Headline Sports podcast with Lewis Rubman for Charlie O: Taking a look at the A’s strengths following the draft

division1 file photo: Michigan Wolverines right hander Jeff Criswell who was selected by the Oakland A’s in the MLB draft the A’s will be taking a look at Criswell again once the players and MLB can reach an agreement

Headline Sports podcast with Charlie O:

#1 The Oakland A’s went pretty strong in their opening pick with catcher Tyler Soderstrom last week although he’s going to have to go through the minor league system to get to the show it’s his bat that the A’s are looking forward to.

#2 In the later rounds of the draft the A’s also strengthened their future pitching core in selecting Jeff Criswell who pitched for Michigan. Criswell pitched against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in two appearances pitched in five scoreless innings for two saves in the College World Series.

#3 The A’s like Criswell who throws 97 miles per hour and has a wicked breaking ball that could very well be his bread and butter pitch.

#4 Criswell in warm up tosses outside of the bullpen has be rumored to throw 100 MPH, Criswell can hurl and with some minor league experience he might get promoted up to the show pretty quickly.

#5 Also the A’s selected from the University of Washington pitcher Steve Emmanuels who went 2.35 ERA, with 65 strikeouts, 22 walks, in 53.2 innings as a reliever.

Lewis Rubman is a Oakland A’s beat writer and filled in for Charlie O on Headline Sports podcasts heard with Charlie O every other Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Really Inside Baseball–Exclusive with Mickey Morabito A’s Traveling Secretary

Oakland A’s Traveling Secretary Mickey Morabito who has been with the club since 1981 (file photo sfgate.com)

Really Inside Baseball: Exclusive with Mickey Morabito Athletics Traveling Secretary

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Mickey Morabito is the longtime Oakland Athletics Traveling Secretary. Like everybody else in the baseball world he is on “stand by” but not just sitting at home watching the flowers bloom. I talked with Mickey, whom I have known since he came from New York to the Bay Area. At this time just beginning the month of May, if there is a baseball season it would be an abbreviated one, like the 1981 season.

Q: We all are living a unique experience, with basically the whole country paralyzed, including baseball. As a Traveling Secretary how has this affected your job?

MM: It’s been stressful. I had to keep in touch with all our hotels, letting them know to cancel our rooms. I have been canceling three weeks out, as of now I have cancelled all my hotel rooms through the Houston,Texas trip at the end of May. I also called to let out bus and truck companies know we won’t need their services….I feel bad for all of the hospitality industry…including our airline since we are not flying. I am hopeful we can play some kind of abbreviated season.

Q:As far as you can remember any other situation that resembles this when it comes to travel with the team?

MM: We have experienced weather situations. Once when a hurricane came through the Tampa area we cancelled our series there and flew to Baltimore, the next stop on that trip. We had also had mechanical situations with our plane that caused re-routing.

Morabito’s job with the Athletics is one that requires organization and communication all the time. To make the team performs well on the field, so that players are on time and rested, wherever they go, especially when they go on the road. To make sure all players, manager, coaches and staff are all on the same page.

Q: Can you give me an idea of some of the stuff that goes on before every road trip?

MM: I distribute a detailed itinerary for each trip…that has all charter times, bus times to airports and stadiums that the players and our traveling party can follow.

Q: I remember when you first arrived in Oakland from New York,with Billy Martin did you expect to be with the A’s organization this long?

MM: I didn’t really know what to expect when I came here with Billy…it looked like we would only be in Oakland for the 1980 season and then would be sold to Marvin Davis and moved to Denver. But thankfully the Haas family stepped up and bought the team from Finley and kept the A’s in Oakland. I have enjoyed my 40 years here.

Q:I know you are a big baseball fan. When you were growing up, who was your favorite team and player?

MM: I grew up a big Yankee fan,living in Brooklyn so it was a dream to get a job working for them…my favorite player growing up was Bobby Richardson.

Q:I do not think there is a school for your type of job. For those, especially young people that love the game and might be interested in doing what you have been doing so well for so many decades, did you have a mentor? What is your advice.

MM: I was the Public Relations Director in New York and when I came to Oakland, Finley told me I had to do both jobs to start. So it was a lot of on the job training, but since I have traveled with the Yankees I had a clue about what happened on the road. The Yankees traveling secretary at the time was Bill Kane, who was a good mentor for me. Somebody wanting to get into this job, I would recommend just getting any job,I would recommend just getting any job in baseball opportunities to get started.

Q: Can you name your best day as Traveling Secretary and your worse?

