NHL Stanley Cup Playoff podcast with Matt Harrington: Pressure on Stars need win or go back to Dallas down two games

Vegas Golden Knights center Brett Howden (21) celebrates after scoring against Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) in overtime during Game 1 at the T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas on Fri May 19, 2023 (AP News photo)

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoff podcast:

#1 The Vegas Golden Knights took game 1 of the NHL Western Conference Finals at the T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas on Friday night in overtime 4-3. The Knights Brett Howden scored on the Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger at 1:35.

#2 The Stars Jamie Benn forced overtime with a third period goal at 1:59 to tie the game 3-3. These two teams really know how to come out and battle as this was the third time in four meetings that they have gone into overtime.

#3 The Knights William Karlsson scored twice, Karlsson now has seven goals for the post season and has a three game point streak going.

#4 The Knights Teddy Blueger scored and Zach Whitecloud had two assists and goaltender Adam Hill saved 33 shots. The Knights were getting some offense and some defense in game 1.

#5 Stars and Knights face off on Sunday afternoon at 12 noon. The Stars need this one or else go back to Dallas down 0-2. The Knights are hoping to make the best of home ice advantage.

Matt Harrington does the NHL Stanley Cup Playoff podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Barracuda look to rebound Tuesday against Firebirds

The San Jose Barracuda and the Coachhella Valley Firebirds battled for the puck Sat Jan 7, 2023 (San Jose Barracuda photo)

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 San Jose on the road faced off against the Coachella Valley Firebirds who has had their number all year and Saturday night was no different as the Firebirds won 4-0.

#2 Coachella Valley did not take long to find the back of the net as just 4:28 into the game Brogan Rafferty scored his fourth goal of the season. Both Ryker Evans and Max McCormick assisted on the goal.

# 3 Just a little under five minutes after the goal Adam Raska and Max McCormick dropped the gloves looking to give a spark to their respective teams.

#4 In the third the Barracuda pushed for an answer but none was found as the Firebirds gaoltender Joey Daccord ended up shutting out San Jose making 39 saves on the night.

#5 San Jose will look to bounce back Tuesday on the road against these same Firebirds at 7 p.m.

Join Marko for the Barracuda podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

13th-ranked Ducks rout Stanford 45-27

The looks on the Stanford Cardinal sideline says it all as the Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix takes a keeper for long yardage. Nix wound up with four touchdowns on the day to defeat Stanford at Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Sat Oct 1, 2022 (AP News photo)

Sun Oct 2, 2022 

By Daniel Dullum

No. 13-Oregon built a four-touchdown lead in the first half and proceeded to rout Stanford 45-27 in Pac-12 football at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

The Ducks (3-1) were led by quarterback Bo Nix, who completed 16 of 29 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Nix also ran six times for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Bucky Irving ran 10 times for 97 yards.

Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee completed 19 of 33 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions, but was also sacked three times. Casey Filkins ran 19 times for 80 yards and caught three passes for 59 yards and a TD. Elijah Higgins caught six passes for 44 yards and a touchdown for Stanford (1-2).

Oregon opened the scoring at 10:43 of the first quarter with a 38-yard field goal by Camden Lewis. With 16 seconds left in the opening period, Chase Cota snared a 49-yard touchdown pass from Nix to build the Ducks’ lead to 10-0.

A 23-yard field goal by Joshua Karty put the Cardinal on the board with 8:23 remaining in the second quarter. Oregon responded with three touchdowns in a four-minute span to close out the first half.

At 4:34 of the second quarter, Nix found Troy Franklin for a 10-yard TD pass, then, after a Cardinal turnover, Nix ran in from four yards out 11 seconds later. Benjamin Yurosek caught a pass for no gain and fumbled at the Cardinal 25. Noah Sewell recovered the fumble and returned it 21 yards to set up Nix’s score.

Thirteen seconds before halftime, Jordan James scored on a 1-yard plunge, giving the Ducks a 31-3 lead at the intermission.

The Cardinal tried to battle back in the second half. A 42-yard scoring pass from McKee to Filkins cut the Stanford deficit to 31-10. Forty-seven seconds later, Nix ran for an 80-yard touchdown, increasing the Ducks’ lead to 38-10. McKee connected with Elijah Higgins for a 28-yard touchdown pass with 2:52 left in the third quarter, cutting Oregon’s lead to 38-17 after three periods.

