That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Changes in baseball coming to a park near you

The Major League Baseball 15 second pitch clock will now be joined by the hitters clock the batter has eight seconds to get in the batter’s box and hit or could be charged with a strike call these rules will be implemented for the 2023 season. (photo from

Changes in Baseball Coming to a Park near You

That’s Amaury News and Commentary–

By Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

“The Only Constant in Life is Change” – Heraclitus, a Greek Philosopher once wrote. Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred is no Heraclitus, but under his tenure, he is changing the game of baseball. Well, trying anyway. We remember Mike Hargrove, who played in the 1970s and 1980s also better known as “The Human Rain Delay” because of his deliberate routine at the plate before each at-bat and before each pitch.

The record books show he played for 12 years in the major leagues, but if we could add all the time he spend at the plate, we can probably increase it by two more years. If he was playing this 2023 season he could not do those antics at the plate. To be fair there were others that took all the time in the world at the plate like, for example, Nomar Garciaparra.

Beginning this year, hitters will have to be ready inside the batting box and ready to hit in eight seconds. These are changes that you will “discover” this season if you attend a game or in your living room in front of the television, or if you watch the games on your telephone. When I was a kid growing up in Cuba, I can imagine what my grandfather Armando would have told me if I said to him, “Abuelo, I am going to watch the game on the telephone”. I know his answer, but I will not translate it here.

1-Pitch Clock.

Mike Moore, pitched for 14 years, four of those with the Oakland A’s, and I know I could shave, put aftershave, a t-shirt, and a nice shirt in between his pitches. He will also (if he were pitching today) could not take too much time in-between pitches.

Commissioner Rob Manfred is implementing changes after trying them in the minor leagues. Starting this 2023 season, pitchers will have 15 seconds to deliver the ball, with bases empty and 20 seconds with at least one runner on base. If a pitcher exceeds the clock time he could be charged with a balk (with runner(s) on base.

The hitters will also have to be ready inside the batting box and ready to hit in eight seconds. Years from now, when robotics are running everything, baseball could clone a pitcher like Hall of Fame Greg Maddux, because anyway by that time, bases on balls would have been banned, just like the Umpires, they all left us, like the Dodo bird, all extinct and if a pitcher can’t throw strikes, he is in the wrong line of work.

2-Defensive Shift

A team must have two infielders to the right of the second base and two to the left of the second base, all four on the outer part of the infield. It is expected to be more traditional and it could and should increase batting averages, therefore more people running which equals more action, and more excitement. Before the shift, (the baseball that we all knew) infielders didn’t play outside the infield. I do not believe Ted Williams would have supported the shift all the time, for every .220 hitter, as we have seen recently. After all, who can hit .400 anyway?

3-Larger Bases.

The bases that were 15 square inches, this season will be 18 square inches. The study revealed that this keeps players healthier as far as bases-related injuries with a decline of 13.5 % in the minor leagues in 2022, at every level of the minors. The minor leagues have become the experimental laboratories for baseball.

And who is getting more responsibilities? The Umpires will have to live and die by the clock. We will altogether see how it works. By the way, these changes begin during the 2023 Spring Training games in Arizona and Florida. Oh yes, the “free runner” at the second base starting each extra inning game in the top of the tenth inning is back and it looks like it is going to stay.

Manfred seems to be its biggest fan. Please excuse my cynicism, and with all respect to the Commissioner; if the purpose is to end the game right away; why not start with a runner at third base in the top of the tenth? Credit him with a triple which is still the most difficult to get. Make the player happy. Statistics have shown that if you have a runner at third with no outs it usually scores around 50% of the time. In Las Vegas, you have a 1 in 5 tries chance to win any price in a slot machine.

Like everything in life, some like it, and some do not. The biggest critic so far is ex-major league pitcher Rob Dibble. “It’s idiotic,” Dibble responded to a question about MLB’s implementation of a pitch clock, and he was just getting started. “I heard what Theo Epstein said [and] it was idiotic. He’s working for Rob Manfred who doesn’t love baseball the way we do. “I think the game is fine. You can have analytics, you can have the old-school mentality, it all works,” Dibble continued. “But when you start hating on the game and saying ‘we need a pitch clock, we need pitchers to work faster’ you know what’s going to happen? Guys are going to throw fewer strikes. There’s going to be less active.” Others like ex-A’s currently with the New York Mets, Mark Cahna like it. “I am open to change. I think I can evolve with the times, and be open-minded. I think the rules are just great. I think it’s really good for baseball”.

