Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: All eyes on LeBron to take the Lakers to the promise land; Broncos has no intention to sign Kaepernick; plus more

LeBron James leads the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat which started on Wednesday night in the bubble at Disney World in Bradenton Fl. Here he exchanges words with game officials during the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets Sep 26, 2020 (AP News photo)

On Headline Sports podcast with Jessica:

#1 Jessica taking a look at the NBA Finals game 1 was on Wednesday night in the bubble at Bradenton Fl at the Disney World bubble the odds makers have the Los Angeles Lakers favored in the series as they defeated the Miami Heat 116-98.

#2 Despite there’s no fans for the Finals is there any kind of advantage for the Miami Heat playing in Florida for the Finals.

#3 A sonic boom shook up the French Open on Monday, the boom startled fans, players and those working the Open thinking it was an explosion or fireworks nearby.

#4 The Denver Broncos have no intention of bringing former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick on board with the team according to Broncos head coach Vic Fangio Kaepernick’s name hasn’t come up in discussions and Fangio and team general manager John Elway look for someone else “who will be a the best fit.” Does this look like collusion is still in effect against Kaepernick?

#5 No one expected the San Francisco Giants to amount to anything close to a post season team and while the Giants just missed making the last and final eighth spot in the National League Wild Card race by one game they weren’t expected to compete for a playoff position during the 60 game regular season and so the Giants manager Gabe Kapler’s name has been floated for National League manager of the Year how do you see his chances to get the award?

Join Jessica every other Thursday for Headline Sports at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Behind the Dodgers and Giants joint decision to cancel Wednesday’s game

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–The momentum moving through the sports world Wednesday was swift and wide-ranging. In Lake Buena Vista, Florida, the Milwaukee Bucks decided not to take the floor for Game 5 of their NBA Playoff versus Orlando. The other four NBA teams on the schedule soon followed suit. Then the WNBA, MLS, tennis champion Naomi Osaka, the Milwaukee Brewers and three other MLB teams cancelled their scheduled games and events.

At Oracle Park, the conversations started with Mookie Betts texting family members who informed Betts that several teams and players were not playing in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Dodgers superstar was preparing to play in Wednesday night’s Dodgers-Giants game. After the texting, he changed his mind, informing his teammates and manager that he would be sitting out.

“I can’t play,” Betts said.

Clayton Kershaw, the team’s senior member and a vocal critic of inequality and police brutality, questioned whether the rest of the team should play without Betts. Kershaw, the scheduled starting pitcher Wednesday was soon in agreement with manager Dave Roberts, reliever Kenley Jansen and Betts: the Dodgers were not going to play.

“We made a collective group decision to not play tonight, to let our voices be heard for standing up for what we believe is right,” Kershaw said. “That’s what it comes down to.”

The Dodgers never took the field for batting practice. The Giants did, but the conversations were taking place, most importantly between team president Farhan Zaidi and manager Gabe Kapler. Last month, Kapler made headlines by being the first MLB manager to kneel during the playing of the national anthem.

Soon those talks included GM Scott Harris and team player rep Tony Watson. Other Giants warming up spoke in small groups. Batting practice was cut short and the team retreated to their clubhouse.

Shortly after 6pm an announcement was made: the Giants were in agreement. They also would not play Wednesday night.

“Some things I think are just bigger than sports, and I don’t think it should require athletes needing to boycott playoff games to remind us Black lives matter and that police brutality is unacceptable and that systemic racism needs to be eliminated,” Kapler said. “What I believe in most is speaking out and taking strong action based on your beliefs. I’m aware that the Bucks and now some other NBA teams are doing that, and I have the utmost respect for the players who are refusing to be silent about issues that are bigger than sports.”

Shortly before the scheduled first pitch at 6:45pm, the teams released a joint statement:

“Throughout our country’s history, sport has been a powerful vehicle towards change. The Dodgers and Giants proudly join our players in the shared goal for a more equitable and just society.”

Roberts, the first African-American manager in the history of the Dodgers also spoke about the postponement.

