That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Broadcasting Road games from TV screen is nothing New

Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Charlie Steiner is one of many MLB broadcasters who are doing games virtual from his own living room as no broadcasters will be traveling for the Division Series because of Cornonavirus (file photo from LA Times)

Broadcasting Road games from TV screen is nothing New

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

Baseball broadcasters this year are not traveling, because of Covid-19 restrictions by Major League Baseball. So, they are calling the games from Television monitors at their home park, while their teams are on the road. In some cases, some broadcasters like LA Dodgers play by play man Charlie Steiner are doing the games (when Dodgers are on the road) from his living room.

As unusual as that might seem, I have done that for many years, depends on the teams philosophy and how they market their product into the community. As a matter of fact, there have been many games I have done from the home broadcast booth at the home park, when the team was on the road.

In the 1980’s, I did broadcast games in the radio station inside a studio in front of a 19 inch television. There was no internet, no 45″ television I would call the media representative for the team on the road and ask him/her, to fax me the lineup and the media notes, so I can get ready for the game.

This was not easy. There was a time when, for example; if the team was playing in Baltimore (could be anyplace else) an engineer at the radio station here in the Bay Area would play an ‘endless cart-loop with continuous sound of crowd noise, to give the illusion I was in Baltimore (I did say in a disclaimer I was not broadcasting from the park where the team was playing) but still presented many challenges.

This was done legally with the consent of the team. Today, a game can be called and you can pipe the LIVE original crowd noise from the park where your team was playing. I had many experiences in this regard on radio as well as television.

Early 2000’s as I was hired to broadcast two Caribbean World Series of Baseball. Traveled to Century City, Los Angeles and called those games in English language for Fox Sports International, inside a studio with monitors in front of me of the games that were taking place in México and Venezuela.

However, 2020 there are no crowds allowed at ballparks, so even local stadiums use their own artificial crowd noise, or the radio station can originally use their own to give the illusion. Radio is imagination and creativity, so there is always a little acting you would have to do and create the ‘ambiance for a game that you are watching on a screen that might be 3,000 miles away from where you are sitting in front of a microphone.

Decades before he became the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan recreated college football games and called Chicago Cubs on the radio, just by reading the telegraph (there was no TV) using his imagination and honing his communicating skills, which later as an actor, Governor of California and President would become very handy.

Although there is nothing like calling a game at the location the game is taking place. In this always challenging world of broadcasting you have to be ready to work under all kinds of circumstances. 2020 has taken everybody to the limit in what can be done and what cannot be done.

This “season” as I spoke with various colleagues who are not traveling for the first time and have to do the games this way, I sympathize with them, but totally understand, because I have gone through that. However, they do have the advantage of today’s technology, unlike of the old days, when I had to deal with telephone calls and faxes.

As of Monday the Divisional Series get under way, all teams are now, and for the rest of the year, playing outside their home city. A bubble has been established and sometime prior to Halloween MLB will crown a champion. Stay well and stay tuned

Amaury has been broadcasting baseball for radio or television for various Major League teams for 43 years; he has been nominated for the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters. Inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame (BARHOF), Cuban Sports Hall of Fame in Miami and The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame in California. Amaury is here for That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Can the Athletics win their Fifth World Series?

Four World Series trophies sit in a case at the Oakland A’s offices at Howard Terminal the future home of the A’s new ball park. The A’s won each trophy in 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1989. Their hoping to get a fifth one but have some tough roads with the Astros coming up (file photo from glassdoor.com)

Can the Athletics win their Fifth World Series?

That’s Amaury News and Commentary Amaury Pi-González

Although they do not give MVP awards during the Wild Card series, there is no doubt Chris Bassitt will be the man to win it in my book. In a world where the baseball world seems to revolve around east coast teams, Bassitt is the best pitcher going in the business that nobody has ever heard of.

Playing without their main star third baseman Matt Chapman, who will not be back until next Spring, so far the A’s have gotten just enough offense to advance to the next round after eliminating a very dangerous offense in the Chicago White Sox, and the depth in their pitching continues to be the key.

Since they will not be back, because the rest of the postseason is on neutral sites, i.e. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles and Glove Life Field in Arlington, Texas, is they are fortunate enough to make it that far. The only time we will see them is when they return, as an eliminated team, or on a Victory parade in downtown Oakland. They will be on the bubble the rest of the 2020 journey.

