That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: A Chat with Nancy Finley (Daughter of Carl Finley A’s assistant))

Sports Illustrated 1972 file photo: Oakland A’s surround owner Charlie O Finley, from left to right (top) Rollie Fingers, Joe Rudi, Vida Blue, (middle) Reggie Jackson, Charlie O Finley, Gene Tenace, (bottom) Sal Bando, Catfish Hunter, Campy Campaneris

A Chat with Nancy Finley

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

Athletics owner Charlie O Finley was a visionary,a man that knew how to promote the game, he owned and operated the Kansas City and Oakland A’s for 20 years. I met Mr.Finley prior to a game at the Oakland Coliseum a few years after his famous Swinging A’s won three consecutive World Series 1972-74.

Charlie O Finley was a very passionate owner,who brought the colorful uniforms,shoes and other innovations to the game of baseball. Charlie was a winner, and winning three consecutive World Series is a feat only accomplished by another team in the history of major league baseball,the New York Yankees,who on three different occasions won consecutive World Championships (1936-1939) followed by (1949-1953) and from 1998 to 2000 for three more. The Yanks are the undisputed champions with 27 World Series titles.

But there was another very important Finley, not as well known as Charlie.Carl Finley and Carl was always busy not only handling the media but also in charge of promotions,in a small front office,which was mostly members of the family, Carl and others wore many hats.His daughter Nancy,was born into the baseball world with his dad and Charlie.

Nancy share some of her memories. She told me about Joe Dimaggio in 1970 “Joe DiMaggio cooked dinner when he visited dad at 1200 Lakeshore vAenue in Oakland, both were bachelors and had much in common,this was the top floor apartment leased by the team,this was my first home. Later that year we learned we were neighbors with Huey Newton(Black Panthers), he was on the FBI’S 10 Most Wanted at that time. Dad moved me with a girlfriend before the news broke”

Nancy remembers 1971,the first year in the playoffs. “This was Vida Blue’s year, Vida became an overnight sensation with fans. I remember Vida Blue day.I also remember ‘Hot Pants Day’. Our promo item was a bottle of ‘Hot Pants’ perfume to the first 5,000 fans wearing hot pants.We had a ‘Hot Pants’contest on the field.We were still waiting for the front office to be finished by Alameda Co. Alameda Co. kept promising it would be soon”

Mr.Finley was known for his promotions and probably none was more famous than Charlie-O the Mule, the mascot that Mr.Finley used from Kansas City Athletics to the Oakland Athletics from 1965 to 1976.

The mule was named after Charles O Finley. Nancy: “On December 1976,our mascot,Charlie O passed. Dad handled the internment.Dad decided to have Charlie O.interned at the Oakland SPCA and fans could pay respect since this was next door.I remember when dad took me to the SPCA and showed me the wall with Charlie O’s plaque. Dad said Charle O.’s cap,blanket and reigns were with him. During games for 1977 to 1980, we were without our mascot. This took something away in my mind. In 1977, Charlie O mailed dad a “Mule” magazine, and wrote Charlie O. on the front cover. Dad could tell Charlie missed Charlie O.I still have that magazine”

Nancy remembers the A’s bank manager in downtown Oakland had a crush on her dad. According to Nancy, “Dad was well known at this bank and chose this bank for the team:” About the off-season “Dad had his California Junior College Credential for the off season,he taught Business Law at Laney College in the winter”

Carl’s cousin was Charlie O Finley and Nancy learned under those years when the Oakland Athletics were a national story,once in the front cover of Sports Illustrated,very happy moments,winning playoffs and World Series. She also lived under stressful times as she recalls:”On October 1973, I had to be taken out of school because of kidnap threats. When Oakland School Superintendent, Marcus Foster, was assassinated by the SLA, the FBI informed dad Finley was their #1 target.The SLA said they could not locate Finley”

These are just a few of the many stories and memoirs of Nancy Finley. She lived during a very interesting time in baseball and American history and of course about the Swinging A’s from somebody who grew-up inside the game of baseball with the Finley family.Thanks Nancy.

Nancy Finley wrote the book, Finley Ball: How Two Baseball Outsiders Turned the Oakland A’s into a Dynasty and Changed the game forever.