MM: Winning the ’89 World Series against the Giants, one of the worse was losing the wild card game to Kansas City.

Andy Dolich, longtime baseball executive in the Bay Area, with the Oakland Athletics, Dolich helped change the face of sports team advertising through the Clio Award winning “BillyBall” and who has also known Morabito for decades told me: “Mickey Morabito is the best in the business. He is the Swiss Army Knife of solving the complex world of moving teams around the country. He was the team’s answer to the GPS before there was a GPS”

I want to thank Mickey Morabito for taking his time for this interview. Just because there is no baseball as we can see he is busy today with his work. Hopefully we will see him soon.

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

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Maddon excited to face his old team Cubs; Will Matz meet the Mets; plus more

photo Angels manager Joe Maddon

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

#1 What’s it like for former Chicago Cub manager Joe Maddon to play against his former team the Cubs as Angels manager.

#2 What does it say for the Angels organization formerly working in Anaheim picking up a manager like Joe Maddon.

#3 The New York Mets are inquiring about Steven Matz of the New York Yankees. Matz has a 4.05 ERA over the last four seasons and could turn free agent what are the Mets chances of getting Matz?

#4 The Oakland A’s Jesus Luzardo threw for three innings on Sunday in his second start this spring. Luzardo pitched for the Las Vegas Aviators last season in seven starts and had an ERA of 3.19.

#5 A’s manager Bob Melvin says that Tony Kemp may not end up being the A’s lead off hitter but he’s been getting some good at bats, Kemp hit a double and went 8-18 and Melvin says that Kemp is seeing left handed pitching pretty good too.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice for A’s baseball on KIQI 1010 San Francisco hear all A’s home games on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Amaury does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: MLB: Rules changes for 2020 (English and Español) MLB: Rules changes for 2020 (English and Español)

nypost.com photo: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has changed baseball’s rules and with so many changes Amaury lists and explains them below

MLB: Rules changes for 2020 (English and Español) MLB: Rules changes for 2020 (English and Español)

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

We might as well go to “baseball school”so we can learn more of the new rules.slowly but surely the National Pastime continue to go through a series of changes. These are the categories that will go into effect this 2020 season. For all fans pleasure and entertainment,here they are.

1-The Three-batter minimum. For all intent and purposes,this is “the one”.
All pitchers, starters and relievers now have to face at least three batters (or pitch until the inning is over) before they come out of a game. The only exception is an injury or illness that prevents the pitcher from being able to finish his three batters. Main effect of this rule will be on the specialist relievers (the ones used to face one batter for a favorable match-up) the perennial lefty coming out of the bullpen just to get a lefty out.

That is gone,there will be none of this beginning this season. Also could impact teams that use the “openers”, who are usually starters that are used just to pitch the first inning of a game.These “openers” are pitchers that start the game to match up specifically against the top of the opposing order. Starting this season an opener will have to face at least three batters even if he had a bad match-up in that start, –This three-batter rule is already on effect this current Spring Training Roster Limits.

2-Roster Limits: 26 man rosters.Teams active rosters are being increased from 25 to 26 players for the regular season (through August 31) and during postseason. Teams are limited to carrying a maximum of 13 pitchers.

3-Smaller Rosters in September:MLB is adjusting the size of September rosters to 28 players,including a maximum of 14 pitchers.

4-Two-way Player Designation: Totally new. A “two way player” somebody who can both hit and pitch, like Angels Shohei Otani or Reds Michael Lorenzen,who appears as a reliever and also plays the outfield.. The “two way player” has not been seen in MLB since the days of the legendary Babe Ruth*,the most famous of all “two way players”. This rule will let these players stay on the roster as a position player and pitch in games without counting their team 13 pitchers limit. If you designate someone as a “two way player” they have to stay that way through the end of the year.
*When Babe Ruth played in the 1910’s and 1920’s it took 1 hour and 51 minute on an average to complete a game.

5-Position Players Pitching:Position players are allowed to pitch only if a game goes to extra innings,or If their team is winning or loosing by more than six runs.During normal circumstances in a nine-inning game only the teams 13 designated pitchers (or two way players) are allowed to pitch.

6-The 27th man: What used to be the 26th man is now the 27th man, thanks to the new 26 man roster size.

7-Injured List and Option Periods: Pitchers and two-way players are returning to a 15-day injured list.That is once they are placed on the IL, they cannot be reinstated for 15 days. The IL (injured list) used to be 15 days for all players until the 2017 season,when it was reduced to 10 days. Position players will still have a 10 day IL under the new rules. Also,pitchers who are optioned to the Minor Leagues now have to remain there for 15 days rather than 10. The option period for position players remains at 10 days.

