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

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


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.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Toronto Blue Jays are Homeless as 2020 season begins

Pennsylvania Department of Health have ruled against the Toronto Blue Jays sharing PNC Park with the Pittsburgh Pirates because of the increased cases of Covid-19 (photo from

Toronto Blue Jays are Homeless as 2020 season begins

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

The Toronto Blue Jays might have to play their full 60-game season on the road after PNC Park the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates (team they were talking to) denied them access to play their 30 home games at PNC.

Statement by the Pennsylvania Department of Health:

“In recent weeks, we have seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in southwestern Pennsylvania,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a statement.

“To add travelers to this region for any reason, including for professional sports events, risks residents, visitors and members of both teams. We know that this virus does not discriminate, and can even make professional athletes very sick. We are committed to protecting the health and well-being of all Pennsylvanians.”

Over the weekend, the Blue Jays were denied by the Canadian Government to use their home station Rogers Centre, because they feared bringing American League East teams to Toronto could spread the Coronavirus in the largest city in Canada.

On Monday the Pirates announced they were in discussions with the Blue Jays and MLB, hoping they could host the Toronto team at PNC Park this season.

The Blue Jays will begin their season this Friday the 24th as they are expected to play the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida.

In the meantime MLB is trying desperately to find the Homeless Blue Jays a home for 30 games.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio play by play lead announcer on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary each week at

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: As the 2020 Season Opens Your Favorite Baseball Team

Bobby Maduro Miami Stadium in Miami the former spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles was one of the founding teams that Amaury worked for in starting his career in Major League Baseball ( photo)

As the 2020 Season Opens Your Favorite Baseball Team

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Finally, the baseball season gets under way on Thursday. The inaugural game as the NY Yankees visit the World Champion Washington Nationals and later the San Francisco Giants visit the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Baseball is generational. Good chance that your father (with all the respect to mother) introduced you to the game. My father surely did since I was a little boy playing catch with him and my brother and taking me to Estadio de El Cerro in Havana, to watch the famous Cuban Professional Winter League.

Some people grow up following a team, because that was the team that their family rooted for, as simple as that. That is one of the beauties of the game we all love. But, many might have a preference for one of more teams. While growing up my team in Cuba was Leones del Habana (Havana Lions). In the US because a country of its size and tradition there are numerous people that were born in one city, rooted for their team there, but moved someplace else and now pledge their allegiance to their home team.

In the US, the first Major League team I saw were the Baltimore Orioles, in the early 1960’s when they trained at the old Miami Stadium, in Miami, Florida, later named Bobby Maduro Stadium, who was a Cuban entrepreneur and executive who was dedicated to the game of baseball. I was lucky enough -through a friend- to have worked for the Baltimore Orioles as a bat boy during Spring Training and I will forever remember the players of the Orioles during those years. Milt Pappas, Brooks Robinson, Jackie Brandt, John (Boog) Powell, Gus Triandos and many others. I was on the field with them, and for me they were like Gods.

So for me, my introduction to Major League Baseball was the Orioles, although I have visited Baltimore, but never lived there. It was like my first love to baseball in the US, and therefore, the Orioles will forever have a place in my heart. As a broadcaster I enjoy the game and I always want to see the best baseball possible, I like to see the Oakland Athletics win their fifth World Series in Oakland this year. I was broadcasting A’s games the last time they won it in 1989, a historical year and World Series with the Loma Prieta earthquake right in the middle of the series.

So (for some) it it is possible to have a double-allegiance in baseball. The Orioles have been a terrible team during the last few years but they also had some great years when Earl Weaver was their manager. As a professional in this business, yes, the A’s are definitely my team, but the Orioles are always in my heart, because they are part of my life, the memories of those years as a youngster, my family a much different Miami than today. My kids are also huge A’s fans who used to seat right behind the visiting dugout at the Coliseum with their Mom during the great years of Billy Ball and later Tony LaRussa, Dave Stewart, Ricky Henderson and the Bash Brothers. Those years for the A’s were like the Bruce Springsteen hit, “Glory Days”

My question to you the reader, which is your favorite team or teams? Did you adopt the team because your father your mother, anybody in your family or a friend introduced you to the team as a fan? Did you just follow baseball because you like the game, regardless of who is playing? Who do you root for? And my last question. Do you still own that terrible cap that has the A’s logo in one side and the Giants logo on the other? Just asking.