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

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Will Covid 19 force MLB to cancel the season too?

nbcsports.com photo: Oracle Park might be awfully lonely this season until there is a break in the Coronavirus epidemic as the Giants have canceled their game against the Oakland A’s on Mon Mar 24th

On the Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 How practical is it playing in empty ball parks and having teams spends lots of money on travel to play in front of empty stadiums could MLB just end up cancelling the season?

#2 The Giants have announced in working with the City of San Francisco that they have canceled their home game with the Oakland A’s on Mon Mar 24th which would have been the first game back in the Bay Area due to caution regarding Covid 19 virus.

#3 Talking about some of the players in camp Giants pitcher Logan Webb is trying to grab the last spot in the starting rotation how do you see his chances.

#4 How does Giants manager Gabe Kapler like pitchers Dereck Rodriguez, Trevor Cahill and Trevor Oakes chances to make the starting rotation?

#5 Talk about Giants outfielders Steven Duggar, Billy Hamilton, Jaylin Davis and Mike Yastrzemski and how they’ll fit in for this season?

Join Michael for the Giants podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: A’s getting some hitting production Barreto, Olson, Krizan and Allen

photo from sfchronicle.com: Franklin Barreto hit three doubles on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers in pre season action for the Oakland A’s

On That’s Amaury’s podcast:

#1 Amaury talk about A’s second baseman Franklin Barreto he doubled in three at bats, scored two runs and got an RBI on Sunday.

#2 A’s first baseman Matt Olson with bases loaded went 0-2 against Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader. Olson worked the count to 3-2 and fouled out, “it’s just fun for the fans to watch that” said A’s manager Bob Melvin

#3 The A’s Jason Krizan hit a two run home run in the eight inning Sunday. Krizan came from the Mets minor league rule 5 draft.

#4 Vismel Machin is another rule 5 draftee who tried to make it to the A’s but will be going back to his former club after Melvin said that Machin was “further down the pecking order”

#5 The A’s Austin Allen hit two doubles and got three RBIs on Sunday. Austin was replacing catcher Jonah Helm who was 0-2 for the game.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez can be heard on KIQI 1010 Spanish radio home of the Oakland A’s Friday, Saturday and Sundays for A’s home games and for News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Headline Sports with Barbara Mason: Girls basketball canceled due to virus related issues; Sharks have they turned the corner?; plus more Sharks

ap photo: The San Jose Sharks Kevin LaBanc puts one on net against the Minnesota Wild’s goaltender Alex Stalock (32) last Thursday night at SAP Center in San Jose

On Headline Sports with Barbara Mason:

#1 Girls basketball game between Menlo Park-Ahterton and O’Dowd Oakland in the Interscholastic Federation Girls basketball league was canceled due to related concerns regarding Coronavirus.

#2 San Jose Sharks showing signs of improvement have won three of their last four games. They play back to back games this weekend Saturday and Sunday.

#3 Pac 12 Women’s Tournament in Vegas is underway the Cal Bears got a 71-67 win over Arizona State University. Cal senior Jaelyn Brown led Cal with 22 points.

#4 St Mary’s mens will play on Saturday a 9:15pm tip vs. Pepperdine in the WCC Tournament. St Mary’s head coach Randy Bennett said the WCC Tournament is meal to meal event.

#5 Oakland A’s pitcher AJ Puk was given a good news regarding his shoulder. Dr. Neal Elatrache said there are no structural issues.

Barbara Mason does Headline Sports each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Headline Sports with London Marq: Fox amongst top scorers in Sacramento; Warriors Curry back from injury; plus more

yahoo.com file photo: Sacramento Kings De’Aaron Fox

Headline Sports with London Marq:

#1 The Sacramento Kings have won five of their last six games and they’ve been getting help from some of their top scorers De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Buddy Hield.

#2 The Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry has recovered from the broken hand and played last night against the Toronto Raptors. It’s been a long time waiting but Curry whose been on a 58 game absence is really looked forward to getting back in the line up.