Oregon opened the fourth quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run by Sean Dollars. At 5:12 of the fourth, Karty booted a 53-yard field goal, and Stanford scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Ari Patu to Mudia Reuben with 1:17 left to close out the scoring.

Next week, the Cardinal host Oregon State at Stanford Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Oakland A’s podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson: Since Elvis left the building with Piscotty and Lowrie rookies and top drafts left to pick up the pieces

Former Oakland Athletic right fielder Stephen Piscotty makes a dive in vain for a ball that was hit by the Los Angeles Phil Gosselin knocked in a run but was thrown out by Piscotty at second trying to stretch the hit for a double on Aug 2, 2022. Piscotty was not picked up after being released on Tue Aug 16, 2022. (AP News photo)

On the A’s podcast with Jeremiah:

#1 The A’s releasing Stephen Piscotty, Jed Lowrie, and Andrus was a cost saving move that saved the team $20 million. Is the move more of a benefit for the A’s or they wanted to get on with saving the money and seeing what the prospects can do?

#2 Jeremiah, Piscotty came to the A’s in 2018 and had a banner year with 78 runs, 27 home runs, 88 RBIs for a .267 clip. This year he was hitting .190, 12 runs, 24 hits, and 15 RBIs. Piscotty was not putting up the numbers and the A’s wanted to get out of paying him.

#3 Lowrie who also was released this week and finished his third stint with the A’s just dreaded leaving the club and organization that he loved but again his numbers were not enough to keep him with the club hitting 14 runs, 30 hits, 3 home runs, and batted .180.

#4 Andrus said that he is glad to be with the Chicago White Sox (61-58) third in the AL Central and just 2.5 games behind first place. Elvis could help the Sox at shortstop and is hitting .237, with 84 hits, 8 home runs, and 30 RBIs.

#5 The A’s will continue their current three game series with the Seattle Mariners at the Oakland Coliseum. Starting for the M’s on Saturday night Logan Garrett (10-5, 3.51) and for the A’s James Kaprielian (3-7, 4.33) a 4:15 pm PDT first pitch.

Join Jeremiah for the Oakland A’s podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Sharks report by Mary Walsh: Sharks Hire Mike Grier as GM

San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier addresses the news media at SAP Center in San Jose on Tue, Jul 5, 2022 (photo from nhl.com)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks announced on Tuesday that they have hired Mike Grier as the team’s fifth General Manager. Grier has the distinction of being the first African American to serve as a general manager in the NHL. Last season, he was a hockey operations advisor for the New York Rangers. His playing career spanned 1,060 games with the Oilers, the Capitals, the Sabres and the Sharks. He was an assistant coach at  St. Sebastian’s Prep School in Massachusetts, a scout with the Chicago Blackhawks, an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils, and a member of USA Hockey’s selection committee.

Grier has a lot to do before the start of the season. In two days, the Sharks will be at the NHL Draft. The Sharks also need a new coaching staff. The Sharks have missed the playoffs for three seasons in a row. Asked what his priorities were for improving the team, Grier said:

“I think we can improve in every facet, to be honest with you. There are some pieces on the roster that we like, that we would like to build around. But I think, overall, there’s not one spot in particular that I think needs work. The draft is No. 1, then we’ve got free agency coming up. We’ll have to dig into that, and Joe and I have already started on that a bit. Then development camp and a coach.”

While Grier did not have specific details to present on the draft or the coaching search, he did talk in detail about his goals for the team culture:

“To me it’s about people… Surrounding yourself with the right people, people who are passionate about their job, who love their job and are selfless, team-first people. That’s what culture means to me and as a general manager it’s for me to find those types of players on the ice and also surround myself with those type of hockey people in our hockey operations department.”

Sharks owner, Hasso Plattner, said in a press release: “Mike’s successful career on the ice speaks for itself, but what impressed me the most were his leadership qualities and his overwhelming desire to win. Mike is aware of the high standards of success that are expected in San Jose and is committed to help us quickly return to that level.”

Grier comes from a family of professional sports executives. His father, Bobby, worked in scouting, player personnel and as an advisor to the New England Patriots and the Houston Texans of the NFL. Grier’s brother, Chris, is the general manager of the Miami Dolphins. Grier described how his father prepared them for their future in the sports business:

“I think the main thing my father instilled in us was his work ethic. The time he put in, he’d often be off to work before we left for school. Sometimes he wouldn’t get home until after dinner or when we were ready to get in bed. So, just the time and effort it took, and his belief that you treat people the right way. If you want to have a winning franchise, it starts with how you treat people. His ability to never leave a stone unturned. Like he would stay up to all hours or go scout wherever it took, whatever he had to do to get the job done.”