The first of four World Series victories for the A’s was in 1972, the biggest picture was The Godfather, the Vietnam War was raging and there was a powerful earthquake in Managua, Nicaragua. Latino Legend Roberto Clemente lost his life that year as he chartered a DC-3 plane filled with help to the Nicaraguan people, when his plane disappeared.

The 1972 Oakland Athletics great victory over the Cincinnati Reds in that World Series brought the Bay Area its first title among all the main professional teams. The A’s were the first of three different teams to win consecutive World Series. With this run, the A’s also became the only other Major League franchise besides the Yankees to win at least three straight World Series titles.

With another World Series title the Oakland Athletics will tie the most by a Bay Area professional team. Five (5) Superbowls’ by the San Francisco 49ers. Warriors have won (4) NBA titles, Raiders three (3) Superbowl’s, San Francisco Giants three (3) World Series and San José Earthquake two (2) MLS titles. San José Sharks have not won a Stanley Cup. Note: San José Sharks have been in existence for 29 years and the San José Earthquakes for 21 years.

Beginning next Monday, when the Athletics face the Houston Astros in the best of five (5) ALDS, Bob Melvin’s club will have to navigate a Monday through Friday playoff series with no days off.

So far the team offense is not really clicking in all cylinders and the depth in their pitching could be what keeps carrying this team all the way to the World Series, where, it seems the guys waiting there for them will be the Los Angeles Dodgers, this time in Texas. Of course nothing like the last time these two teams met in 1988. And if that happens, the A’s dream is to win their Fifth World Series.

This is 2020. The Miami Marlins are still playing; they just eliminated the Chicago Cubs in the wild-card series. Founded in 1993, the Miami Marlins have never won a division, yet they have won seven (7) consecutive playoffs series since they were born and most importantly they have won two (2) World Series.

At this point in the playoffs, the Marlins are the biggest story. Their odds to win this year’s World Series were among the longest shots.

Stay well and stay tune.

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

 

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: A’s glad wild card series best possible 3 games instead of one and done

Oakland A’s pitcher Frankie Montas will get the start for Oakland tonight at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles as the A’s open a three game series in the Southland in the battle of two first place teams (file photo from the San Francisco Chronicle)

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

#1 Amaury one thing you can say about this year’s post season for the A’s they don’t have to play a one game wild card game unlike last season they went to New York and were one and done. This year’s wild card is the best two out of three.

#2 How badly will the A’s miss Matt Chapman for the post season as he’s out with a hip injury and Jack Lamb has been playing at third in his place?

#3 Lamb has provided some offense since taking over for Chapman Sunday he got a two run RBI single in the sixth and he’s hitting .200 and has been instrumental on defense during the series against the Giants at the Oakland Coliseum over the weekend.

#4 The A’s got two shutouts during the series with the Giants on Friday Chris Bassitt pitched over six inning giving up just three hits and on Saturday Jesus Luzardo pitched six innings of shutout ball and gave up five hits. The A’s pitching staff should be ready by next week when post season starts.

#5 Starting pitching to open the series with the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight at Dodger Stadium for the A’s Frankie Montas (3-4 ERA 5.86) for the Dodgers Dustin May 1-1 (ERA 2.86) first pitch is at 6:40pm.

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

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Nats GM tossed from game in luxury box; This past Labor Day could bring spike in virus; plus more

The Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was thrown out of Sunday’s game vs the Baltimore Orioles for yelling out of the luxury box at the umpires. Here is Rizzo in the luxury box the day before on Sat Sep 5th (AP News photo)

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Amaury the talk during Labor Day weekend the fear was that the spike would go up and put face masks, gloves and social distancing aside during the scorching heat.

#2 Baseball is planning to have bubbles for the post season in Texas and Los Angeles for the playoffs and World Series do you see it working the same way it worked for the NHL and NBA.

#3 Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was ejected for yelling at umpires from the luxury boxes on Monday telling umpire Joe West and his crew they were brutal. With the stadium empty everything can hear everything that anyone is saying.

#4 The Los Angeles Angels TV announcer Victor Rojas said that a home run hit by the Angels in the top of the seventh was a walk off three run home run by Anthony Rendon. Which in some ways is understandable because the Angels were playing a make up doubleheader as the visiting team in Angels Stadium in their home uniforms. Rojas quickly walked back the walk off and said the Angels took the lead.

#5 On Wed Sep 9th at PNC Park the Pittsburgh Pirates will be wearing #21 in dedication to Roberto Clemente a tribute to one of the greatest Pirates ever who died trying to deliver relief to Nicaragua Dec 31st 1972.  Clemente got his 3000th major league hit to end the 1972 season on Sep 30th and it would be his final MLB game.

