MLB podcast with Daniel Dullum: SF CEO Baer returns after domestic abuse suspension; Yanks-Sox slugfest in London; plus more

President and CEO Larry Baer will reportedly wield less power upon his July 2 return from suspension. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

On the MLB podcast with Daniel:

1 Larry Baer will return as Giants president/CEO but with less power

2 Yankees, Red Sox light up scoreboard in London

3 Benches clear after Cincinnati Reds Yasiel Puig hit by pitch; reliever calls him ‘stupid as f–k’

4 Fernando Rodney ties obscure save record

5 Mets apologize for putting two living players in memorial montage of 1969 Mets

Daniel Dullum does the MLB podcasts each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

MLB The Show podcast with Matt Harrington: Can Yanks open up the lead in the Wild Card?; If not, A’s can help it; Tribe, Red Sox set for postseason; Puig’s home gets burglarized again

Photo credit: @TheRitaGarcia

On the MLB The Show podcast with Matt:

#1 The New York Yankees are sitting on the top of the AL Wild Card standings by 1 1/2 games. They host the struggling Baltimore Orioles and can capitalize if they can win at least two out three.

#2 The A’s open a three-game set Friday versus the Minnesota Twins at the Oakland Coliseum. The A’s are in second in the AL Wild Card race and will have to win almost all their remaining games to catch the Yankees. Even at 1 1/2, the Yankees keep pulling away each time the A’s start to get close.

#3 The Houston Astros are closing in to clinch the American League West title. The Astros have a 3 1/2 game lead. The Astros are projected to win 102 at the pace they’re going.

#4 Teams that have already clinched? The Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox. Of these two teams, Matt tells us who will go the deepest in the playoffs.

#5 Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig’s home in Encino, Calif. was burglarized for the fourth time. This time the thieves made off with $170,000 in jewelry. Puig was on the field when the theft went down.

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

Giants rookie Dereck Rodriguez to miss Friday’s start against the Reds

Photo credit: @McCoveyChron

By Jeremy Harness

The little brouhaha between Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and Giants catcher Nick Hundley claimed a casualty. And the Giants will feel that starting Friday night.

That’s because starter Dereck Rodriguez expected to take the mound in Friday’s series opener against the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ball Park, but he was hurt in Tuesday’s skirmish, as he strained his right hamstring. As a result, he will miss at least this start, and he was also placed on the 10-day disabled list.

In the meantime, righty Casey Kelly (0-1, 1.42 ERA) will start in Rodriguez’s spot, as he will go opposite Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (6-3, 4.46 ERA). DeSclafani has been on a roll lately, winning his past two starts and going seven innings each time.

He shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 3-0 win last Friday, as he gave up only three hits as he struck out nine guys and did not walk a single batter. Six days before that, he surrendered only a run on six hits in a 7-1 win over Washington.

The Giants will bring out Madison Bumgarner (4-4, 2.71 ERA) on Saturday against the Reds’ Matt Harvey (5-7).

Bumgarner has started to hit his stride these days, as he has given up a total of three runs over his last three starts. However, he has only one win out of those three to show for it, as he was stuck with a pair of no-decision in each of his past two starts.

Harvey (5-7, 5.19 ERA), on the other hand, has gone the other way, going 0-2 in his last four decisions, although he did go seven strong last Saturday and gave up only two runs in a win over Arizona. He, however, was stuck with a no-decision.

A Pitcher in the Home Run Derby? Why Madison Bumgarner Should Have Been Considered

By Matthew Harrington

Monday night, the annual tradition of launching baseballs into the atmosphere like NASA satellites will commence once again, as the MLB’s greatest current sluggers converge at Target Field in Minnesota for the 2014 Home Run Derby, a rocket launch to the 2014 All-Star Game Festivities in the Twin Cities.

Sure, Jose Bautista, Giancarlo Stanton and Yoenis Cespedes are going to put on a show, launch tape measure bombs and make Chris Berman yell “Back, back, back!” more times than a construction foreman guiding a reversing dump truck. Absolutely the field is filled with deserving candidates worthy of the honor to compete for the superfluous, superlative title of home run champion. The only problem is, National League captain missed a great opportunity to invite an unexpected participant; San Francisco Giants 2014 All-Star Madison Bumgarner.

With Bumgarner having pitched in Sunday’s first-half finale, he won’t be available to perform his duties in the Mid-Summer Classic Tuesday night, he’ll instead be replaced by teammate Tim Hudson. It’d certainly free him up for Monday Night’s fireworks display though, and here’s why he should be included.

Consider this blind sample:

Batter A – 13.33 at-bats per home run
Batter B – 16.81 at-bats per home run
Batter C – 27.46 at-bats per home run
Batter D – 14.76 at-bats per home run
Batter E – 19.05 at-bats per home run
Batter F – 28.58 at-bats per home run

The figures for batters B though F are this year’s National League Entrants in the home run derby Giancarlo Stanton, Justin Morneau, Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Frazier and Yasiel Puig in that order. Subject A, the leader in long ball frequency amongst the above sample group, is Bumgarner. Over 40 at-bats this season, he has exited the park three times.

