Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: Garoppolo joins old coach in Las Vegas; Rogers close to signing with Jets; plus much more

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo seen in 2022 photo will join the Las Vegas Raiders for the 2023 season. Garoppolo reunites with Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels (AP file photo)

On Headline Sports with Jessica Kwong:

#1 Former New England Patriots offensive coordinator and current Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels is excited about reuniting with his former quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who signed with the silver and black for $72.75 million three year deal. The Patriots won two Super Bowls when Garoppolo was the back up quarterback to Tom Brady. Garoppolo quarterbacked for the Pats from 2014-2017.

#2 Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers says he wants to go to the New York Jets talks between Packers and Jets have not been finalized yet but sources say that both sides are working details out. Rogers said he will always love the Packers organization and the city of Green Bay.

#3 Jessica, with Diamond Sports owners of Bally Regional Sports Networks filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy who are scheduled to host streaming for some 14 Major League Baseball teams. Diamond missed a $140 million interest payment to it’s bondholders. Diamond while their in negotiations with their stakeholders are restructuring. Meanwhile baseball teams will not see any payments on their rights holdings that Diamond was scheduled to pay. MLB most likely will have to develop their own streaming network to cover the teams during Bally’s restructuring.

#4 Jessica, the New York Yankees who are the most valuable team worth $6 billion. In MLB the Yankees are one of two teams in the Majors that do not pay for their team’s inflight Wi Fi the other is the Cincinnati Reds. The cost in one year for inflight Wi Fi comes to $40,000 which is equivalent to pitcher Garrett Cole’s salary in four games.

#5 Oakland A’s Japanese pitcher Shintaro Fujinami struck out seven batters on Tuesday in his third start for the A’s. Fujinami. Fujinami almost got himself in a jam throwing for 35 pitches in the first inning and had the bullpen up as he was heading for his pitch limit. Fujinami came out in the second and third inning throwing 30 pitches 21 for strikes and struck out seven hitters to recover.

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

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: MLB–Oakland A’s the Fuji effect

The Oakland A’s Shintaro Fujinami warms up at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa at Cactus League spring training (San Francisco Chronicle photo)

MLB: Oakland A’s –  The Fuji effect-

Tha’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

The 2023 season is not far from the ‘first pitch’, and Spring Training is in full swing as all 30 clubs have hopes of a postseason berth. Seven months from today reality will be set for 28 teams, and only two will be playing in the World Series. Although is too early to talk about October baseball, this is the time to talk about what teams have in store.

For the Oakland A’s there is a new bunch of players.  Among the position players, only a handful of “veterans” like Ramón Laureano, Tony Kemp and Seth Brown are names that fans could identify together with some young pitchers. The team signed free agent Japanese right-handed pitcher Shintaro Fujinami “Please call me ‘Fuji.’ Like Mount Fuji,” the Japanese right-hander said in English when he was introduced to the media in Oakland.

Fuji played for ten years in Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan) for the Hanshin Tigers. Fuji (as he said he likes to be called) will turn 29 this next April. The A’s signed Fuji to a one-year deal for $3.25 million. He was, by far, the most interesting signing by the team this off-season. 

The A’s going to Asia makes news. After all, the last time the A’s had a Japanese player was in 2011, slugger Hideki Matsui, who played only that year for the Green and Gold, with the difference that Matsui was already a major league player. Today in Spring Training, Fuji is the main attraction, although he had yet to throw one pitch in the majors and although many “experts” suggested (before he signed with the A’s) that he could help a team in the majors as a reliever.

The A’s are giving him a shot of winning a spot in the starting rotation. Why not? The A’s rotation is still young and does not have much experience. Fuji pitched for ten years in Japan (although a rookie in the majors) he still has more experience on the mound than any A’s pitcher on this roster, to date.

Here’s what Sports Info Solutions wrote about Fujinami. The splitter was his best strikeout pitch, and his most-used pitch with two strikes, narrowly edging out his fastball in both two-strike usage and strikeouts. In addition to having a solid 34% whiff rate, batters also struggled to do anything with the splitter when it was put in play. His splitters turned into grounders 66% of the time, and batters only managed a 9% hard-hit rate versus the pitch.

I do not know how much success Shintaro Fujinami will have with the A’s, and the truth is that nobody really knows. Not a surprise the A’s signed him for one year since he will have to prove himself at the major league level. I am surprised when the A’s signed veteran Cuban-born journeyman Aledmys Díaz to a 2-year $14.5 million deal.

Díaz can earn $500,000 annually in performance bonuses for plate appearances. Díaz is a seven year veteran who played for St Louis, Toronto, and the most recent World Champion Houston Astros. Díaz can play many bases and it makes sense he will take the place of utility man extraordinaire Chad Pinder who left the A’s to sign a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds.

Note: Fuji was very excited after he learned on Saturday he will be starting this next Tuesday the 28th against his good friend and countryman, the sensational two-way player, Shohei Ohtani when the A’s face the LA Angels.

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: Fujinami might be the drawing card the A’s need for 2023

Oakland A’s pitcher Shintaro Fujinami tunes up at A’s spring training camp on Wed Feb 15, 2023 in Mesa AZ at Hohokam Park (photo from the San Francisco Chronicle)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Amaury, taking a look at Shintaro Fujinami in spring training and in his bullpen sessions he’s no joke Fujinami is throwing with a mean fastball and splitter and he’s in the upper 90s.

#2 Jesus Aguilar the A’s first baseman and designated hitter the A’s are expecting some punch in the line up out of Aguilar he did have a career worst wRC with the Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles last season 86 in 129 games.

#3 Amaury, are the A’s on the fence about keeping Cristian Pache. Pache will have to showcase this month in spring training and that includes hitting and manager Mark Kotsay is looking for an everyday outfielder that can provide hits and RBIs. Pache has ability with the glove in centerfield but can he be that everyday player that Kotsay is looking for?

#4 Taking a look at former St Louis Cardinal and former San Francisco Giants broadcaster Tim McCarver. McCarver a former two time All Star and who called signals for former Cardinal pitchers Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton passed away this week.

#5 Amaury, It’s been six years since the World Baseball Classic has been played the games have expanded to 20 teams and have added three more teams, Great Britain, the Czech Republic and Nicaragua.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcasts every Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com