Jays turn hats inside out rally for five runs in 8th for 9-4 win over A’s

The Toronto Blue Jays Teoscar Hernandez connects for an RBI single in the first inning against Oakland A’s starter Chris Bassitt at the Oakland Coliseum on Wed May 5, 2021 (AP News photo)

Toronto 9 -10 – 0

Oakland 4 – 7 – 0

By Lewis Rubman

May 5, 2021

OAKLAND–This morning, the Blue Jays announced that on June 1 they will fly away home. The A’s opponents du jour, who have been playing their home games in their spring training facilities in Dundin, FL, will not be returning all the way to Canada but to neighboring Buffalo.

The upgrade of Salhen Field, the home park of their Triple AAA affiliate in upstate New York, is expected to have been completed by then. Ironically, the first team to visit the Jays in their northern home away from home will be the Miami Marlins. Just before game time, Toronto also announced that they had put George Springer on the IL and promoted Jonathan Davis.

The A’s also announced a move, one on a much lower scale. Aramis García, the catcher acquired along with Elvis Andrus in the Khris Davis deal, has been placed on the Injured List with viral enteritis. He was replaced by fellow backstop Austin Allen, who had been on the taxi squad and batted ninth tonight and catching.

He threw out Randal Grichuk trying to steal second in the top of the sixth, ending the inning. He ended the top of the seventh as well, this time with a nifty 2-3 put out of Joe Panik on a dribbler in front of the plate.

Seven year veteran Robbie Ray (1-1, 2.78) started for the Blue Jays. His best pitch is his fastball, which has been averaging 95 mph this season. Reasonably enough, it’s his most frequent offering, followed, in descending order, by the slider, curve, and occasional change up.

Although at game time he owned a mediocre lifetime record of 50-52, 4.22, he was tied for third place among pitchers with more than 100 innings of MLB experience for strike outs per nine innings at 11.03. Tonight was the first time he faced the A’s.

Oakland entrusted its fortunes to Chris Bassitt (2-2, 3.93). Those figures in parenthesis aren’t reassuring, but behind them are reasons to give the Athletics and their fans some confidence. Bassitt’s two loses were in his first two starts, against the Astros and Dodgers, in that order.

After his second defeat, his record stood at 0-2, 5.56 with an opponents’ batting average of .289. Between then and game time, it was 2-0, 3.13, and .221. He was 0-1, 5.25 lifetime in his meager two starts against Toronto. He pitched tonight on five days’ rest.

Toronto jumped all over him in the first inning, but the damage they inflicted on Oakland wasn’t insurmountable. That would come later.

After Marcus Semien went down swinging to open the game, Bo Bichette rapped a single to left and moved on to second when Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., sent a line drive up the middle into center for another base hit. Teoscar Hernández banged a single to right, driving Bichette across home for Toronto’s first tally. Guerrero scored their second on Randal Grichuk’s single to center. Then Bassitt settled down to get the two outs he needed to get out of the inning.

Ramón Laureano reduced the gap by blasting one of Ray’s 95 mph fast balls an estimated 395 feet, leaving the park over the State Farm sign in right center, with one out in the home first. That made it seven home runs and 15 RBI for the A’s centerfielder.

Matt Chapman, who seems well on the way to putting his hitting woes behind him, closed the gap completely in the bottom of the fourth. His 396 foot smash to left came on an 87 mph slider Ray threw on a 1-2 count . The brought his totals to five dingers and fourteen runs driven in. Not bad for a guy who’d just crawled over the Mendoza line.

The A’s pulled ahead in their half of the sixth. Laureano doubled to deep left center to lead off. He moved up 90 feet on Olson’s ground out to short into the shift and scored on DH Sean Murphy’s pop fly single to center over a drawn in infield. Jed Lowrie’s fly that Grichuk corralled at the right center wall looked like it might widen the margin, but, of course, it didn’t.

That was the last out that Ray would record. In his six innings on the mound, he threw 95 pitches, 68 for strikes. The three runs he yielded were earned and came on six hits, two of which went the distance. He didn’t walk anybody and, running true to form, struck out nine.. Jordan Romano, his replacement, amused the crowd with his habit of squatting between each pitch, but still managed to set down the bottom of the Athletics’ order in order.

