That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Proposed changes in preventing sign stealing from MLB; Union must approve proposals

Former Oakland A’s starter Mike Fiers sits by the A’s dugout was on the Houston Astros when sign stealing was taking place. Fiers reported such going ons and baseball and the players union are working on rule changes to prevent any further stealing of signs (file photo from USA Today)

On That’s Amaury podcast:

#1 Major League Baseball proposed new rules regarding electronically stolen signs which was revealed when the Houston Astros were stealing signs in the 2019 season. Mike Fiers the former A’s pitcher who was a key whistleblower that cracked the sign stealing case wide open when he was with the Houston Astros.

#2 Amongst the proposed rule changes which must be approved by the union, No more looking at scouting information in batting helmets for hitters, hitters will have to do their studying of opposing pitchers before the game in the clubhouse but cannot review opposing starters, middle relievers or closers.

#3 MLB proposed that no managers, coaches, or players may print any scouting reports that can be distributed after the first pitch of a game.

#4 MLB will allow pitchers and catchers to wear wireless pitch com devices voluntarily throughout the regular season.

#5 Amaury on the pitch com issue of wireless devices pitching stars Zack Greinke of the Kansas City Royals likes the new pitch com idea and the New York Mets Max Scherzer says he won’t use it. Both were player representatives during the MLB lockout.

#6 King Richard star Will Smith issues apology: Will Smith who starred as the father of Venus and Serena Williams as father Richard Williams in the movie King Richard who went on stage on Sunday night and slapped comedian Chris Rock issued a direct apology to Rock. Rock who was contacted by Los Angeles Police after the battery declined to press charges and has not issue any statements since the incident. The Oscars Academy has vehemently said they do not condone violence of this kind. The Academy has not issued any discipline against the Fresh Prince such as suspending him from the next Oscars Awards.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead play by play Spanish announcer for the Oakland A’s flagship station 1010 Le Grande KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary each week at

Faulty Replays and Seering Heat: A’s suffer setbacks in 5-3 series deciding loss to San Diego

OAKLAND–With the heat on like never before at the Coliseum, the A’s wilted on Sunday afternoon in the rubber game with the Padres.

Tied 2-2 in the third, a video replay of a bang-bang tag play on baserunner Rex Grossman figured to be reversed, allowing the A’s to regain the lead.

Despite replays from four angles–all revealing but not completely transparent–the league office review crew upheld umpire Nick Mahrley’s call of out.

In an empty stadium, the groans emanating from the A’s dugout spoke volumes. The replays seemed to support the A’s contention that Grossman’s foot crossed the plate before pitcher Garrett Richards’ sweeping tag was applied.

“When you think you have a run and you don’t have a run, that’s tough to swallow,” A’s starter Mike Fiers said.

The momentum shift was all the Padres–winners of five of their last seven games in the midst of their trade deadline talent upgrade–would need. Jake Cronenworth’s RBI double allowed San Diego to regain the lead in the fourth, and Fernando Tatis Jr.’s league-leading 15th home run finished the A’s in a 5-3 decision.

The loss capped a week of vulnerability for Oakland starting with four consecutive COVID-19 cancellations attributed to Daniel Mengden’s positive test, then an injury to Marcus Semien took the always available shortstop out of the lineup and on to the 10-day injured list.

On Sunday, the temperature shot up to 94 degrees at first pitch resulting in the hottest home game in Oakland A’s history. If all that wasn’t enough struggling Matt Chapman was removed in the fifth inning because of a hip injury.

Chapman struck out in both of his at-bats on Sunday, and eight times in his previous nine at-bats going back to Friday night. In making a flawless scoop, spin and throw to retire Jurickson Profar in the fourth, Chapman apparently aggravated a previous flare-up in his hip. Under the watchful eye of the A’s training staff, the third baseman was replaced by Chad Pinder before the start of the fifth.

The A’s have dropped four of their last five, but maintain a 3 1/2 game lead on the Astros on the eve of a five games in four days set against Houston that could settle the division for Oakland or prepare the stage for a photo finish in the season’s final 15 games.

Given the importance of the upcoming series the absences of Houston’s Jose Altuve along with Semien and Chapman will be significant.

