That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: Sox sign Grandal four years $73 M; Betts is close to being a Dodger; plus more

photo from latimes.com: The Boston Red Sox Mookie Betts is on the bargaining table to be dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers

On That’s Amaury’s podcast:

#1 Amaury how important is Yasmani Grandal’s role at catcher going to be for the Chicago White Sox he’s on a four year $73 million contract with the Sox.

#2 How serious is are the Dodgers in acquiring the Boston Red Sox Mookie Betts and talk about how he would impact the team.

#3 The Seattle Mariners signed Marco Gonzalez, Gonzalez will be under contract with the Mariners for under $1 million for 2020-2024 but his contract is reportedly worth $30-45 million for four years.

#4 You had a chance to sit with Frankie Montas pitcher of the Oakland A’s during Fan Fest how far has Montas put his PED suspension in the review mirror.

#5 Former San Francisco Giant Gerardo Parra is a new Giant but this time in Tokyo Parra said he’s excited about playing in Japan

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

 

Michael Duca and Morris Phillips on Cal basketball

by Michael Duca and Morris Phillips

BERKELEY–The thing about Cal facing Creighton and losing last weekend in that non conference game is that loss won’t help them as we approach the NCAA Tournament on whose going to go and who isn’t. Cal head coach Mike Montgomery knows there’s not that many opportunities in the non-conference to make them last.

When the Golden Bears went to Maui and lost to Syracuse 91-82 November 26th Syracuse is ranked number two in the nation right now but they weren’t ranked number two when Cal played them after raking up a few more wins. The Bears didn’t beat Syracuse and they didn’t beat Creighton that will hurt them come selection time.

As far as the Bears next opponent Furman is concerned whom they play at Haas on Saturday they won’t give Cal much of a battle that will be the final non conference game for the Bears and they will see Stanford on January 2nd at Maples Pavilion to open their first conference game in the new year.

The Bears best game in non conference play was the game against Oakland which they won 64-61 the team from suburban Detroit that was in Berkeley on November 15th that game went down to the last two minutes. Oakland went onto do some almost wonderful things.

The Bears also took Michigan State down to the end of the wire that game was played at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan. Non conference basketball is where you don’t want any slip ups like losing to someone your not suppose to lose to because people will come and hurt you come selection tme.

The NCAA will select someone whose in the top 40 who will hurt you, especially since Cal comes off that loss to Creighton which is disappointing and you’ll see them bounce back pretty well. The Bears are in Stanford Jan 2 and you don’t want to open the conference season with a loss and Cal hasn’t had much success at Maples lately. The Bears have lost the last three or four in Maples.

The Bears have won at Stanford only once since Montgomery was the coach the win was in his first year it’s a tough place to play for Cal. Montgomery doesn’t get much a of reception down there any more even though he was a great coach at Stanford for many years and they’re going to have to deal with Stanford and their size. If anything we know that Stanford doesn’t shoot the ball well all the time and hopefully Cal can take advantage of it.

Morris Phillips covers the Cal Bears with Michael Duca for Sportstalk Radio

Michael Duca on Cal basketball

by Michael Duca

BERKELEY–What you want to do is construct a schedule that challenges your team and give it the opportunity to give it different kinds of looks. What a way for Cal (8-3) to rack up a win over the Fresno State Bull Dogs (6-5) an 11 point victory on Saturday night at Haas with a 67-56 victory. It’s silly the way you can beat non-conference teams like this but this is the way you get into the NCAA Tournament.

 

Getting there you need to play North Carolina, Duke, Michigan in the pre season and it really doesn’t matter who else you play you can play 11, 12, 13 non conference games and you want to make sure you win most of them and you want to be sure your team is challenged a little bit in the process. 8-0 at home is good, they lost three away from home not so good but that’s how Cal constructs their pre conference schedule so that their almost entirely at home.

 

The interesting thing is a lot people are wondering how Cal would be this year without Allen Crabbe, without a two time Pac 12 player, who was a good shooter, a good scorer who left early for the NBA and is intimately acquainted with the bench up in Portland now. The answer is their doing just fine the Bears are not relying on just one guy to score for them now their spreading that scoring all around.

