That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: How Fujinami fits in on the A’s pitching staff; A’s welcome new broadcaster Johnny Doskow

Japan pitcher Shintaro Fujinami pitches against the Netherlands in the sixth inning of an international exhibition series baseball game at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Nov. 12, 2016. Right-hander Fujinami (AP News file photo)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Amaury how big of a help will Japanese pitcher Shintaro Fujinami be for the Oakland A’s. Fujinami has an 3.17 ERA and is noted to throw in the 90s and could have been aligned with some like Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani but Fujinami’s control has been in question.

#2 Fujinami signed with the A’s for $3.2 million on a one year deal the Nippon Hanshin Tigers did submit on the MLB posting system that Fujinami was available and the A’s scooped him up.

#3 Look for Fujimani to use the splitter when he has a hitter on two strikes, Fujinami has a 34% strikeout rate and 66% of facing hitter he gets them to ground out.

#4 The A’s this off season have signed third baseman Jace Peterson, right hander Drew Rucinski and Trevor May, catcher Manny Pina, and outfielder Esteury Ruiz from trades.

#5 Amaury, the Oakland A’s have added Johnny Doskow who joins the A’s radio broadcast team of Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo for pre season and regular season games. Doskow comes from the triple A Sacramento River Cats.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead play by play Spanish radio announcer for the Oakland A’s on 1010 KIQI San Francisco

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Caribbean World Series Begins February 2

The Caribbean World Series in Caracas, Venezuela will run from Feb 2 to Feb 10th (logo from the Caribbean World Series)

Caribbean World Series Begins February 2

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

The Caribbean World Series will open this February 2 in Caracas, Venezuela, and all eight participating teams will play on opening day. A new champion will be crowned on February 10.

Games will be played in two different sites in Caracas. La Rinconada Baseball Stadium and Jorge Luis Garcia Carneiro Stadium. La Rinconada Baseball Stadium will be opening for the first time, with a capacity of 38,000 will be the largest baseball stadium in Latin America.

More teams: For the first time in the tournament’s history will feature eight teams (there were six in 2022) new teams this year, are Curacao and Cuba. Cuba will be back after three years of absence for political reasons.

Questions and Answers: Last champion Caimanes de Barranquilla, Colombia in 2022

Most Titles: Tigres de Licey 10, Dominican Republic History: First Caribbean World Series: 1949 La Habana, Cuba Coverage US ESPN Deportes.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Hall of Fame Museum and does News and Commentary podcasts Tuesdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: Angels owner Moreno takes Halos off the sales market; The passing of A’s great Sal Bando; plus more

Umpire Tom Gorman signals out after Oakland Athletic’s Sal Bando, left, collided with Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager at home plate during the World Series in Los Angeles on Oct. 12, 1974. This would be the the third consecutive World Series won by Bando and the Oakland A’s from 1972-74. Bando passed away Jan 20, 2023 in Oconomowoc, Wis. at age 78. (AP News File photo)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Los Angeles Angels owner Artie Moreno announced on Monday that he has taken the Angels off the sale market. After the Angels have been on the market for the last five months Moreno said he was not ready to part ways with the fans, players and employees. Moreno after last season put the team up for sale after discussing it with his family. The Angels had troubles with the mayor of Anaheim resigning over the stadium scandal, Mike Trout’s career threatening back injury and the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs from a cocaine overdose.

#2 Former Oakland A’s Captain, four time All Star, and third baseman Sal Bando who passed away from cancer on Friday was 78 years old and was also a general manager for the Milwaukee Brewers. Bando was part of the A’s three consecutive championships of 1972-74. Bando led the American League in extra base hits (64), doubles (32) and total bases (295) in the 1973 season.

#3 The Chicago White Sox Eloy Jimenez said he could make the adjustment of being the designated hitter but Jimenez is preparing to play more games in the outfield and in right field this happening after the Sox signed Andrew Benintendi for $75 million. The Sox also have Luis Robert playing in center with Gavin Sheets and Oscar Colas who will trading off in right with Jimenez.

#4 Turning to football Amaury just wanted to get your picks for the NFC and AFC games coming up we’ll start with the NFC as the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles match up. The 49ers are coming off a well defended game by the Dallas Cowboys just losing by a touchdown 19-12. 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy has led San Francisco to ten consecutive wins.