Mary Lisa is a San Jose Sharks beat writer for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s Vogt provides offensive punch with homer and sac fly in A’s 5-1 win

Oakland A’s catcher Stephen Vogt forearm bashes with teammate Elvis Andrus at the Oakland Coliseum after Vogt’s home run on Mon Jul 4, 2022 against the Toronto Blue Jays (AP News photo)

Toronto (44-37).   1.  5.  1

Oakland (27-55).   5.  7. 0

Monday, July 4, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND-Baseball players and fans are used to losing. I don’t know if, as a rule, they get over it, but they do get used to it. A’s fans and players have had a lot to get used to recently.

Sunday’s second consecutive 2-1 loss at Seattle, combined with the loss to injury of Frankie Montás, whose imminent trade deadline departure is widely anticipated, raises the dosage of resignation that the uncertainty of the A’s future home and the misery of the A’s current performance to new highs. 

So far, Montás hasn’t been removed from the active roster, but his absence is as notable as the green and gold’s lack of success. They came into the game at 26-55 at the season’s halfway mark, 11-35 since May 14.

But Oakland and its fans didn’t have to deal with a loss this evening. 

Monday’s game recap: Behind the stellar hurling of their starter, Cole Irvin, they dominated Toronto, 5-1.

 Irvin took a 2-6, 3.58 record with him to the pitching rubber when he threw the opening pitch at 6:08 in a warm, sunny evening, perfect home run weather at the Coliseum. Since his return from the injured list, Irvin had gone 0-5, 3.97 in eight starts, most recently in a 5-3 loss to the Yankees in Bronx, where he gave up all five runs, and they were earned, on six hits, two of which left the ball park.

Today, the A’s staked a three run first inning, Irvin was in control for the eight full innings he pitched. He allowed but a single run, earned, on four hits and no walks. His work was very efficient; he threw only 95 pitches, of which only 28 were balls. He got the win, which made his won-lost record 3-5 and lowered his ERA to 3.35.

The Blue Jays sent right hander Alex Manoah and his 9-2, 2.09 record against the floundering residents (for now) of the east bay. His opposing batters average was, appropriately enough, also .209. The 24 year old, now in his second big league season, allowed two runs, both earned, on four hits while going six innings, to gain the win in Toronto’s 4-2 victory. 

He had an eight start winning streak from September 23, 2021 through April 28 of this year. He didn’t live up to his advance billings tonight. He left with the Jays trailing the A’s 5-1 after throwing 101 pitches, of which 67 were counted as strikes,  in only 5-2/3 frames.

Four of the five runs he allowed were earned, and they came on six hits, two of them for all the distance, two walks, a wild pitch, and a hit batter. He struck out five. He was the losing pitcher and ended the day with a record of 9-3, 2.33.

Oakland put a crooked number on the board in their first turn at the plate. Ramón Laureano walked with one out and advanced to second on Seth Brown’s single to right. Manoah plunked Sean Murphy with a 92 mph sinker to load the bases.

Sentimental favorite Stephen Vogt brought Laureano home with a sacrifice fly to center, and George Springer’s wildly off line throw allowed the two other runs to move up a base each. Elvis Andrus’s two bagger to left brought them home.

There was another sentimental favorite on the field tonight. Matt Chapman was playing third for the Blue Jays, and the former Athletic platinum glove winner got a warm ovation when he came to the plate in the visitors’ half of the third for his first AB. (He fouled out to the catcher).

Irvin kept the Blue Jays off the basepaths for the first 3-2/3 inning. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. ended that string of out with a resounding double just over Skye Bolt’s head in center on a 92 mph four seamer.

Alejandro Kirk drove Guerrero in with a single to right, but Vimael Machín’s magnificent diving grab of Lourdes Gourriel, Jr.’s drive down the left field line and fast, accurate throw to first saved Irvin’s bacon and kept Oakland ahead, 3-1.

They tacked on another tally with one down in the fifth when Laureano blasted Manoah’s first pitch, a change of pace, 417 feet deep into the left field seats for his fifth home run  and 14th RBI of the year.