Bob Melvin also called on a reliever, Lou Trivino, to open the next inning. Bassitt left after throwing 90 pitches (63 strikes) over seven innings. The two earned runs he allowed in the first were the only ones scord against hm. Four of the six hits gave up also came in the initial frame. Like Ray, he gave up no free transportation. He struck out seven Blue Jays.

Lou Trivino, however, wasn’t as effective and Romano. He walked the number nine hitter, McGwire, who promptly was replaced by the newly arrived pinch runner Jonathan Davis, and the wheels came off. Semien singled Davis to second.

Bichette forced Semien out at second but beat Andrus’s relay to first, putting runners on the corners with one out. Trivino unleached a wild pitch to Guerrero, allowing Davis to score the tying run and Bichette to take second. He then stole third.

Trivino gave an intentional pass to Junior. Hernández singled to left, scoring Bichette and moving Junior to second. Grichuk´s single to left plated Guerrero and moved Hernández to third and Trivino to the showers. Adam Kolarek, now pitching, fielded Biggio’s bunt to the mound and threw late to home. Credit Biggio with a sacrifice and an RBI, and charge another run to Trivino.

Kolarek heaved a wild pitch that moved both runners up a base. Gurriel grounded out to Andrus, Grichuk scored, and Biggio moved to third. Santiago Espinal, hitting for Reese McGuir lined out to Laureano to end the inning. Toronto now led 7-3.

With David Phelps pitching in the bottom of the eighth, the A’s managed to sneak a little closer on a walk to Olson and an RBI double by Murphy.

Toronto punished that meek uprising with a two run double by Guerrero in the top of the ninth that ended the scoring for both teams, leaving the A’s looking up at a 9-4 defeat.

The responsiblity for Oakland’s loss can be hinted at by the numbers of their relief pitchers.

Pitcher. IP. H. R. ER. BB. K PC (strikes)

Trivino. 1/3. 3. 5. 5. 2. 0. 19 (9) Kolarek. 2/3. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 9 (7) Weems. 1. 1. 2. 2. 2. 1. 27 (13)

WP: Trivino, Kolarek

Toronto used a total of five moundsmen, Ray, Romano, Phelps, Tyler Chatwood, and Ryan Borucki. Romano got the win. The loss, and concommitant blown save, went to Lou Trivino, who now is 1-1, 4:15.

Tomorrow afternoon’s game is scheduled for 12:37. Hyun Jin Ryu (1-2, 2.60) will start for the Jays and Mike Fiers (0-1, 4.50) will toe the rubber for the Athletics.

Irvin’s pitching and A’s four runs in second hold up 4-1 win over Jays

Oakland A’s starter Cole Irvin throws against the Toronto Blue Jays line up at the Oakland Coliseum on Tue May 4, 2021 (@Athletics photo)

Toronto 1 – 3 – 0

Oakland 4 – 6- 0

By Lewis Rubman

May 4, 2021

OAKLAND–As the daytime weather begins to warm up (never mind the chilly nights), Bay Area baseball is beginning to seem real. So it might be a good time to take a glimpse, however cursory, at the standings, just to get an idea of what the A’s position is at the moment, no matter how fleeting that moment may be.

This morning, the Athletics, in spite of their recent stumbles in Baltimore and St. Petersburg, stood at the top of the AL West, two games ahead of Houston and Seattle, who were locked in a virtual tie for second. Oakland’s starting pitcher for tonight, lefty Cole Irvin, has been an important element in getting the team past its early season debacle (to which he also contributed) and achieving its current, very tentative, hold on the league lead. He entered the game with an over all mark of 2-3, 3.67, but had been 2-1, 1.56 over his last three appearances.

Anthony Kay, Irvin’s opposite number for Toronto, who entered the day trailing the Red Sox by two games in the AL East, brought an 0-1,10.80 record into the game. He features a four seam fast ball, change up, and curve. He’s been known to have thrown in an occasional slider or cutter just often enough to keep batters uncertain about his intentions.