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

 

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: A’s return home after six days off

Former Los Angeles Angel Tommy LaStella joins the Oakland A’s this Friday as the A’s host the San Diego Padres. LaStella in photo hits a ninth inning two run walk off home run against the San Francisco Giants Mon Aug 17th at Angels Stadium (AP News file  photo)

A’s Return Home after Six Days Off

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–On August 23, after beating the LA Angels 5-4 on a smoky Sunday afternoon in Oakland, the Athletics went on their longest road trip of the season, a ten-game trip to play the Rangers and the Astros in Texas and the Mariners in Seattle. They played five of those ten games. Games were postponed in solidarity for social justice and also because one member of the Athletics organization tested positive for Covid-19.

You’ll never see a team take five or six days off during a season, not even during the All Star Break, but this is 2020, where all your sweet dreams or nightmares can come true and this last road trip for the Green and Gold was very unusual, to say the least.

They return Friday to the Oakland Coliseum, to open a seven-game series, three against the San Diego Padres, followed by four against the Houston Astros.

The San Diego Padres were the busiest team during the trade deadline, as they landed coveted pitcher Mike Clevinger in a nine player blockbuster deal. Solidifying an already excellent starting rotation and also acquiring veteran Mitch Moreland to join an already potent offense with Fernando Tatis Jr, Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and company.

The A’s acquired lefty Mike Minor from Texas, a veteran, who was an All Star in 2019. Also traded for Tommy La Stella from the LA Angels, sending Franklin Barreto and cash considerations to the Angels.

With a 22-12 record and with a 13-4 home record the A’s are in first place over the Houston Astros, who recently swept them in a double-header at Minute Maid Park.

A good question for this home stand: How do the A’s respond after almost a full week of inactivity? Baseball is a game of repetition, practice, timing, feel, and sometimes when you stay away for a few days; you are not as sharp as when you play every day. A’s manager Bob Melvin admits is it not easy, but also said there is no excuse.

The month of September just began and the Athletics will have to play at least three (3) double-headers. It is not getting easier for Bob Melvin’s crew in the home stretch of 2020. We will soon find out.

Stay well and stay tuned.

Other mentions:  The great pioneer and visionary, Branch Rickey who signed Jackie Robinson to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers is credited for this memorable quote. “The greatest untapped reservoir of raw material in the history of our game is the black race.” Source: AP Wire During the Signing of Jackie Robinson (1946)

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for all the Oakland A’s action on Spanish radio 1010 KIQI San Francisco and for That’s Amaury’s Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: A’s series in Seattle cancelled over Covid issues; Minor coming to A’s from Rangers in deal

Pitcher Mike Minor is coming to the Oakland A’s in a deal from the Texas Rangers in exchange for two players to be named later (mlb.com file photo)

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

#1 The Oakland A’s have now cancelled three of their last five games only playing a doubleheader last Saturday how far does these misses put the A’s behind the eight ball?

#2 The first two misses on Thursday and Friday the A’s cancelled due to the civil unrest of racial injustice in America pertaining to the shooting of Blake Jacob in Kenosha Wisconsin.

#3 The A’s missed their third game on Sunday when a member of the A’s traveling party in Houston was found to be positive for Coronavirus. A’s general manager David Forst said anything beyond today will not be speculated on. The A’s were scheduled to be in Seattle on Tuesday night but have been quarantined in their Houston hotel rooms as of Sunday.

#4 Tests taken after the discovery have been reported to be negative in the A’s traveling party as of Sunday. The A’s series in Seattle was cancelled and are expected to resume on Fri 4th at the Oakland Coliseum against San Diego.

#5 The A’s are buyers on Monday they dealt two players to be named later to the Texas Rangers for pitcher Mike Minor. Minor has struggled at 0-5 ERA 5.6o for this season. His last outing however he threw six shutout innings against one of the toughest lineups in baseball the LA Dodgers.

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

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Covid-19, Doubleheaders, Time of the Game

Chicago Cubs second baseman Jason Kipnis (27) turns to finish a double play with a throw over St. Louis Cardinals Dexter Fowler (25) during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Chicago. The Cardinals will be ramping up their games with 53 games in 44 days to make up for canceled games (AP Photo/Mark Black)

Covid-19, Doubleheaders, Time of the Game

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

As of today, a total of 33 games have been postponed, because of Covid-19. There is a good chance some teams (like during the 1981 season, shortened by a 50-day players strike) will not be able to play the same amount of games.