#3 The Oakland A’s pitcher Jesus Lazardo has been picked as No.4 for ESPN’s Top 100 prospects this season. Lazardo pitched in six games for the A’s last season and had an ERA of 1.50

#4 The rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants continues in Wednesday’s game the Dodgers Justin Turner was hit by a Giants pitch in the knuckles and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw threw and hit Giants catcher Rob Brantly and after the inning as third base coach Ron Wotus was running off the field he said something to Kershaw and Kershaw started yelling towards Wotus until the umpire had stepped in front of Kershaw

#5 The San Jose Earthquakes got a crucial tie last Saturday against Toronto FC to open the season when the Quakes Chivas de Guadalajara got a free kick that sailed into the upper left hand corner that got the Quakes the draw 2-2

Join London for all the Headlines each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Maddon excited to face his old team Cubs; Will Matz meet the Mets; plus more

photo Angels manager Joe Maddon

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

#1 What’s it like for former Chicago Cub manager Joe Maddon to play against his former team the Cubs as Angels manager.

#2 What does it say for the Angels organization formerly working in Anaheim picking up a manager like Joe Maddon.

#3 The New York Mets are inquiring about Steven Matz of the New York Yankees. Matz has a 4.05 ERA over the last four seasons and could turn free agent what are the Mets chances of getting Matz?

#4 The Oakland A’s Jesus Luzardo threw for three innings on Sunday in his second start this spring. Luzardo pitched for the Las Vegas Aviators last season in seven starts and had an ERA of 3.19.

#5 A’s manager Bob Melvin says that Tony Kemp may not end up being the A’s lead off hitter but he’s been getting some good at bats, Kemp hit a double and went 8-18 and Melvin says that Kemp is seeing left handed pitching pretty good too.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice for A’s baseball on KIQI 1010 San Francisco hear all A’s home games on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Amaury does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: For 2020 Predictions Los Atleticos My predictions for this upcoming 2020 season

file photo from sfchronicle.com: Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien fields a grounder by San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey, who was out at first during a baseball game in San Francisco. Semien will look to build momentum from a career season that included being top three in the AL MVP voting. He was rewarded with a new $13 million, one-year contract to avoid arbitration, a raise of $7.1 million

2020 Predictions: Los Atléticos

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

My predictions for this upcoming 2020 season.

(American League West)

1-Oakland Athletics 2-Houston Astros 3-Los Angeles Angels 4-Texas Rangers 5-Seattle Mariners

Oakland A’s  (Offense) This is the year everything will come together for the Athletics. For the second year in a row finished with an excellent 97-65 record and behind the Houston Astros. They will catch and pass the scandal-riddled Houston Astros.

A’s are a powerful offensive force with numbers that do the talking. Among all 30 teams,the A’s finished fifth in home runs with 257,number eight in runs scored 845 and number ninth in runs driven-in with 800.

The team of the greatest base stealer ever, and in my opinion the best all-around player in the history of the Oakland A’s,Rickey Henderson who stole 1,406 bases during a stellar Hall of Fame career,only stole 49 bases last season,which put them close to the bottom,only three teams in baseball stole less bases.

But nobody is perfect,that is not their game, only the Giants, Twins and Cubs stole less bases than the A’s. Unfortunately (if you are old school) at this time in history where 30 homers for a player is “normal” and many say boring,the stolen base is like the bunt,”Breaking News”when it happens.

(Pitching) Bob Melvin A’s had the sixth best earned run average for a pitching staff in baseball with 3.97. Only Astros, Dodgers, Rays, Indians and Cardinals showed a better ERA. Their 2020 staff is one of the youngest and most talented in the game. Sean Manaea, Jesús Luzardo, Frankie Montás, A,J Puk, Mike Fiers starting and leading the way.

(Bullpen) Liam Hendriks (25 saves and 1.80 ERA),who took over Blake Treinen as closer was robbed of the Reliever of the Year Award by New York Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman,but was one of the reasons the A’s got to the AL Wild Card game.

The only reason Hendriks did not win the award is because he pitches for the A’s and Chapman for the Yankees. The market was the deciding factor. However,the Astros had the top bullpen in the AL West and third best in baseball last year with ERA (3.75) and batting average against (.226). Roberto Osuna led the Astros with 38 saves,second in baseball only to San Diego’s Kirby Yates with 41.

