That’s Amaury News and Commentary: How long will the A’s keep Frankie Montas?

Frankie Montas Oakland A’s starter has been lights out but has not been getting any run support and could be a candidate for a blockbuster trade (ESPN file photo)

How long will the A’s keep Frankie Montás?

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–How long with the A’s keep Frankie Montás? That is “The $64,000 dollar question”. Back in the late 1950’s, there was a game show on CBS-TV prime time with that title. Although today $64,000 is not enough even to buy you an electric car, this is the question that many A’s fans I speak with before every game at the Oakland Coliseum will like to have an answer to.

They have seen all the A’s established players getting traded before the season began; from Olson to Chapman, to Chris Bassitt to others that produced and helped the team make it to the postseason in recent history.

On a warm Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum in front of an 8,215 in attendance, Frankie Montás pitched one of his best games ever, trying to prevent the Seattle Mariners from sweeping the A’s in a 3-game series.

Montás pitched eight innings (had a no-no for 7 2/3, threw fastballs at 99 mph, mixed with his nasty splitter, plus) gave up only two hits, no runs, and struck out eight. His eight innings pitched was a season high. Seattle won the game 2-1.

Montás is 0-3 with a 1.79 ERA in 6 games against AL West teams and 3-4 with a 4.27 in nine starts against the others. For A’s pitchers is dangerous this year to give one or two runs, because their offense is well…offensive. The A’s have been shutout nine times already.

The night before the A’s best pitcher by record, Antioch native Paul Blackburn did not have much on the ball as he gave seven earned runs on ten hits to the Mariners, his team lost 9-0. Although Blackburn should be headed to his first All Star game because of his performance so far, 6-3 with a 2.97 ERA, we all know the best and definitely must gutsy pitcher for the green and gold is Dominican-born Frankie Montás.

Frankie Montás has the most value of any of the current Oakland Athletics active roster and with the shortage of starting pitchers among contending teams, it would be a surprise for the A’s to keep him prior to the regular August 2 deadline.

There are many reasons for that. Common sense will tell us that even if he stayed with the team the whole season, the A’s still will not be a contender. The other reason is just a fact of life in Oakland in 2022, you are here for a short amount of time and logically there are half dozen teams that have been interested in Montás since Spring Training.

We most never think that because he has not been traded, he will stay with the A’s the rest of the season. In my opinion (and I am not a betting man) still a long shot.

The Chicago White Sox come to mind. They were supposed to win the weak Central Division “going away” and they still might, but as of today that is debatable as the Guardians and Twins are definitely looking like they also can win.

Andrew Vaughn is the type of player the A’s can use, the 24-year old Santa Rosa native is on his second year with the White Sox, playing everyday hitting .333 with seven home-runs and 31 runs batted in.

This is just one of many scenarios that have been mentioned during the past few months of a possible trade. Other teams have also ‘check the tires’ on Frankie Montás. It is possible that the A’s want more than Vaughn for Montás and that is keeping both sides from pulling the trigger.

I would like nothing more than for Frankie Montás to be part of the rebuilding going on here in Oakland. and possibly when they move to their new ballpark he can be surrounded by productive players, that would make the Oakland A’s a contender again.

I am the eternal optimist, but I also have my feet planted on the ground and will doubt if he did stayed for this whole 2022 season. It just doesn’t make sense, plus his demand after today’s performance went way up. If anything, after this afternoon in Oakland more General Managers are aware of who is Frankie Montás who has pitched his heart out with very little run support.

Early in the season manger Mark Kotsay told me when I asked him how important is Frankie Montás for his team, he responded “very important, everytime he pitches, our team feels they can win the game”.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead Spanish play by play talent on flagship station Le Grande 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: If A’s can score Howard Terminal will it come back and bite the Giants on SJ territory rights?

Artist rendition of Oakland A’s Howard Terminal ballpark on the left outside view and on the right inside view from behind the plate (illustration from the San Francisco Chronicle)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary:

#1 Amaury, Howard Terminal in Oakland is a lot closer to Oracle Park in San Francisco than the city of San Jose. In the event that the A’s do pull it off and get a waterfront ballpark at Jack London Square could that possibly cut into some of the Giants revenue fan base?