The A’s further stretched their lead with Vogt’s fourth round tripper of the season and second run batted in of the evening. It came as he led off the home sixth and was a no doubter, hit 426 feet deep into straightaway centerfield.

The veteran still can get around on a 91 mph four seamer. Three batters later, Bolt singled to third on Manoah´s 101st delivery, and that was it was the Blue Jays starter.

Sergio Romo, the one time Giant, one time A, relieved him, retired Allen, and was replaced by Anthony Banda for the home seventh, and Jordan Romano for the eighth. The three of them kept the A’s off the board.

Irvin shotdown ten Jays in a row  between Kirk’s single that followed Guerrero’s double and Espinal’s one out single in  the bottom of the eighth, Toronto’s fourth hit. Espinal was left stranded at first.

Zach Jackson came in to pitch the top of the ninth for Oakland. Bo Bichette hit a resounding leadoff double to center and moved on to third on Guerrero’s fly out to deep right, Kirk’s fly to shallow right, just inside the foul line made it two down. Jackson got two quick strikes on Teoscar Hernández.

Then a ball. And a second ball. Hernández then hit a weak grounder to the ground. Jackson grabbed and ran to first for the final out. The Curse of the Leadoff Double strikes again!

The A’s will go for a two game winning streak tomorrow at 6:30 pm PDT. Toronto will send  southpaw Yusei Kikuchi (3-4, 4.74) against Oakland’s righty Adrián Martínez (1-1, 6,30)

He was a Giant? Manny Mota he was a Giant for just a pinch. By Tony the Tiger Hayes

Former San Francisco Giant Manny Mota was a Giant for one season in 1962 (photo from Tony the Tiger)

Manny Mota: He Was A Giant For Just A Pinch

Manny Mota – OF – 1962 – # 38

He was a Giant?

By Tony the Tiger Hayes

The epitome of Dodger Blue stability, Mota – the game’s most renown pinch-hitter – is now well into his seventh decade of-employment with Los Angeles.

The amiable, seemingly ageless Mota is one of the game’s good guys. Born in 1938, Mota has been linked to the Dodgers since the late 1960s. The Dominican Republic native has been a player, coach, mentor, broadcaster, and goodwill ambassador for Los Angeles. And he’s done it all with class and style.

Despite his long ties, to Enemy No. 1 from the Southland, it’s next to impossible to dislike the humble career .304 batter.

If that sounds like we’re describing a Class-Act Giant ala Juan Marichal and Willie McCovey there’s a good reason. Mota was wearing Orange & Black long before adopting Dodger Blue – playing six seasons in the Giants organization before moving on to the Colt .45s, Pirates and Expos. A trade brought Mota to Los Angeles in 1969 and he’s been there ever since.

Mota played just one season in the big leagues with San Francisco, appearing in 47 games for the 1962 Giants – San Francisco’s first World Series participators.

Why was he a Giant?

One of the first clubs to seriously scout and sign players out of Latin America, the then New York Giants inked Mota in 1957, a year before the club relocated to Northern California.

Just 19 when he arrived in the States, Mota would lead the 1957 Class D Michigan City White Caps with a .314 average. He advanced a rung in the organization each year – making his debut in the Giants major league spring training camp in 1962.

Despite being overshadowed by established Giants stars such as Orlando Cepeda, Willie Mays and McCovey, the sharp-hitting Mota still stood out.

After sizzling an inside -the -park home run and pounding a two-run double in one spring exhibition, the press began to take notice.

“Fort Knox is not much tougher to break into than the San Francisco Giants outfield. But rookie Manny Mota is giving the later project an all-out try,” read one UPI nationwide dispatch from Arizona.

Mota would make the Giants ‘62 opening day roster as a backup outfielder and infielder.

Foreshadowing his future as a clutch batter, Mota’s first MLB hit – an eighth inning single off RHP Jim Brosnan, that went beyond the reach of Reds 2B Cookie Rojas – drove home Harvey Kuenn with the winning run in an 8-6 outcome at Cincinnati (4/21/62).

Playing off the bench would eventually become Mota’s ticket to fame and a long career, but it was his downfall as a Giants rookie.

Mota never did crack the Giants vaunted starting lineup and spent the bulk of his time with the G-Men scraping together playing time. Under manager Alvin Dark, Mota appeared in a starting lineup just a dozen times in his four months with the big league club.