#5 The Cincinnati Bengals who are coming off a pretty convincing win against the Buffalo Bills Sunday 27-10 will play in Kansas City against the Chiefs this coming Sunday. The Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was 23-36 for 242 yards and two touchdowns last Sunday against the Bills. The Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will have to steady himself as he’s suffering a high ankle injury.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for News and Commentary podcasts Tuesdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amury News and Commentary: Why can Sports be Just Sports?

Philadelphia Flyer Ivan Provorov who did not skate last Tuesday with teammates because of his religious reasons over the pre game Pride Night sweaters. Legal experts say that punishing Provorov for not skating with the team over the Pride sweaters are infringing on his rights. (AP News file photo)

Why can Sports be Just Sports?

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

National Hockey League, Philadelphia Flyers defense-man Ivan Provorov was criticized for refusing to wear LGBT colors on his uniform during Pride Night with the Flyers, sitting out their pregame warmups. Provorov cited his religion, Russian Orthodox, as he said: “I respect everybody, everybody’s choice” and “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion”.

Flyers head coach John Tortorella defended Provorov; “Provy did nothing wrong,” he added. “Just because you don’t agree with his decision, doesn’t mean he did anything wrong.” Provorov did play in the eventual 5-2 win in which the Flyers wore their standard home jerseys, after skipping the warmups.

Most people that pay to see a sporting event (which is not cheap) are there to escape and enjoy themselves, most do not care what a hockey player believes or doesn’t believe, they want to see a good game, a few goals and maybe even a good fight. That’s the truth. Most of the time nobody cares, they are attending and paying good money for a sporting event, and they’re not there to debate sociopolitical issues, if they wanted that, Yale, Harvard or Stanford is the place.

However, things happen in sports that have little to do with sports, here are a few:

In 1967 Muhammad Ali was the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world. On April 28 of that year, with the United States at war in Vietnam, Ali refused to be inducted into the armed forces, saying “I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcong.” On June 20, 1967, Ali was convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to five years in prison, fined $10,000, and banned from boxing for three years. Ali was at one time the most recognizable American on the face of the earth, in many countries much more than the President of the United States and Hollywood movie stars.

On August 2016. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat down (took a knee) during the national anthem at an NFL preseason game between the 49ers and the Green Bay Packers. It divided the NFL and the country. Kaepernick said about his action: “It is to protest the injustices that are happening in America, the oppression that is happening in America”. Kaepernick played for the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2016, he did not get a chance to play again with the 49ers or any other NFL team after his famous knee.

Perhaps the most famous and memorable incident was during the 1968 Olympic Games in México City. US Athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith were banned from the US team and the Olympic Village after holding up their fist during the American national anthem from the winner’s podium of the 200-meter. Smith and Carlos protested against racial discrimination in the US.

Enes Kanter Freedom was an NBA player who frequently spoke against the Chinese Communist government (not the people of China) for their repression and human rights abuses against minorities. This is well documented by Amnesty International, a Human Rights non-profit watchdog.

Human rights in China continue to deteriorate, with arbitrary mass detentions, torture, and forced labor against Muslims in various provinces of the country. Also, there is no secret China represents a huge money maker market for the NBA. Enes Kanter (born in Switzerland) became a US citizen last year and added Freedom to his last name.

I am not against protests, we have the right under the First Amendment of the US Constitution to protest, which falls under freedom of speech, as well as freedom of the press or the right for people peaceable to demonstrate. However, in a such complicated world, sports is one area that we should all enjoy, and leave our grievances at home.

During the recent World Cup in Qatar Iran’s soccer players refused to sing their national anthem ahead of the World Cup opening match. These players feared possible execution once they returned home. They were supporting worldwide demonstrations following the death of Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini who was arrested by The Guidance Patrol, the religious morality police of Iran’s government for not wearing the hijab in accordance with government standards. She was killed for that, These Iranian Soccer players showed incredible courage, considering they were facing death when they returned home. One thing is to lose your job, another is to lose your life.

The world is complicated, what’s perfectly legal in the US could cost a person their life in other countries. That is why when we travel abroad we should also make sure we obey the laws of the country we are in. Just like if you get invited to a friend’s house and the host ask you “please do not smoke” it is simply common sense.

We all know what happened with basketball star Brittney Griner in Russia, who was arrested carrying a substance that in Russia is illegal, when she was impassioned for months and used as leverage for a deal with a world famous criminal, all in the middle of a war between Russia and Ukraine.