There are no doubts that Tulowitzki, NL leader in home runs (21, tied with Stanton) selected an entertaining senior circuit squad. Justin Morneau represents the veteran savvy, having won the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium after hitting four balls out of AT&T Park in the previous iteration. While other players were still adjusting to another season on April fourth, Stanton already showed his penchant for the tape-measure poke, launching the longest NL home run of the season an astounding 484 feet. Puig brings the flair, ranking fourth in the Majors in average distance per homer (417.3 feet) while Frazier brings the backstory. Tulowitzki selected Frazier based off a leadoff home run the Reds third basemen hit…for New Jersey in the Little League World Series. Surely, the Colorado shortstop couldn’t be accused of not bringing the best to Minneapolis.

That being said, Despite playing in the very homer-unfriendly AT&T Park (ranked 6th in the NL in home runs hit this season), Bumgarner has excelled at the big fly at home in 2014. Following Sunday’s grand slam, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a 387-footer off starter Matt Stites, the Giants All-star collected all three of his first-half dinger on the banks of McCovey Cove this season. None came cheap, with the average distance for MadBum blasts measuring in at 402 feet. That matches or is better than Morneau (402), Frazier (398.6) and Tulowitzki (398.4). Sure, it’s a small sample size, but it’s an impressive one no less, and one that started the train of though to invite the lefty-throwing, righty-hitting starter.

If a small statistical pool is troublesome, let’s shed some light on what Bumgarner has done with the bat in comparison to some of his teammates. The Hickory, NC native currently sits in seventh place amongst Giants hitters in offensive wins above replacement, ranking above Brandon Belt, Tyler Colvin and Brandon Hicks as well as five other position players with more at-bats than Bumgarner. In only 1/5th the numbers of opportunities of many of his teammates, Bumgarner and his .275 batting average and 12 runs batted in have proven he’s no slouch with the stick. Throw in that he’s pitched brilliantly, going 10-7 with a 3.47 earned run average and 127 punchouts over 128 innings.

While selecting a pitcher in the home run derby sounds outlandish in theory, in practice it would create quite a buzz for the event. No pitcher has ever participated in the event, a far more significant first than the change in format implemented this year. A move to segregated league brackets that will culminate in an AL bracket-winner vs NL bracket-winner final sounds mildly interesting for the sake of it being something new, but it still represents the same old Derby concept of mashers pummeling baseballs ad nauseum till someone emerges a victor.

Inserting a starting pitcher as a combatant into the fray would draw buzz. Fans would tune in, if not to watch with intrigue of what the seldom offensively-gifted could do, at least for the train wreck aspect. The fun of watching the Derby for some isn’t the amount of success the participants have, but rather the lack there of. Who didn’t have a laugh when Robinson Cano couldn’t clear the fence even once amidst a rousing round of jeers from those in attendance at Kauffman Stadium in the summer of 2012?

There are plenty of hurdles to even considering a pitcher for the annual laser show. First and foremost is the production from the position. Bumgarner is one of only seven NL pitchers with a homerun, and only Chicago’s Travis Wood has multiple jacks to join Madison. Bumgarner is also the only hurler with more than 10 RBIs this season meaning there’s a severe lack of offensive output league-wide from the NL’s ninth spot in the order. So forgive Tulo or any other future captain for not tabbing a starter to the team.

Dim positional offensive positivity aside, imagine the resistance a general manager and manager would offer. It’s hard enough to convince star hitters to take part for fear of ruining their swing for the second half. Now picture the long list of pitchers who have injured themselves over the years taken hacks at the plate. No front office would want to see their pitcher, whom they have invested millions of dollars in, injured in a meaningless exhibition for a skillset none to prevalent at the position with no consequence other than a hollow title.

But the All-star game isn’t about managers, or GMs, or the players to some degree. It’s about the fans, rewarding them with a chance to watch the best of the best, to dream about what an All-World outfield of Mike Trout, Bautista and Adam Jones. It’s about seeing the never-before-seen, the never-to-be-seen-again. Hopefully, one day, it’ll be about seeing a starting pitcher take his long ball hacks with the best of them in the Home Run Derby.

Dodgers already favorites to win 2014 World Series

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

 The World Series still fresh in our minds, yet the betting books in Las Vegas have made the Los Angeles Dodgers, the favorites to win the 2014 World Series. They are counting on a much “settled” young Yasiel Puig, and a healthy Matt Kemp, with still the best one-two pitching punch in the majors, with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.

 The Dodgers are tops at 5 to 1 to win the 110th World Series. But the Dodgers might need to acquire some help for that mediocre bullpen, during this off season. We all know, nobody can win a World Series without a bullpen, or with a great closer. Mariano Rivera has retired, he is not available,so the cash happy Dodgers will have to make some moves.