#2 If the A’s do get to move to Howard Terminal would Giants team president Larry Baer and the team ownership have taken a gamble blocking the A’s from moving to San Jose and if the A’s could pull off a coup in getting a new park at Howard Terminal.

#3 Economically, the A’s will be all the rage if they can get a new waterfront ballpark as the Giants and Oracle park novelty has worn off. The Giants have been drawing less than 25,000 on weeknights and are not selling out like they used to. Do you see it becoming a competitive two team market if the A’s can get the waterfront park?

#4 The Bay Conservation and Development Commission recommended on Friday to move the port designation on the 56 acre property giving way to strong possibility that they will vote in favor of the A’s ballpark and Howard Terminal project on Jun 30th.

#5 Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff will be termed out at the end of this year and there are some key candidates running for Mayor. The A’s president David Kaval had expressed that there will be a new mayor and new city council so which way will the new ballpark end up once that election happens?

#6 Your familiar with former Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente who is a two time Councilman from 1992-2013. De La Fuente is throwing his hat in the ring for Mayor. De La Fuente lost twice when he ran for mayor to Jerry Brown and Ron Dellums. Mayor Schaff has not endorsed a candidate yet but is a close ally of councilwoman Loren Taylor. Knowing De La Fuente where does he stand on a new A’s ballpark and where does Councilwoman Taylor stand?

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

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: The winds of change no more shift

The extreme shift by the Los Angeles Dodgers (CBS photo file)

The Winds of Change: No More Shift?

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

The Major League Baseball laboratories are not in Transylvania, but in Pennsylvania and other States where minor league teams are currently playing. Looks like beginning in 2023, teams no longer will be allowed the now famous shift. No longer will a team be allowed to have more than two infielders on one side of second base. All the reports from these “laboratories” where they are experimenting create the incentive of hitters to put the ball in play.

1.The Shift: Calling games live in major league baseball I have seen it with my own eyes, how many “ground balls” that used to be hits are easy outs because of the shift. If you wonder does this contributes to lower batting averages? Legendary baseball author, statistician, writer Bill James who has written more two dozen books said the shift erased 22 per cent more hits than it gave away last season (2021), According to James, the shift took away over 4,800 hits that otherwise would have gotten through the infield for at least a single. And it turned out into hit on fewer than 4,000 occasions. So far this MLB season the combined average for hitters in both leagues in around .230. When the Boston Red Sox visited Oakland a couple of weeks ago, Alex Cora’s team had an American League high .260 combined average.

  1. Pitch Clock: It is also on a trial run in the minor leagues. I do not believe in clocks in baseball. One of the best things in baseball is that it is timeless, literally. We are told what time the first pitch is to take place, but I have never found one expert that can predict exactly at what time the last pitch will take place. In the minor leagues reports are showing that the average game is around 2 hours and 30 minutes. Now, I love the game of baseball and have been involved in it for over 45 years, but I also like to go home, we all do, unless you like to live in the park. But, seriously, baseball should not have a clock as a governor; it is not football, basketball or soccer/fútbol. It is an idiosyncratic game where people pay to go and enjoy relax, watch, see strategy and just pass the time with friends and family. Baseball was designed for the fans. They are the ones that pay to see the games. It was not designed for the media. But, (like many things in our lives) it has to do with money=dinero. Games that are short fit perfectly in many radio and television formats. Through the years I have spoken with many radio executives and most of them complain that the games go way too long and that prevents them from selling other programs. Television, which generate the most revenues could be much different, they are not that affected. And social media is the thing today, they are always inventing something new from twitter (where everybody is an expert) to Facebook where everybody is a photographer to those who multi-task until they go to sleep at night.
  2. Appealing Balls and Strikes: According to Baseball America: During this 2022 season, during certain Low-A Southeast games, the home plate umpire will call balls and strikes, but both teams will get three chances to appeal to the automated ball-strike system if they believe the umpire missed the call. The new appeal system is the most significant of the experimental rules changes that are being adopted around the minors in 2022. Is that also coming to the major leagues?

How will baseball look 20 years from today? If you have any futuristic ideas, please let me know you could be the next Commissioner.