I have always noticed: In sports, a lot is done in the arena in a short amount of time, but that is not possible with politics, they talk and talk and talk, and takes forever to get results. In the end, when it comes to the world of sports, that is one of the few places in this complicated world where we should be able to forget our problems. That is why I often wonder, Why can Sports be Just Sports?

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

Tigres del Licey win the Dominican title for 23rd time

Tigres Del Licey shows good form in squaring around to bunt as the Tigres pick up their 23rd title in the Dominican title (photo from Amaury Pi Gonzalez)

Tigres del Licey win the Dominican title for 23rd time

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

The Dominican Republic will have its 2023 team in the Caribbean World Series 2023. They are Los Tigres del Licey who beat the Estrellas Orientales 2-1 with a decisive hit in the seventh inning by Mel Rojas Jr. This is the 23rd title for the Licey club in the history of LIDOM (Liga Dominicana), they are like the NY Yankees of the Dominican Republic, nobody has won more titles.

This was the first title for the Tigers since the 2016-17 season when they beat the Aguilas Cibaeñas under Manny Acta in a nine-game series. Designated Hitter Jorge Alfaro was named MVP, with 18 votes over 15 votes that Mel Rojas Jr received. The Tigres del Licey dominated during the whole season and ended with a record of 34 wins.

The Tigres del Licey will be playing in the Caribbean World Series which takes place this February. They have won the most titles in the Dominican Republic with 23, but also are ‘número uno’ in the Caribbean World Series, which began in 1949, The Tigres have won 10 of them.

Last Caribbean World Series Title went to the Caimanes de Barranquilla, Colombia.

The 65th edition of the Caribbean World Series will take place in Caracas, Venezuela. February 2nd to 10th.

A total of eight teams (the most ever) will participate, representing these countries: Colombia, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, México, Panamá, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. For fans of Fútbol/Soccer, it is similar to the UEFA Champions League, just in a single tournament.

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

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: No one will touch Bauer now; Only a miracle now can prevent A’s from leaving Oakland; plus more news

Former Los Angeles Dodger Trevor Bauer was not claimed on waivers and the Dodgers could be on the hook for Bauer for $22.5 million if Bauer is not picked up by another big league club (AP file photo)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer who was unclaimed on waivers. Bauer’s leaving will cost the Dodgers $22.5 million which he will be owed if he not claimed by another club. Bauer if picked up by another big league club will be paid the MLB minimum at $720,000 that would offset the $22.5 million. The Dodgers as it looks right now will be on the hook for the balance as Bauer is persona non grata after several sexual misconduct allegations were made against him.

#2 The Oakland A’s will not see any kind of funding money in the neighborhood of $180 million in federal funds and now it’s a question of how the City of Oakland can finance the A’s ballpark at Howard Terminal at Jack London Square. The federal department of Megaprojects may not grant some of the monies or none of it at all.

#3 Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis expressed how Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas has now become less of a home field advantage for the Raiders because more fans travel to visit the visiting team than home fans that turn out. Also Davis observed that local fans in Las Vegas aren’t coming out to support the Raiders during the season home games.

#4 The Miami Marlins announced on Tuesday that they have come to an agreement with veteran pitcher Johnny Cueto to a one year deal with an option. Cueto formerly pitched for the Chicago White Sox last season going 3.35 ERA, 158 1/3 innings with 102 strikeouts and 33 walks. Cueto could get as much as $8.5 million this season from the Marlins.

#5 The Toronto Blue Jays keep on dealing they signed five players including a 16 year old pitcher named Emmanuel Bonilla who signed for $4.1 million the biggest contract for a bonus in Blue Jays history.

Join Amaury for News and Commentary podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Cuban Pitcher No.5 International Prospect selected by the A’s

Luis Dany Morales Cuban National pitcher and the No.5 International Prospect selected by the Oakland A’s (photo by Diario De Cuba)

Cuban Pitcher No.5 International Prospect selected by the A’s

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González.

Since 1968, first year in Oakland, the Oakland A’s had many Latin American players, like Dabogerto Blanco (Campy) Campaneris, José Canseco, Miguel Tejada, Tony Armas and many others. Today between 30-33 % of all players in the major leagues are born in Latin America.

