A’s Fisher and Kaval to meet with Las Vegas casino owner regarding ball park site on strip

One of the proposed locations on the Las Vegas Strip for a new Oakland A’s ballpark. One location at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds and the other is at Resorts World as the photo indicates here (photo by google maps)

A’s Fisher and Kaval to meet with Las Vegas casino owner regarding ball park site on strip

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

The top brass of the Oakland A’s is back in Las Vegas today to continue discussions on a potential relocation to Las Vegas, Nevada. It has been reported that A’s owner John Fisher and team president Dave Kaval met with resort operators on the Strip.

There are two potential sites. One that went silent in recent months is the Las Vegas Festival Grounds owner and casino magnate Phil Ruffin. Now it is said that this site is back and still in play for the A’s. It is a 39-acre site for a potential retractable dome stadium. Perspective: How big are 39 acres for a baseball stadium? The San Francisco Giants Oracle Park is just 14 acres.

The other location for A’s interest is in the Strip (as the photo here indicates) as the executives meet on the 66th Floor of Resorts World, to get a good bird’s eye view. Meanwhile, there is total silence from the Oakland A’s and the City of Oakland regarding the projected Howard Terminal, which has suffered more setbacks recently.

Oakland failed to secure more than $180 million in federal funds that would have benefited the A’s proposed waterfront ballpark and surrounding development, raising the question of whether the city will be able to get the project done. The A’s also lost a lawsuit over regulating the steel company that’s next to a proposed site for building a new waterfront stadium.

This is what’s going on today in the A’s Saga.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead Oakland A’s Spanish radio play by play voice with Manolo Hernandez Douen at 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: How Fujinami fits in on the A’s pitching staff; A’s welcome new broadcaster Johnny Doskow

Japan pitcher Shintaro Fujinami pitches against the Netherlands in the sixth inning of an international exhibition series baseball game at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Nov. 12, 2016. Right-hander Fujinami (AP News file photo)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Amaury how big of a help will Japanese pitcher Shintaro Fujinami be for the Oakland A’s. Fujinami has an 3.17 ERA and is noted to throw in the 90s and could have been aligned with some like Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani but Fujinami’s control has been in question.

#2 Fujinami signed with the A’s for $3.2 million on a one year deal the Nippon Hanshin Tigers did submit on the MLB posting system that Fujinami was available and the A’s scooped him up.

#3 Look for Fujimani to use the splitter when he has a hitter on two strikes, Fujinami has a 34% strikeout rate and 66% of facing hitter he gets them to ground out.

#4 The A’s this off season have signed third baseman Jace Peterson, right hander Drew Rucinski and Trevor May, catcher Manny Pina, and outfielder Esteury Ruiz from trades.

#5 Amaury, the Oakland A’s have added Johnny Doskow who joins the A’s radio broadcast team of Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo for pre season and regular season games. Doskow comes from the triple A Sacramento River Cats.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead play by play Spanish radio announcer for the Oakland A’s on 1010 KIQI San Francisco

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Caribbean World Series Begins February 2

The Caribbean World Series in Caracas, Venezuela will run from Feb 2 to Feb 10th (logo from the Caribbean World Series)

Caribbean World Series Begins February 2

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

The Caribbean World Series will open this February 2 in Caracas, Venezuela, and all eight participating teams will play on opening day. A new champion will be crowned on February 10.

Games will be played in two different sites in Caracas. La Rinconada Baseball Stadium and Jorge Luis Garcia Carneiro Stadium. La Rinconada Baseball Stadium will be opening for the first time, with a capacity of 38,000 will be the largest baseball stadium in Latin America.

More teams: For the first time in the tournament’s history will feature eight teams (there were six in 2022) new teams this year, are Curacao and Cuba. Cuba will be back after three years of absence for political reasons.