Baseball is the longest season of any of the main sports leagues in the country. It is a grind that develops a lot of character on people, demands a lot of loyalty, passion and dedication to your favorite team.

I wish your favorite team enjoys a good abbreviated season, and regardless of your opinion, on how you feel about baseball this year, we are all making history in 2020 and that includes baseball with this new experience.

The season opener for the Oakland Athletics is this Friday the 24th when the Los Angeles Angels are the first visitors to the Oakland Coliseum for a weekend-four-game series which concludes on Monday. Joe Maddon in his first season as the Manager of the LA Angels and Bob Melvin manager of the A’s have already named their pitchers. This should be fun, two of the best skippers in the game.

A’s fireballer Frankie Montas is scheduled to start, while lefty Andrew Heaney will open the season for the Halos.

You can follow all the action En Español; on KIQI 1010AM radio here in the Bay Area and KATD 990AM Sacramento- Stockton. Every A’s game at home on weekend and night games at home on weekdays will be broadcast in Spanish.

Sintonize este Viernes, primer lanzamiento 7:10 PM.

Stay tuned, stay well.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: A’s and Giants conclude two game exhibition tonight at Oracle in SF

The Oakland A’s Sean Manaea who is slated to start Saturday in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels at the Big A in the second of a four game series (Napa Valley Register file photo)

On That’s Amaury’s pod:

#1 Amaury the A’s hosted the Giants last night for the first of two pre season games. A’s pitcher Sean Manaea who had his plans rearranged for him last season in a tough loss in a one game Wild Card game against the Tampa Bay Rays is really looking to make amends this season.

#2 Manaea said that he looked forward to facing his teammates in training camp inter squad show downs.

#3 Manaea said he didn’t want to talk too much about some of the A’s split squad hitters he faced who grooved some of his pitches saying “a couple of guys that tagged me pretty hard, so I don’t want to talk about that.”

#4 The A’s are starting Frankie Montas for opening night on Friday in Anaheim. Montas was suspended last season for 80 games when tested positive for using a banned substance on June 21, 2019. Montas says that’s all behind him and is looking forward to the start on opening night against the Los Angeles Angels.

#5 The Oakland A’s are bringing up reliever Jordan Weems who actually was drafted as a catcher in 2011 by the Boston Red Sox. He showed up for spring 0.1 and impressed manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Scott Emerson so much with his 98 MPH pitches and they said he had great control that he will make the opening night roster for this Friday night.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s Spanish radio play by play lead announcer on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary each week at

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: MLB 2020 will it be remembered as “Fake Season?”

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner who is noted for his pretty good use of the bat will not be able to hit as the National League for the first time will be using the universal designated hitter one of the firsts in baseball that Amaury talks about in today’s commentary ( file photo)

MLB 2020: Will it be remembered as the “Fake Season”

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Will this 2020 season that begins this week be remembered as the season when these things happened? At least ten (10) of them.

1-The Canadian team was not allowed to play in Canada. 2-The first season when there was a new “Virus DL” list. 3- First season when National League used the Designated Hitter. 4- First season when no fan caught a foul ball at a game. 5- First season when many players and umpires opted-out prior to the inaugural game. 6-First season when a game went extra-innings and the team batting in the top of the 10 th automatically starts the frame with a runner at second-base. 7-First time all parking lots at each park are empty. 8-First season each team broadcaster radio and television works inside a whole booth alone. 9-First time all schedule promotions at each park, like the tickets, will be a collector’s item and 10- A 60-game season that is not completed, because of extenuating circumstances.

I am sure there will be other “firsts” like in some places the National Anthem might not be played. Many people that are invited by teams to sing, will not be there, and a plethora of other stuff.