“It’s not great timing,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We have a lot of teams with injuries right now. We’ve been pretty fortunate.”

The losing streak is over as the A’s beat the M’s 3-2 in extra innings

by Charlie O. Mallonee

With one out in the top of the 10th inning and Tony Kemp at second base as the new extra-innings rules require, pinch hitter Robbie Grossman stepped into the batters’ box to face Seattle reliever, Dan Altavilla.

Grossman hit a 2-1 slider into right-center field that drove Kemp home to score the go-ahead run for the Athletics. Grossman motored all the way to third base when center fielder Kyle Lewis threw up his hands that the ball was stuck under the wall. After an umpire review of the ground rules, Grossman was sent back to second base and his hit was scored as an RBI-double.

The bottom of the 10th would be a test

The A’s sent Liam Hendricks to the mound to close out the game and get the win for Oakland. The Mariners Shed Long started the inning at second base. Hendricks set the side down in order to finish the game by striking out J.P. Crawford.

Hendricks picked up his second save of the season and has an ERA of 2.70.

Oakland pitching was strong

Mike Fiers (0-0, 5.40) made his second start of the season. Fiers worked 6.0 innings giving up two runs (both earned) off four hits. He struck out three and walked just one batter. Fiers threw 79 pitches (48 strikes). It was exactly the kind of starting effort the A’s needed.

The Oakland relievers were outstanding on Saturday night. Jake Diekman and Yusmeiro Petit both worked a perfect inning of relief each.

Joakim Soria worked himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth inning and wound up picking up his first win of the season.

The A’s found some hits in their bats

The key hit was Grossman’s pinch-hit RBI double that drove home the winning run for the A’s. The Mariners defense had to play Grossman straight away because of his power which gave him some open alleys to place the ball. It was Grossman’s second double of the season. He is now 7-for-20 at the plate.

Stephen Piscotty went 2-for-4 in the game and raised his batting average to .190. The A’s really need Piscotty to get going as he usually provides some much-needed punch for the Oakland offense.

Mark Canha hit a double in the contest and raised his average to .273. The A’s need Canha’s clutch hitting to put them back into the playoff race.

Tied for first place

The victory on Saturday night raised the A’s record to 4-4. That puts them into a tie for first place in AL West with the Houston Astros. The 60-game streak is certainly going to interesting.

Up next

The A’s and Mariners play game three of this four-game wrap-around series on Sunday afternoon.

The A’s will send RHP Chris Bassitt to the hill to start the game. This will be his second start of the season. Bassitt earned a no-decision in his first start of the year.

The Mariners will counter with RHP Kendall Graveman who is 0-1 so far this season. Graveman lasted just four innings in his last start and currently has a 13.50 ERA.


The O in Ohtani stands for zero outs in A’s 6-4 win over the Angels

By Morris Phillips

Major League Baseball has quite a bit of anonymity running through it these days, so here goes in recapping the Angels and A’s on Sunday:

The biggest name came up a little bit short, the most transcendent name didn’t last long, and the newest name went the furthest in the A’s 6-4 win at the Coliseum.

The A’s took full advantage of Shohei Ohtani’s unraveled return to the mound, striking for five runs out the gate before the two-way star was removed without recording an out. But the A’s were stymied by starter-turned-reliever Matt Andriese (5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief) and superstar Mike Trout (4 RBI) which turned a rout into a tense game in the fifth.

We pause at this point to examine how Ohtani’s 11th major league start–and his first since Tommy John surgery in 2018–became his worst, and how Trout came tantalizing close to rescuing his teammate with a second, three-run homer in the game’s first five innings.

Ohtani, the singular big league talent who combines a home run swing with a nasty, mid 90’s fastball-slider combo wiped out the A’s in his second big league start, a 12-strikeout masterpiece littered with unhittable sliders in April 2018 at the Coliseum.  Despite being used conservatively by the Angels, as an occasional DH and having a no less than a full week between starts, Ohtani experienced arm discomfort that truncated his rookie season as a pitcher.  He kept hitting that season before having the surgery in the off-season, then missing all of 2019 as a pitcher, while continuing his designated hitter duties.