Ironically, Mota was, frankly a crummy pinch hitter with San Francisco, batting just 1-for-16 for a puny .067 average coming cold into a game.

After he grounded out as a pinch-hitter in a 8-6 road loss to the Dodgers (7/28/62), Mota’s overall average sank to .176. The Giants had seen enough and sent Mota to Double-AA El Paso, swapping him out for hot-hitting farmhand OF Carl Boles.

Mota never made it back to the majors with San Francisco.

Before & After

A trade in exchange for IF Joe Amalfitano sent Mota and LHP Dick LeMay to Houston after the ‘62 season. The Colt .45s then flipped Mota to Pittsburgh before he had a chance to play a home game in Texas.

Beginning in 1963, Mota found stability with the Pirates, who like the Giants, openly recruited Latino and African American ball players.

Counting superstar Roberto Clemente as a good friend and mentor, Mota’s confidence soared in Pittsburgh. In 1966-67 Mota batted .332 and .321 respectively as a fourth outfielder.

In the Steel City, Mota was a prized pupil of influential batting coach Harry Walker and he watched up close as a burly contact hitter by the name of Smokey Burgess ambled from the bench on a nightly basis swinging a bat that resembled a two-by-four. Years later Mota would break Burgess’ all-time pinch-hit record.

While Mota was a frequently used pinch-hitter with the Pirates, it didn’t become his thing until after he landed with the Dodgers in 1969.

The moment Mota stepped into Dodger Stadium he became their most reliable pinch option. But initially he wasn’t limited to substitute hitting.

For several seasons with Los Angeles, Mota provided a keen pinch-bat and platoon option – often sharing LF starts with the left-handed swingers Willie Crawford and Bill Buckner.

But his most memorable moments seemed to come as a mid-game replacement batter.

One of Mota’s most consequential pinch-hits came at Candlestick Park during the classic Giants/Dodgers pennant race of 1971. The Giants began September with what seemed like a comfortable eight game lead over L.A. But then the Dodgers got super hot and San Francisco cooled – at least figuratively.

When the Dodgers dropped into Candlestick during the height of a blazing Indian Summer for a quick two-game set, the Giants lead had been whittled down to three games.

The Dodgers won the opener 5-4 in a game that featured a major brawl between the clubs (9/13/71).Tensions and and the temperature were still running hot the next night. When Gaylord Perry threw the game’s first pitch to Maury Wills, the ‘Stick temperature read 91 degrees.

Led by a pair of Bobby Bonds long balls, S.F. took a 5-3 advantage to the 9th. This one looked to be headed to the win column for the Giants.

But the lead quickly melted like the last unsold cup of chocolate malt in the bottom of a vendor’s aluminum basket.

Duke Sims led off the ninth with a broken bat single to center off Giants RHP Jerry Johnson. Pinch-hitter Bill Sudakis blooped a one-bagger to right and then the speedy Wills reached on a bunt to load the bases with no-outs.

The Giants brought in LHP John Cumberland while the Dodgers called on Mota to bat for Buckner.

On the first pitch, Mota crushed a deep double to left to score three runs. 48-year-old reliever Hoyt Wilhelm came on to close out the big 6-5 Dodgers win.

Dodgers manager Walter Alston compared the nail biter to a World Series contest.

“We wanted to win this game so badly,” said Mota who was doused with cold beer after the emotional victory. “I thought about the 25 guys on our team when I went up there to swing.”

But in the end, San Francisco would win the NL West flag by one game over the Dodgers.

In 1973, Mota got off to such a hot start that the Dodgers simply kept him in the lineup. When the time came to select an All-Star team, NL manager Sparky Anderson didn’t hesitate to include Mota and his league leading .351 average to the squad.

Naturally, Mota, age 35, appeared as a pinch-hitter in the ‘73 Kansas City hosted Mid-Summer Classic . He grounded out in his only career All-Star Game.

Beginning in 1974 the Dodgers changed their approach. They went with a set everyday lineup and Mota was made a full-time pinch-hitter. It worked. Mota rapped out 15 pinch-hits, resulting in a remarkable 16 RBI. The strategy took Los Angeles all the way to the ‘74 World Series before they tapped out to Oakland in five games.

From that point going forward, Mota was anointed King of the Pinch-Hit. From 1975 though his final game in 1982, Mota would remarkably make just three more starts in the field.

Though he was one of game’s most senior active players, Mota’s skill set seemed to get better within the strict boundaries of pinch-hitting.

