters while starring at shortstop at New Orleans’ Loyola University in 1964.

A year later, after breezing through three low rung Giants minor league clubs, Schroder would make his big league debut in an other great restaurant town, pinch running for Tom Haller at Candlestick Park in a 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh (4/20/65).

Before & After

Born in New Jersey, Schroder didn’t exactly scream future star in his first season of pro ball when he batted a combined .273, 9, 46, at two levels of minor league ball.

Yet he made the big club out of spring training in ‘65 at age 20 and amazingly would spend the entire campaign with the big club, leading some to speculate that the kid had compromising photos of portly manager Herman Franks in a tutu or was an invaluable golf caddy for Willie Mays.

As a rookie Schroder appeared in just 31 games while amassing a paltry nine at-bats. He appeared in 10 more contests in 1966 with the big club – spending most of the year at Triple-A.

But Schroder was back for a full season in the City by the Bay in 1967 – seeing his most action in the bigs (.230, 0, 7) in a career high 65 games as the Giants primary backup infielder. In 1968 he split the season between SF and the minors.

After that, Schroder would spend all of 1969-70 with the Giants Triple-A Phoenix team and one final season of pro ball in 1971 in the Brewers system.

He was out of pro ball at age of 26.

He Never Got His Own Bobblehead. But…

Schroder enjoyed just eight multiple hit games as a Giant. In one rare starting assignment (9/7/67) he led the club in hits with three and scored the winning run in a 3-2 home edging of Houston. The catch is, it took 15 innings to accomplish the feat.

With two outs in the bottom of the 15th, Schroder sliced a line drive single to left field off Astros reliever Dave Eilers. The pitcher then plunked Ken Henderson with a pitch to move Schroder into scoring position. Jesus Alou then pounced on the next offering stinging a single into center as Schroder raced home to beat Jimmy Wynn’s throw.

Giant Footprint

The already testy Giants-Dodgers rivalry turned violent and bloody in the summer of 1965 when SF’s Juan Marichal swung and connected his bat; not at a Sandy Koufax pitch, but at Los Angeles catcher John Roseboro’s head.

Marichal alleged the LA receiver had intentionally grazed his ear with a particularly close return throw to the mound.

Thankfully Roseboro’s injury was not life threatening injury – but Marichal did open a sizable scalp wound on Roseboro head requiring more than a dozen stitches.

After the chaos dyed down 14 minutes later, Schroder was called upon to pinch-hit for the now disqualified Giants ace.

Saddled with a 1-1 count, Schroder quickly whiffed vs. Koufax and joined Marichal in the home clubhouse.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Will Covid 19 force MLB to cancel the season too?

nbcsports.com photo: Oracle Park might be awfully lonely this season until there is a break in the Coronavirus epidemic as the Giants have canceled their game against the Oakland A’s on Mon Mar 24th

On the Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 How practical is it playing in empty ball parks and having teams spends lots of money on travel to play in front of empty stadiums could MLB just end up cancelling the season?

#2 The Giants have announced in working with the City of San Francisco that they have canceled their home game with the Oakland A’s on Mon Mar 24th which would have been the first game back in the Bay Area due to caution regarding Covid 19 virus.

#3 Talking about some of the players in camp Giants pitcher Logan Webb is trying to grab the last spot in the starting rotation how do you see his chances.

#4 How does Giants manager Gabe Kapler like pitchers Dereck Rodriguez, Trevor Cahill and Trevor Oakes chances to make the starting rotation?

#5 Talk about Giants outfielders Steven Duggar, Billy Hamilton, Jaylin Davis and Mike Yastrzemski and how they’ll fit in for this season?

Join Michael for the Giants podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com


That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: NBA season suspended; Quakes cancel home game Mar 21st; Giants and A’s could cancel games soon enough

desertnews.com file photo: The Utah Jazz Rudy Gobert was tested positive for the Coronavirus on Wednesday leading to the cancellation of the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and suspension of the NBA season.

NBA season suspended due to Coronavirus/A’s Opener in Doubt

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–The NBA who announced they have suspended their season until further notice. The Utah Jazz’ Rudy Gobert was making some fun about Coronavirus during a press conference before their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder started touching the surfaces and microphones that were there. Later that night he was diagnosed with the Covid 19 virus and the game was canceled leading later to the suspension of the NBA season.

The San Jose Earthquakes have canceled their home game on Saturday March 21st and it’s possible the MLS season could be suspended as well. The San Jose Sharks and the NHL have not suspended their season yet but the cost of having games and teams traveling to play in front of empty arenas will cost too much for the gate driven sport and they may end up canceling as well.

The Pac 12 Tournament is being played at T Mobile Center in Las Vegas as both the Cal Bears and the Stanford Cardinal faced each other on Wednesday night. The game was played in front of an empty arena as the rest of March will be unless the NCAA suspends March Madness as well.

The Coronavirus pandemic is starting to reach havoc in Bay Area sports. After Alameda County joined San Francisco in recommending events with 1,000 or more people be cancelled or postponed,it looks like the Oakland Athletics home opener on Thursday the 26th of March against the Minnesota Twins is very much in jeopardy. The Giants earlier today announced that the pre-season game against the A’s at Oracle Park Mon Mar 24th had been canceled after the city announced a two-week ban on all events (sports included) of 1,000 or more people.

Today the Oakland Athletics issued the following statement: Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our community. We will adhere to any government directives, and work with Major League Baseball on all alternative arrangements to ensure the health of our fans and our community remains a top priority.

While the A’s Opening Day is this 26th, the San Francisco Giants will be opening the season on the road for the 11th consecutive year, also the 26th at Dodger Stadium vs Dodgers. As of today that game is “on” as far as the Dodgers are concerned, but the situation about Coronavirus is very fluid, so things can change at any given time.