8-Challenge time: Managers now have 20 seconds to decide to challenge a play instead of 30.

__________________________________________________________________________________

MLB: Nuevas reglas para temporada 2020

Amaury Noticias y Comentarios

Por Amaury Pi-González

Hay que regresar a la “escuela de béisbol” para aprender más de las nuevas reglas. Lentamente pero seguro el Pasatiempo Nacional continua con una serie de cambios. Estas son las categorías que se pondrá en práctica apartir de esta temporada 2020. Para deleite y entretenimiento de los aficionados,aqui están.

1-Enfrentar un Mínimo de Tres Bateadores(en efecto desde el Spring Training 2020) Este es el cambio más importante.
Todos los lanzadores, asi sean abridores ó relevistas, deben de lanzarle mínimo a tres bateadores ó acabar la entrada para poder ser relevados por otro lanzador. La única excepción a la regla será cuando un lanzador se lesione ó tenga una enfermedad que le impida lanzarle al mínimo de rivales ó terminar el inning,los tres bateadores. El máximo efecto sería en los relevistas especialistas, por ejemplo un pitcher zurdo que sale a enfrentarse a solo bateadores zurdos. Esto no existe para el 2020. La regla también puede afectar aquellos equipos que usan un “opener” -típicos relevistas que los usan para iniciar el juego. Ahora el “opener” tiene que enfrentarse a por lo menos tres bateadores,aún si las cosas no le salieron bien contra los bateadores a los cuales se enfrentó.

2-Cambios en los Rosters: La lista se expande a 26 jugadores, De lo que eran 25 el año pasado a 26 jugadores para el 2020 con un máximo de 13 que pueden ser lanzadores.

3-Rosters más Pequeños en Septiembre:. Ahora los equipos podrán tener solo un máximo de 28 peloteros,incluyendo un máximo de 14 lanzadores.

4-Designación de Jugadores Multifuncionales: Un jugador multifuncional es uno que lanza y batea, por ejemplo Shohei Othtani de LA Angels y Michael Lorenzen de los Rojos de Cincinnati.Babe Ruth*fue l primer famoso jugador multicuncional. Esto les permite mantenerse en la lista como “jugador de posición” por ser parte de la nómina de 13 lanzadores máximo que estan permitidos en el roster. Un jugador que es designado como multifuncional tiene que mantenerse así toda la temporada.
*Cuando Babe Ruth jugó en los 1910’s y 1920’s un encuentro tenía promedio de 1 hora 51 minutos.

5-Jugadores de Posición Lanzando: Para que un pelotero de cuadro ó jardinero pueda lanzar,el partido deberá estar en extra-innings ó con una diferencia de seis carreras, a favor ó en contra. Durante un juego normal de nueve entradas,solo los 13 jugadores inscritos como lanzadores ó jugadores multifuncionales podrán lanzar.

6-El Jugador 27: Cada equipo podrá agregar un jugador más a su roster regular, de 26 a 27 jugadores.

7-Lista de Lesionados y periodo de Opcionados: Lanzadores y jugadores “multifuncionales” tendrán un periodo mínimo de estancia en la lista de lesionados de 15 días, en vez de los 10 días en el pasado. Los jugadores de posición seguirán pasando a la lista de incapacitados durante 10 días. Al igual que con la lista
de lesionados los jugadores de posición deberán permanecer 10 días.

8-Tiempo de Manager para pedir un Reto: El tiempo de los managers(en el reloj)para retar una jugada através de la repetición será recortado de 30 a 20 segundos.

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

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Giants no longer after former Dodger Yaseil Puig; At Giants Fan Fest Pence says he loves being back

San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is welcomed back by his teammates Alex Dickerson and Buster Posey at Giants Fan Fest on Saturday at Oracle Park in San Francisco (sfchronicle.com photo)

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary:

#1 The San Francisco Giants were one of the teams that were expressing interest in acquiring former Los Angeles Dodger Yaseil Puig but no more. Puig commands a seven year worth $42 million deal. The Giants have said they are no longer interested in obtaining Puig. Was it his unpopularity with his teammates with past teams the issue or the cost of his contract demands?