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

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: A’s just not getting any hitting; Are A’s saving up on player salaries until they get a new park?

Oakland A’s pitcher Frankie Montas bare hands a grounder in the top of the fifth inning as the Kansas City Royals Mike Lopez tries to run it out at the Oakland Coliseum on Fri Jun 17, 2022

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary:

Both the visiting Kansas City Royals (22-41) and the Oakland A’s (22-44) both teams are in last place in their respective divisions. It’s going to be an interesting series between these two clubs which opened up on Friday night.

Both teams are struggling trying to win a few more games before the halfway point of the season just in a few weeks mid July. The Royals are on a two game win streak after defeating the San Francisco Giants last Wednesday and with a four run 5-1 victory on Friday.

It’s been tough for the Royals a lot of people have expected a lot more from manager Mike Matheny’s team. Matheny formerly managed the St Louis Cardinals and was a catcher for the Cardinals and San Francisco Giants.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez if the lead Spanish play by play voice for the Oakland A’s heard on flagship station Le Grande 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: The best division in baseball plus

Copy of the New York Daily News announcing the New York Mets and New York Yankees in the Subway World Series in 2000 edition could the two cross city rivals meet again in this year’s fall classic? (photo by wikipedia)

The Best Division in Baseball, Plus

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–For the first time this 2022 season there will be a third wild card team on each league. No division in baseball is better than the American League East, with the New York Yankees walking-away with the best record in baseball and Toronto, Tampa Bay and Boston poised for a tremendous race.

For the first time ever, a division could have three wild card teams going into the postseason and a total of four of the five teams in this division playing in October.

The American League East is the only division in baseball with four teams playing over .500. In the AL West, there is only one team to beat, Dusty Baker’s Houston Astros, they are the best team and will stay in first place.

The LA Angels are sputtering again, after a very nice start, they went into a funk lost 14 in a row, from May 25 to June 8,and Joe Maddon (one of the best managers in baseball) was sent packing.

Next managerial change could come from Seattle, where expectations were high for this team to win this year. Manager Scott Servais and General Manager Jerry DiPoto are in the hot seat. The Texas Rangers spend a fortune (close to half billion dollars) signing Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, they are both starting to play the way everybody expected, but I do not believe they have the pitching to overtake their State rivals Houston Astros.

The Oakland A’s are what they are. All the other teams have more established talent, they are trying to compete with rookie manager Mark Kotsay, a good baseball man, but the best jockey in the world cannot win the race if the horse is limping.

In the Central Division, considered the weakest in all the major leagues, supposed to be an easy one for the Chicago White Sox, but the great Tony LaRussa is not having much fun so far, star closer Liam Hendriks just placed into the IL.

The Minnesota Twins will be in the playoffs, as of today leading that division and the Cleveland Guardians are playing good baseball, leading the way at third-base, José Ramirez an early candidate for MVP. Watch out for the Indians, sorry, the Guardians, they have a good team and a terrific manager in Terry Francona.

There are some 100 games left for each team this season. While in New York they are talking about a Subway Series, Mets vs Yankees. Most recently, in 2000 the New York teams faced each other with the Yankees winning in five games, a memorable series, which I happened to worked for the Latino Baseball Network.

In other cities there is lots of disappointment. In Los Angeles, the Dodgers, whose manager, Dave Roberts predicted a 2022 World Series win during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, when he said “We will win the World Series in 2022. We will win the World Series this year.”

The Dodgers have pitching problems, ace Walker Buehler recently went into the IL, Julio Urias is not going to win 20 games again this season (he was the only to win 20 last season) plus mixed with an inconsistent offense, the Dodgers have stuff to “figure out”, they do have the talent.

The San Diego Padres, at this time, even with the delayed return of superstar Fernando Tatis Jr, looks like the team that could win this division. Bob Melvin is doing a great job, which is nothing new for the three-time Manager of the Year.

The San Francisco Giants, while they are not going to win 107 games again, they find a way to win series, starter Jacob Junis went into the IL, veterans like Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt, can’t seem to stay healthy.