Ohtani’s summer camp procceded naturally–and trouble free–a ramp up of velocity and length over three appearances. He appeared ready to pitch effectively on Sunday, his first start for new manager Joe Maddon.

Marcus Semien, with just one hit in his first eight at-bats, took Ohtani back up the middle for a leadoff single. The next three batters all walked as Ohtani took deep breaths on the mound and looked less than comfortable. Singles by Mark Canha and Robbie Grossman increased the A’s lead to 4-0, and forced Maddon’s hand after the Japanese star faced just six batters.

“He just didn’t throw the ball very well,” Maddon said. “I can’t sit here making excuses for him. I’m not going to do that. It just wasn’t his day. The fastball wasn’t coming out, there was no deception in his pitches.”

Tellingly, Ohtani hit 94 mph as high–slightly off the 96 mph he regularly hit in 2018–and threw just two sliders. No doubt, healthy, but tentative, not surprising given his injury and infrequent pitching assignments going back over three years now.

“Right now I feel like I was throwing the ball rather than pitching,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “There is still a little rust. I have to come up with a game plan.”

Trout came up in an advantageous situation in the third with a pair of runners aboard and gifted a 3-0 count by Fiers. Not through granting gifts, Fiers looked to get back in the count with a batting practice fastball that Trout launched. Not surprising, but the bomb was the first of Trout’s 286 career homers to come on a 3-0 count. In fact, only five times in 210 situations had Trout resolved an at-bat on a 3-0 pitch with a swing, and that produced just one single. Needless to say, Fiers had little to fear, except…

When Brian Goodwin and David Fletcher opened the fifth, as they did in the third, with back-to-back singles, Fiers got a relatively early hook as well. But Yusmeiro Petit back the starter with three consecutive outs, including a sacrifice fly that reached the warning track induced off Trout’s bat. That smash would have given the Angels the lead, instead it made Petit the game’s subtle hero.

Four other A’s relievers followed, concluding  with Liam Hendriks’ four-out save, and none allowed a run. The heroes in Oakland’s 2-1 start to the season? The bullpen with one run allowed in 15 plus innings of work.

“They’ve been fantastic,” Bob Melvin noted. “We knew the bullpen would be very important in the beginning of the year. They’ve been up to the task.”

Sean Murphy, the first A’s catcher to truly be handed the keys to the car by Melvin since Stephen Vogt departed, finished the Halos with a 455-foot home run in the sixth. First pitch swinging against reliever Noe Ramirez, Murphy was everything Trout wasn’t with his controlled, home run swing in the third: violent and powerful.

“He’s about as strong as anybody and can hit the ball as far as anyone on our team. All it takes for a guy like him is one pitch,” Melvin said of his young catcher.

The A’s conclude the wraparound, four-game series on Monday with Griffin Canning facing familiar face, Chris Bassitt for the A’s.

The Angels and Bundy bounce back on Saturday to hand the A’s a 4-1 loss

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics were not able to capitalize on their big Friday night extra-inning win on Saturday. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim came out and played the game as if Friday night never happened. In a term every little leaguer knows, “they just flushed it!” and beat the Athletics 4-1.

Dylan Bundy made the difference for LAA

Bundy (1-0) made his debut as an Angel after having been with Baltimore his entire career. As a former number one draft pick, much was expected of Bundy, but many have graded his time as an Oriole as a disappointment. He posted a record of 38-45 in 127 starts with a 4.67 ERA. During most of that time, the Baltimore baseball operations department has been less than stellar.

Bundy came to the Angels in an off-season trade in exchange for four minor league players.

On Saturday, Bundy gave up just one run (earned) on three hits while striking out seven and walking none in 6.2 innings. He faced 24 batters and threw 90 pitches (64 strikes).

Manaea was not a mystery on Saturday

Justin Upton put the Angels up on the board in the fourth inning when took a 1-1 pitch from Manaea over the left-field wall for his first home run of the season. It was also the 299th home run of Upton’s career.

Manaea had retired the previous 11 hitters he faced.

The fifth inning proved to be Manaea’s downfall. The Angels scored three runs off four hits. That sent Manaea (0-1) to the showers as J.B. Wendelken came on in relief.

