That’s Amaury News and Commentary: The best division in baseball plus

Copy of the New York Daily News announcing the New York Mets and New York Yankees in the Subway World Series in 2000 edition could the two cross city rivals meet again in this year’s fall classic? (photo by wikipedia)

The Best Division in Baseball, Plus

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–For the first time this 2022 season there will be a third wild card team on each league. No division in baseball is better than the American League East, with the New York Yankees walking-away with the best record in baseball and Toronto, Tampa Bay and Boston poised for a tremendous race.

For the first time ever, a division could have three wild card teams going into the postseason and a total of four of the five teams in this division playing in October.

The American League East is the only division in baseball with four teams playing over .500. In the AL West, there is only one team to beat, Dusty Baker’s Houston Astros, they are the best team and will stay in first place.

The LA Angels are sputtering again, after a very nice start, they went into a funk lost 14 in a row, from May 25 to June 8,and Joe Maddon (one of the best managers in baseball) was sent packing.

Next managerial change could come from Seattle, where expectations were high for this team to win this year. Manager Scott Servais and General Manager Jerry DiPoto are in the hot seat. The Texas Rangers spend a fortune (close to half billion dollars) signing Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, they are both starting to play the way everybody expected, but I do not believe they have the pitching to overtake their State rivals Houston Astros.

The Oakland A’s are what they are. All the other teams have more established talent, they are trying to compete with rookie manager Mark Kotsay, a good baseball man, but the best jockey in the world cannot win the race if the horse is limping.

In the Central Division, considered the weakest in all the major leagues, supposed to be an easy one for the Chicago White Sox, but the great Tony LaRussa is not having much fun so far, star closer Liam Hendriks just placed into the IL.

The Minnesota Twins will be in the playoffs, as of today leading that division and the Cleveland Guardians are playing good baseball, leading the way at third-base, José Ramirez an early candidate for MVP. Watch out for the Indians, sorry, the Guardians, they have a good team and a terrific manager in Terry Francona.

There are some 100 games left for each team this season. While in New York they are talking about a Subway Series, Mets vs Yankees. Most recently, in 2000 the New York teams faced each other with the Yankees winning in five games, a memorable series, which I happened to worked for the Latino Baseball Network.

In other cities there is lots of disappointment. In Los Angeles, the Dodgers, whose manager, Dave Roberts predicted a 2022 World Series win during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, when he said “We will win the World Series in 2022. We will win the World Series this year.”

The Dodgers have pitching problems, ace Walker Buehler recently went into the IL, Julio Urias is not going to win 20 games again this season (he was the only to win 20 last season) plus mixed with an inconsistent offense, the Dodgers have stuff to “figure out”, they do have the talent.

The San Diego Padres, at this time, even with the delayed return of superstar Fernando Tatis Jr, looks like the team that could win this division. Bob Melvin is doing a great job, which is nothing new for the three-time Manager of the Year.

The San Francisco Giants, while they are not going to win 107 games again, they find a way to win series, starter Jacob Junis went into the IL, veterans like Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt, can’t seem to stay healthy.

Giants lost some pieces in the off-season, perhaps the biggest one, starter Kevin Gausman who had his best year ever in 2021 with a 14-6 record, and 2.81 ERA, he left for a very lucrative contract in Toronto. Nobody expected the Giants to have a similar season as 2021, which was a dream season, when every player at the same time, had great years.

Trades: The new deadline this year is set for August 2. There will be many trades, some earlier than others, but the greatest commodities are starting pitchers. they are in high demand. Many of the teams with hopes of postseason play will reinforce themselves. In today’s game the old saying “you never have enough pitching” is new again.

Happy Fathers Day weekend.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for all the play by play of Oakland A’s baseball on the A’s Spanish radio network and on flagship station Le Grande 1010 KIQI San Francisco and News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: White Sox surprised Yanks Donaldson got just a one day suspension; Cardinals Molina out for bereavement after pitching Sunday

New York Yankees Josh Donaldson (left) and manager Aaron Boone (right) talk during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guarantee Rate Field in Chicago on Sun May 22, 2022 (AP News)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 MLB suspended New York Yankees Josh Donaldson one game for making a Jackie Robinson reference to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson on Saturday. Donaldson after the game in New York made the Jackie Robinson reference and said he meant no disrespect but White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz was surprised that he only got one day.

#2 The Jackie Robinson reference was an undertone a dog whistle to Anderson who is black and Donaldson is white player. Donaldson said that he was joking around in the past with Anderson about the Robinson reference when Anderson said he feels like today’s Jackie Robinson.