Meanwhile,the new Giants neighbors, the Golden State Warriors who announced today that the team will play its next home game without fans this Thursday against the Brooklyn Nets. Later after that announcement came the NBA has suspended the season.

Earlier this week, NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS. These four major active sports leagues in the U.S. decided to bar nonessential individuals, including reporters, from clubhouses and locker rooms. It will be left to local communities/cities to play with or without fans,depending what part of the country the events take place.

The biggest sporting event in the world this year is the Olympics and If the Olympics can’t go ahead this summer in Tokyo because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the most realistic option would be to delay the event by one or two years, a member of the executive board for the Japanese organizing committee recently said.

All over the US,sporting events have been affected.

Note: Last time we had a flu pandemic of this magnitude(or close) was in 2009 when the virus was commonly referred to as “swine flu”,which began in the spring of 2009, the virus had spread to the US from an outbreak in Veracruz,Mexico. CDC estimated that about 59 million Americans contracted this virus strain, 265,000 where hospitalized as a result and 12,000 died.

California was the most affected State with 10,545 reported and confirmed cases and 657 dead. (World) 150,000 to 575,000 died. One quick note the Spanish flu lasted two years in 1918 killing an estimated 20-80 million people. Coronavirus is expected to dissipate at some point as the epicenter of the virus Wuhan China is now getting back to normal.

Veteran Ruf making his case to stick with the Giants

chatsports.com photo: San Francisco Giant Darin Ruf

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, March 7, 2020

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – It was a big day on Saturday at Scottsdale Stadium for a veteran trying to catch on in San Francisco’s 12-7 Cactus League exhibition win over the Chicago White Sox.

Darin Ruf, a 33-year-old non-roster invitee, was 2-for-2 with a pair of home runs and three runs batted in. In 19 at-bats in 10 games this spring, Ruf, who hasn’t played in the majors since 2016, is hitting .368 with three home runs and eight RBIs. He hit 81 home runs and batted .315 in three seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization with the Samsung Lions.

Top catching prospect Joey Bart continues to impress. Bart homered – his second of the spring – and is hitting .438 in the Cactus League.

It was an offensive show provided by both teams for the announced crowd of 9,721, who were enjoying the 82-degree game-time temperatures. The Giants scored 12 runs on 18 hits, while the White Sox had seven runs on nine hits, but committed two errors.

Also contributing offensively for the Giants, Donovan Solano was 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored twice, Zach Green was 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs, Brandon Belt collected two hits, and Buster Posey (hitting .412) was 2-for-2.

San Francisco took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third on RBI singles by Belt and Posey that drove in Jaylen Davis and Evan Longoria.

The White Sox answered with a run in the top of the fourth.
Ruf and Bart hit back-to-back home runs for San Francisco in the bottom of the fifth. It was the second Cactus League homer of the spring for each.

Chicago used a six-run rally to take the lead in the top of the sixth. After James McCann’s two-run triple pulled the Sox to within 6-5, Zach Collins’ RBI single tied the game. Chesler Cuthbert’s run-scoring single gave the White Sox a 7-6 lead.

The White Sox did most of that damage off Giants reliever Jerry Blevins. Enderson Franco (1-0) gave up two runs for a blown save, but got the win.

Green hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to put the Giants back in front at 8-7.

Solano added an RBI double in the eighth, driving in Billy Hamilton, and Green reached on an error, allowing Solano to score the Giants’ 10th run. Ruf’s second homer of the game extended San Francisco’s lead to 12-7, capping a four-run rally.

Trevor Cahill started for San Francisco, striking out five in three scoreless innings. Yapson Gomez threw a scoreless ninth for the Giants, who used eight pitchers.

Dallas Keuchel started for the White Sox and worked the first 3 2/3 innings, surrendering four earned runs while striking out three. Alex Colomé (0-1) was tagged with the loss.

The Giants Friday optioned RHPs Melvin Adon and Conner Menez, LHP Sam Selman, INFs Chris Shaw, Abiatal Avelino and Kean Wong to the minors; RHPs Tyler Cyr, Sam Hjelle, Jake Jewell, Luis Madero, Raffi Vizcaino and Trey McNutt, LHP Sam Moll, C Ricardo Genoves, and OF Jamie Westbrook were reassigned to the minor league camp.

San Francisco has 54 players in camp, 21 of them non-roster.

San Francisco hosts Seattle on Sunday at Scottsdale, travels to Goodyear for a split-squad game with Cleveland on Monday, host the Chicago Cubs in Scottsdale on Tuesday, and heads to Surprise to play Texas on Wednesday. Thursday is an off day.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Can Cueto stay healthy for 2020; Will Bart be the starting catcher this season?

sfchronicle.com photo: San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto (72) talks with infield coach Kai Correa (50) during a spring training game Wednesday at Scottsdale AZ

On the Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 Talk about Johnny Cueto is he back healthy again he says he ready to come back, can he stay the test of time for a whole baseball season?

#2 Cueto pitched for 2 2/3 innings on Wednesday then gave up four runs but Cueto said he was happy to get 49 pitches in.

#3 The Giants catcher Joey Bart ranked number seven on ESPN’s 100 prospect list and Giants TV analyst Mike Krukow said Bart should not be brought up to the show just to sit on the bench.

#4 The Giants pitcher Tyler Beede had an MRI on Tuesday and it revealed that he had a flexor sprain and UCL sprain and he could be considered for Tommy John surgery.

#5 What’s up with Yapson Gomez’s delivery in relief for the Giants he has that hesitation delivery and moves the suspended leg and then delivers.

On the Giants podcast with Michael on http://www.sportsradioservice.com