With their 4-0 lead, the Angels never looked back.

A’s threatened in the seventh

With two out in the bottom of the seventh, Stephen Piscotty doubled down the left-field line. After a pitching change, Robbie Grossman drove Piscotty home with single to left. Grossman was able to steal second base and Chad Pinder walked. Grossman moved up to third on a wild pitch by Keynan Middleton. Austin Allen then grounded out to end the inning.

That would be all of the scoring for Oakland in the game.

The highlight for the A’s

Jesus Luzardo entered the game in the top of the sixth inning for Oakland. Everyone was anxious to see if the young pitcher could pick up where he left off from last season.

Luzardo threw 3.0 scoreless innings allowing just one hit while striking out two and walking one batter. He faced 10 hitters and tossed 44 pitches (28 strikes).

Luzardo ended 2019 with four scoreless outings and now has a 10.0-inning scoreless streak. He has given up just two runs in 15.0 career innings with 1.20 ERA.

Up next

There will many eyes watching the game on Sunday. The Angels will send their two-way superstar – Shohei Ohtani – to the mound to make a pitching start for the first time since 2018. He was unable to pitch in 2019 while recovering from “Tommy John Surgery’. In 2018, Ohtani posted a record of 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts. He recorded a 1.16 WHIP.

Mike Fiers will make the start for the A’s. Fiers finished 2019 with a record of 15-4 in 33 starts and an ERA of 3.90. He worked 184.2 innings and struck out 126 batters with a 1.19 WHIP.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Congress will be asking detailed questions as to how signs got stolen photo: The Houston Astros Jose Altuve waits his turn at bat could be called as a witness to whether he was wearing a wire or electronic device that help him indicate which pitch was coming next during the 2017 season.

Amaury does the News and Commentary podcast each Tuesday at

#1 There is little doubt that Congress will call witnesses and former players and current players and coaches into the sign stealing scandal to come to testify

#2 Amongst the center of the probe will be former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and former general manager Jeff Luhnow and current Astro Jose Altuve

#3 In the congressional inquiry congressmen will be expected to turn this scandal upside down while they get to the bottom of what exactly happened?

#4 Also in the probe look for former New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran and former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora to be asked what role they played while with Houston Astros

#5 Oakland A’s pitcher Mike Fiers said he had just about enough when he reported that signs were being stolen with high technology when he played with the Astros and guilt more than anything played a role into his coming forward.

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

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Washington sending scout to watch Kaepernick practice; 49ers look to get back in win column Sunday against Arizona; plus more

photo from tmz: Seeking work in the NFL Colin Kaepernick will be trying out his handwork this week in his quest for an NFL job.

On Headlines with Tony Renteria:

#1 Washington is one of the NFL teams that will be taking a look at quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his tryouts to get back on an NFL team. It was mentioned that Washington might not be interested in Kaepernick because they have rookie Dwayne Haskins as a team starter.

#2 49ers host the Arizona Cardinals next. It’s just one day less to rest as the 49ers are coming off that tough loss on Monday Night Football to the Seattle Seahawks. After a loss like that, how quick do you see the 49ers regrouping?

#3 The Oakland Raiders just edged out the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football last week 26-24. The Raiders’ Derek Carr threw for 218 yards and went 21 for 31 with one touchdown.

#4 The Sacramento Kings are believing in themselves. They have won four of their last five games and are getting great offensive production from Bogdan Boganovic, Buddy Heild, Nemanja Bjelica, and Harrison Barnes.

#5 After former Houston Astros pitcher Mike Fiers said that the Astros were stealing signs during the 2017 season and 2017 World Series, how far down does the Astros’ credibility go down from here?

Tony Renteria does Headline Sports each Thursday for

Countdown to the AL Wild Card Game


By Charlie O. Mallonee

In just over 19 hours, Sean Manaea is going to throw the first pitch in the 2019 American League Wild Card game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland Athletics. In just over three hours (after all, it is an American League game) one team will be leaving for Houston and the other team will heading home to pack up their lockers.