#3 Amaury, Sunday the St Louis Cardinals pitcher Yadier Molina who pitched in relief giving up two home runs and four runs after the Cardinals swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games at PNC Park. The Cardinals have placed Molina on the bereavement list the reason for the bereavement was not disclosed.

#4 The San Francisco Giants are coming off losing a three game sweep against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park. The Giants also lost first baseman Brandon Belt to the 10 day IL for an inflamed right knee. Giants manager Gabe Kapler said the team is still in good shape.

#5 The Oakland A’s have lost seven of their last ten games and have lost two of three to the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend including Sunday’s 4-1 loss. A’s pitcher Cole Irvin lost the contest and the A’s are not getting any run support.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead Spanish play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s on flagship station Le Grande KIQI 1010 San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: Lots of blow back Rangers manager calls Yankee Stadium a Little League Park; Umpire leaves game after getting hit by foul ball; plus much more

The New York Yankees Gleyber Torres gets ready to walk it off against the Texas Rangers last Sun May 8, 2022 at Yankee Stadium after the bottom of the ninth home run Ranger manager Chris Woodward said the stadium is like hitting in a Little League Park (AP News photo)

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary:

#1 Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward called Yankee Stadium a Little League Park after Sunday’s front end of a doubleheader when the Yankees Gleyber Torres hit a walk off home run. Woodward got an avalanche of heat for calling one of baseball’s cathederals a Little League Park.

#2 How much was it based on frustration for Woodward on losing to the Yankees on Sunday as Yankee Stadium does have a short porch. You could be assured Woodward heard it from Yankee fans on Monday.

#3 Scary moment as home plate umpire Ron Kulpa was hit in the mask by Chicago White Sox third baseman Jake Burger by a foul ball on Sunday against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Burger was checked by trainers after falling at the plate walked off the field under his own power and was replaced by Marty Foster.

#4 New York Mets coach Eric Chavez said that balls are being juiced to get out more there is no secret that all big league clubs are using humidors but on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN prime time games Chavez said that he first didn’t believe it when players came to him about it but watched and said the ball was traveling further on the eye test but it also lined up with what the analytics were telling them.

#5 Amaury the last three games in Minnesota against the Minnesota Twins the Oakland A’s lost by some low scoring games but they can’t seem to break out the bats and get the run production that manager Mark Kotsay would hope. Luckily the Detroit Tigers are a struggling bunch and the A’s got a couple runs to get by them on Monday night to end their nine game losing streak at Comerica Park 2-0.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez with Manolo Hernandez Douen for all the play by play action on the Oakland A’s Spanish flagship station 1010 KIQI San Francisco and for News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: A’s open up homestand against Orioles: A’s have seven players out with Covid 19 protocols

Oakland A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty is one of seven Athletics that were out for the home opener against the Baltimore Orioles at the Oakland Coliseum on Mon Apr 18, 2022 (AP News file photo)

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

The Oakland A’s (5-5) surprised a lot of the oddsmakers after they were predicted to pretty much have a rough start not to mention a very unexpected opening of the season to open a ten game road trip.

The A’s who lost two out of three to the Philadelphia Phillies but won that last and final third game and got inspiration and won three out of four in Tampa Bay including a 13-2 landslide on Mon Apr 11th at Tropicana Field.

Then the A’s who lost two out of three to the Toronto Blue Jays did pick up a win on Thu Apr 14th winning a two run ball game 7-5. The A’s on trip got some run production from catcher Sean Murphy and some closing help from Lou Trivino. The A’s went 5-5 which was unexpected on the trip.

On the Covid list: On that last A’s road trip the A’s might have got away with a lot with a relatively unexpected successful road trip going 5-5 but for the A’s home opener the A’s have seven players out with Covid 19 protocol issues, outfielder Stephen Piscotty, catcher Austin Allen, infielders Jed Lowrie, Chad Pinder, pitchers AJ Puk, Lou Trivino and Kirby Snead. Called up infielders Nick Allen and Christian Lopes, and pitcher Sam Selman. The A’s who opened up their season in Philadelphia on Fri Apr 8th came at a time when the city of Philadelphia is having a relatively large BA 2 Variant outbreak and has mandated mask wearing and social distancing.