The  Oakland Athletics are 8 to 1 favorites to win next year’s classic, and their across the bay rivals, San Francisco Giants are 22 to 1.

 I do not expect the A’s to go out and sign anymore high profile players, although they still have very good young pitching, which Billy Beane could chose to trade for some established talent. And what about Bartolo Colón he had one of his best seasons with 18 wins, they have to make a decision with him very soon.

As far as the San Francisco Giants are concerned, one of the reasons they are a long, 2201 shot to win it all is very simple, there are doubts about what once was a dominant starting rotation. Specially with Ryan Vogelsong. I am also not totally certain than Sergio Romo is a front row closer, he is now. He is the Giants closer by process of elimination.

Hey, Brian Wilson is a free agent, Could he comeback to Giantsland? Doubt it. Giants took it too seriously when he left and signed a brief deal with the Dodgers. But other great Giants have done that, anybody remembers Hall of Famer Juan Marichal?

The Giants need a left fielder with some power, in the 20-25 home run category and maybe 80 to 90 runs batted in. Only God knows how much weight Sandoval would be able to shed in the summer and how he will report to Spring Training.

 The only dependable bat in the Giants lineup, as far as power and runs batted in is concerned is catcher Buster Posey. Other odds to win the 2014 World Series. Detroit 9-1, Washignton 9-1, St Louis, 10-12, Boston 12-1.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice for the Oakland A’s and does News and Commentary each week for Sportstalk Radio

Just as predicted Puig solves Dodgers ills

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary

LOS ANGELES–Yasiel Puig the Dodgers young slugger and outfielder saved the Dodgers season he’s the Cuban kid 22 years old and that energy is contagious to everybody on the Dodgers that it even rubbed off on Hanley Ramirez who wasn’t having fun in Miami with the Marlins and here he is.
Ramirez was a miserable human being, he didn’t want to talk to anybody, he never gave his teammates even a smile, never gave an interview with the press, Ramirez went to the Dodgers and when the Dodgers brought up Puig and now Ramirez is the happiest man in the world he’s producing and said after game three that he would do anything for the organization.
That’s what’s happens in baseball, baseball is not as physical as football, basketball or hockey, it’s a mental game and the Dodgers are a happy bunch and their producing. Magic Johnson is part owner of the team, the Dodgers are getting all the money in the world. Of all the parks in the world the largest attendance, the largest capacity is Dodgers stadium.
There are over 53,000 people that fit into the park at Chavez Ravine and their coming back and I wouldn’t be surprised after losing the first two games in St.Louis they won Monday night and they came back and they have done it three times in 1955 they were done the Yankees had a big lead and they came back and they were the Brooklyn Dodgers at that time.
In 1965 they lost the first two games of the World Series to the Minnesota Twins turned it around and won four in a row and won the World Championship. In 1981 they were down to the Yankees and they came back to win. This is not new territory for the Dodgers they’ve been down in the series before and their going to win the National League the Dodgers are the most likely to go all the way and win the World Series.
Raiders can’t get it together: Nobody expected the Raiders to do too much this year. I haven’t heard anybody saying that the Raiders are going to win five or six games. Most predictions were three wins or four wins at most. Then last Sunday they faced the Kansas Chiefs who are perfect at 6-0 and facing former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith where people around the Bay Area are saying “oh the 49ers should have kept him he should be their starting quarterback now.”
Smith has had a terrific start and he’s throwing games that’s almost like “in your face 49ers here I’m” with one of the best starts in Kansas City Chiefs history at 6-0. Everything is clicking for Smith over in KC. Smith was a good quarterback he got in the mud with all the quarterback controversies with the franchise of the 49ers.
This is good to see and I’m glad for Smith and the Chiefs and I can not say the same for the Raiders, their very inconsistent with their quarterback in Terrelle Pryor and they have a lot of problems on that team and since the first day of the year Pryor should have run a little bit more and Pryor was throwing the ball and had problems and Pryor and that offense needs a lot of adjustments.
Edward Lake II second 49ers construction worker to be killed at new stadium: Edward Lake II a delivery truck driver was killed on Monday as he was crushed to death by a steel rebar at the 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara. Lake was 60 and became the second casualty in four months at the Niners new digs which is set to open August 2014.
The job site was shut down all day on Monday due to state investigations but reopened on Tuesday, it’s sad, it’s a tragedy, it happens. I have seen the production of the construction crew and the results of the new Niners stadium and I’ve seen it when you fly over the stadium out of San Jose Airport  and the cost of the stadium is over one billion dollars.  
With all the safety, and all the helmets they wear and this happens it’s not a bad rap for the 49ers or anybody but construction is a tough job and when your building a new stadium with so much going on on the property there’s something that could happen and I’m very sad by this death at the 49ers new stadium and I hope it doesn’t dampen the move for the 49ers in 2014.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Museum and does News and Commentary for Sportstalk Radio