Giants lost some pieces in the off-season, perhaps the biggest one, starter Kevin Gausman who had his best year ever in 2021 with a 14-6 record, and 2.81 ERA, he left for a very lucrative contract in Toronto. Nobody expected the Giants to have a similar season as 2021, which was a dream season, when every player at the same time, had great years.

Trades: The new deadline this year is set for August 2. There will be many trades, some earlier than others, but the greatest commodities are starting pitchers. they are in high demand. Many of the teams with hopes of postseason play will reinforce themselves. In today’s game the old saying “you never have enough pitching” is new again.

Happy Fathers Day weekend.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for all the play by play of Oakland A’s baseball on the A’s Spanish radio network and on flagship station Le Grande 1010 KIQI San Francisco and News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Affordable Housing will Make or Break the Howard Terminal project–

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff seen here speaking at a news conference on Wed Jul 26, 2021 is pushing for the Howard Terminal project. Schaff might have to be the go between for affordable housing at Howard Terminal and the Oakland A’s as affordable housing could be a deal breaker for a new A’s downtown ballpark. (AP News photo)

Affordable Housing will Make or Break the Howard Terminal project–

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–The new Oakland A’s ballpark at Howard Terminal is loaded with enough suspense to write an Alfred Hitchcock movie thriller. An affirmative vote by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission on June 30 would be a key step toward a new A’s ballpark in Oakland.

But there are still more hurdles ahead, one important issue is affordable housing which is included in the project and something the City of Oakland wants if the A’s build the new ballpark.

“Affordable housing is going to be what makes or breaks this project,” Dolores Tejada, lead organizer of East Bay Housing Organizations — a nonprofit advocacy coalition that’s been involved in community benefits recently told SFGate.com. The disagreement is not complicated.

The City of Oakland would like the A’s to designate 450 of the approximately 3,000 apartments, an equivalent of 15% as affordable housing on site at the Howard Terminal development. The city also wants the A’s to pay for an extra 600 affordable homes in the nearby neighborhoods.

This is according to a draft term sheet back in July 2021. The Mayor of Oakland Libby Schaaf and a number of city council-members have repeatedly said that 15% is a hard line for the project in order to move forward.

In other words, somebody will have to pay for the Affordable Housing around Howard Terminal. According to Oakland Mayor Schaaf “City Council has been very clear about the affordable housing requirements for this deal,” Schaaf told The Oaklandside back in April. “This project right now is proposed to create 3,000 desperately-needed units of housing.

15 percent of them would have to be at least deeply affordable.” The Oakland A’s have not come out publicly and said if they are anywhere close to meeting that target. The A’s have said many times they do not want to negotiate through the media.

On June 2 The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission held a public hearing on the proposed A’s ballpark and development project.

At that meeting, dozens of Oakland port workers urged members of a key state agency to reject the A’s $12 billion proposed waterfront project, as they called it a “real estate grab” that would transform the Port of Oakland into a “yuppie playground. The Commission decided against their wishes and recommended the next step for June 30.

I have not mentioned Las Vegas, Nevada, although Dave Kaval, President of the A’s still maintains that the team is working on parallel plans, to land the new ball park here or there. There are two Piñatas, but only one will be broken.

As a longtime Bay Area resident, with interests in baseball, as baseball is a great part of my career, I would like the A’s to stay here in Oakland. But I do not have a vote on this process.

Round and ’round it goes, where does this stops, nobody knows.

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

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: 2022 A’s Redux of 1979?

Former Oakland Athletic and the late Mitchell Page who passed away in 2011 in is sleep was the star player for the A’s in 1979 as the A’s were selling off players during that period (file photo Major League Baseball Hall of Fame)

2022 A’s Redux of 1979?

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

For longtime local Oakland A’s fans of age, it is impossible for this season not to go back to the memory of the 1979 season. In 1979 the team ended with a 54-108 record finishing seventh in the American League West Division.

The total home attendance after the regular season-81 games was 306,763 paying customers. There are many similarities at this time to the 2022 season with one-third of the season completed. Team owner Charlie Finley nearly sold the team to owners who would have moved them to New Orleans.

Finley had sold most of the team marquee players, Finley also fired most of his front office people and at one point there were six to eight people (at most) working in the front office.