Questions and Answers: Last champion Caimanes de Barranquilla, Colombia in 2022

Most Titles: Tigres de Licey 10, Dominican Republic History: First Caribbean World Series: 1949 La Habana, Cuba Coverage US ESPN Deportes.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Hall of Fame Museum and does News and Commentary podcasts Tuesdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Latest on A’s Staying or Moving Saga; Nev Gov Lombardo open to A’s move to Vegas

Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo address in the state of the state speech on Mon Jan 23, 2023 at the Assembly Chamber at the Legislature in Carson City. Lombardo is open to financing an Oakland A’s move to Las Vegas but without using public funds (Nevada Independent photo)

Latest on A’s Staying or Moving Saga

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–In November 2022, the voters of the State of Nevada elected Joe Lombardo (Republican) to be their next governor over Steve Sisolak (Democrat) who had told the Oakland A’s that the State will not be raising money so the A’s can build a new stadium in Las Vegas.

However, the current governor Joe Lombardo and the A’s recently met and; “discussed what options the team had in regards to public-private partnership opportunities. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal Lombardo on Wednesday night through a spokesperson said that although he “isn’t in favor of creating a new tax to lure a professional team to the state, there could be other avenues to entice an interested franchise.”

Baseball Commissioner who is in favor of the A’s leaving Oakland, because he doesn’t see a way the City of Oakland can keep the team, also met with the new elected governor Lombardo. who “hinted at and have chatted with the A’s about remain to be seen” this according to the governor spokesman.

The A’s however “appear to have zeroed in on a potential Las Vegas site.”The A’s have been looking at a potential site in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Festival Ground on the north end of the Strip and the other one, the Tropicana site on the south end. Earlier this month a spokesperson for Phil Ruffin, a casino magnate, said there had been no recent talks between him and the A;s regarding the festival grounds site.

Next, the Bally’s Corporation President George Papanier, in charge of the company’s casino operation confirmed that talks between them and the A’s on the Tropicana site “were ongoing”.

We could, could have some Breaking News this year, why? because this cannot go forever. This was one of the lines from “Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour” which was a radio show that ran from 1934-1948, when it made the transition to television as the “Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour” and ran until 1970; It goes like this: “round and round it goes, where does she stops, nobody knows”.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead Spanish play by play voice on the Oakland A’s radio network and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: Angels owner Moreno takes Halos off the sales market; The passing of A’s great Sal Bando; plus more

Umpire Tom Gorman signals out after Oakland Athletic’s Sal Bando, left, collided with Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager at home plate during the World Series in Los Angeles on Oct. 12, 1974. This would be the the third consecutive World Series won by Bando and the Oakland A’s from 1972-74. Bando passed away Jan 20, 2023 in Oconomowoc, Wis. at age 78. (AP News File photo)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Los Angeles Angels owner Artie Moreno announced on Monday that he has taken the Angels off the sale market. After the Angels have been on the market for the last five months Moreno said he was not ready to part ways with the fans, players and employees. Moreno after last season put the team up for sale after discussing it with his family. The Angels had troubles with the mayor of Anaheim resigning over the stadium scandal, Mike Trout’s career threatening back injury and the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs from a cocaine overdose.

#2 Former Oakland A’s Captain, four time All Star, and third baseman Sal Bando who passed away from cancer on Friday was 78 years old and was also a general manager for the Milwaukee Brewers. Bando was part of the A’s three consecutive championships of 1972-74. Bando led the American League in extra base hits (64), doubles (32) and total bases (295) in the 1973 season.

#3 The Chicago White Sox Eloy Jimenez said he could make the adjustment of being the designated hitter but Jimenez is preparing to play more games in the outfield and in right field this happening after the Sox signed Andrew Benintendi for $75 million. The Sox also have Luis Robert playing in center with Gavin Sheets and Oscar Colas who will trading off in right with Jimenez.

#4 Turning to football Amaury just wanted to get your picks for the NFC and AFC games coming up we’ll start with the NFC as the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles match up. The 49ers are coming off a well defended game by the Dallas Cowboys just losing by a touchdown 19-12. 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy has led San Francisco to ten consecutive wins.

#5 The Cincinnati Bengals who are coming off a pretty convincing win against the Buffalo Bills Sunday 27-10 will play in Kansas City against the Chiefs this coming Sunday. The Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was 23-36 for 242 yards and two touchdowns last Sunday against the Bills. The Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will have to steady himself as he’s suffering a high ankle injury.