Robert Manfred is not going to win a popularity contest with those that love traditional baseball. Baseball takes its time, it is game of leisure and strategy and patience. I remember years ago Dusty Baker telling me he loves fishing, because it develops patience. Managers have to think ahead, and a pitching change still the biggest move a manager will make.

The clock will play a big role this year in major league baseball, but (so far) it is not sponsored by Seiko, Rolex or Longines. Just enjoy the game, do not get hang-up on the clock, because the clock never stops anyway.

Get ready, baseball season is coming soon.

Talking about things coming soon: A fascinating tour of Oakland sports history and a look toward the future of professional sports in the East Bay will be available soon in hard copy by April 11. A book “Goodbye Oakland, A Fight for Survival” by Andy Dolich and Dave Newhouse. Pre-orders on Amazon books, if you do not want to wait until April.

Adios muchachos!

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for his latest perspectives on sports on That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcasts Tuesdays at

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: How much is the Bears a must game for 49ers Sunday?; World Series opens tonight; plus more

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan knows the pressure is on here he is coaching Sun Oct 24, 2021 against the visiting Indianapolis Colts at Levi Stadium. The 49ers have lost four straight games (AP News photo)

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary:

#1 On sloppy field in sloppy weather on nationally televised Sunday Night Football the San Francisco 49ers (2-4) dropped their fourth straight game on their home field to the visiting Indianapolis Colts 30-18 in a game that wasn’t even close.

#2 Some blame 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. some blame quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Shanahan said when asked if he would switch quarterbacks for back up Trey Lance saying he’s got a whole team to study who will be in the starting line up for next Sunday in Chicago not just worrying about the quarterback situation. Shanahan turns out did say he was going to start Garoppolo this Sunday.

#3 The Houston Astros have been at this awhile and this time under the tutelage of manager Dusty Baker back for another World Series. Whether it was cheating teams in the past and clean play under Dusty this speaks to the ability of the Houston organization able to put together a successful team year after year.

#4 The Oakland A’s are looking at a big group of players who will become free agents at the conclusion of the World Series: outfielder Mark Canha, infielder Jed Lowrie, designated hitter Khris Davis, first baseman Mitch Mooreland, relievers Yusmeiro Petit, Trevor Rosenthal and Sergio Romo, also starter Mike Fiers. Trade deadline acquisitions Starling Marte, Yan Gomes, and Josh Harrison, pitcher Andrew Chafin has a $5.25 million option and reliever Jake Diekman has a $4 million option. Will the A’s work something out with these players?

#5 Amaury turning to ice hockey and the San Jose Sharks had a four game win streak going until they ran into the Boston Bruins on Sunday for their first loss of the season. They play the Nashville Predators tonight before returning home to San Jose on Thursday vs. Montreal and Saturday vs. Winnipeg.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for News and Commentary podcasts Tuesdays at

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: The Ultimate Baseball Face-off – Dusty Baker vs Tony LaRussa

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker (left) and Chicago White Sox manager Tony LaRussa meet at Minute Maid Field in Houston on Thu Oct 7, 2021 for game 1 of the ALDS (file photo NBC Sports)

The Ultimate Baseball Face-off – Dusty Baker vs Tony LaRussa

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

The American League Divisional Series is an attractive one. Two of the best hitting teams in all of baseball with very good pitching also. Manager Dusty Baker of the AL Western Division Champion Houston Astros, who will host Tony La Russa Manager of the Chicago White Sox Champion of the AL Central Division. Two excellent managers, who both return to the show after a few years of “unemployment”.

The two managers cut their teeth here in the Bay Area, Tony (The Hall of Famer) with the Athletics and Dusty (The Players Manager) with the Giants, they are two “old school” managers, not necessarily going by today’s super hyper stats of high-velocity pitches and hits, infield shifts, launch angle and all the other stuff which some media and fans overdose these days. Both not afraid of using the bunt, sacrifice, or as well as the hit and run or ‘run and hit’ and very much manage with their guts in-game situation.

Tony LaRussa is the active manager with the most wins ever 2,821, which places him second all-time behind the legendary owner and manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, Connie Mack who won a total of 3,731 baseball games.

Dusty Baker occupies No.12 in the all-time managers in wins with 1,987. Having covered both managers and traveled with them, there is a rivalry between both, the two oldest managers in baseball this season, Tony 77, Dusty 72.

They both speak conversational Spanish. In the 1980’s I recorded “El Show de Tony LaRussa” which was a three minute inside pregame show for radio. Tony would talk about the previous game with his take as a manager. With Dusty, many times I interviewed him including in the late 1990s when he was managing the Giants including 2002 when he won the National League Pennant and lost the World Series to the LA Angels.