However, Oakland got lucky when Finley sold the team to Walter Haas family (Levi Strauss Co) who kept them in Oakland and ushered a new era for the team, a winning culture ensued with league championships as well as three consecutive World Series, winning it all in 1989.

Roy Eisenhardt, Wally Haas, Andy Dolich, Sandy Alderson and all the people running the team had a great run, one of success, because they did things correctly, marketing the team to the community, developing a good product on the field. They made Oakland and their fans proud to be a major league city.

That new era of baseball under Walter Haas included the debut of Rickey Henderson, who would play for over two decades (with the A’s in four different stints) and also with other teams. But Rickey was always an Oakland A’s at heart, as he is currently enshrined in the Hall of Fame with the A’s uniform.

1979 was the night were only 250 fans showed up for a game at the Coliseum, to be exact April 17, 1979, when they played the Seattle Mariners. I remember 1979 well, when Stanley Burrell, a teenager would bring us coffee to the Spanish broadcast booth No.19.

He was one of those Finley “employees”; he then became famous when he changed his name to MC Hammer. His dream was to be a baseball player, but later scored his biggest hit U Can’t Touch This, a number one song as a hip-hop, pop and rap beat. Mr. Finley discovered Burrell listening to a radio “a boom box” at the Oakland Coliseum parking lot and brought him along.

As the team is now playing on the road, the A’s have played a total of 30 games at the Coliseum, with a record of 7 won and 23 lost (worst home record in MLB) their attendance is also the lowest, with a total of 248,501, an average of 8,283 per game, also lowest in baseball.

Just by numbers; the Oakland/Bay Area population is larger today than in 1979, so they should draw more than the 306,763 in 1979. But similarities remain remarkably from 2022 to 1979, 43 years later.

In 1980 Charlie O Finley agreed to see to local buyers Walter A. Haas, Jr, president of Levi Strauss & Co, a historic business born in San Francisco in 1853, where the blue jeans were born. In August 1980 the new owners paid Finley $12.7 million for the team, as the deal was finalized before the 1981 season.

The final story of the current Oakland A’s still to be decided on the field and votes by city representatives and baseball owners and planners, commissions, and so on. Although nobody can predict what will develop during the second half of this season. One thing is for sure, 2022 reminds us very much of 1979.

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

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: A’s open 2 game series in Atlanta tonight; NBA Finals game 3 sets up in Boston; plus more

Oakland A’s starter Cole Irvin (19) gets the start against the Atlanta Braves Kyle Wright at Truist Park in Atlanta on Tue Jun 7, 2022 to open up a two game series (AP file photo)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary:

#1 The Oakland A’s have an off day on Monday. They are on their way to face the defending World Series Champion Atlanta Braves for two games starting Tuesday night in Atlanta. The A’s hope to get back on the winning track against the Braves.

#2 The Oakland Coliseum has been a house of horrors for them this season. They are 7-23 at home. They were 1-9 on the homestand ending on Sunday. They lost their last six games, three to the Houston Astros and three to the Boston Red Sox. 

#3 Turning to the NBA Finals the Golden State Warriors who were down 0-1 to the visiting Boston Celtics were able to climb back into the series and even it up. It was a close first half 52-50 but the Warriors in the second half held the Celtics to just 14 points in the third quarter that made a huge difference in the win.

#4 The Boston Celtics during games 1 and 2 wanted to show unity by tee shirts supporting the release WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner who is being held in a Russian prison on drug charges when they accused Griner for having hashish oil in her suitcase at the Moscow Airport.

#5 There is no doubt and you saw him on the last homestand in Oakland that Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez who no doubt is like a reincarnated Willie McCovey type hitter who just got a six year extension worth $115 million on Monday. That’s $26 million a year and the largest contract for a DH. Alvarez is hitting .295, 51 hits, 16 home runs, and 34 RBIs.