“There aren’t many hitters who can do what Manny can do,” said the Dodgers Alston, the architect of Mota’s role. “He hits better as a pinch-hitter than a regular. He thrives on pressure.”

Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray put it more succinctly, writing: “(Mota) could get wood on a bullet.”

Mota hammered that point home on the final day of the 1977 season when the 39-year-old destroyed a blazing J.R. Richard fastball for a pinch-hit home run at the cavernous Astrodome.

Mota was at his apex in 1977-78 when the Dodgers went to the World Series in back-to-back campaigns.

In 1977, Mota batted 14-for-36 (.407) in the pinch for the pennant winners. Mota smoothed the Dodgers path to the Fall Classic with a ninth inning RBI pinch-double in Game 3 of the playoffs at Philadelphia – leading to a comeback Los Angeles victory.

In 1978, Mota compiled a .303 pinch average (10-for-33) with 6 RBI.

The Dodgers even added another full-time mature pinch-hitter during this time frame in left-handed swatter Vic Davillio.

In 1979, just over 17 years to the day that the Giants demoted Mota to the minors in part due to his failures as a pinch hitter – Mota, age 41, broke the all-time pinch-hit record – bypassing old teammate Burgess by stroking career pinch-hit No. 145 off Cubs RHP Lynn McGlothen at Dodger Stadium (9/2/79).

Mota finished his playing days with 150 career pinch-hit and an even .300 average in that role.

20 years later, Lenny Harris would break Mota’s pinch mark. Ex-Giant Mark Sweeney also passed Mota on the pinch-hit list.

He Never Had a (Giants) Bobblehead Day. But…

Willie Mays – not Manny Mota – was the reason the Mets packed out a raucous four-game series vs. the visiting Giants on the first post-Memorial Day weekend of 1962.

For the first time since the Giants confirmed their move to Northern California five years earlier, the Orange & Black were back on their old Coogan’s Bluff home turf.

While the stumble-bum expansion Mets were taking baby steps to popularity and the Giants still had a hard-core Big Apple fan base – it was clear from the first click of the Polo Grounds turnstiles that the only thing that mattered was the return of Mays.

A true New York folk hero, Mays had brought the basket catch, stick ball in Harlem and a 1954 World Series title to New York before his relocated to the City by the Bay in 1958.

The New York papers churned out tons of copy anticipating Willie’s return and from the the moment Mays peeked his head out of the Polo Grounds’ unique center field clubhouse, New York showered the “Say Hey Kid” with welcome home love.

Mays didn’t disappoint, clobbering three round -trippers and collecting six RBIs over the course of the a four-game Giants sweep that brought in 118,845 ticket buyers – the most to attend a Mets single-series in their maiden year.

Those paying attention to the on-field action and not just the fight action in the stands – there were several big-time Donnybrooks – would have also witnessed Mota’s first big league pinch-hit.

After starting his Giants career batting 0-for-6 in the pinch, Mota came through in the matinee of the Saturday twin-bill. The Giants were already up 8-1 in the fourth when Mota was subbed for Jimmy Davenport with two outs. Facing fellow 24-year-old rookie RHP Bob Moorhead – Mota stroked a single past New York 3B Felix Mantilla. The Giants won 10-1 (6/2/62).

Giant Footprint

Though he’s now dropped to third on the all-time pinch-hit list, Mota will forever be the People’s Pinch-Hitter.

The writers of the zany 1980 comedy “Airplane!” even wrote the lovable hitter into the film’s hilarious dry-witted script. Robert Hays’ pilot character hears voices in his head saying: “Now batting for Pedro Borbon, Manny Mota… Mota… Mota.”

Given that Mota’s playing days extended well into his 40s, it’s tempting call him a literal Silver Slugger. But the thing is, Mota never seemed to age. He didn’t sprout a gray hair or even change his look for that matter.

While other athletes adopted the daring mod styles of the 1960s and ‘70s, the forever clean-cut Mota never showed up at the ball park sporting aviator shades, love beads and a goatee.

Mota also never forgot his roots and for more than 20 seasons returned the D.R. to play for and manage Licey in winter ball in his beloved home land.

That consistency also showed itself on the field. After hitting .176 as a Giants rookie, Mota would never bat below .275 again.

To borrow a phase, that was just…”Manny being Manny.”

Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: Former Angel pitcher Harvey suspended for 60 days after admitting taking pills with Skaggs; Tiger and McIlroy regret Mickelson out for Championship; plus more

Los Angeles Angels Matt Harvey shown pitching against the Houston Astros on Jul 18, 2019 at the Big A in Anaheim the same year he was to have taken oxycodone pills with the late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs (AP file photo)

On Headline Sports with Jessica:

#1 Former New York Met and Los Angeles Angel and current Baltimore Oriole pitcher Matt Harvey has been suspended 60 days stemming from his taking oxycodone pills with former and late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

#2 Skaggs died from  asphyxiating on his own vomit and had oxycodone and cocaine in his system. Eric Kay the Angels former Communications director was convicted for distributing the drugs as five former Angels players testified. Kay is looking at 20 years in jail.

#3 Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods said it was “unfortunate” and “sad” that Phil Mickelson is not attending the 2022 PGA Championship. Mickelson is taking some time away from golf. Mickelson said that he was going to join the Saudi Super Golf League and had said even with the knowledge that the Saudi King was alleged to have ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi Mickelson said he would still be interested in joining the Saudi Super League and got a lot of criticism for that decision and has been quite since.

#4 Jessica, the NBA is working with the WNBA on Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner’s release from a Russian prison. Griner had been imprisoned since February and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and WNBA Commissioner Cathy Englebert are working side by side. Silver said that he’s been working with the White House, State Department, and hostage negotiators for Griner’s release. The Russian Government has offered to release Griner for the Merchant of Death Viktor Bout.

#5 Jessica, the Boston Celtics played last night against the Miami Heat in game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in Miami. The Celtics were without Al Horford health and safety issues and Marcus Smart is out with a foot injury both are day to day and could return Thursday night.

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

Oakland A’s post game wrap: Pinder’s homer stands up; Blackburn and bullpen shuts out Giants hitting 1-0

Oakland Athletics’ Chad Pinder (10) is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the first inning at SAP Park in San Francisco on Wed Apr 27, 2022 (AP News photo)

Oakland. 1. 7. 2

San Francisco. 0. 3. 1

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

SAN FRANCISCO–The good news for A’s fans is that before tonight’s game, Chad Pinder returned to the active roster. Pinder, who had been batting .237 in ten games before being placed on the Covid list, was as versatile as former A Mark Canha, although he was not the human bull’s eye at the plate that old teammate and current Met, had been. .237 is not much, but neither are ten games, and it’s certainly better than the .206 team batting average that Athletics brought with them to Oracle Park this evening.

With Pinder’s return, Christian Lopes, who had been with the big team as a substitute player, was returned to Sacramento. Lopes had gone 0 for 9 in four gamesas an Athletic and suffered the further indignity of my having named him as the player for whom Seth Brown pinch hit in the top of the seventh last night.

For the record, the correct, ungarbled account of Oakland’s last scoring frame was 1) Andrus grounded out to short; 2) Pache singled to center; 3) Lopes struck out swinging; 4) García relieved Leone; 5) Brown, pinch hitting for Nick Allen, doubled to right center, driving in Pache; 6) Kemp was called out on a disputed third strike. You read it here last.

Last night the A’s performed as poorly as my malfunctioning ipad and I did. Tonight, they weren’t perfect in the field, but their pitching was outstanding with six moundsmen holding the Giants to three hits in a 1-0 shutout, that brought the green and golds’ record back over .500 to 10-9. San Francisco slipped to 13-6.

Sam Long, a southpaw who’d allowed three hits and a walk while striking out five over the 5-2/3 innings he’d thrown in his five appearances before today, was the Giants’ opener. The returning Pinder sent Long’s sixth pitch, an 83 mph changeup, 372 feet, into the left field bleachers It was Pinder third homer of the year, his career first leading off a game.

Sheldon Nuese reached first on Brandon Crawford’s throwing error and was erased when Sean Murphy hit into an around the horn double play, the prelude to Stephen Piscotty’s going down swinging. And Long had completed his assignment, replaced by Jacob Junis, who. set the A’s down in order.

Paul Blackburn, who started for Oakland at (2-0,1.80), escaped unscathed in the first two innings of his performance, with a little help from a pitcher’s best friend in each of those frames. but it looked as though the third would be different.

The A’s righthander retired Thairo Estrada on a ground out to second. but then issued a full count walk to Jason Vosler.