(Defense) Los Atléticos finished tied with the Atlanta Braves as the fourth best defensive team in baseball,with a .987 fielding percentage. and committed total of 80 errors,only Cardinals,Royals, Houston and Braves committed less. It all starts with the Golden Corners; Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, both Gold Glove winners,plus a mostly improved Marcus Semien at shortstop,and very a talented outfield with Ramón Laureano in center field. Ramón’s arm is one of the best – nobody runs on him.

2020 A’s are very similar to 2019.The second base position still wide open, they acquired veteran Tony Kemp but also have A’s minor league star Jorge Mateo as well as Franklin Barreto who already have some major league experience with the club, as well as Sheldon Neuse and then there is Rule 5 pick Vimael Machín.They are all candidates at the second-base position that Jurickson Profar left vacant after he signed with the San Diego Padres.

Conclusion: It will be a battle for the division between the A’s and the Astros. Now under Dusty Baker,the Houston team still one of the best group of players in baseball,it should not be easy for the A’s, but they are ready for battle. It is of great importance that the A’s win the division,because they are starting to get the label that they cannot win a Wild Card game.

The LA Angels with the addition of one of the finest hitters and all around players in third-baseman Anthony Rendon, who will now be in a lineup with MikeTrout, Justin Upton,Shohei Othani and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols hitting sixth or seventh,they will score tons of runs, but they are still short of pitching.Good luck to a great baseball guy,Joe Maddon, now back in Anaheim as manager.

Texas will be Texas,Joey Gallo might hit 50 home runs,so what? and the Seattle Mariners will continue to look up to the others in the division. Seattle a great city that once had stars such as Ken Griffey Jr. Edgar Martínez, Randy Johnson, Ichiro Susuki, Féliz Hernández, Jaime Moyer, Raúl Ibañez and others, but for this season they will be a sad again. Mariners remain the only team in the division never to win the pennant.

Atléticos First Homestand features two Divisional champions. A’s Open 2020 this Thursday March 26th at 1:07PM with the first of a four games against the Central Division champion Minnesota Twins followed by the Western Division champion Houston Astros for a three game series starting Monday. The Twins loaded with power set a new MLB record last season with 307 home runs and the Astros lead the regular season with 107 wins.

Coronavirus Note: WHO(World Health Organization)tips about this virus. 1-Wash hands frequently 2-Maintain social distances 3-Avoid touching,eyes, nose and mouth 4-If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s Spanish radio broadcasts and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Athletics Radio-Not the First Time

photo from Amaury Pi Gonzalez working in the Oakland Coliseum pressbox 19 during the 1979 season

Athletics Radio – Not the First Time.

Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–In 1979 during the last season of Charlie O Finley ownership of the Oakland Athletics, the team did not sign a local commercial flagship station to broadcast their games locally.

Finley sold the broadcast rights for $1 dollar to the University of California Berkeley, their campus radio station.. Their play by play announcer was Larry Baer, now a SF Giants top executive, Baer broadcast weekend games and just across the glass next both, Box 19, Amaury Pi-González was broadcasting weekends in Spanish for KBRG 105.3FM “Hot Hits” San Francisco.

KBRG (popularly known as KBRIDGE) one of the pioneer Spanish radio format stations in California. The A’s made a big change this 2020 season ending their relationship with KTRB radio 860AM who was their flagship station.All the games this season will be air for free on TuneIn.

A’s Cast, the Oakland A’s 24/7 audio streaming station on TuneIn, is now the official home of A’s audio content, including all 2020 game broadcasts, podcasts, and daily sports shows. Every Spring Training and regular season game in 2020 can be heard exclusively on A’s/ Although the A’s do not have a Bay Area station their retain and will air them on their radio network.

Ken Korach will return for his 25th season with the A’s and his 15th as the team’s lead radio announcer, pairing with Vince Cotroneo, who will begin his 15th season with the Club. Ray Fosse will also make special appearances in the booth throughout the season.