Kay was the Mets’ first round draft pick in 2016. He sat out the 2016 and ‘17 seasons recovering from Tommy Johnson surgery, pitched in the minors in 2018 and ‘19 and was traded with Simeon Woods Richardson to Toronto in July of the latter year for Marcus Stroman and cash considerations. He made his major league debut a little less than two months later.

The clubs traded zeroes for an inning and a half, and then the A’s bats came alive. Sean Murphy beat out a broken bat roller to second to open the frame. Matt Chapman followed with a liner up the middle to put runners on first and second.

Jed Lowrie went to the opposite field and planted a two run double in the right field corner. His sojourn at second was a short one. Mitch Moreland ddrove a 94 mph four seamer that Kay offered on a 2-1 count 345 feet into the left field seats, his fourth round tripper of the season. Just like that, Oakland was up, 4-0. That was the only frame in which an Oakland A would cross the plate.

Kay stayed in the game through the end of the fourth without allowing another hit, although he did hit one batter and walk a couple more. All four of the runs he gave up were earned, and 41 of his 71 offerings were strikes. His total for hits allowed was four, and that was how many strikeouts he notched up.

His performance actually lowered his ERA to 9.82. He suffered the loss, his second in as many outings. Right hander Trent Thorton took his place on the rubber for the Jays and pitched effectively, striking out three and holding Oakland to one hit and a walk until Ty Tice relieved him with two out in the bottom of the seventh. He, too, closed the door on the A’s.

Marcus Semien put the visitors on the board with a 3-2 two out double with two down in the top of the sixth. His hard liner to the base of the left center field wall plated Santiago Espinal, whose single two batters earlier was only the second safety Toronto had managed to hit all evening.

102 pitches (71 strikes) over eight innings were enough to ensure Irvin’s third victory of the season, He yielded only one (earned) run on three hits and a walk. Yusmeiro Petit earned his first save since 2017 by retiring the top of the Blue Jays line up in order in the ninth.

Tomorrow, the A’s opponents’ starting pitcher will be, for the fifth straight game, a southpaw, when Robbie Ray (1-1, 2.78) takes the mound against Chris Bassitt (2-2, 3.93) at 6:40. That will be followed by a 12:37 day game to close out the Toronto series before the pesky Tampa Bay Rays open a three game set at the Coliseum.

A’s edge Blue Jays 5-4; Laureano homers again; Jay’s Semien makes first appearance at Coliseum

Oakland A’s left fielder and later second baseman Tony Kemp seen during batting practice at the Oakland Coliseum contributed with a run scored and a walk on Mon May 3, 2021 against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays (@Athletics photo)

Toronto 4 – 9 – 0

Oakland 5 – 9 – 0

By Lewis Rubman

May 3, 2021

OAKLAND–On Sunday, the A’s announced that they had put Jesús Luzardo on the Injured List for a fracture of the little finger on his pitching hand and recalled Adam Kolarek from their alternate site. Luzardo’s record was a disappointing 1-3, 5.79 over 28 innings, with 30 strikeouts and 12 walks. He had three no decisions, and opposing batters hit a shudder inducing .289 against him. How did the A’s promising and struggling youngster injure his hand? Apparently, he bumped his pinkie against the desk at which he was sitting while playing a video game before his last, disastrous outing.

Oakland also placed J.B. Wendelken on the IL. The cause was a strained left oblique muscle; they chose Jordan Weems to take his spot on the roster. Wendelken was leading the league in pitching appearances with 15 at the time of the move. Although he was 0-0, 4.38, with an and an opponents’ batting average of .283, his season’s statistics are misleading. Over his first 13 games, his ERA had been 2.61, and opposing batters had hit for only .220 against him, which makes it likely that his bloated numbers were the result of the injury.

Luzardo’s self-inflicted injury was unusual, but the A’s in recent years haven’t been strangers to injuries, including serious ones that have hurt the team. A quick glance at their Injured Lists over the last few years shows, among others, Khris Davis, who never recovered from running into a wall while playing left field in an interleague game; A.J. Puk, who, along with Luzardo, has for the past few years been seen as a future ace; Chad Pinder, a top notch utility man who still is recovering from a strained right knee; and Matt Chapman, who recently began to overcome the damage caused by a torn hip labrum and his attempts to play through the pain it caused him.