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

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: A’s take on Red Sox at Coliseum for game 2; Reunion of 1972 World Champions Oakland A’s

Some of the 1972 Oakland A’s on the cover of Sports Illustrated who had a reunion at the Oakland Coliseum on Sat Jun 4, 2022 from top left to right Rollie Fingers, Joe Rudi, Vida Blue, center left to right Reggie Jackson, Charlie O Finley, Gene Tenace, bottom left to right Captain Sal Bando, Catfish Hunter, and Campy Campaneris (photo from Sports Illustrated cover 1972)

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

The Boston Red Sox and Oakland A’s match up for game two on Saturday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. The Red Sox will be going with starter Nick Pivetta (4-4 ERA 3.95) and for the Athletics Paul Blackburn (5-1 ERA 2.15).

The A’s drew their largest home crowd on Friday night for Fireworks night over 17,000 attended which brought out a whole lot of families. I noticed in the fourth and fifth innings there were not a lot of fans but by the sixth or seventh innings the seats started filling up and believe it or not most fans were here to watch just the fireworks.

Saturday afternoon was the reunion of the 1972 Oakland A’s the 50th reunion bringing back such big names Reggie Jackson, Campy Campaneris, Vida Blue, Joe Rudi’s son, Dick Green, Mike Epstein, Gene Tenace, Rollie Fingers, Darold Knowles, Tim Cullen, Charlie O Finley’s family representative, and many others.

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

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Who is the legitimate home run king?

Former Milwaukee Brewer the late Henry Aaron is still regarded as the home run king (left) stands next to Oakland A’s Spanish play by play announcer Amaury Pi Gonzalez (right) in this 1976 photo at the Oakland Coliseum (photo from Amaury Pi Gonzalez)

Who is the Legitimate Home-run King?

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

In the history of major league baseball, nobody ended a career with more Home runs than Barry Bonds (762) and nobody won more Most Valuable player awards than Barry Bonds, a total of seven. However, Barry Bonds can no longer be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the writers (BBWAA).

Players voted by the BBWAA are considered the very best and considered the most prestigious vote for Hall of Fame election. Bonds ended his 10-year run with 66 percent of the vote, short of the minimum 75 percent required. “Today’s Game Ballot” is a new committee for a way to vote a player into Cooperstown.

Under this system, Barry Bonds might have a shot this December, but the jury is still out. It comprises a group of ex-players in the Hall of Fame, executives, and veteran media members. It is very similar to the “Era Committee” once called the “Veterans Committee” which inducted players such as Orlando Cepeda, among others.

Barry Bonds will be considered with others that have fallen off the ballot, most recently, like Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGuire, the “usual suspects” during the steroids era.

In 2005, these (plus other players and baseball executives) had to appear in front of the House Committee on Government Reform in an 11-hour hearing in Washington, D.C. This House Committee was to pressure baseball to toughen its policy against steroids.

2002 was the last season for Barry Bonds, who played for 22 years in the major leagues and his failure to make it during the regular Baseball Writers of America ballot has created a feeling that he is a ‘persona non-Grata ‘ and tainted for life because of the accusations.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Bonds admitted receiving the “cream and clear” substances from his personal trainer during the 2003 baseball season, however, denied he knew they were steroids during his testimony on December 4, 2003, to a federal grand jury.

Henry (Hank) Aaron played for 23 years in the major leagues and ended with a total 755 home runs, second behind Barry Bonds, holds many of baseball records, and was elected to The Baseball Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 1982 by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Aaron received 97.8 % of the vote. Aaron holds MLB records for the most career runs batted in (RBIs) 2,297, extra base hits 1,477 and total bases with 6,856 and is one of only four players to have at least 17 seasons with 150 runs batted in. Also in the top five of other hitting departments.

On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715 career home run, breaking Babe Ruth’s legendary record of 714 homers, arguably one of the top moments in Major League Baseball.

During his last season in the majors (1976) I interviewed Hank Aaron as he came to Oakland with the Milwaukee Brewers, he was a gentleman and one of the greatest players ever, very humble and very measured when he spoke. Truly an American icon.

Hank Aaron had an unblemished and distinguished career, born in the south had to face racism since he was a boy in Mobile, Alabama all the way to the big leagues, and to this day many across the country still consider Hank Aaron the legitimate Home run King.

This year at the July 24 Induction Ceremony in Cooperstown the BBWAA electee David Ortíz will join Golden Era Committee electees Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Orestes (Minnie) Miñoso and Tony Oliva. Plus early Baseball Era Committee electees Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neill.

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