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

A’s get a double whammy loss on Howard Terminal with no federal funding and Supreme Court appeals loss on hazard materials push on recycling plant

The Oakland A’s attempts to make Schnitzer Steel an environmental hazardous liability failed when the State Supreme Court ruled that Schnitzer is treating it’s recyclables with water and cement that satisfies their landfill dumping. Could this be a show stopper for the A’s Howard Terminal project? (photo of Howard Terminal by the Port of Oakland)

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–This week was a double loss for the Oakland A’s they were turned down for federal funding as ruled by the state Supreme Court as they lost a lawsuit to classify recycling company Schnitzer as a hazardous waste recycler and wanted to get them classified as such.

Last Tuesday a spokesperson for the City of Oakland said that federal funding for the Oakland A’s were denied funds that would help the Oakland A’s Howard Terminal project in the amount of $182 million. The A’s will not receive any of the monies from the federal Transportation Department’s Megaprojects.

According to the Oakland Department of Transportation director Fred Kelly the city will continue to explore other avenues in trying to secure funding sources. Kelly said that he and the city will look for sources that will help finance and get the project off the ground. The A’s goal is not only a new ball park at Howard Terminal but also development for 3,000 residential units, commercial space, retail, an indoor performance center, 400 hotel rooms, and public space.

The City of Oakland has secured government grants amounting $321.5 million that would help pay for the infrastructure. The $321.5 million is still short as the city sought funding, $55 million for regional grants, $25 million for other federal grants, and $60 million in state grants.

The City is also seeking a limited obligation bond for $150 million. Kelly’s efforts in seeking another $182 million is crucial for the funding of the project and Kelly will have to find what government agency who will be willing to kick in.

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said is committed to keeping the A’s in Oakland and said during her inauguration that she wants to keep the A’s rooted in Oakland and wants to protect Oakland’s values. Sheng did say that she hopes the A’s and the city can reach an agreement that safeguards the tax payer and the city.

With the federal department of transportation turning down the A’s for the $182 million the A’s lost a Supreme court appeal decision on Wednesday that would reclassify car recycling company Schnitzer who are located next to Howard Terminal as a hazardous materials outfit that are a environmental threat which deposits hazardous materials in landfills. Schnitzer recycles unused and junked automobiles.

The state department of Toxic Substances Control said that the mix of recyclables of scrap metal, plastics, lead, cadmium, copper, and zinc has been made safely for landfill deposit as the recycler mixes the material with cement and water which acts a cover over soil in landfill. The A’s argue that materials mixed next to the ball park and Howard Terminal project is a environmental threat being next door.

The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco found that the recycled material is not a threat and did not contaminate air or water and does not threaten humans. The Department of Toxic Substances Control reviewed the study and said that the recycled materials in the landfill that was treated with the water and cement did not bear any threat to people near the plant or landfill.

The A’s main goal to building the project is to move Schnitzer out of Howard Terminal but Schnitzer whose been at the Howard Terminal location for decades does not want the A’s at the location likewise. Schnitzer with cargo operators, port workers, and truckers have filed lawsuits saying their businesses are not an environmental threat. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Brad Seligman ruled on lawsuits back in September saying safety measures are in use and that the work that Schnitzer does doesn’t contribute to air pollution.

The state of Nevada’s newly elected governor Joe Lombardo has not made it clear where he stands on using state public funds to bring the A’s to Las Vegas. Previous governor Steve Sisolak said he would not use public funds for the A’s ballpark but would consider using other avenues to fund the project. Sisolak was voted out of office and Lombardo has been quiet about funding the A’s stadium project.

Lombardo who has been more focused on other political issues like abortion, immigration and catalytic converter thefts. If Lombardo follows Sisolak’s method of using other ways to find money to pay for a new ballpark that could put the A’s funding in play. The A’s have been silent on any commitments on moving to Las Vegas as both scenarios for staying in Oakland and moving to Las Vegas are not quite clear.

The A’s have spent plenty of money on lawyers to move to Howard Terminal already. The A’s most likely location to move to in Las Vegas is at the Tropicana hotel and casino site on the strip but that might have to be done with private money. The A’s will be playing in Las Vegas’ minor league ballpark of their affiliate the Aviators March 4th and 5th and will evaluate the crowds for that weekend and where they go from there.