Not to mention Matt Olson, whose black eye didn’t put him on the IL, but did keep him out of action until his marvelous return yesterday, when he went three for five, including a double and a homer and bringing his OPS to 1.003.

Frankie Montás, who started for Oakland, has experienced the consequences of self-destructive, or at least careless, behavior. Last year, he spent June 21 through September 24 on the restricted list for violations of MLB’s drug protocol.

Luzardo is only 23 years old. He’s young. Montás is 28, still young but old enough to be entering his prime. His opponent on the mound for Toronto, Steve Matz, is just one year older and already is a seasoned, if not a particularly accomplished veteran.

He has a more responsible off field record than Luzardo or Montás, but that hasn’t prevented him from suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. A second round pick in the 2009 draft, he was unable to pitch the following two seasons, thanks to Tommy John surgery, and he’s been on the disabled or injured lists seven times with different types of arm trouble since the beginning of his professional career in 2012.. He pitched for the Mets from 2015 through the end of last season, during which time his ERA was below 4.00 only twice, 2.27 over 36-2/3 innings in ’15 and 3.97 during his 5-11 2018 season.

Last year he went 0-5, 9.68 in 30-2 /3 innings of arduous labor. The Mets thought enough of him in 2015 to have him start one game each of the NLDS, NLCS, and World Series in his rookie year. He performed well in two of the three starts (the Championship and World Series), but didn’t last more than five innings in any of them. He was the Mets’ choice for the Roberto Clemente Award three times, most recently last year. He came to the Jays this past January in exchange for three right handed pitchers, Yennsy Díaz, Sean Reid-Foley, and Josh Winckowski.

Tonight’s contest afforded us a chance to see the resurgent Matts try to put Matz to the mat (and vice versa). That is, with a little help from their friends.

Those friends of Matz included a couple of Bay Area favorites. Marcus Semien played … second base, and Joe Panik played … third. (The former A’s short stop received a warm ovation when he first came to the plate). Playing out of position, the two infielders are a microcosm of the Toronto team, which played its 2020 h0me games in Buffalo and this year will play them, at least through late this month, in their spring training facility in Dundin, FL.

It was Matt Chapman who first reached scoring position for either team. He took a 2-2 sinker from Matz in the bottom of the second frame and drove it on a line into the left field corner for a double. Moments later he scored on Jed Lowries’ double off the fence in right field, just to the right of the Southwest Airlines purple advertisement. Stephen Piscotty, up next, made it 3-0 with his third home run of the season, a 391 foot blast to left on an 85 mph change up.

The A’s advantage was short lived. Lourdes Gurriel, Jr., led off the third with a single to left and was forced out at second on a ground ball by Danny Jensen that, if Lowrie hadn’t bobbled it, would have resulted in a double play. In short order, BoBiggio singled to left, moving Jansen up a base; Vlad Guerrero, Jr., singled to right, loading the bases because Jansen held up at third when Piscotty unleased a strong throw home; and Teoscar Hernández doubled to left, driving in Biggio and Bichette. Montás retired Randal Grichuk and his old teammate Semien to escape further damage.

Oakland almost took back the lead in the fourth. With Lowrie on first and one out, Piscotty hit a drive that landed at the base of the right field wall. Lowrie motored to third, but Piscotty was cut down at second on a beautiful throw by Biggio to Bichette. Then Elvis Andrus hit a nubber in front of the plate, and catcher Jansen’s throw to first hit him in the back. But home plate umpire Bill Miller ruled that Andrus had been running out of the lane and called him out to end the inning.

The Athletics were not to be denied in the fifth. Tony Kemp began it with a walk and advanced to second on Canha’s grounder to third. Then Laureano, like Piscotty before him, took a mid-80s change up deep, driving this one 432 feet to left center and putting Oakland up, 5-3.

That was the last inning that Matz would pitch. In his six innings of toil, he surrended five runs, all of them earned. He gave up seven hits, including four round trippers, and a walk as well as hitting one batter. He threw 92 pitches, 62 for strikes. His succesor in the sixth was Travis Bergen.

