That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Bartolo Colón–Número Uno in Latin America

Photo credit: @simple_blitz

By: Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

History was made at Arlington, Texas on Tuesday, August 7th as Bartolo Colón from the Dominican Republic and with his Texas Rangers team won his 246th game and became the #1 pitcher in total wins born in Latin America. His Texas Rangers routed the Seattle Mariners 11-4, Colón pitched seven innings. His last out was his 94th pitch of the game as he retired Dee Gordon. The “Big Sexy” gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings of work.

“It was a long journey, but it finally came and it feels good” Colón said. “I always give thanks to God and to my family and the support that I have from them.”

Colón began his career in 1997 with the Cleveland Indians, and has pitched for a total of 21 years with 10 different teams. He won over 20 games in two occasions. In 2005 with the Angels, he ended with a 21-8 record and a 3.48 ERA, earning the American League Cy Young Award. A master of control, when he began he was a power pitcher with a fastball from 95-100 MPH. He pitched with the Oakland A’s in 2012 and 2013. I remember in A’s Spring Training, he tutored a Cuban-born newcomer, Yoenis Céspedes, to the Major Leagues. They became good friends.

With his 246th win, Colón passed his compatriot Juan “The Dominican Dandy” Marichal and then Nicaragua’s Dennis “El Presidente” Martínez among the top pitchers with most wins born in Latin America. Colón in Spanish means Columbus (like Christopher Columbus) and like the man who discovered the DR in the 1400’s, this Colón is in a class all by himself.

In case you did not know; there are 28 pitchers in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York with less wins than Colón’s 246.

A’s Reportedly Sign LHP Kazmir

Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

By Charlie O. Mallonee

According to reports from the San Francisco Chronicle and MLB.com, the Oakland Athletics are in the final stages of signing LHP Scott Kazmir to a two-year, $22 million contract. A physical must be completed before the deal is finalized.

Kazmir pitched for the Cleveland Indians in 2013. He posted a record of 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA in 29 starts. Kazmir averaged 9.2 strikeouts and 2.7 walks per nine innings pitched. He recorded a WHIP of 1.323.

Kazmir was released by the Los Angeles Angels in 2011 after he struggled with his control. He spent the 2012 season playing independent ball in an attempt to make it back to the Major Leagues. Cleveland signed him to a minor league contract in 2013 before promoting him to majors in May.

The reports also indicated that the signing of Kazmir ends the pursuit of free agent Bartolo Colon.

Veteran Colon gets the ball for Game 1 of ALDS

tigers-athletics

By Daniel Dullum

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Forty-year-old veteran Bartolo Colon will get the ball from Oakland Manager Bob Melvin to start Game 1 of the American League Divisional Series Friday at the Coliseum.

Colon was an 18-game winner in 2013, went through a slump in August but bounced back for the pennant run. He’ll face Max Scherzer (21-3), who supplanted Justin Verlander as the Tigers’ ace this season.

The A’s will face Verlander in Game 2 on Saturday, countering with rookie Sonny Gray.

With essentially a no-name lineup, the A’s won 96 games this season, but still find themselves underdogs against Detroit, which won its third consecutive AL Central Division title.

Melvin told the Bay Area media Thursday that there is “a good chance” the Yoenis Cespedes will play left field in the ALDS. If Cespedes can work through the discomfort of his sore right shoulder and play left, Melvin said Brandon Moss would be the designated hitter. However, if Cespedes can’t play in the outfield, he would DH and Daric Barton would play at first.

As far as other lineup moves go, Melvin will start Eric Sogard at second base over Alberto Callaspo. Since Callaspo is a switch-hitter, that gives Melvin a little more flexibility with his bench.

On the Detroit side, third baseman Miguel Cabrera, the reigning AL most valuable player, will play despite a nagging groin pull, among other ailments. But Cabrera insists he will be ready for the ALDS.

“I don’t think the groin will be an issue in the series,” Cabrera told the media. “I feel much better the last couple of days.”