This American League Divisional Series begins this Thursday, October 7 at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, who finished the season with 95-67 winning the West, while the Chicago White Sox ended with 93-69. This is the best-of-5 and Houston owns home-field advantage. Prediction: It will be a 5 game series. Houston is a much experienced postseason-proven team than Chicago. They didn’t clinch until the last week of the regular season.

Chicago White Sox won the Central Division (the weakest in baseball, second-place Cleveland Indians finished 13 games from Chicago). The Sox had their share of injuries, but they were never really challenged, they are a dynamic and mostly young ball club, which many critics believe (before the season) that LaRussa would be “too old” to win with this young group of players, but he proved those guys wrong and here is another Tony LaRussa team in the postseason.

Some great hitters for Houston in the series: José Altuve, Carlos Correa, Jordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Yuliesky Gurriel, who just won the league batting title with a .319 average, which today is the equivalent of hitting .340 decades ago, a breakthrough year for Kyle Tucker who was a First Round pick in the 2015 Draft, for the Astros and ended this season with his best numbers at 24 years of age, hit .294 with 30 home runs and 92 RBI. Their rotation is solid and a good bullpen to complete the game.

The Chicago White Sox can swing it with anybody. Tim Anderson, José Abreu, Yoán Moncada, Luis Robert, César Hernández, Eloy Jiménez, Yasmani Grandal, some of the names that can hit and hit for power. A very good pitching staff with Carlos Rodón, Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease, and a very strong bullpen with Craig Kimbrel and Liam Hendricks to close the game.

I give the edge to Houston in 5 games, but if Chicago wins, they have the potential to run the table and go all the way and win the World Series.

About the Wild Card game: (Note) I never liked the Wild Card game, just one game to decide a season. The LA Dodgers won 106 games this year and finished second. The first team ever to finish with 106 wins and not win their division. The Dodgers play the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, Oct 6.

The winner advances, the other team goes home. Just image winning 106 games and getting eliminated in the first round of the postseason? Something is not right here. This is not the NFL. Solution? Wild Card should be the best of 3 games. Just reduce the season to 152 games instead of 162 to even the whole year schedule, so the World Series doesn’t end by Thanksgiving Day. Who really likes the ‘due or die games’? Fans and especially, television, who usually score very good ratings.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez call post season baseball on CBS Spanish radio and reported for Telemundo TV and does News and Commentary at

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Was Astros Dusty outsmarting the A’s in Houston series?

Houston Astros Jose Altuve is congratulated from manager Dusty Baker upon returning to the dugout in the fourth inning after scoring against the Oakland A’s on Thu Apr 1, 2021 at the Oakland Coliseum (AP News photo)

#1 The A’s had a pretty rough start in their first series of 2021 Dusty Baker and the Astros are a very methodical team

#2 There’s very little doubt that the Astros can produce runs as seen in these three games of the series.

#3 The A’s host the Dodgers on Monday after they had a three game series with the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers have lots of punch in that line up with Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger.

#4 The A’s pitching staff over the three games against the Astros were in question pitcher Chris Bassitt was rocked for three earned runs in his start Thursday, Jesus Luzardo gave up five earned runs in his start on Friday, then on Saturday the A’s got rocked again by Astros hitting 9-1, the A’s got bombed again 9-2 on Sunday.

#5 The Dodgers Dustin May 0-0 a right hander will be throwing against the Oakland A’s Frankie Montas 0-0. May had a great spring beating out David Price and Tony Gonsolin for the 5th spot in the rotation. Montas lost his splitter last season and has gained it again for this season and is hoping to have a season like he did in 2019.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s Spanish lead play by play announcer on flagship station 1010 KIQI LaGrande San Francisco and does News and Commentary Tuesdays at

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Players say they will take action in their own hands against Astros; Will MLB act if beanball war starts with teams throwing at Stros?

photo from Houston Astros Dusty Baker says he is asking MLB Commissioner to take action against any teams who will start on field trouble against the Astros during the 2020 season which could lead to beanball wars

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

#1 After a number of players have voiced their anger about the Houston Astros and sign stealing they have said their only choice left is to retaliate against the Astros which could amount a lot of bean balls this season.

#2 One of the players that teams might go head hunting for is the Astros Jose Altuve whose possible wired under the jersey incident in the World Series has got the Dodgers and Yankees in particular pretty hot

#3 Astros manager Dusty Baker says that out of concern he’s asked MLB to make it clear that anyone retaliating against any of the Astros players should face discipline by baseball.