The Oakland A’s agree to terms with 17 International prospects, all the 17 from Latin America. Among the 17, the No.5 prospect by MLB right handed pitcher Luis Dany Morales out of Cuba. Morales pitched for Sancti Spiritus in Cuba’s Serie Nacional in 2021 and was 3-3 with a 5.95 ERA in 11 games, nine starts.

He struck out 58 in 42.1 innings and walked 30 while surrendering just two home runs as an 18-year-old. Major League team traveled to watch Morales pitch in Mexico City earlier this year. He has a fastball that can reach the high 90s and a breaking ball that “projects to be above average” according to scouts.

In 2021 Morales was arrested by Cuban authorities, along with his parents trying to escape Cuba. But at the end the 18-years old Morales succeeded and was the one that lead a bunch of other Cuban players defect from Cuba as they were playing in México.

Others were Yeiniel Zayas, Ubert Mejias, infielder Miguel Antonio González, catcher Loidel Rodríguez and outfielders Reynaldo Lazaga and Diasmany Palacios. pitcher Brayan Chi, and also outfielders Loidel Chapelli and Yandy Yanes joined. Among all these Cubanos, only Morales was signed by the A’s.

After Morales and all these other Cuban players defected while playing in México, the Cuban Baseball Federation released an official statement blaming the last two US Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden for the defections. This is normal for the communist country and that is how their propaganda machine operates. When in doubt, blame the US.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead Spanish play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s with broadcast partner Manolo Hernandez Douen heard on flagship 1010 KIQI San Francisco and Amaury does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: 2023 For the A’s “This Is It”

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred takes a walk on the field before Game 2 of an American League Division Series game between the Houston Astros and the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Field in Houston, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. Manfred has repeatedly said that the Oakland Coliseum location is not viable and is only focused on the Howard Terminal location in downtown Oakland (AP News photo file)

2023 For the A’s: “This Is It”

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Like one of the Top 100 Songs on Billboard in the year 1979, Kenny Loggins “This Is It”. This 2023 Is It for the Oakland A’s. We will know if they are staying in Oakland while they build their new planned baseball park at Howard Terminal. Or leaving Oakland for Las Vegas.

Or new owners buy the team and pledge to keep them in Oakland. Pick one. Those are the most likely scenarios. They will not build their new park at the same location (in my opinion the best) the Oakland Coliseum; that is out of the question since Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred had repeatedly stated that is not an option.

The A’s have played in Oakland since 1968 and won 4 World Series at the Oakland Coliseum, only the Los Angeles Dodgers since 1958 have won more World Series among all five California teams with six titles.

What scenarios are left?

1-The current ownership of the A’s comes to an agreement with the City of Oakland to build Howard Terminal. Currently. There are no talks with Sheng Thao the new Mayor elected of Oakland. How likely is that? Depends on who you talk to. The city of Oakland had agreed to publicly fund the transportation and infrastructure around the privately funded 35,000-seat, 55-acre ballpark at the Port of Oakland complex named Howard Terminal.

The city applied for a federal grant estimated at a cost of $366 million, with the city’s request for $182 million, but that city application for $182 million was not approved. The funding is not there. That is not good news for those that want the A’s to stay.

But the City of Oakland and the Oakland A’s do not have a binding contract. So far all is non-binding. Difference? What is a binding contract? A “binding contract” is any agreement that’s legally enforceable. That means if you sign a binding contract and don’t fulfill your end of the bargain, the other party can take you to court.

2- Las Vegas, Nevada. The A’s have talked with multiple site owners, all adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip. Two sites primarily, one next to Circus Circus owned by Phil Ruffin, and the other one at the current site of the Tropicana, recently purchased by Bally’s Corporation.

Bally’s corporation and Sinclair Broadcasting acquired a group of stations from Fox Regional Sports which currently have the broadcast rights for various major league baseball teams. For a while, A’s were talking with Phil Ruffin regarding the Las Vegas Fairground site, (according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal), but that is not the case anymore. It seems as of today, the Las Vegas Review-Journal confirmed the A’s have the Tropicana site as their favorite. Looks like the A’s have picked their site.

3- If the Oakland A’s get an offer from a new owner to buy the team. Although the A’s are not officially for sale, there are two teams currently for sale, the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Angels. Since 2005 Joe Lacob and Peter Guber have expressed their interest for buying the A’s and keeping them in Oakland but the A’s current ownership was not interested. Now Lacob and Gruber are interested in the LA Angels, but in the world of business there are always surprises. So for those that want to keep the A’s in Oakland it would be very good news that a new owner buys the team.