First pitch is slated for 6:37 p.m. TBS will televise all games of the best-of-five series.

A’s ACORNS: Dave Henderson, an outfielder on the 1989 Oakland A’s World Series championship team, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Friday prior to Game 1 of the AL Divisional Series. … Detroit SS Jhonny Peralta is on the Tigers’ 25-man postseason roster. Peralta was suspended for 50 games during the season for his alleged involvement with the Biogenesis clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

 

The Boy with the drums and the flags in the outfield

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary

OAKLAND–Actually the faithful that attend A’s games go for the baseball, they have to, that is what happens there, ‘the boys with the drums and flags in the outfield’ – there is no pretty park like across the bay, there are no home runs balls going into the bay waters, with fans with fancy kayaks waiting for them, there are no expensive souvenirs and corporate luxury boxes.

I am not crying for A’s owners Lew Wolff/John Fisher, according to Forbes Magazine, they are the fourth richest owners in Major League Baseball. But there is a great contrast between the two teams by the bay.

In AT&T it is a: “we’re here for the party dude” atmosphere,even when the team finishes a disappointing third place after winning the previous World Series, they can’t wait for the last game of the season to cheer Barry Zito. While at the O.CO, a.k.a Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, there is not much in the form of outside the field of entertainment, players are not marketed, caricatured to the limit, there is no gourmet food in the stands, there is no quiche, or salads, but your basic hot dog and beer and hamburger and fries and an occasional bar-b-q. and yes, the Athletics play in a place were three times this season, plumbing has made the news, as an old antiquated plumbing system needs repair and acts up in an embarrassing fashion.

And no, the A’S have not won two World Series during the past three years, but they still have won four World Series since 1968. And three in a row, and how many teams have done that? For starters nobody in the American League Western Division can say that.

I know, it is not recent, but baseball is part of our history, it is a day to day grind, it is not a quarterback controversy every Monday and then you wait six days to see what happens.

Friday, for the first game of the American League Divisional Series against the Detroit Tigers, the Oakland Coliseum will be rocking, like PNC Park in Pittsburgh, a few days ago when the Pirates took the field, and then again Saturday, in Oakland, ‘the boys with the drums and the flags in the outfield’ will be there supporting their baseball team. They will have to fight the Tigers again…It’s simple, not complicated.

It’s A’s baseball.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice for Oakland A’s baseball and does News and Commentary each week for Sportstalk Radio

¡Vamos Los Athleticos!

By Emily Zahner

Welcome to September baseball in Oakland, where unlikely players step up and prove they belong as the Oakland Athletics (83-60) push forward to the post season. In the finale of season series, the A’s defeated the Houston Astros (47-96) by a score of 7-2. Oakland took the season series 15-4, as the Astros stood no chance after in the beginning of the season the A’s had gone 10-0 against their new division rivals.

Bartolo Colon was on the mound for the A’s this afternoon, and looked like he didn’t have his best stuff. On first pitch, Colon instantly struggled, giving up a leadoff single, followed by an RBI double. Before Colon had thrown five pitches, the A’s were already down 1-0. He regained composure and quickly settled down after the initial shock and fanned the next two batters and got the final out on a ground out. Colon went on to have a great outing, pitching six innings and surrendering five hits and just one earned run with seven strike outs. Manager Bob Melvin was pleased, praising his starter saying “I thought he was really good. After the first two hitters, that got his attention in a hurry. He ramped it up, had really good movement, good location today. A lot of good things came out of Bartolo’s outing today.” Colon improves to 15-6 with his win today.

Rookie RHP Paul Clemens was scheduled to start today for Houston, but was scratched at the last minute due to a blister, so the Astros called upon relief pitcher Lucas Harrell to take the mound. Harrell sailed through the first two innings, surrendering one hit and one walk, but he fell apart at the seams when the third rolled around. Stephen Vogt was the first and last batter of the inning as the A’s batted around and scored seven runs. Brandon Moss had a huge two out two-run double, Yoenis Cespedes and Daric Barton each added runs with RBI singles, and then Seth Smith capped it off by crushing a huge 3-run homerun into the right field bleachers.   Smith would be pinch hit for his next at bat, but the skipper was pleased, “That was big for Smitty, it was a key blow in the game”.