No question we are embarking into this season just like when in early August of 1492 Spain King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain financed the trip by Italian mariner Christopher Columbus who sailed from Spain with three small ships, and in late August sighted Cuba, which he thought it was mainland China. Later Columbus (who didn’t have a GPS) landed in Hispaniola (today Dominican Republic) and thought it might be Japan. Obviously and inadvertently, as history would have it, Columbus was involved with three baseball countries; Cuba, Dominican Republic and Japan. He struck-out on China.

Hopefully this 60-game season will be completed as planned and fans hungry for the game WILL get a taste of a season that will be marked with asterisks. A very realistic possibility exists that some baseball historians will regard the 2020 season as the “fake season”.

As much as I love the game of baseball, I still have my feet planted on the ground and this is how I see it. You might agree, or disagree. I will always respect your opinion as long as we can remain a free country.

Stay well and stay tuned.

Catch Amaury for Spanish A’s broadcasts on the A’s Spanish flagship station at 1010 KIQI San Francisco and News and Commentary at

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Oh No Canada!

Rogers Centre in Toronto the usual home of the Toronto Blue Jays but not this season because of the huge pandemic issues in the US. The Canadian government is not allowing teams from the US in Toronto ( file photo)

Oh No Canada!

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

The Federal Government of Canada has prohibited the Toronto Blue Jays of playing at their home field Rogers Centre this season, because of their necessary travel to the US and the dangers of Covid-19 to the Canadian citizens. 2020 keeps bringing us unprecedented situations.

According to sources, the Blue Jays are considering two places; Dunedin, Florida,their Spring Training Home or Buffalo New York, their Triple A affiliate. But those two places present challenges. Dunedin is in Florida, today one of the hottest spots for the virus in the US and Buffalo, that park in Buffalo doesn’t have lights to major league standards, not to mention that New York State has been hit hard by the virus.

Canada has not been hit as hard by Covid-19, but to be fair to the US. Canada by territory is larger than the United States, their total population is 37 million people while the US is around 325 million. The State of California alone has a larger population than Canada, with around 40 million.

Ironically the Blue Jays are scheduled to open the season next Friday the 24th against the Rays at Tampa Bay. Looks like Florida is in the cards for the Jays one way or another.

Less than a week remains for a decision, where the Toronto team will be playing their 30 home games this year. But one thing is for sure, it will not be at their home park and country of Canada.

Stay tuned and stay well.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the radio play by play announcer for A’s baseball on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary each week at


That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Sports under Siege?

TNT’s Charles Barkley says that the whole conversation of “social injustices have become a circus” (NBC Sports file photo)

Sports under Siege?

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

In this unusual year of 2020 for weeks, the news/tease was that the Washington Redskins were about to change their logo/name of Redskins. While that has not happened yet, the biggest news from the Washington franchise was not their logo, but 15 ex-women employees claiming sexual harassment.

The NFL never seems to run out of scandals, a lot of them with absolutely nothing to do with play on the field. All kinds of surveys have shown that the NFL fans are not looking forward to more political demonstrations, but that seems to be inevitable. It would be interesting to see fan reaction and television audiences (if they ever play this year), the jury still out, but the NFL, as I said before seems to be making more news outside the field than on the field; and that is obviously not good. There is one thing for sure for fans, Roger Goodell is the most hated Commissioner in Sports.

MLB: The season is on schedule to begin their shortened version next Thursday July 23, when the Yankees face the Nationals on a nationally televised game on FOX and the Giants at LA Dodgers. The Oakland A’s open the 24th at home against the Los Angeles Angels. Every day players show they are positive for corona virus and earlier this week eleven (11) umpires opted out of the season, for personal reasons. With one week left until the start of the season, MVP Mike Trout has not made a decision if he is going to play or opt out.

But there is nothing normal about this baseball season. Yasiel Puig was to sign with the Braves but it never happened because it was contingent with his testing negative on a Covid-19 test, he tested positive. Yasiel, still a Free Agent. For baseball 2020 is as weird as ever, and I will not be surprised if there is more to come, because surprises now are expected.