#2 It was a big deal at Giants fan fest when Hunter Pence sat on stage with an untucked Giants jersey on and was happy to be back in San Francisco again

#3 Pence signed for a one year deal worth $3 million is Hunter’s value mostly in the clubhouse or what he can bring to the plate he did get some big flies when he did play in Texas last season

#4 In a San Francisco Chronicle poll of 500 voters in Oakland 62% of them said the current site should be at the Coliseum for the A’s, 29% of those polled wanted to see the A’s move to Jack London Square. Most of those polled said the Coliseum site is more practical because of it’s land space, parking, freeway access and BART.

#5 MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has made it clear that if the Oakland A’s do not get a new stadium built at Howard Terminal in downtown Oakland MLB will seek to move the A’s out of Oakland and move them to Las Vegas.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez each Tuesday for News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: A’s 30 years World Series reunion at Fremont

bostonglobe.com file photo: Former Oakland A’s pitcher, native of Fremont, and Boston Red Sox broadcaster Dennis Eckersley appeared at the 1989 World Series reunion in Fremont
A’s 30 Years World Series Reunion at Fremont
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
FREMONT CA–At an upscale restaurant in Fremont, Athletics front office workers,executives,some ex-players and broadcasters were mingling and reminiscing the last time the Oakland A’s won a World Series.
The historic 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake World Series where the A’s swept the Giants. The “time capsule”reunion took place in Fremont,where in this decade,was planned to be the new home for the Oakland A’s and today the fourth largest city (by population) in the Bay Area,closing-in 240,000 residents.just a few months before the next US Census takes place.
The gentrification of Fremont has been taken place for a while now. Some are calling Fremont, “Silicon Valley East” because of its proximity to the hub of technology in the US. Fremont is only 12-15 miles away from Silicon Valley and would have been a well-located place for their new home,specially now because today’s Fremont is much more affluent that the Fremont where the General Motors Plant employed most of the population.
But,it was not-to-be. There was a rally of people supporting the team moving to Fremont.in a popular local eatery but the opposition came right away and the proponents got cold feet. The idea of Fremont as the new home for the A’s never got to first base,even thought it was officially listed on the team’s Media Guide one year.
It is always great to see people that you work in the past,in this case 30 years ago. Part of the history of this franchise that originated in Philadelphia and has won a total of 9 World Series, five in Philadelphia and four in Oakland. Even Crazy George,the ultimate A’s Booster was in attendance,with a drum to cheer everybody.
Although the focus was the 1989 World Series, the reunion was not necessarily about baseball,but about friendships and relationships that are developed in this unique business. Just like any reunion you will see people you have not seen and many that you didn’t even knew where alive. These are the people behind the scenes that make a Major League franchise operate in the good as well as during the lean years.
Fremont was an appropriate place for this reunion,because the city was part of the history of the Athletics and it is well located,just 15 miles from San José, 45 miles from San Francisco and just south of Oakland on highway 880,and accessible via BART. In July, Fremont was named the ‘least stressed city in the United States” by a WalletHub study, according to the San José Mercury News.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Heritage Museum and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Diaz home run disaster strikes twice, Oakland lawsuit could force A’s to leave Oakland

tampabaytimes.com file photo: Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Tommy Pham (29), right, is congratulate by Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Willy Adames (1), center, and Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Yandy Diaz (2), left, after Pham hit a solo homer in the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics in the American League Wild Card game Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019 in Oakland.

On the Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg:

#1 The Tampa Bay Rays’ leadoff hitter Yandy Diaz got a jump on A’s pitcher Sean Manaea. Did that sort of shake up Manaea’s confidence to start the game?

#2 Then, in the top of the second, the Rays right fielder Avisail Garcia took one deep center just under the Holy Toledo sign for a two-run home run to put the Rays on top 3-0.

#3 In the top third, Diaz did it again with his second home run and the Rays go up 4-1 and Sean Manaea was lifted and charged for all four runs. The Rays’ Tommy Pham took A’s reliever Yusmeiro Petit deep and put the Rays up 5-1.

#4 The City of Oakland has filed a lawsuit against the Oakland A’s to stop the A’s partial purchase of Oakland Coliseum. The lawsuit was filed in Alameda Superior Court on Tuesday and it certainly broadsided A’s team president David Kaval, who just with the City’s lead negotiator Betsy Lake, discussed regarding building the new stadium Jack London Square.

#5 Going forward after the loss in the wild card to the Rays, now Kaval has to deal with not only trying to get an idea when the A’s can start building at Jack London Square, but also dealing with the lawsuit filed by the city of Oakland.