Tigres del Licey win the Dominican title for 23rd time

Tigres Del Licey shows good form in squaring around to bunt as the Tigres pick up their 23rd title in the Dominican title (photo from Amaury Pi Gonzalez)

Tigres del Licey win the Dominican title for 23rd time

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

The Dominican Republic will have its 2023 team in the Caribbean World Series 2023. They are Los Tigres del Licey who beat the Estrellas Orientales 2-1 with a decisive hit in the seventh inning by Mel Rojas Jr. This is the 23rd title for the Licey club in the history of LIDOM (Liga Dominicana), they are like the NY Yankees of the Dominican Republic, nobody has won more titles.

This was the first title for the Tigers since the 2016-17 season when they beat the Aguilas Cibaeñas under Manny Acta in a nine-game series. Designated Hitter Jorge Alfaro was named MVP, with 18 votes over 15 votes that Mel Rojas Jr received. The Tigres del Licey dominated during the whole season and ended with a record of 34 wins.

The Tigres del Licey will be playing in the Caribbean World Series which takes place this February. They have won the most titles in the Dominican Republic with 23, but also are ‘número uno’ in the Caribbean World Series, which began in 1949, The Tigres have won 10 of them.

Last Caribbean World Series Title went to the Caimanes de Barranquilla, Colombia.

The 65th edition of the Caribbean World Series will take place in Caracas, Venezuela. February 2nd to 10th.

A total of eight teams (the most ever) will participate, representing these countries: Colombia, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, México, Panamá, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. For fans of Fútbol/Soccer, it is similar to the UEFA Champions League, just in a single tournament.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Heritage Hall of Fame Museum and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: No one will touch Bauer now; Only a miracle now can prevent A’s from leaving Oakland; plus more news

Former Los Angeles Dodger Trevor Bauer was not claimed on waivers and the Dodgers could be on the hook for Bauer for $22.5 million if Bauer is not picked up by another big league club (AP file photo)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer who was unclaimed on waivers. Bauer’s leaving will cost the Dodgers $22.5 million which he will be owed if he not claimed by another club. Bauer if picked up by another big league club will be paid the MLB minimum at $720,000 that would offset the $22.5 million. The Dodgers as it looks right now will be on the hook for the balance as Bauer is persona non grata after several sexual misconduct allegations were made against him.

#2 The Oakland A’s will not see any kind of funding money in the neighborhood of $180 million in federal funds and now it’s a question of how the City of Oakland can finance the A’s ballpark at Howard Terminal at Jack London Square. The federal department of Megaprojects may not grant some of the monies or none of it at all.

#3 Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis expressed how Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas has now become less of a home field advantage for the Raiders because more fans travel to visit the visiting team than home fans that turn out. Also Davis observed that local fans in Las Vegas aren’t coming out to support the Raiders during the season home games.

#4 The Miami Marlins announced on Tuesday that they have come to an agreement with veteran pitcher Johnny Cueto to a one year deal with an option. Cueto formerly pitched for the Chicago White Sox last season going 3.35 ERA, 158 1/3 innings with 102 strikeouts and 33 walks. Cueto could get as much as $8.5 million this season from the Marlins.

#5 The Toronto Blue Jays keep on dealing they signed five players including a 16 year old pitcher named Emmanuel Bonilla who signed for $4.1 million the biggest contract for a bonus in Blue Jays history.

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

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Cuban Pitcher No.5 International Prospect selected by the A’s

Luis Dany Morales Cuban National pitcher and the No.5 International Prospect selected by the Oakland A’s (photo by Diario De Cuba)

Cuban Pitcher No.5 International Prospect selected by the A’s

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González.

Since 1968, first year in Oakland, the Oakland A’s had many Latin American players, like Dabogerto Blanco (Campy) Campaneris, José Canseco, Miguel Tejada, Tony Armas and many others. Today between 30-33 % of all players in the major leagues are born in Latin America.

The Oakland A’s agree to terms with 17 International prospects, all the 17 from Latin America. Among the 17, the No.5 prospect by MLB right handed pitcher Luis Dany Morales out of Cuba. Morales pitched for Sancti Spiritus in Cuba’s Serie Nacional in 2021 and was 3-3 with a 5.95 ERA in 11 games, nine starts.