The Baltimore Orioles are 3-6 but had won two of their last three games against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards. This could be a lot closer of a series than the oddsmakers are predicting.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s Spanish radio lead play by play announcer heard on flagship station 1010 KIQI LeGrande San Francisco and does News and Commentary podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Brown says he had ankle injury and had to leave game; 49ers Lance good enough but Shanahan will stay with Garoppolo

Former Tampa Bay wide receiver Antonio Brown shirted and unshirted was the talk of the town after throwing his uniform away during the Bucs game at MetLife in New Jersey against the New York Jets on Sun Jan 2, 2022 (photo from the Mirrior)

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Amaury, the recent jersey and shoulder pad throwing by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown last Sunday was because he didn’t want to go back in the game and said his ankle was bothering him. Brown said coaches insisted he play but Brown said his ankle was bothering him but Brown doing jumping jacks before running off the field.

#2 San Francisco 49ers back up quarterback Trey Lance had himself an afternoon while filling in for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. Lance threw for 16-23 for 249 yards and two touchdowns, and one interception for a convincing 23-7 win over the Houston Texans.

#3 The Golden State Warriors winners of four of their last five games. They got a win over the Utah Jazz 123-116 on Saturday. Stephen Curry led with 28 points the Warriors keep pushing along. Curry scored only nine points against the Miami Heat on Tuesday a season low. Klay Thompson is expected back in the line up very soon according to head coach Steve Kerr.

#4 Amaury, the New York Yankees are considering bringing in Oakland A’s veteran third baseman Matt Chapman. That move is very possible as Chapman will be seeking a multi year deal and a significant raise and playing on the biggest stage in baseball will provide that kind of money.

#5 Several free MLB agents are seeking to sign on new ball clubs, the Braves Freddie Freeman says that he’s interested working things out and returning to the Braves, former Giant Kris Bryant has had interest from the Mets, Padres, or Angels, Trevor Story is looking for ball club to sign with and could fetch for around $100 million.

#6 Ken Rosenthal legendary writer and TV analyst for Fox Sports and the Athletic and formerly with MLB Network did not get his contract renewed by MLB Network which Rosenthal said was due to articles that were critical of MLB and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred regarding MLB how the 2020 season was handled and some of the changes in baseball. One thing for sure members of the media and the members of the BBWAA will have Rosenthal’s back and it might be a war between the media and Manfred.

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

Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: Yankees give Boone 3 more years; Nets will feel Irving’s absence; plus more

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone seen talking to the media before the AL Wild Card game on Mon Oct 4, 2021 at Fenway Park in Boston has signed a three year deal with the Yankees for three years to remain as manager. (AP News photo)

On Headline Sports podcast with Jessica:

#1 New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone will return next season. Boone signed for a three contract and has an option for 2025. Yankees managing partner Hal Steinbrenner said that Boone has acumen and brings respect in the clubhouse.

#2 Boone and the Yankees finished in third in the AL East and lost to the Boston Red Sox in the Wild Card game that put Boone’s future with the Yankees in jeopardy. Steinbrenner felt that Boone had the respect of the players to return and make a run at the post season.

#3 Jessica turning to the NBA the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks who battled in an opening night game in Milwaukee. The Bucks held the lead for pretty much of the game later to win it 127-104. It’s early to tell but without Kyrie Irving in for the Nets does his absence from the team for Covid-19 protocol issues have an impact on the team?

#4 Taking a look at the MLB post season. The Atlanta Braves have had such a hold on the Dodgers winning the first two games of the series by two walk off hits in the ninth in Atlanta. The Braves taking a significant lead on the Dodgers on Tuesday night 5-2 in Los Angeles. The Dodgers made a comeback 6-5 to win game 3 with a 2-1 Braves margin. The Braves now with a 3-1 series lead won a laugher in game 4 on Wednesday night need one more win to sweep the series.

#5 It’s been a series the Houston Astros have a 3-2 lead on the Boston Red Sox taking a 9-1 laugher in Boston in game 5. The Astros had their biggest inning in the top of the sixth scoring five runs and now returning to Houston on Friday night for game 6 and they are the brink of eliminating the Red Sox needing just one more win.

Jessica Kwong does Headline Sports every other Wednesday night at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: George C. Scott in a movie as Charlie O Finley

George C. Scott in a Movie as Charlie O. Finley.

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Decades before Hollywood brought to the screen Moneyball in 2011, a non-fiction book by Michael Lewis about the 2002 season under Oakland Athletics manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) the Oakland A’s almost had a movie made depicting the live and success of A’s owner Charlie O. Finley by actor George C. Scott.

The Oakland A’s are one of only two teams to have won three or more consecutive World Series in history The New York Yankees who won a total of a record 27 World Series, had these consecutive titles: 1936-39 (4) 1949-53 (5) and 1998-2000 (3). The Athletics won in 1972-73-74. Nobody (including the Yankees) have won more than 3 consecutive World Series since 2000.