After Bergen had retired the A’s in the sixth, Sergio Romo relieved Montás, who, with three runs in six innings had achieved what is considered a quality start. Those three talllies, all earned, had come on seven hits and a walk. 62 of his 88 pitches were counted as strkes. His replacement, Sergio Ramos, set the Jays down. 1,2,3, with two strike outs.

Toronto used their third straight southpaw hurler when they brought Tim Mayza to face Matt Olson with Laureano on first and two down in the bottom of the seventh.

Lou Trivino was Bob Melvin’s choice to face the Blue Jays in the eighth. Guerrero greeted him rudely with a lead off double to right. One strike out later, Grichuk moved him to third on a broken bat single to right. Then, on a 2-2 count to Semien, Trivino uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Guerrero to score and Grichuk to get to second.

All of a sudden, it was a one run game with a dangerous batter at the plate and a runner in scoring position. But Trivino got Semien to swing and miss on a 96 mph four seam fast ball for the second out, and Panik flew out to center, which preserved the home team’s razor thin margin.

Jake Diekman was called on to continue preserving it in the ninth. He did, earning his third save in as many opportunities.

Montás was the winning pitcher. He’s now 3-2, 5.87. Matz was tagged with the loss. His record stands at 4-2, 4.78)

Tomorrow’s 6:40 game will feature Cole Irvin (2-3, 3.67) pitching for Oakland and Anthony Kay (0-1,10.80) on the mound for Toronto,

Oakland A’s podcast with Barbara Mason: From big 13 game ride to 5 game out of 8 loss slide

The Oakland A’s (17-11) Matt Chapman takes a run in this Feb 22, 2021 photo in Spring Training at Mesa AZ photo has improved his hitting from .152 and now has improved his hitting to .194 (AP News file photo)

#1 Barbara since the A’s snapped their amazing 13 game winning streak on Sun Apr 25 the team has lost five of their last seven games.

#2 The A’s just aren’t getting the hitting and they really need Matt Chapman’s bat right now his average has improved from hitting .152 now hitting .194.

#3 The A’s certainly are glad their series with the Baltimore is over the Orioles who ended the A’s 13 game winning streak have lost three of their last six games with the Orioles.

#4 On Saturday the A’s pitching struggled Jesus Luzardo is trying get on track he got shelled for five runs in three innings of work and they really need Luzardo to get some wins.

#5 The Toronto Blue Jays (14-12) second place in the American League East and have won six of their last ten games. The A’s and Jays will meet for a four game series starting Monday night. Starting pitcher for the Jays and A’s have not been announced.

Join Barbara for the A’s podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Rangers announce capacity for opening day; What are the risks?

Opening day in Texas as the Texas Rangers line up on the foul lines at Globe Life Field in Arlington TX on July 24, 2020. The Rangers expect a full house for Opening Day Apr 5, 2021 but mask wearing enforced. (AP News file photo)

Texas Rangers Announce Capacity for Opening Day

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

The Texas Rangers are the first team to announce that Globe Life Field will be open for the full capacity when they play their first game of the 2021 season at home against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 5.

Although every seat will be available for 40,518 fans, fans will be required to wear masks. Also, they will be required to maintain social distancing while they enter and exit the stadium as well as standing in line at concession stands.

This includes their two final exhibition games as well. For this Opening Day in Texas the team announced that they are going to sell tickets in “pods”.

Therefore, the Texas Rangers are the first professional team to open to a full capacity since the beginning of the Covid-10 pandemic. The front office also announced they are working with Major League Baseball on other protocols regarding player health and their safety.

With populations of approximately 30 million, Texas is the second most populous State in the country behind California.

The Oakland Athletics announce they are planning for a limited capacity at 20 percent to start of their season opener April 1 at the Oakland Coliseum vs. the Houston Astros, while the San Francisco Giants will soon announce their plans for fans allowed. The San Francisco Giants open season on the road and their home opener will take place on April 9 vs. the Colorado Rockies.