Number nine batter reached on Neuse’s second error of the evening, bringing the top of the order to bat with two on and one down. Murphy kicked Joc Pederson’s little nubber in front of the plate for a bases loaded infield single. But, marvelous to tell!, Brandon Belt hit into a beautifully executed twin killing, Brown at first, to Andrus at short, back to Blackburn, covering first.

Three double plays in three innings, ‘dtaint bad. Austin Slater replaced Pederson in the top of the fourth, playing in center field, while Luis Gonález moved from center to right. The reason given was right groin tightness.

Junis and Blackburn matched goose eggs until the latter was lifted in favor of Domingo Acevedo to start the bottom of the sixth. In his five innings of work, Blackburn allowed three hits and a walk. He threw 84 pitches, only 30 of which were balls. He struck out four, reducing his ERA down to 1.35.

Junis left the game after retiring Bethancourt to end the visitor´s sixth. Like Blackburn, he hurled five shutout innings. He struck out eight, allowing four hits and a walk. Of his 64 offerings, 46 were strikes.

Junis´s replacement, Jake McGee, allowed a two out triple that Cristian Pache slashed to right center before retiring Kemp. on a line drive to Slater in center field.

It was Sam Moll on the mound to face the Giants after the seventh inning stretch. He lasted the required three batters, the first two of whom he retired but left after walking the third, González, giving way to Zach Jackson, who had to deal with Estrada. He got him swinging on an 85mph full. count slider.

Tyler Rogers rode San Francisco’s bullpen merry-go-round in the eighth. He got his three men out with no trouble, fanning two of them, Pinder and Murphy.

Jackson came out to face Jason Vosler in the Giants eighth. The third sacker walked on a 3-2 change up that caught the lower outside corner of the strike zone, but home plate umpire Carlos Torres didn’t see it that way. Casali went down swinging on another full count, bringing the top of the order to the forefront.

Andrus made a sterling grab and behind the back toss on Slater’s grounder up the middle to force Vosler out at second for the second out of the inning. This paved the way for Kirby Snead to face off against Brandon Belt. Slater stole second, increasing the tension, but Snead stayed calm and got the Giants’ first baseman to fly out to medium left field.

Camilo Doval entered the fray to try to maintain San Francisco’s deficit to a single tally. He got Piscotty on a three pitch strikeout and then surrendered a a solid double to right to pinch hitter Billy McKinney, batting for Bethancourt. Following an intentional walk to Brown, Doval. dodged a couple of bullets to strike Andrus out swinging and induce a fly out to center from Pache.

Danny Jiménez was called on to act as the closer. He pitched well to lead off man Flores, who hit a grounder wide of first to Brown. Jiménez admired the play rather than going to first to cover the bag. Crew Chief Martiy Foster called Flores safe, but his call was overruled on review. Crawford grounded out to Kemp, and Ruf popped out to first, and that was it.

The win went to Blackburn, leaving him undefeated at 3–0. Jiménez earned the save, his forth in four attempts. Long took the loss.

The first play of the game decided iit.

Both teams have tomorrow off. The A’s will send Frankie Montás against the Cleveland Guardians´ Aaron Civales at the Coliseum on Friday evening, the 19th, while the Giants will play host to the Washington Nationals at Oracle Park at 7:15 that same evening. The probables are Aaron Sánchez for the Nats and Alex Wood for the Gints.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: How Pederson can help Giants; Belt ready to take over as captain of the ship

San Francisco Giant first baseman Brandon Belt appointed team captain lead by example with a strong finish last season hopes to be right back this season (file photo McCovey Chronicles)

On the San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 Michael, describe who Joc Pederson is and how much of a difference does he make and will his knowledge of being a former Los Angeles Dodger be of any help to the Giants when they face LA.

#2 O captain, my captain the Giants first baseman Brandon Belt is ready to assume the lead role and will occupy former catcher Buster Posey’s locker. Belt had a strong finish to last season.

#3 The Giants had Kris Bryant for a short time, Bryant who signed on with the Colorado Rockies for $182 million contributed to the Giants run last season.

#4 The Giants signed left hand pitcher former Detroit Tiger Matthew Boyd to a one year deal how do you see him helping out the pitching staff this season.

#5 The Giants made a bid to try and sign Seiya Suzuki who ended up landing with the Chicago Cubs for five years and $85 million. Is it disappointing that the Giants couldn’t sign Suzuki?

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