“Black athletes right now to make a stand and choose not to play tonight is one thing,” Roberts said. “But Black people been fighting this fight for centuries. And for the white brothers to come in and support the Black men in this game, it’s much more powerful.”

Betts is the only African-American player currently on either teams’ rosters, reinforcing the universal condemnation of the events in Wisconsin, and police brutality in its total scope, including the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.

In all, only the NHL completed its full schedule on Wednesday. Several MLB games went off as scheduled, but games involving the Reds and Brewers, and the Mariners and Padres were called off. Also several black players pulled out of games that were played. That list included the Cubs’ Jason Heyward, the Cardinals’ Dexter Fowler and the Rockies’ Matt Kemp.

The teams have announced they will make up the game on Thursday, as part of a doubleheader that starts at 1:05pm. Both games of the twin bill are scheduled for seven innings.

 

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Niners pull one out for the ages in New Orleans; Raiders’ skid hits three, Carr and Raiders hear it from the fans; plus more

Photo credit: ninersnation.com

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary:

#1 The San Francisco 49ers pulled out a victory for the ages on Sunday in New Orleans when kicker Robbie Gould hit the gamer, a field goal that captured one of the 49ers’ best wins of the season 48-46.

#2 The Oakland Raiders suffered their third straight loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon 42-21. Critics have said that Raiders quarterback Derek Carr looks lost in the headlights in those last three games.

#3 How important is it for Cal getting a bowl game in the Bay Area they face Illinois on Monday, Dec. 30th at Levis Stadium? Although the game is in a neutral site, the Bears will feel right at home.

#4 This past week, the San Francisco Giants hired batting coach Donnie Ecker as manager Gabe Kapler slowly dismantles the former coaching staff that was once Bruce Bochy’s.

#5 The San Jose Sharks lost their fourth straight game and five of their last seven games. Over the weekend, they lost by convincing scores 7-1 to Tampa Bay on Saturday and 5-1 to Florida on Sunday.

Listen to Amaury Pi-Gonzalez for That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Kapler named as Giants manager in second MLB stint at the helm

@SFGiants photo: San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler joins the Giants as this will be his second team after managing the Philadelphia Phillies in 2018 and 2019

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — When the weekend began, San Francisco Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi was trying to set the table for the foreseeable future.

Zaidi cleared one plate, as he hired Chicago Cubs Assistant General Manager Scott Harris to replace Bobby Evans, who let go during the 2018 season and now he set another place at the table with the naming of former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler as the teams next manager.

“Our top priority in the next manager was to find someone who can build strong relationships with our players, coaches, front office and fans, and someone who has the drive and desire to win,” Zaidi said in a statement. “… In my personal experience in working with Gabe, there is no one who works harder and is more committed to getting the best out of the people around him. This was also echoed in the feedback we received around the baseball community. I look forward to working with Gabe to help return the Giants to its winning tradition.”

Kapler, who is 44 years old spent the 2018 and 2019 season with the Phillies and ended with a record of 161-163 in those two seasons.

Phillies managing partner John Middleton fired Kapler almost two weeks after the season after he re-evaluated the team and the manager and obviously, Middleton did not like what he saw going down the stretch. In his two years with the Phillies, Kapler went 8-20 and 12-16 in the seasons final month.

Kapler comes to San Francisco after multiple incidents that occurred when he was the Farm Director for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Two women made accusations against minor leaguers in the Dodgers organization, as both women accused the players of assault to Kapler. One of the women was just 17 years old at the time, who told police that she was sexually assaulted; however, she did not tell Kapler of the incident in the first place. The other woman involved happened to be a housekeeper at the hotel and told them about the sexual assault.

Kapler reported to the Dodgers brass and legal counsel, as he was obligated to do.

After the incidents, the Dodgers drew ridicule, as they did not report the two incidents to Major League Baseball.

Kapler, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley and went to Taft High School in Woodland Hills, played in the major leagues for 12 years for the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, where he won a World Series ring in 2004, Milwaukee Brewers and Tampa Bay Rays. He was drafted in the 57th round of the 1995 out of Moorpark College by the Tigers.