Stay well and stay tuned.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for his weekly podcast of That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com


Marcus Semien says adios to the A’s; Signs one yr $18M deal with Jays

Oakland A’s shortstop Marcus Semien signed a one year deal worth $18 million with the Toronto Blue Jays leaving the A’s after six years on Tue Jan 26, 2021. Ironically Semien will not play in the city of Toronto proper as all Blue Jays home games will be played in Florida (USA Today file photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s brain trust now has the unenviable task of replacing star shortstop Marcus Semien. Semien, who had been with the A’s for six years, signed a one-year deal worth $18 million with the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday.

Semien was the third player the A’s have lost to free agency this season. The A’s lost one of the best closers in all of baseball, Liam Hendriks, to the Chicago White Sox. Robby Grossman, who was in left field, headed to Detroit.

Semien’s departure continues a pattern that has haunted the A’s for many, many years. Because of financial considerations, the A’s cannot afford to pay players that have become stars. A’s president, Billy Beane, and General Manager David Forst have become adept at finding value in players discarded by other teams or finding and developing prospects from their farm system.

The A’s traded for Semien after the 2014 season. They sent pitcher Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox for Semien. Semien was a second baseman there. The A’s wanted him to move to shortstop. His first season at that position did not go well.

He made both fielding and throwing errors. The following season the A’s hired Ron Washington as a consultant to work with him. Washington had been a coach with the A’s and was credited with helping Eric Chavez win six Gold Gloves.

Washington and Semien worked for hours pre-game on his fielding and throwing. Fans could see Semien improve daily. Semien had other skills that helped the A’s win. He could hit and hit with power.

Semien was fleet of foot. The A’s missed the playoffs in 2016 and 2017. They made them in 2018, 2019, and 2020. The A’s were hoping to make it to the World Series this year. Their last appearance in the Fall Classic was in 1990.

Since then, the A’s failed to advance out of the first round with two exceptions. They advanced to the AL Championship round in 2006. The Detroit Tigers sent them home. They made it past the Wildcard round beating the Chicago White Sox. The Houston Astros beat them to advance to the AL Championship round in 2020.

Semien’s best year with the A’s was in 2019. He hit .285 with 33 homers and 93 RBIs. He finished third in the voting for Most Valuable Player.

A’s fans will be sorry to see him leave. They will wish Semien well in Toronto. Hopefully, the A’s will find capable replacements. The fans are hungry for a Championship team. It’s been a long drought.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Homeless in Toronto

For a second season in a row the Toronto Blue Jays have been denied being able to play at Rogers Centre in Toronto due to Coronvirus 19 protocols. The Jays will being their home games in Florida for the 2021 season.

Homeless in Toronto

That’s Amaury News and Commentary-

By Amaury Pi-González

The Toronto Blue Jays recently signed one of the most coveted free-agents in the market, center-fielder George Springer a 6-year $150 million deal to come and play north of the border.

Unfortunately, Blue Jays fans might not see the ex Houston Astros All Star plays in Toronto this season. Canada’s covid-19 protocol requires all incoming international travelers to quarantine for 14 days, upon their arrival. Like last season, teams going to Toronto might be banned again from entering the country.

Rogers Centre the home of the Toronto Blue Jays will probably be empty during this whole summer, again. The only MLB team in Canada continues to be homeless. So, where are they Blue Jays going to play?

Spring Training is expected to open their camps middle of next month, with pitchers and catchers reporting first. The Toronto Blue Jays who train in Dunedin, Florida, might have to play all their regular season homes games at that facility.

They are not going to play their home games like they did in 2020 at the park of their AAA affiliate in Buffalo. Why? The Minor Leagues are expected to resume play this year and the Blue Jays Triple A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons will be playing at Sahlen Field (16,600) so that field will not be available.

The Blue Jays are working on a plan to play all their 81 home games at their Spring Training facility, TD Ballpark at Dunedin, Florida, capacity 8,500. Regardless of how many games are played in MLB this 2021 season, the Toronto Blue Jays will not play again in Buffalo and their hope is then to play in Dunedin, Florida. Or there might be another alternative, unknown as of today. A bubble someplace?

According to reports, Commissioner Rob Manfred is planning for a full 162-game season; others believe that beginning the season in mid-May may be more practical, as the nation has moved from testing to vaccination.