According to Nancy Finley, whose uncle was Charlie O Finley, Charlie was informed that George C. Scott was going to play him in a 1977 film depicting the great success of the “Swinging A’s” of the early 70’s dynasty. However by 1977 when Jimmy Carter was the President of the United States, there was high inflation and slow economic growth in the country, and like Nancy Finley told me “funding for this movie was rescinded”.

Actor George C. Scott (1927-1999) was a great actor who won numerous awards and nominations in the US and internationally. Nominated in 1959 for Anatomy of a Murder, 1961 for The Hustler, won in 1970 for his great portrayal of US Army General George C. Patton and was nominated in 1971 for the movie The Hospital.

George C. Scott did not have a great concept of Hollywood. As a matter of fact asked that his name be withdrawn and never accepted the Oscar he won for Patton. He was a Hollywood outcast who called the Oscars (quote) “a two hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons” and (quote) “I respectfully request that you withdraw my name from the name of nominees”.

In the photo George C. Scott doing some ‘acting’ with a face showing displeasure as next to him Charlie O. Finley presented him with a small replica of an Oscar with a baseball. Who knows, Scott might have won another Oscar if he was nominated and won for the Charlie O. Finley A’s movie. Obviously we will never know and even if he had won it he would probably have not accepted.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead Spanish play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s on flagship station 1010 KIQI LeGrande San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: Cole, Yankees hanging their heads after Wild Card loss; SF Giants avoided a huge concession stand strike for playoffs; plus much more

Losing pitcher of record Gerrit Cole delivers to the Boston Red Sox line up in the first inning during the ALWC game on Tue Oct 10, 2021 at Fenway Park in Boston (AP News photo)

On Headlines with Jessica:

#1 Jessica, You had a chance to see last night’s Wild Card game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox just how shocked was this good hitting potent team the Yankees that they only could manufacture just two runs in the 6-2 one and done loss to the Sox in Boston on Tuesday night.

#2 Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole was pulled he coughed up a Kyle Schwaber home run in the third inning. Cole said that he’s sick to his stomach over his poor outing going two innings, four hits, three runs, two walks and three strike outs.

#3 The San Francisco Giants are in the NL Division Series playoffs and will be hosting the series at Oracle Park in San Francisco which starts on Friday. What made a national story was Oracle park concessionaires Bon Appetit were planning to walk out at the beginning of the playoff meaning this Friday. That was averted when both labor and Bon Appetit management came to an agreement giving concession employees a $3 retroactive raise which covers this and the last two years, a $1.50 in hazard pay that also covered the last two years and increases that will total $7 an hour by 2024. The concession staff currently makes over $20.00 an hour.

#4 The Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving is still unclear whether he will take the Covid 19 vaccine but the pressure is on with opening day for the regular season around the corner. If Irving does not get vaccinated he will not be allowed to play any of the Nets home games at Barclay Center in Brooklyn until he does gets that first shot.

#5 Jessica, the San Diego Padres fired manager Jayce Tingler after he served two seasons with the Padres. The Padres at one time were within striking distance to get the second spot in the Wild Card standings but ended up not being able to seal the deal. Strong possibility to replace Tingler is former San Francisco Giant manager Bruce Bochy who led the Giants three World Series championships.

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

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: The Ultimate Baseball Face-off – Dusty Baker vs Tony LaRussa

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker (left) and Chicago White Sox manager Tony LaRussa meet at Minute Maid Field in Houston on Thu Oct 7, 2021 for game 1 of the ALDS (file photo NBC Sports)

The Ultimate Baseball Face-off – Dusty Baker vs Tony LaRussa

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

The American League Divisional Series is an attractive one. Two of the best hitting teams in all of baseball with very good pitching also. Manager Dusty Baker of the AL Western Division Champion Houston Astros, who will host Tony La Russa Manager of the Chicago White Sox Champion of the AL Central Division. Two excellent managers, who both return to the show after a few years of “unemployment”.

The two managers cut their teeth here in the Bay Area, Tony (The Hall of Famer) with the Athletics and Dusty (The Players Manager) with the Giants, they are two “old school” managers, not necessarily going by today’s super hyper stats of high-velocity pitches and hits, infield shifts, launch angle and all the other stuff which some media and fans overdose these days. Both not afraid of using the bunt, sacrifice, or as well as the hit and run or ‘run and hit’ and very much manage with their guts in-game situation.

Tony LaRussa is the active manager with the most wins ever 2,821, which places him second all-time behind the legendary owner and manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, Connie Mack who won a total of 3,731 baseball games.