#4 If the Astros wind up winning a bunch a games again will there be doubts about how legit those victories will be?

#5 Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Manea made it clear in an interview this week that he’s very angry with the Astros and that their cheating took a lot away from Manea and other players who could have won those games against Houston.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Heritage Museum and does News and Commentary each week at

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Houston Astros apologizes but action would be better

photo from Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker left and owner Jim Crane right speak with the media from the Astros spring training camp in West Palm Beach Florida on Thu Feb 13th

Houston Astros: Apologizes, but Action would be better

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

On their first day of Spring Training the Houston Astros gave a press conference where owner Jim Crane, new manager Dusty Baker and players José Altuve and Alex Bregman were present. It was a Mea Culpa for the sins of stealing signs.

We had a great team meeting last night,” Altuve’s statement read. “I want to say that the whole Astros organization and the team feel bad about what happened in 2017. We especially feel remorse for the impact on our fans and the game of baseball. Our team is determined to move forward, to play with intensity and to bring back a championship to Houston in 2020.”

This is all well and done, everybody was expecting an apology and admission of wrong doing. A better idea was suggested by a good friend of mine who recently wrote a letter to the Houston team. This is what my friend wrote: “How about the Houston Astros players donate all the money they made cheating in the playoffs and in the World Series to St Jude hospital and Williamsport little league?

Probably that will help a little bit”. That is the best idea I have heard.The Astros players would not have to file for bankruptcy if they did this. it would be a huge move for their name sake as well as their employers,but most important they will be donating to a great cause. But that,obviously would have to come from the players hearts.

Sacramento based McClatchy Newspapers files for bankruptcy

The Demise of Print Media continues as McClatchy Co, Filed for Bankruptcy. They operated 20 daily newspapers in fourteen states This will end family control of America;s second largest local news company. Another punch in the gut to independent journalism.

By filing they hope to shed much of its pension obligations and about 55 percent of it’s debts would be eliminated as they now try to reposition for a digital future. Translation: Social Media claims another news print victim.

The publisher’s origins date to 1857 when it first began publishing a four-page paper in Sacramento, California, following the California Gold Rush. That paper became The Sacramento Bee. The Miami Herald,Kansas City Stars and dozens of newspaper who covered Major League Baseball as well as other sports are part of McClatchy. Many more jobs in journalism are being eliminated these days,courtesy of Silicon Valley.

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Can Dusty right the ship in Houston?; Kings host the Heat Friday night; plus more photo: Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker meets the media during his press conference introducing him as the new manager at Minute Maid Field in Houston

On Headline Sports with Tony R:

#1 How weighty of an issue is it really for new Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker taking over the helm of a team who will hear it everywhere they go and how much work does Dusty have in front of him to clean up the mess from the sign stealing scandal

#2 The Sacramento Kings have won two of their last three games their biggest win comes against the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-109 in a game where neither team gave up

#3 The Kings have had such a tough road experience and head coach Luke Walton is trying to see if in late in the game he could keep the defensive pressure up against opponents to protect the lead.

#4 Golden State Warriors deal Glen Robinson III and Alec Burks to the Philadelphia 76ers which many say will weaken the team. Head coach Steve Kerr said it was said seeing them leave.

#5 The San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler says the Giants should have a powerful line up and he lends that to player development

Join Tony Renteria each Thursday for Headline Sports at

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Dusty Baker the calm after the storm

photo from Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker addresses the media Thursday at Minute Maid Park as Baker takes over the helm amongst the sign stealing scandal that rocked the team

Dusty Baker: The Calm After The Storm

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

Johnny B.Baker Jr, (Dusty) has landed in Houston. He is now the new manager of the Houston Astros, and this is a calming and healing effect as he is coming right after the biggest baseball scandal of our lifetime. The sign-stealing scandal that culminated in the firing of the manager and general manger of the Houston Astros, manager-to-be in New York Carlos Beltrán and implicated the name of some of the games biggest stars and some managers. As baseball continues their investigation there might be more shoes to fall.

Dusty is a winner he has managed,for 10 years with Giants, Cubs, Reds and Nationals with a total record of 840-715 a .540 percentage. But he was also a winner and a very good player who played the outfield for 19 years and retired in 1986 with the Oakland Athletics,the year when José Canseco won the American League Rookie of the Year, and when the A’s began their last great championship run.