He struck out 58 in 42.1 innings and walked 30 while surrendering just two home runs as an 18-year-old. Major League team traveled to watch Morales pitch in Mexico City earlier this year. He has a fastball that can reach the high 90s and a breaking ball that “projects to be above average” according to scouts.

In 2021 Morales was arrested by Cuban authorities, along with his parents trying to escape Cuba. But at the end the 18-years old Morales succeeded and was the one that lead a bunch of other Cuban players defect from Cuba as they were playing in México.

Others were Yeiniel Zayas, Ubert Mejias, infielder Miguel Antonio González, catcher Loidel Rodríguez and outfielders Reynaldo Lazaga and Diasmany Palacios. pitcher Brayan Chi, and also outfielders Loidel Chapelli and Yandy Yanes joined. Among all these Cubanos, only Morales was signed by the A’s.

After Morales and all these other Cuban players defected while playing in México, the Cuban Baseball Federation released an official statement blaming the last two US Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden for the defections. This is normal for the communist country and that is how their propaganda machine operates. When in doubt, blame the US.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead Spanish play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s with broadcast partner Manolo Hernandez Douen heard on flagship 1010 KIQI San Francisco and Amaury does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Who is buying the Los Angeles Angels?

Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob is exploring the possibility of buying the Los Angeles Angels. (USA Today News photo)

Who is buying the Los Angeles Angels?

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Arturo (Arte) Moreno bought the LA Angels in 2003 for $184 million. It is now worth about $2 billion. Moreno’s is the first Hispanic-American ever to own an MLB franchise, and now they are for sale. Among the people looking to buy the Angels is Joe Lacob, owner of the Golden State Warriors, who has previously expressed interest in buying an MLB team.

Mr. Lacob once offered to buy the Oakland A’s and said he believes the team belongs in Oakland. According to an interview with John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Lacob told Shea his offer to buy the A’s was for $180 million in 2005. How much are the A’s worth today? Most MLB teams are worth a minimum of $1 billion.

Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber could have some competition from other interested parties like LA Rams owner Stan Kroenke, LA Lakers part owner Dr.Patrick Soon-Shiong, a Japanese consortium, and even a minority group of LA Dodgers owners, maybe in the picture. Or somebody else could also be out there with a potential offer.

It makes all the sense for Moreno to sell (if the price is right) to the owners of the Golden State Warriors, the most successful sports franchise in the past 10 years in the NBA and in the Bay Area, bringing the Warriors to an elite level of teams in the NBA with multiple championships and a great fan base.

The Warriors always had a good fan base. I covered them when they first won an NBA Championship in Oakland 1974-75 under coach Al Attles and the ownership of the great Franklin Mieuli. In the 1990s during the Chris Mullin era under owner Jim Fitzgerald, and as their play-by-play (Español) for all their games, I remember all the excitement that they brought to Oakland and Bay Area fans.

Those were very exciting teams, and although they never won an NBA championship, their front office was very much involved with the community, The Oakland Arena was sold out most of the time during those years. David McGahey an innovator in Marketing and Broadcasting in the Bay Area for various media outfits, who passed in 2002, was a great VP of Broadcasting.

At that time the Warriors were one of the first NBA teams to broadcast all their games, home and away on the radio in Spanish language, only the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, LA Lakers, and Chicago Bulls at the time had Spanish radio.

Arturo Moreno greatly improved his team since he bought them in 2003. One of his first moves was to sign Vladimir Guerrero (now in the Hall of Fame) and later other superstars like Mike Trout and Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani. Moreno bought the team from Disney one year after they won the World Series against the San Francisco Giants in 2002, but the Angels have not been able to win again.

Lots of frustrations for a team whose lineup seems to be always very formidable but their consistent lack of pitching has been their Achilles heel drowning their hopes for the big trophy in October. In baseball, many things change, like stadiums, salaries, and rules changes, and even Mr. Moreno changed his team’s name from Anaheim to Los Angeles, but there is one thing that has never changed “without pitching, you cannot win”.

It’s too bad Arturo Moreno’s LA Angels could not win a World Series. Now, sooner or rather, the new owner(s) will be taking over the franchise in Orange County. In any sport winning is the key. Like the great NY Yankees owner, the ever-present George Steinbrenner used to say; “Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing”.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary podcasts Tuesdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com