Nothing wrong with that, as long as there is not a big difference in games. If a team ends playing 55 games, out of the 60-game season, it seems fair, however lesser games played could damage the season.

Going into the playoffs that could be a concern and winning percentages might have a key role to play. The St Louis Cardinals (one of the teams affected by Covid-19) are now in the process of playing 53 games in 44 days. If Cardinals fans like doubleheaders, 2020 is their year! However, that is not good if you are a pitcher and Managers will tell you the same.

Going by what has happened it seems that MLB didn’t have a good plan regarding how to handle playing with a Pandemic, and Protocols have not worked as good as they expected. MLB doesn’t want to be the league that fails, since the NBA and NHL have been successful, so far. It remains to be seen when it comes to the NFL season.

Why are the Playoffs this season that important?

1-MLB Stands to make $1 Billion in Television revenue.

2-Prior to the season, players negotiated a $50 million dollar Playoff pool.

3-More than likely teams that qualify for the Playoffs, total of 16 (eight on each league) will be playing in a Bubble, like the NBA. This means less travel for the players, easier to contain virus infections. Cities have yet to be announced if the go to the Bubble plan.

Statistics: Interesting stats about game time so far. We know during the last few years MLB has been trying to shorten the game time, by using various rule changes. So far this 2020 season, the seven inning games are averaging two hours and 34 minutes. While the regular nine inning games 3 hours and 6 minutes, and that is the longest ever.

Baseball is a game of stats today more than ever. Everything has a number: launch angle, speed of the ball leaving the bat, two of the most recent. I tolerate them, but not hooked on them, to me a home run is just that, regardless if it is so high it broke a cloud and so hard that nobody saw the ball, still a home run and you can trot around the bases.

In case you think that the seven inning games are here to stay, you do not have to worry much. Doubtful this will be permanently set. Less innings means less stat (fewer records) for players and in return it will always have the owners paying less money. The chances that seven inning games are going to be here to stay, I would say are two: “slim and none”.

Stay well and stay tuned.

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

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: 2020 History Four Cubanos in the same Lineup

abc7ny.com file photo: The late Minnie Minoso who played in the majors breaking in the majors 1947 and retiring in 1980 playing mostly with the Chicago White Sox was born in Perico, Cuba is one of the subjects of That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary

2020 History Four Cubanos in the same Lineup

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Orestes (Minnie) Miñoso is a happy man, looking down from heaven at his Chicago White Sox. On Saturday August 1, 2020 the Chicago White Sox became the first team ever in history to field four (Cuatro) Cuban players in the same lineup; Luis Robert(CF), Yoan Moncada(3B) José Abreu(1B) and Yasmani Grandal(C). And as if it wasn’t enough, the starter was ex-A’s lefty Gio González, born in Miami of Cuban Immigrant parents.

Miñoso was a tutor to a young rookie Abreu as the young first-baseman told me during an interview while his team was in Oakland. José Abreu talked about Miñoso, with a lot of reverence and admiration.

Minnie has a Statue at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. That same year, (2014) Abreu won the American League rookie of the year as he batted .317 with 36 home runs and drove in 107 runs. In 2018 when the White Sox called Yoan Moncada to the major, Abreu didn’t wasted anytime.

Rick Hand, General Manager said as Abreu was the most famous Uber driver at the airport picking up his compatriota Moncada Their lead-off hitter is another Cuban defector, Luis Robert 22 years old, who signed with the team for a $25 million bonus. Robert said that he told his agent he wanted to play for the White Sox, and his wish became a reality.

Although Chicago is not Miami, New York or Los Angeles, the cities where the majority of Cubans reside in the US, this bunch seem to be happy playing in the Windy City and have their own click going, with little Cuban flags all in a row at their dressing room as they seem to enjoy each other’s company.

Cuba’s baseball tradition is historical and well documented. In 1954, a franchise was awarded to Havana, Cuba, where they played, until 1960 when political upheaval and Castro’s declaration of communism and elimination of all professional sports in the island forced the team to be moved to Jersey City, New Jersey, in the middle of the season.

That was in the famous AAA International League. Cuba was the only Latin American country, to-date- to ever be awarded a professional baseball franchise and in 1960 the Havana Sugar Kings/Jersey City Jerseys, were the only international team aside the Montreal Royals and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In 1923 Cincinnati Reds Cuban-born pitcher Adolfo Luque ended the season with a record of 27-8 with a 1.93 earned run average, pitched 322 innings started 37 games and completed 28 and threw 6 shutouts. He led the major leagues in wins and earned run average that year, and with 151 strikeouts finished second to Dazzy Vance.