Manaea gets the call

The A’s had to decide between using Mike Fiers and Sean Manaea as the starter on Wednesday night. Fiers has been “the ace” of the staff with 33 starts, a 15-4 record, a 3.90 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.19. In two starts versus the Rays, he gave up just three total runs.

Manaea was activated off the Injured List on September 1st and made five starts in the final month of the season. He posted a 4-0 record with a 1.21 ERA and a WHIP of 0.78. Manaea has always been the heir apparent to the number starter’s role for Oakland.

Jon Morosi was a guest today on the Damon, Ratto, and Kolsky Show. Morosi — who is a reporter for the MLB Network and Fox Sports — said he feels that using Manaea as the starter on Wednesday is the perfect choice between the two pitchers.

Morton is the man for Tampa

Charlie Morton will take the hill for the Rays. He posted a record of 16-6 with 3.05 ERA for the season. After the Rays made “the opener” famous last year, Morton — a classic starter — became their star this season. Morton will use his curveball 37-percent of the time in the game on Wednesday night.

The A’s love the Coliseum

The Athletics record at home this season was 52-29 (.642). You would have to think that the A’s will feel more confident playing on their home field.

The A’s and Rays this season

The two teams played seven games this season. The A’s won four games and the Rays won three. Oakland won 2-of-3 in Tampa Bay and the teams split a four-game series in Oakland.

The odds

The A’s are the favorites on the money line -125. The projected run total is 7.5.

MLB The Show podcast with Matt Harrington: Braves get back-to-back division titles; Fiers lights out for A’s again; plus more

Photo credit:

On the MLB The Show podcast with Matt:

#1 The Atlanta Braves are for the second season in a row division winners in the NL East with a victory over the San Francisco Giants. Never an easy task to win a second division championship, but the Braves pulled it off.

#2 The Braves players celebrated after the game in the waterfall pool just beyond the outfield fence wrapping up the night. The players posed for a photo while standing in the pool.

#3 It was Oakland A’s Mike Fiers bobblehead night. Who threw a no-hitter on May 7 this season, Fiers on his pitch of the game gave up a hit to Texas Rangers lead-off hitter Shin-Soo Choo, but pitched a very controlled game afterwards threw eight innings of shutout ball.

#4 The New York Mets’ Pete Alonso was the second rookie to hit 50 home runs. Quite an accomplishment from Alonso, whose had a great year so far.

#5 The Washington Nationals got a big win over the Miami Marlins 6-4 to hang onto first place in the NL Wild Card. The Nats’ Trea Turner hit two home runs and Asdrubal Cabrera hit one in the win.

Matt Harrington does the MLB The Show podcast each Saturday at

Fiers dominant in A’s 8-0 blow out win over the Rangers

Photo credit: @Athletics

Texas: 0 | 2 | 1

Oakland: 8 | 8 | 0

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND — Major League Baseball players are a motivated group. They dedicate years in the minors to learning their craft in small towns and all-night bus riders until, when they reach the top, they report for what we call spring training, although the calendar insists it’s winter. They toil through 162 games, sometimes playing day games after night games, in what can be grueling weather, and travelling through three time zones (or more if they play in an overseas series) to face (or throw) a hard pellet at speeds of more than 95 mph. If their team qualifies, they play in a post season tournament that can last as long as twenty games. These men are driven. They’re also well paid at this level, which is a huge incentive for them to perform well in spite of the hardships and dangers they face. They also take a good deal of legitimate pride in their accomplishments.

When September rolls around a new layer of motivation is added. By Labor Day, the field of contending clubs in each of MLB’s six divisions narrows considerably, and the teams with a reasonable chance of making the playoffs push and shove, claw and gnaw to make the cut for postseason play and, once they’ve achieved that, to gain home field advantage throughout the remainder of play by having the best winning percentage of the lot.

But contenders aren’t the only teams who play with added intensity in the season’s waning days. They also have a chance to avenge five and a half months of being kicked around by spoiling the more successful teams’ bids for the different championships up for grabs in September. On the first of the month, the active rosters are expanded, and Spoiler Schadenfreude joins every non playoff team.