The Oakland Athletics will have their relocation fee waived if they decide to move to Las Vegas, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says 2023 is a big year when it comes to the future of the franchise. Yes indeed, “This Is It” 2023 is here. Fish or cut bait.

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

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: Correa close to signing six year $200 million with Twins pending physical; Curry to return tonight after missing 11 games for Golden State; plus more

Minnesota Twins shortstop Carolos Correa is expected to rejoin the team pending passing physical. Correa seen here on Thu Sep 29, 2022 against the Chicago White Sox is now dealing with his third club since failing two previous physicals. (AP News file photo)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 The Minnesota Twins have put a six year $200 million deal on the table if free agent Carlos Correa can pass a physical. Correa injured his leg in 2014 and failed two previous physicals with the San Francisco Giants and the Minnesota Twins. The Twins are expected to accept the deal and work with doctors regarding Correa’s physical condition.

#2 The Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry whose been out with a shoulder injury since Dec 14th is expected to return tonight against the Phoenix Suns at Chase Center in San Francisco. Curry got injured when battling for a rebound and has missed 11 games.

#3 Amaury the Brazilian Football Confederation has made it no secret that they have condemned far right rioters who wore Brazilian national soccer uniforms while using police barricades to smash windows at some of Brazil’s government buildings. Thousands of protestors smashed Brazil’s congress, presidential palace to protest the Brazilian election results in protest for former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro who lost the election.

#4 One Championship fighter Victoria Lee death cause is being kept private many fans and call in shows speculate anything from suicide, CTE, to head trauma could have been the cause. Amaury talk about the dangers of someone young like Lee to die at the age of 18 years of participating in a risky sport like ultimate fighting?

#5 Amaury, the 2023 Caribbean Series which starts Feb 2-10 will be the 53rd annual series this time being held in Venezuela. The games will be played at Estadio Forum La Guaira. The series started as a five team event and now has grown this years games will include a record high eight teams with Curacao added and Cuba returning after three years absence.

#6 The San Francisco Giants have made it perfectly clear that they will not include former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer to their pitching staff. Bauer who had been suspended from baseball for two seasons is currently looking for a team who will sign him. Bauer’s last outing was June 2021 and was accused by multiple women of physical abuse.

Join Amaury for News and Commentary podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Brian Sabean, Giants Architect of 3 World Series Titles, with the Yankees

Former San Francisco Giants team president Brian Sabean speaking at one of the Giants World Series celebrations at San Francisco City Hall is now New York Yankees team senior vice president (photo from Amaury Pi Gonzalez)

Brian Sabean, Giants Architect of 3 World Series Titles, with the Yankees

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

SAN FRANCISCO–The main brain trust that brought the first World Series title to the Giants, and a total of three World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014, has rejoined his original team, the New York Yankees. Sabean is now an executive advisor to senior vice president to the general manager of the Yankees  Brian Cashman.

Sabean is the man that was credited with shaping the New York Yankees during their dynasty of the late 1990s. “Saves” (one of his nicknames) for the past 30 years with the Giants, including as senior vice president and general manager from 1996 until 2015, He scouted well in New York and also in San Francisco. Brian Sabean is one of the most accomplished baseball executives in recent history.

Giants fans might remember some of  these names, who came to San Francisco under Brian Sabean reign, many via trades; J.T. Snow, Jeff Kent, Benito Santiago, Juan Uribe, Edgar Rentería, Ellis Burks, Pat Burell, Kenny Lofton, Robb Nen and others. About returning to work for the Yankees he said:  “It’s humbling. At my age, I really appreciate being wanted and needed,” Sabean said. “As I talked to Cash, I think it became organic as to how I could help the organization. I’m all in. I’ll do anything to help the Yankees win another World Series. Our family is thrilled, and we’re totally invested.”

At 66 years of age Sabean looks to another chapter of his life. Prior to ascending to General Manager of the SF Giants he was head of their baseball division from 1977 to 2018, he brought to the Giants all the success they never had (as far as winning) since the team moved to San Francisco in 1958.

Although he will never have a statue at Oracle Park, Brian Sabean is the only General Manager in San Francisco Giants history with three World Series rings.

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