 

The Bears had six players in double figures earlier this week against Nevada and three of those players came off the bench. You like to have an eight man rotation that has eight guys that can score in double figures and so Saturday night against the Bull Dogs the Bears spread the scoring around quite as thickly but you did have two guys with double figures in rebounds from Richard Solomon and David Kravish both.

 

One night Justin Cobbs comes and gets you 25 points and the next night he gets eight or nine assists so Cobb can find different ways to adjust his game to what needs to be done on the floor. The conference games will be starting soon enough and there are a lot of very good teams in the Pac 12 this year. Washington is always a tough team for Cal, Oregon is a nationally ranked team, UCLA is a nationally ranked team Arizona is a top ranked team.

 

You have just a variety of squads in the Pac 12 that could give anybody fits on any given night and Cal is always going to struggle when they go to places like Utah or Colorado because of the altitude. It’s going to be a very competitive conference, it will not surprise me Cal in the top second tier after Arizona and UCLA who will be right up there with Oregon.

 

The Cal Bears Tyrone Wallace you look at him on the floor and you think he’s a tweener and it’s the same position that former Bear Patrick Christopher used to play he has the scoring ability to rebound like a power forward with Kravish and Solomon and with that many rebounds to be gathered in right around the bucket and paint he is one of those guys like Kravish was a couple of years ago who has a nose for the ball. I don’t know if Wallace studies and scouts down the other team but he’s got a playbook in his mind where to go on the floor.

 

Michael Duca covers the Cal Bears for Sportstalk Radio each week

Michael Duca on Cal basketball

by Michael Duca

BERKELEY–There were a couple of performances from last Monday night’s game at Haas Pavilion against the UC Irvine Anteaters that Cal put on that really didn’t even jump out at you from the stat sheet. That were critically important Tyrone Wallace had a career high 11 rebounds from the lane position last night and he had Justin Cobbs as Cal’s point guard. When they lost in the consolation round to Dayton in Maui David Kravish was just about worn out by them and Richard Solomon was missing his second straight game with a cornea operation.

The Bears had no real post presence they couldn’t go inside outside so all they could do is shoot outside the zone and Cobb put up 31 points and they lost by two or three handful of points about 18. Cal’s Sam Singer had three points but he had three rebounds and Cal assisted on all three quarters of their baskets and things just looked a whole lot better than they did in the game versus Dayton in Maui.

The offense looked pretty good and the defense looked even better in the first half, Irvine missed ten straight and then they hit two out of three and missed eight more and rode in the half so the end of the half shooting hitting two of their last 21 shots and your probably not going to win a lot of basketball games doing that. Solomon is now sporting goggles from getting his eye scratched in the Dayton game and has decided to wear goggles for the rest of the year.

Solomon was not instructed to by doctors he didn’t need to it’s his own choice he doesn’t want to go through that again he doesn’t want to get someone’s finger in his eye. That was a pretty nasty abrasion, Solomon’s eye was swollen shut for two days he could not see and he could not open it. Getting back out on the floor he was rusty and you could tell a week without game action and his timing was not fully there but he set the tone literally from the get go.

Solomon lacked ten inches on Irvine’s center from Senagal, Mamadou Ndiaye who is 7’7 and one of the three or four tallest players ever to play college basketball and Solomon won the opening tip and he did it with climbing athleticism and that is basically how he got Ndiaye to get into foul trouble early in the first half and he picked up his second foul just about 3:50 into the game and sat the rest of the first half. Ndiaye got five and half minutes play in the second half.

Solomon challenged Ndiaye going straight at him early in the game and scored the first five points of the game for Cal and in the second half David Kravish hit Cal’s first ten points and had 12 of the first 16 and he hit six shots in a row and five of them were Ndiaye who was in the game in the second half. So instead of lurking in the backs of too many peoples minds and he is huge and he does have a wing span.

Most big men can get up close to Ndiaye and use their athletic ability and quickness to create some space while he’s trying to back away and make shots and they did. They hit a lot of mid range jumpers.

Michael Duca does commentary on Cal basketball each week for Sportstalk radio

Michael Duca on Cal football

by Michael Duca

BERKELEY–One reason why the students at Cal Berkeley are walking around here with their mouths open after the loss to Oregon State which is not very polite by the way they were completely unprepared for the fact that Oregon State plays pretty good football in their 49-17 win.