Dusty Baker occupies No.12 in the all-time managers in wins with 1,987. Having covered both managers and traveled with them, there is a rivalry between both, the two oldest managers in baseball this season, Tony 77, Dusty 72.

They both speak conversational Spanish. In the 1980’s I recorded “El Show de Tony LaRussa” which was a three minute inside pregame show for radio. Tony would talk about the previous game with his take as a manager. With Dusty, many times I interviewed him including in the late 1990s when he was managing the Giants including 2002 when he won the National League Pennant and lost the World Series to the LA Angels.

This American League Divisional Series begins this Thursday, October 7 at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, who finished the season with 95-67 winning the West, while the Chicago White Sox ended with 93-69. This is the best-of-5 and Houston owns home-field advantage. Prediction: It will be a 5 game series. Houston is a much experienced postseason-proven team than Chicago. They didn’t clinch until the last week of the regular season.

Chicago White Sox won the Central Division (the weakest in baseball, second-place Cleveland Indians finished 13 games from Chicago). The Sox had their share of injuries, but they were never really challenged, they are a dynamic and mostly young ball club, which many critics believe (before the season) that LaRussa would be “too old” to win with this young group of players, but he proved those guys wrong and here is another Tony LaRussa team in the postseason.

Some great hitters for Houston in the series: José Altuve, Carlos Correa, Jordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Yuliesky Gurriel, who just won the league batting title with a .319 average, which today is the equivalent of hitting .340 decades ago, a breakthrough year for Kyle Tucker who was a First Round pick in the 2015 Draft, for the Astros and ended this season with his best numbers at 24 years of age, hit .294 with 30 home runs and 92 RBI. Their rotation is solid and a good bullpen to complete the game.

The Chicago White Sox can swing it with anybody. Tim Anderson, José Abreu, Yoán Moncada, Luis Robert, César Hernández, Eloy Jiménez, Yasmani Grandal, some of the names that can hit and hit for power. A very good pitching staff with Carlos Rodón, Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease, and a very strong bullpen with Craig Kimbrel and Liam Hendricks to close the game.

I give the edge to Houston in 5 games, but if Chicago wins, they have the potential to run the table and go all the way and win the World Series.

About the Wild Card game: (Note) I never liked the Wild Card game, just one game to decide a season. The LA Dodgers won 106 games this year and finished second. The first team ever to finish with 106 wins and not win their division. The Dodgers play the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, Oct 6.

The winner advances, the other team goes home. Just image winning 106 games and getting eliminated in the first round of the postseason? Something is not right here. This is not the NFL. Solution? Wild Card should be the best of 3 games. Just reduce the season to 152 games instead of 162 to even the whole year schedule, so the World Series doesn’t end by Thanksgiving Day. Who really likes the ‘due or die games’? Fans and especially, television, who usually score very good ratings.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez call post season baseball on CBS Spanish radio and reported for Telemundo TV and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Dodgers are slight favorite over Cardinals; Red Sox are favorites over Yankees

St Louis starter Adam Wainwright tips his cap to the crowd while being interviewed after pitching in the clinching game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tue Sep 28, 2021 at Busch Stadium in St Louis. Wainwright will be the Cardinals starting pitcher against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLWC game at Dodgers Stadium Los Angeles Wed Oct 5, 2021 (AP News photo)

On That’s Amaury’s commentary:

#1 After the St Louis Cardinals won 17 of 18 before losing two in a row to end season does the Cards odds look the best amongst the Los Angeles Dodgers in the upcoming NL Wild Card game on Wednesday?

#2 The Dodgers in their own right finished off the season winning seven straight and during that time got some excellent pitching from pitcher Julio Urias who finished the season winning 20 games going 20-3 ERA 2.96.

#3 With someone of the likes of Urias and a potent Dodgers starting rotation in the regular season Urias puts the Dodgers in a pretty good position if they can get past the Cardinals and reach a Division Series.

#4 In the American League Wild Card series talk about tonight’s game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park for the Wild Card. Starting for the Yankees Gerrit Cole and for the Sox Nathan Eovaldi two right handers in a game that could advance the winner to the Division Series. Oddsmakers have the Red Sox as the ALWC winner.

#5 Going back to the Cardinals and Dodgers Wild Card starting pitcher for St Louis Adam Wainwright against Max Scherzer for Los Angeles a 5:10 pm first pitch at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. The oddsmakers have the Dodgers as 1.5 run favorites.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez gives his analysis of the MLB post season teams throughout the playoffs at http://www.sportsrasdioservice.com