Jerry did the 2019 Oakland A’s podcasts on http://www.sportsradioservice.com

How it ended: A’s season ends with a thud fall to the Rays 5-1

sfgate.com photo: After surrendering three home runs Oakland A’s starter Sean Manaea heads for the A’s dugout as the Tampa Bay Rays win the AL Wild Card game at the Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday night 5-1

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND- The Tampa Bay Rays won the Wild Card game and advanced to the ALDS against the Houston Astros. The Rays, with the second-best road record in baseball, scored all of their runs on the strength of four home runs. They sent A’s starter Sean Manaea to an early exit as he gave up three bombs in two-plus innings of work. The A’s could do nothing against Charlie Morton and the Rays’ bullpen.

The A’s had opportunities, but they failed to cash in, and that cost them the game. The A’s have made the playoffs five times in the Bob Melvin era. They failed to advance in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018, and now in 2019. Billy Beane and David Forst have to make some moves to improve the team over the winter.

Let’s see what happens. The Rays took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. With the count 3-1, Yandy Diaz homered to right field. Sean Manaea settled down and struck out the next three hitters. The Rays lead 1-0 with the A’s coming to the plate. The A’s were able to load the bases as Marcus Semien led off with a single. The Rays’ starter Charlie Morton struggled with his command as he walked two hitters to load the bases.

He got Jurickson Profar to fly out to right to end the threat. The Rays put two more on the board in the second. Former San Francisco Giant Matt Duffy led off with an infield single. The next hitter, Avasail Garcia, hit a blast that went about 420 feet over the centerfield fence to give Tampa a 3-0 advantage.

In the top of the third, Yandy Diaz hammered his second homer of the night to make it 4-0. A’s manager Bob Melvin, decided to remove Manaea from the game. Yusmeiro petit came in and was able to stop the damage. Manaea’s line was two innings pitched, four hits, and four runs. The Rays tagged him for three big flys.

The A’s put their first run on the board in the bottom of the third. Marcus Semien reached third on a throwing error by Rays’ third baseman Mike Brosseau. Semien scored on a Ramon Laureano’s sacrifice fly to right. With two out in the fifth, the Rays continued to send the ball out of the park. Rays’ DH Tommy Pham hit the Rays’ fourth home run of the night over the center-field wall to put the Rays in the drivers’ seat 5-1.

The A’s bullpen shut down the Rays the rest of the way. The Rays’ bullpen stifled the A’s offense to secure the win. The Rays travel to Houston to play the Astros in the American League Division Series. Game notes- The winning pitcher was Charlie Morton, and Sean Manaea took the loss. There was some controversy about Bob Melvin’s choice of Manaea over Mike Fiers. Fiers led the team with a 15-4 record this season.

He was the A’s best pitcher, and many people were surprised by Melvin’s choice. Melvin said Manaea pitched very well when he returned from the IL and was 4-0 in five starts before the Wild Card game. Manaea gave up three home runs and four runs in two-plus innings of work. The bullpen gave up just one run in the last seven innings of the game. The A’s offense went to sleep Wednesday night.

The only run they scored was unearned in the third inning. The A’s managed eight hits, all singles. The Rays had seven hits, but four were home runs, and that was the difference in the game. There were 54,005 fans at the park Wednesday night and that set a record for a Wild Card game. The time of the game was three hours and eighteen minutes. The A’s season ended sadly, but they have an excellent young team, and they will be back next year.

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: This one’s for all the marbles, Rays-A’s, expect a good pitching match

yahoo.sports.com file photo: Oakland left handed pitcher Sean Manaea will start for the A’s in Wednesday’s AL wildcard game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

On Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 The American League Wild Card game between Tampa Bay and Oakland is a one and done series. London tells us what’s on the line as the Rays’ Charlie Morton matches up against Oakland’s Sean Manaea.

#2 The A’s have had a key player throughout the regular season. Whether it’s Jurickson Profar, Sean Murphy, Ramon Laureano, Matt Olson or Matt Chapman, someone is always digging in at the plate.

#3 The Rays are a good road team they are 49-37, which is the second-best record in MLB. They can really make a game of it against the A’s tonight.

#4 It just seems like A’s manager Bob Melvin has been able to position and place hitters and pitchers in the right spots to get the best out of them and it’s paid off and it’s what’s in them the home field in these wild card games.

#5 It’s all on the line, it’s a one and done series. Does the one-game format of the wild card rob a team’s dream working 162 games to get here and then to be eliminated or is that the best part of the wild card format to keep teams on edge?

London Marq does Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com