The Cy Young Award was not given until the year 1956. Other Cuban-born players of white skin played, like Rene Monteagudo who played in the majors from 1938 to 1945. The first Latino manager of a major league team was Miguel Angel González in 193. 8 After coaching the St Louis Cardinals in 1934, four years later was named manager of the Cardinals on September 11, when Frankie Frisch was fired. González was originally a catcher.

The Chicago White Sox are a very good team, loaded with a nucleus of young talent, and these four Cubans are part of that. All four are regulars.

Stay well and stay tuned.

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

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: How much of the blame will MLB Commish Manfred take on crisis?; plus more

Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle was one of the first players to speak out against the idea of playing a season in a pandemic and in the last 24 hours MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has been catching a lot of the blame (photo from Yahoo!)

On That’s Amaury’s Podcast:

#1 MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is in a real spot here he pushed for baseball to go ahead with this 60 game schedule and players like the Washington Nationals Sean Doolittle and the Cincinnati Reds Trevor Bauer said they should just shelve this season and now MLB has a huge outbreak of Covid.

#2 The Miami Marlins have half their team out positive with Coronavirus held up in a hotel room in Philadelphia quarantined and two MLB games were canceled that pretty much has other clubs in fear and also pretty much puts the season in danger of being canceled.

#3 The Detroit Tigers manager Rob Gardenhire said that he’s nervous to play the Cincinnati Reds since second baseman Mike Moustakas and Reds outfielder Nick Senzel are reported to being sick while a unnamed teammate has tested positive for Covid 19.

#4 Amaury from the famous Utah Jazz Rudy Gobert incident when he rubbed his hands all over the microphones and laughing about the Covid threat later got Corona now fast forward to baseball some of the players, talk show hosts and those who work in the game say this should have never launched from day one.

#5 Amaury do you think the NHL and the NBA got it right and have a bubble in Orlando for the NBA and in Canada for the NHL will the NFL be next because of the nature of the game being a sweat swapping contact sport?

Join Amaury is the Oakland A’s Spanish announcer on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and join Amaury each Tuesday for That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Between Covid and Kneeling, Season might Not go Far

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly takes in the ball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Ballpark on Sat Jul 25th as his team’s game has been canceled on Monday Jul 27th due to a Covid-19 outbreak (AP photo)

Between Covid and Kneeling, Season might Not go Far

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Fourteen players from the Miami Marlins (as of today) have tested positive, prompting the cancellation of their home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. This was after the Marlins completed a series in Philadelphia as seven players and two coaches tested positive for corona virus. MLB said the games were postponed while the league conducts more testing.

According to the Washington Times there are also calls to boycott Major League Baseball after photos of players kneeling prior to games. The hashtag #BoycottMLB trended on Twitter as some commentators on social-media accused the league of showing a lack of respect for the military, which the league denied. “It has never been about the military or the flag,” the MLB tweeted. “The players and coaches are using their platforms to peacefully protest.” Nevertheless, the kneeling continues to be very controversial across the country. Most people continue to look at sports as the “only” escape left.

Florida is right now the “hot spot” for corona virus. There are two teams that play there, the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays, but these two teams are scheduled to play during this abbreviated season with the rest of the east coast teams. That is a situation that is developing and Major League Baseball is following very carefully.

As somebody that just ended broadcasting three games of the Angels vs. Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum, I would say from firsthand experience the A’S have taken all the necessary precautions at the Oakland Coliseum for the skeleton crew of employees during these games including a handful of us doing radio and television. I have to confess it is an eerie feeling, broadcasting at an empty Major League park the size of the Oakland Coliseum, almost like a surreal experience. From a level that regularly is frequented by a lot of media people, and now it is just a few.

The 60-game season is now for the first time since it began in jeopardy, a combination of factors in the most complex world we are living today. Although some national televised games have shown excellent ratings, After all, MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL can make any schedule they want send any directives they want, but the real wild card continues to be Covid-19. Because Covid-19 has their own scheduled, but the big difference is that their schedule is a mystery.

“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better” – Dalai Lama

Stay well and stay tuned.

Athletics Radio. KIQI 1010AM/990AM Spanish radio(Bay Area and Sacramento)is scheduled to carry tomorrow’s game when the Colorado Rockies visit the Oakland Coliseum, pregame 6:30, first pitch 6:40PM.