To be truly free of this virus, the country must reach Herd immunity. This only occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune. Seems logical, but this country is over 300 million people, and to reach Herd immunity is not easy.

Vaccination problems. Canada is experiences their own vaccination problems. California, the most populous State in the country today has serious problems with vaccination. The LA Times reported that vaccine shortage could mean in Los Angeles covid shots last until 2022, also California is critically low on covid-19 vaccines and vaccinating 65 and older may last until this June.

The State of California is the worse, #50 and last in vaccinating in the country. California’s population of 39 million people (2020 Census pending) is larger than the whole country of Canada with 37 million. Amazing, considering that Canada is the second largest country in the world by territory, larger than the US.

California leads the way when it comes to teams, we have cinco; Athletics, Angels, Dodgers, Giants and Padres. The 2021 season is complicated; most owners do not want to play again in empty stadiums. Do you blame them?

If you owned a restaurant, would you open it if you do not have any customers? The only certainty so far, is that there are a lot of moving parts on how the season is going to unfold. We are in a new year, but this is not a new problem, like a good friend of mine used to tell me, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”.

Stay tuned and stay well.

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

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 (ballparksofbaseball.com 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 http://www.sportsradioservice.com


MLB The Show podcast with Matt Harrington: A’s split two from the Tigers and continue to carry in the AL Wild Card

Photo credit: @Athletics

On the MLB podcast with Matt:

#1 The Oakland A’s made easy work of the Detroit Tigers on Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum in a make game from a rain out from May 29th the A’s played visiting team in Oakland and picked up the game from where it was left off in the seventh inning Chad Pinder in the top of the ninth hit a two run home to help the A’s cap a 7-3 winner.

#2 In the regular game, the A’s got four runs on the board against the Tigers starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull in the bottom of the second inning and there was no looking back from that point as the A’s carried the win improving their wild card record to just a 1/2 game back of the Tampa Bay Rays.

#3 Speaking of the Rays Tampa Bay got a 5-0 shutout over the struggling Toronto Blue Jays. The win helps the Rays hold a 1/2 lead over the A’s in the AL wild card. The Rays have won seven of their last 10 games and are in second in the AL East.

#4 Former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer and current Orioles TV analyst was diagnosed with shingles in his spinal column. Palmer did not work Friday night’s game. Palmer said that team doctors have told him to get an MRI, which he plans to do. Palmer is the only surviving starter from the 1971 Baltimore Orioles starting staff, of Dave McNally, Pat Dobson, and Mike Cuellar.

#5 The Boston Red Sox got a win over the New York Yankees 6-1 on Friday night at Fenway Park. It doesn’t lessen the Yankees’ position in the standings, but it was an important win for the Sox anytime they could beat their rival and show a fighting spirit in what’s left in the final weeks of the season. The Sox will take it.

Matt Harrington does the MLB The Show podcast each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.


Headline Sports podcast with Barbara Mason: Big Papi is happy to see his family in the DR again; Rays need Sogard’s bat to get into the wild card race; plus more

Photo credit: @Complex

On Headline Sports with Barbara Mason:

#1 Former Boston Red Sox David Ortiz is back home in the Dominican Republic after suffering a near assassination attempt. He said he’s glad to see his family again and is looking forward to eating his favorite foods again.

#2 Former Oakland A’s infielder Eric Sogard was with the Toronto Blue Jays this season and now joins the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays were looking to boost their lineup. Sogard is hitting .300 this season.

#3 The Oakland A’s continue to battle in the AL Wild Card race they got a walkoff walk on Sunday when A’s hitter Khris Davis walked to force a runner in from third base with the base loaded for a 7-6 win over the visiting Texas Rangers.

#4 San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will start throwing against the scrimmage defense with pads on and head coach Kyle Shanahan will get an idea how everything should look as far as blocking is concerned.

#5 Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Antonio Brown are all set to throw and catch and make it happen in camp as they prepare for their first preseason game on Saturday Aug 10th at the Oakland Coliseum against the Los Angeles Rams.

Barbara does the Headline podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com