He was always a team player,he won the National League pennant for the Giants in 2002 and took them to the World Series. As a player he was a good hitter, who ended with a .278 average. His best season 1981 with the Dodgers hit for .320 with 29 home runs and 97 runs batted in. Many times in Spanish,and as a player and manager later in the 1990’s when I was working for the Giants I always interviewed him in Spanish, which he is fluent. Was lucky to travel with the Giants towards the end of the 1990’s,he was always accessible and even after tough loses, which every manager encounters,he always had a kind word

The ultimate player manager, he is liked by the players,he is a manager that brings great enthusiasm to the game, he is humble and with the baseball knowledge ‘he bring to Houston that old school mentality. One of the most remembered things on Dusty’s career was when Hank Aaron (The Real and most beloved Home Run King) on April 8, 1974, he was on deck when Aaron hit home run 715 to pass Babe Ruth in career home runs.That was a well documented moment in history,which he always remembers and feels proud to have played along the great Hank Aaron.

With roots in California and here in the Bay Area one of the handful of players that have played for the A’s and the Giants. His last four years managing, where with the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals he won between 90 to 97 games each year. This is also a great opportunity for Dusty with a team that together with the A’s are the two best clubs in the Western Division going into this season. It could be a great race.

Dusty Baker is exactly what the Astros needed, he brings that healing factor. He is not a computer manager, he is a human manager, and this is the best thing the Houston team has done since the scandal. Like attorneys would say “the Astros are trying to re-rehabilitate their image” and Dusty is the “hombre perfecto” for that job.

Felicidades Dusty, we will see you late March during the first home stand of the Oakland A’s as the Houston Astros are scheduled to visit following the first series of the season against the Minnesota Twins.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s Spanish radio play by play talent on KIQI 1010 San Francisco and does News and Commentary at

Headline Sports with London Marq: Big fan push for changing NBA logo to Kobe; How Reid and Shanahan will coach to win on Sunday; plus more photo: Simulated look at new Kobe NBA logo if switched from the current Jerry West NBA logo

On Headline Sports with London:

#1 Huge fan push to change NBA insignia from Jerry West to Kobe Bryant and the push is catching on

#2 The Super Bowl is normally one of sports biggest events but after the death of Kobe his death has overshadowed the big game.

#3 Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is looking for his first Super Bowl with the Chiefs while San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is looking to recover from the last Super Bowl he coached in. As an assistant coach Shanahan had the Falcons ahead in the Super Bowl only to cave and lose the Super Bowl. Shanahan is looking to get it done on Sunday.

#4 On ESPN Stephen A said there was no way that the 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo outplays the Kansas City Chiefs Pat Mahomes on Sunday

#5 How important is it that Dusty Baker hired by the Houston Astros who are trying to get away from the sign stealing scandal and Dusty is a player’s manager, doesn’t use technology or computers to manage a game or need to steal signs.

London Marq joins Sports Talk each Wednesday at

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Sign-Stealing Scandal–Politician calling for Congressional Oversight Hearing photo: Illinois Rep Bobby Rush is calling for an official congressional investigation into the sign stealing scandal involving MLB general managers, managers, players and front office staffs
Sign-Stealing Scandal:  Politician calling for Congressional Oversight Hearing
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
Amaury Pi-González
Representative Bobby Rush from the State of Illinois wants an official Congressional Oversight hearing on the current scandal. He had said so in a letter to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which is in charge (among other things) of oversight of major league sports. So now the government might get involved as major league baseball is going to an unprecedented crisis.
Last time Washington D.C. got involved in a baseball scandal was 2005. The Mitchell Report – (steroids era) some players had to testify in public open hearings among those were Mark McGwire,Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro. During that scandal Barry Bonds and Bret Boone were Implicated, while others like José Canseco and Ken Caminiti admitted their use of steroids.
As the Office of the Commissioner of baseball continues this wide investigation others aside from Representative Bobby Rush are also voicing their opinions. The Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote in a resolution urging MLB to recall the World Series trophies awarded to the Astros in 2017 and Red Sox in 2018 and award them to the Dodgers instead.  Pitcher CC.Sabathia, who announced his retirement last season,said that the Yankees got cheated by the Astros and Manfred should take their away their title.
Looks like Dusty Baker is getting interviewed this Monday by the Houston Astros for their open managerial position. Good luck to a good genuine baseball man.
The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum will be participating again at the Oakland Athletics Fanfest this next Saturday the 25th from 9:30AM to 3:00PM at Jack London Square. Admittance if Free. All are welcome to visit our new bilingual website
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice of the Oakland A’s and does News and Commentary each week at