Things seemed to be clicking for the A’s lineup today as they tallied 11 hits total. In the 7th spot, Daric Barton went 2-2 with two walks, an RBI and a run scored, highlighted by his two-out RBI single in the big third. Cespedes was swinging the bat well today as well, going 2-4 with a run scored. Melvin gave a lot of credit to his left fielder, saying “we have better energy when he is swinging the bat… he’s as important as everybody knows to us. If this is the time when he’s heating up, it’s certainly a good time for it.”

The A’s close out their second to last homestand going 8-2, a record they will gladly take. Melvin recounted, “It started out good and ended up good. We’ll take it”.

Oakland has an off day tomorrow before beginning a 6-game road trip, starting with a 3-game series against the Twins on Tuesday, a team they have yet to face this year. After Minnesota, the A’s travel to Arlington for an all too important 3-game series against their division rivals Texas Rangers, who defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim today by a score of 4-3. The A’s now hold a 1.5 game lead on the Rangers.

Game Notes—Brandon Moss went 3-for-4 this afternoon with two singles, a double, and two RBIs. The A’s top three hitters, (Coco Crisp, Eric Sogard, Jed Lowrie) combined for 1-14 today with two strike outs. Brett Anderson got the save, pitching three innings and surrendering three hits and one earned run. Anderson struck out three.

Rangers beat the A’s, back in first place

by Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s squared off against the Texas Rangers Tuesday night at the Coliseum in the battle for first place in the AL West division.  Bartolo Colon was on the hill for the A’s but he did not go past the fifth inning again as the A’s lost to the Rangers 5-1. Colon’s record drops to 14-6 and  he has not won since late July. The Rangers’ starter, left-handed pitcher Martin Perez went 7 innings allowed eight hits but just one run in winning his 9th game of the year. The Rangers are now in first place and the A’s are just a game behind.  The game summary follows.

The A’s took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Coco Crisp doubled and then scored on a single by Yoenis Cespedes. The Rangers tied the score in the third on a home run off the bat of Mitch Moreland.

The Rangers scored three unearned runs in the fifth to take a 4-1. Bartolo  Colon was charged with an error when he couldn’t handle a ball hit right back to him. The Rangers then put together a double and two singles to put the three runs on the board.

The Rangers’ Alex Rios hit his fourteenth home run of the year  to start the eighth inning. Rangers now lead 5-1.

The A’s could do nothing against the Rangers bullpen and the final score was 5-1 in favor of Texas.

Game notes- Josh Donaldson made the defensive play of the year that will be a web gem for sure.

He made a great backhand catch of a foul ball while falling behind the tarp on the third base side of the diamond.  Bob Melvin said “you won’t see a better play than that.” Melvin also commented that he took Colon out of the game after five inning as “he had thrown 80 plus pitches and took a ball off his hand.” He didn’t think Texas knocked Colon around but Colon hit 92 MPH on the radar game just once or twice. Most of his pitches were 87-89 MPH.

The A’s lost for just the third time in their last eleven games and snapped a four game winning streak.

Yoenis Cespedes was 2 for 4 and it was his third straight two hit game. Michael Choice recorded his first Major League hit.

The A’s play the Rangers again Wednesday at 12:35. Sonny Gray will be pitching for the A’s hoping to get his third win of the season and he will be opposed by the Rangers ace, Yu Darvish who has a record of 12-6.

The A’s recalled left handed pitcher Tommy Milone from Single-A Stockton and right-handed pitcher Evan Scribner from Triple-A Sacramento. The A’s also selected right-handed pitcher Pat Neshek from Sacramento. To make room on the 40 man roster, the A’s designated lefty Hideki Okajima for assignment. Luke Montz , who was designated for assignment on Sunday, was released.

 

Attendance was 16,133