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 http://www.sportsradioservice.com
photo from newsday.com: 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 http://www.sportsradioservice.com
photo from newyorkpost.com: 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
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.
sfchronicle.com 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
photo from newsday.com: 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
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.
nypost.com 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.
congress.gov 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
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 https://www.hhbmhof.com/
“That’s American League baseball. A lead is never safe because they’re used to coming back and having big innings because the offensive clubs hit the ball out of the ballpark. We didn’t walk guys to get to that situation, they hit us,” opined Nationals manager Dusty Baker after the game.
I have the greatest of respect for Dusty Baker who I have covered as a manager since he was the skipper of the San Francisco Giants, but I have to disagree with him on his analysis of the game in Oakland on Sunday.
What the Nationals saw as they escaped with an 11-10 win in the third and final game of this interleague series match up was not American League baseball, it was Oakland Athletics’ baseball at home on Rickey Henderson Field. This 2017 A’s team loves to play at home in Oakland. At home they are tenacious, fierce and tough to beat which is why they are 16-12 in Oakland (on the road they are a different team, 8-20).
The second thing that Dusty Baker saw was a Nationals team that is now 35-20 on the season that had an 11-4 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning against the last place team in the American League West lose its focus as they were looking ahead to a series with the Dodgers that begins in L.A. on Monday. Not to take anything away from the A’s, but that comeback should have never happened.
This was really a tale of two different games:
The Pitching Duel
Both starting pitchers were strong in this game. Which may surprise you when you look at the score.
Sonny Gray worked seven strong innings. He finished giving up three runs (all earned) on four hits. He walked three while striking out six National hitters. Gray threw 103 pitches (63 strikes). Sonny Gray wound up with a no-decision despite the fact that he pitched well enough to get a win.
Washington starter Tanner Roark looked like he might wind up with a “CG” (complete game) with the way he was pitching. Roark was strong through seven innings but ran into trouble in the eighth. He finished going 7.2 innings giving up 4 runs (all earned) on five hits. He walked just one and struck out four A’s. Roark also pitched well enough to win but his bullpen really let him down, but he still wound up with his sixth win of the season.
Sonny Gray left the game with score tied 3-3 after seven complete innings.
Tanner Roark exited the game with two out in the bottom of the eighth with a 6-4 lead.
The relief pitching was a little scary
The A’s brought in Ryan Madson for the top of the eighth inning. Madson gave up three runs on just two hits including a three-run home run to Ryan Zimmerman (16). After the Zimmerman round-tripper, Madson induced Daniel Murphy to ground out. He was then replaced by Frankie Montas who caused Anthony Rendon to pop out to end the inning. Madson would take the loss in the game.
The 100+ mph throwing Montas came back for the ninth inning and got shelled by the Nats. Montas gave up five runs (all earned) on five hits including back-to-back home runs to Matt Wieters and Michael Taylor. Josh Smith had to be brought in to close out the ninth for Montas.
Koda Glover who was able to get Tanner Roark out of a jam in the bottom of the eighth inning returned in the bottom of the ninth. Glover gave up five runs (all earned) on four hits. Shawn Kelley was brought to replace Glover and he gave up a grand slam home run to Matt Joyce while also earning his fourth save of the season.
Yes, it was a weird game.
Stars on offense
Both teams had stars on offense. The A’s scored 10 runs on 10 hits while leaving two runners on base. The Nationals scored 11 runs on 11 hits leaving four runners on base. There were a total of five home runs hit in the game. There were also three doubles and one triple hit in the contest.
The Nationals were led on offense by designated hitter Ryan Zimmerman who went 3-for-5 on Sunday with three RBI and scoring two runs to go with his 16th home run of the season.
Washington shortstop Trea Turner had a 2-for-4 day with two runs scored and two RBI. Turner hit his third triple of the year off Sonny Gray.
Catcher Matt Wieters went 2-for-3 scoring two runs and posting two RBI. Wieters hit his fifth homer of the year off Montas in the ninth inning.
The Nats number nine hitter – Michael Taylor – had a day every number nine batter would like to have any day. Taylor recorded a 2-for-4 day with two runs scored and one RBI. Taylor also hit his sixth home run of the season off Montas in the ninth inning of the game.
The Athletics Khris Davis had a day he would have liked to have had on Saturday – his bobblehead day. Davis went 3-for-4 scoring three runs with two RBI that included his 17th home run of the year and his sixth double.
Outfielder Matt Joyce posted four RBI and scored two runs while going 2-for-4 against the Nationals on Sunday. Joyce hit his seventh home run of the season in the A’s six-run ninth inning.
The A’s have three more games at home this week with the Toronto Blue Jays. The series begins on Monday night. The Blue Jays will send J.A. Happ to the hill in the first game of the series. He is 0-3 on the year with 4.50 ERA. The A’s will counter with lefty Sean Manaea who is 4-3 with a 3.91 ERA. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
The UC Davis Men’s Basketball team played the defending Big Sky Champion Weber State Wildcats in the first-round of the GCI Great Alaska Shootout on Thanksgiving night. The Wildcats lived up to their reputation of being a very good basketball team coming away with a 86-55 win over the Aggies (4-2).
Weber State put on a scoring barrage in the second half putting up 47 points to 26 points for UC Davis. The Wildcats shot 64.0-percent (16-for-25) from the field in the closing half and hit on 7-of- 13 opportunities beyond the 3-point line. The Aggies shot 34.8-percent in the second half and went 3-for-7 from long range.
UC Davis held a 20-9 lead in the first half, but Weber State hit 6-of-12 shots from behind the 3-point arc to make a comeback in the half. As the teams went to halftime Weber State held a 39-32 over the Aggies.
Joe Mooney was the Aggies leading scorer with 12 points. He was a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor including two 3-pointers.
“We have a lot of confidence in Joe, he is a good player. He will continue to earn minutes; you can tell that he is becoming more comfortable as the season progresses,” said head coach Jim Les.
Siler Schneider added 11 points, Chima Moneke had eight points and eight rebounds while Mikey Henn scored seven points for the Aggies.
Dusty Baker led the Wildcats scoring with 21 points in 22 minutes on the floor. Jeremy Senglin produced 20 points and was 4-for-8 from long range. Weber State (2-2) as a team shot 52.0-percent (13-for-25) from downtown.
No rest for the weary
UC Davis faces a quick turnaround as they will face Drake (1-3) in a 3:00 PST tipoff on Friday. Drake – a member of the Missouri Valley Conference – lost their first game of the tournament to Iona 64-53.
The Aggies will have one more game in the consolation bracket on Saturday at either 1:00 or 3:00 PM depending on the results of the Drake game.
This could be the last Great Alaskan Shootout
This the 39th and possibly the last Great Alaskan Shootout. The tournament has been financially challenged and now the Alaska State Legislature is threatening to reduce the funding it gives the event.
There are so many tournaments in warm weather locations that are more attractive to teams and their fans. There are also the several Las Vegas opportunities. Frankly, the winter conditions in Alaska with temperatures in twenties, snow and six-hours of daylight is not a big draw for fans who like to travel with their team.
Unless the tournament is able to find a larger corporate sponsor or a higher-paying television contract, the Great Alaskan Shootout may be history.
Portions of the information in this story were supplied by the Sports Information Departments of UC Davis and Weber State