These are some of the reasons why stretch drive baseball can be so compelling even when the opponents are going in opposite directions. Not every game will provide as much drama, anticipated and realized, as the last three games of the 1951 National League season, which culminated with Bobby Thompson’s shot heard ‘round the world, or even the final game of 2012 when the A’s defeated the Rangers to occupy first place for the only time all season, which enabled them to advance to the playoffs.

Late season intensity wasn’t the only reason the teams had to be motivated for tonight’s contest. The stadium give away was a bobble head honoring the A’s starting pitcher, Mike Fiers (14-4, 4.09 ERA), who was coming off two dreadful starts. The statuette saluted him for his May 7 no-hitter against Cincinnati, but his bid to repeat that feat ended with his first pitch of the evening, which Shin-Soo Choo slapped into center field for a single. A double play and fly to left, however, set things straight. Fiers allowed only one more hit—and that was his only other base runner—in the rest of his eight inning stint. So you could say that he rose to the occasion.

His opposite number, Texas southpaw Mike Minor (13-9, 3.33 ERA) also had a bitter taste in his mouth from his most recent outing, in which he gave up seven earned runs in as many innings to the same A’s he was facing tonight. Just as Fiers’ recent bad experiences had been break in his pattern of success, Minor’s year had been a good one until recently. It included a spot on the AL roster for the All-Star Game, and brought a career-high 188 punch outs to the Coliseum mound tonight.

Minor’s troubles began later, but were more serious than the one Fiers had faced. With Laureano and Murphy on base and one down in the bottom of the second, the slumping Chad Pinder slammed a 94 mph four-seamer over the center field fence fore his 13th round tripper of the year, which gave the A’s an early 3-0 lead.

Oakland tacked on another run in the third on a walk to Chapman, who advanced to second on a ground out to first by Olson and scored on Canha’s two ball, two strike double to right. The A’s made it 5-0 in the fourth when Semien’s two-out two-bagger to left plated Sean Murphy, who had walked, advanced to second on Pinder’s single and to third on Neuse’s DP grounder to short. Canha’s lead off dinger to lead off the fifth brought his total to 25 and stretched the A’s advantage to 6-0.

After throwing five innings and 105 pitches (61 strikes) and allowing six runs, all earned, Minor’s exercise in frustration was over. He had surrendered six hits, giving his numbers a certain symmetry. He struck out only two, but this raised his year’s total to an impressive 190. He was replaced by Ariel Jurado, who set the side down in order before being replaced, in turn, by Yohander Méndez.

The A’s resumed their scoring ways once Méndez, like Minor a left handed hurler, entered the fray to pitch the seventh. With one out, Olson walked, as did Canha. Then Laureano doubled to right center, scoring the former and sending the later to third. A walk to Davis loaded the bases. This brought up Seth Brown, who had been brought in to pinch hit for Pinder when the Rangers switched pitchers from the left-handed, ineffective Minor to the right-handed, effective Jurado. Brown and Méndez went to a full count before the A’s rookie whiffed on a changeup, When Fiers got his first out in the eighth, a strike out of Nomar Mazaro, it was the deepest he’d gone in a game since August 9th, when he’d thrown seven innings of shutout ball in US Cellular Field. He finished tonight’s performance having thrown 95 pitches, striking out five Rangers, and allowing two hits and nothing else. He improved his record to 15-4, 3.91 ERA.

Taylor Guerrieri gave away the A’s final run with a wild pitch to Canha with Chapman on third. Canha eventually struck out.

Then Chris Bassitt set the Rangers down 1, 2, 3 in the ninth.

The loss went to Minor, who now is 13-10, 3.52 ERA.

The A’s hefty offensive was a relief after they had managed to score only three runs in their last two games, both of which they still managed to win. That the pitching, or at least Fiers and Bassitt didn’t let up in spite of a comfortable margin also was good news.

With Houston’s victory tonight, the A’s were mathematically eliminated from the AL West pennant race. Cleveland and Tampa Bay’s wins kept them tied with each other, two games behind Oakland in the struggle for first wild card honors.

Sean Manaea (2-0, 0.50 ERA) will go against Brock Burke (0-1, 5.19 ERA) in a battle of left-handers starting at 6:07 p.m. tomorrow evening and followed by a fireworks display celebrating the evolution of pop.