Sean Mannion the Beavers starting quarterback was another reason why the students left with their mouths open he’s the leading quarterback not only in the Pac 12 he basically the FBS 1-19 highest rated quarterback in the country he came in the Cal game with the top quarterback rating.

Mannion could deliver the long ball, he can deliver the short ball, he’s got a nice touch, I’m sure that somewhere in between stacking poker chips and just saying how high three million dollars is former Bears head coach Jeff Tedford has to wondering how he missed this kid.

Mannion put in a good day’s work considering he was not paid for it, we can sit here and rag on the Bears all you want, you have to remember this is a team that has lost seven of the 11 original starters on defense, six to injuries, and one due to dismissal from the team. The Bears lost their best defensive end, they lost their best linebacker, they lost their best cover cornerback, they lost their best safety, and they lost their best defensive tackle.

Not only have they lost a ton of players and of course if you lose seven your going to lose some tough games automatically. On the defensive line if your rated the players one, two, three and four they manage to lose one player. It’s been a very hard season for the Bears over at Strawberry Canyon.

Bears quarterback Jared Goff couldn’t find the handle on the football a couple of times he got separated from the ball after a couple nasty hits. They took him out in the fourth quarter as much as anything else to make sure that his confidence didn’t get destroyed by being out there and being punished.

Honestly for the rest of the year I just see only one game out of the remaining six on the schedule that they have that they might have a shot at to compete and have a fighting chance to win it and it’s against Colorado. The Bears are going up to Washington against the Huskies a team that’s jockeying for position in the Pac 12 and will be overladen with emotion because long time head coach Don James who passed away at the age of 90 on Monday morning.

James’ entire family will be out on the field at Husky Stadium Saturday as part of the opening coin toss and you know that stadium is just going to be rocking.

Michael Duca covers Cal Bears football each week for Sportstalk radio

Michael Duca on Cal football

by Michael Duca
BERKELEY–I had a chance to work with Cal Bears radio play by play man Joe Starkey at the Rose Bowl when the Bears played against UCLA last Sat Oct 12th. I had a chance to show him around my childhood press box except I didn’t recognize much of the press box today. It’s named after a living person it’s always dangerous to name a building after a living person because their not yet done with establishing their reputation.
Joe and I had delightful time discussing how Cal has been thoroughly dismantled in the first half of the season as they get ready to go into the game with Oregon State this Saturday with a record of 1-5 and their only win came at home back on September 7th against Portland State. They’ve been dismantled in the first half and their trying to figure out what they might try to do to try to respond to UCLA in the second half.
These guys that do the Cal Bears radio network are pros nobody has ever done a more shameless call in the history of college football than Joe Starkey when he called the famous lateral plays that led the Bears to a famous comeback over Stanford and Joe was yelling “the band is on the field” over and over when the Bears scored for a touchdown. The call was so well known and it’s pretty amazing to know an icon.
Starkey has done a lot in his time and he even passed down the line to his son who is a highly respected statistician the two or three best people in the country at doing talent stats providing statistical information to broadcasters on the air while their doing their work and it’s a job I do occasionally. It’s not easy to learn someone else’s rhythm and timing and figure out what they anticipate what they want to know before they know it so you could have it ready.
Team roughing it out and getting ready for Oregon State: It seems to me that Cal played better against Oregon than against Oregon State in the last decade and a half but that could be faulty on that part. Oregon State will be forever locked in my mind as the team that came out of nowhere to deny Cal the number one spot in the rankings by scoring three touchdowns on them late in the game.
This Cal team is in transition, they had issues with their defense before the season began it was very young and very inexperienced and now they are still very young and very inexperienced and very injured. Five starters are out of the line up for various amounts of time all the way up to forever. It’s very difficult they can move the ball very well although they had issues last week against UCLA.
On the other hand you can see elements of what they are capable of doing from time to time, right now they haven’t solved their number one tailback, the don’t have the running game, they count on managing the control block and as a net result what their doing is running what seems like 1000 plays a game but it’s really about 100 but it feels like 1000. Your putting the ball in the air 40-50 times a game and your leaving yourself to the possibility of having bad things happening and more scores will go lopsided and not in Cal’s favor.
Michael Duca covers Cal Bears football for Sportstalk Radio