All teams will play in empty stadiums. Some teams will pipe crowd noise into the park, traveling is limited to inter-divisional in each league as well against the opposite league. The players and owners through their negotiators ‘struck out’ of a deal to begin the season as scheduled back in March. MLB recently released their schedule for the 2021 season, maybe in a ‘spin’ to make everything look normal. But there is nothing normal about this season.

NBA: Is to reopen on July 30th, after a hiatus on March 11 because of the pandemic. A total of 22 teams returning to play. The league will allow players to wear jerseys with social justice messages, in collaboration with Nike the league apparel sponsor. Not everybody agrees with this. Hall of Fame player Charles Barkley said (quote) “racial injustice issues are turning into a circus.” About the legitimacy of a shortened season, Barkley added” “if everybody is healthy that is fine, but if everybody is sick with the virus and the Sacramento Kings or the New York Knicks win the championship, you know damn right it is tainted”.

The teams will play in Orlando, Florida at Disney World. The Golden State Warriors did not make it this season.

NHL. They plan to return to the ice with 24 teams competing for the Stanley Cup. Beginning with the best of five series, round robin games in two hub cities on August 1. The San José Sharks did not make this season. It seems that among all the four top pro-leagues in the country the NHL has been the most “quiet” during these turbulent times.

MLS: Already began their season.They are scoring goals. The San Jose Earthquakes have not lost a game yet they are 1-0-1 after their latest victory last Wednesday against the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-3. They now face the Chicago Fire in the bubble at Disney World on Sunday.

Stay well and stay tuned.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio talent for the Oakland A’s on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and at



That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Yasiel Puig with Los Bravos

Former Cleveland outfielder Yasiel Puig is headed to the Atlanta Braves after signing a deal with Atlanta ( file photo)

Yasiel Puig with Los Bravos

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi Gonzalez

The Cuban-born outfielder who was rumored to sign with the San Francisco Giants is signing a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves. Aside from the Giants, the Orioles also showed interest in the controversial Puig.  Atlanta is much closer to Miami, where Puig makes his home, a 1 hour 30 minutes flight instead of Baltimore, or a coastal flight from San Francisco. So, I am sure he is elated to play that close to home, with a contending team loaded with Latino players..

In this short 60-game season that is a week away, Puig can rotate with one of the very best young outfields in the game, the sensational 22-year old super star Ronald Acuña Jr., Ender Enciarte and Marcell Ozuna, all three Latino players to the delight of Puig who speaks English but prefers Spanish.

Puig could easily find himself in another World Series; the Atlanta Braves are that talented of a team. He would probably be their DH when they play teams in the American League, since this season National League teams will be allowed to have a designated hitter. Puig could prove to be a very good acquisition for Los Bravos, or it could also be a disaster, because with him a team is basically ‘rolling the dice’. It is as simple as that.

The great Manuel (Manny) Mota worked with a young Puig when he arrived to the US, and played for his first team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mota for years always told me when I asked him if he wanted to manage, he always told me, he did not, because he believed he wanted to teach young players and he has done that very well for many years, especially with young Latino players.

Yasiel Puig had a very dangerous escape from Cuba, he is very talented, I would say he was given some God-given talents that you really cannot teach, but he is also a liability, and there are certain players that do not listen to good advice, they just do what they want to do. I am not one that subscribe to giving players nicknames, but one of the best ever given was from the great former Dodger announcer Vin Scully, when he called Yasiel Puig “The Wild Horse”.

Puig is a very colorful man, he has a big heart and is very popular with the Hispanic community. He used to visit Porto’s, a great Cuban chain of restaurants in the Los Angeles Area and was famous for treating lots of people at that wonderful and very popular eatery. He seems to enjoy playing baseball as much as anybody I have ever seen, granted his “style” is not approved by a lot of people. Yasiel Puig is a fun guy to see play and now he will be wearing the Bravos de Atlanta uniform, his fourth team, so far, since he arrived from Cuba.

Note: KIQI 1010AM/KATD 990AM(10,000 Watts) San Francisco, covering the Bay Area and Sacramento continues as the Spanish radio home for the Athletics as they will carry 26 LIVE home games, all Friday, Saturday and Sunday games as well as all night games from the Oakland Coliseum

Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary each week at