The A’s are also expanding their Spanish-language broadcasts on TuneIn to include coverage of every regular season home game in TuneIn and Spanish radio. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday home game Spanish-language broadcast will also air on KIQI (1010 AM, San Francisco Bay Area) and KATD (990 AM Pittsburg) covering Sacramento/Stockton and surrounding areas.

So, that’s it, “That’s the way the ball bounces”

Amaury Pi-González will return for his 27th season with the A’s and 43rd season overall in MLB. Pi-González will be joined by Manolo Hernández-Douen, who will begin his 12th season as an A’s analyst.

 

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: MLB 2020 A stolen season?

file photo from yahoo.com: Oakland A’s pitcher Mike Fiers is the target of some retaliation from other teams during the 2020 season. A’s manager Bob Melvin says nobody is happy about the situation and its time to move forward.

MLB 2020: A Stolen Season?
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
Amaury Pi-González

Mike Trout who makes enough money to start his own league, or at least a division, arrived at the Angels Spring Training in Tempe, Arizona and was not shy to talk about the scandal that has consumed the game: “It’s sad for baseball,” Trout said. “It’s thought they cheated.”’ referring to the Houston Astros players on the stealing-sign scandal ” I lost some respect for some guys” Trout considered the best player in the game, is trying to lead his Angels to their first postseason since 2014, continued: “You don’t know what helped them or what not,” he said. “But if you know what’s coming, it’s going to definitely help them.”

I don’t know if you take the trophy away or take the rings away, but they should definitely do something.” and continued on an obvious criticism of the Commissioner. About the punishment to players in the scandal, he added: “The players getting nothing, that’s definitely not right, for sure.”

On the other side of the country at Ft Myers Florida, Red Sox great David (Big Papi) Ortíz now retired an advisor for the team was defending Commissioner Manfred, at least giving Mr.Manfred the benefit of the doubt: “He’s going to do what’s best for the game.

He’s not the type of guy that’s going to accept you screwing things up in the game,” Ortiz said. “No, he’s good at making decisions. But people need to chillax and let him do his job. Players need to let him do what he thinks is better for the game and stop putting him on the spot and telling him what to do. That’s what I think should happen.”

These are two of the biggest stars in the game, Trout a future member of the Hall of Fame and Ortíz a sure thing in just a few years, they have totally different opinions. This divide is happening as we speak in baseball, baseball fans can’t stop talking about it, the players, the media eats-it up. At the end, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. In my opinion, this whole thing was botched from the beginning.

I have great respect the Office of the Commissioner, and Mr.Manfred, but I believe he has shown little leadership since the story broke and continues to develop as more and more players are coming to the microphone to basically state their peace.

Will this 2020 season be overshadowed by this scandal? Can the beginning of the season make fans forgive all of this? How will the fans react? Are Astros hitters ready to be hit by pitches? It is a big baseball universe out there, we have 30 MLB clubs and many questions remains to be answered, plus players are furious and ready to strike over economic system and they seem to be united. MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association) has a lot of obstacles to clear in the next collective bargaining agreement.

More questions than answers,but for sure this 2020 season promises to be fascinating.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the radio voice for A’s baseball Spanish on 1010 KIQI for home games Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and does News and Commentary each week http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Players say they will take action in their own hands against Astros; Will MLB act if beanball war starts with teams throwing at Stros?

photo from newsday.com: Houston Astros Dusty Baker says he is asking MLB Commissioner to take action against any teams who will start on field trouble against the Astros during the 2020 season which could lead to beanball wars

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

#1 After a number of players have voiced their anger about the Houston Astros and sign stealing they have said their only choice left is to retaliate against the Astros which could amount a lot of bean balls this season.

#2 One of the players that teams might go head hunting for is the Astros Jose Altuve whose possible wired under the jersey incident in the World Series has got the Dodgers and Yankees in particular pretty hot

#3 Astros manager Dusty Baker says that out of concern he’s asked MLB to make it clear that anyone retaliating against any of the Astros players should face discipline by baseball.

#4 If the Astros wind up winning a bunch a games again will there be doubts about how legit those victories will be?

#5 Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Manea made it clear in an interview this week that he’s very angry with the Astros and that their cheating took a lot away from Manea and other players who could have won those games against Houston.

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