No Spanish broadcasts in 2011?

Generally there isn’t much that I and the people at Baseball Oakland agree about. However, when I saw their interview with long time broadcaster Amaury Pi-Gonzalez, I was furious. Pi-Gonzalez admitted that this as of now, there is no carriage for the A’s in Spanish for 2011. This comes two years after the A’s signed a five-year deal with the Spanish Beisbol Network, which had broadcasts on two small stations.

Look, I understand that the team’s first broadcast priority is in acquiring KTRB, and then it’s to secure broadcast rights elsewhere should the station purchase not pan out. I get it. But to not have an option for Spanish language broadcasts is downright embarrassing. It’s WEAK. The A’s are trying to move to San Jose, where 31% of the populace is Hispanic and there is no shortage of activists ready to pounce. You don’t need PR missteps like this.

Pi-Gonzalez notes that even if the A’s were to go with internet streaming broadcasts, which are nowhere near as good as an actual radio station at this point, the cost would be $100,000 for the season. That’s chump change! The A’s could’ve non-tendered Conor Jackson, signed him back for cheap Cust-style, paid for the internet broadcast, and pocketed the difference. Or if Jackson left, they could’ve signed another Cal guy.

I feel bad for the veteran broadcaster. A Fremont resident, Pi-Gonzalez supported the Pacific Commons plan quite vocally, and he probably imagined himself in a brand new broadcast booth working A’s games this season, only a 10 minute drive from his house. Now with the broadcast world so uncertain, it hasn’t worked out the way anyone thought it would. We’re with you there, Amaury.

As for the A’s? COME ON, MAN.

18 thoughts on “No Spanish broadcasts in 2011?

  1. While eliminating the Spanish broadcast is certainly ridiculoso, there is one item from that interview I found even more astonishing. BILL KING IS NOT IN THE BAY AREA RADIO HOF??? Can the man please get some respect?

    • @gojohn10 – The Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame, as I understand it, is a one-man show run by David Ferrell Jackson. Normally he tries to get inductees to speak at a dinner to help raise money for the HoF. I’m certain he extended the invite to Bill King while he was alive but I bet that Bill wasn’t all that interested. Not sure how that translates when we’re talking posthumous induction.

  2. So sad, but doesn’t all surprise me with this A’s ownership. Yes, another PR misstep with the A’s. What else is new? $100k is really nothing in the picture of things.
    BTW, I enjoy the posts on Baseball Oakland. They show the true side of the past 2 ownerships, and I’m glad you posted the latest one on here, ML.

  3. Before anyone gets into a debate – stick to the topic at hand. You’ve been warned.

  4. I assume the A’s have the ratings for the Spanish broadcasts and they have been poor. At what point do you pull the plug because nobody is listening? Personally, I would still keep the Spanish programming because it is part of the broader hispanic outreach. A’s Fiesta Day is great, but IMHO it’s bush league not to have the spanish broadcast, especially in California.

  5. Have you ever listened to a Spanish broadcast of the A’s? Can’t understand a word they’re saying!

    Seriously though, don’t quite get why they’d abandon the Spanish language format (though I believe they did the ownership group did the same thing with the Earthquakes last year or the year before which made no sense either (even less when you consider who the target audience for soccer is in San Jose). Particularly with the demographics in hand of the city the plan on relocating to.

    Unless of course I put my tin foil hat on and wonder if this isn’t part of some larger plan to further lessen interest in the team while they’re still in Oakland to make the move seem even more appealing.

  6. $100k to operate a streaming feed? That can’t include personnel, insurance, etc, can it? Anyways, I know the A’s can’t trade Conor Jackson for a a Spanish radio crew, but the A’s should ask him how his Spanish is. He’d be able to put this Communications BA to good use.

  7. If the Raiders can broadcast their games in multiple languages, including Navajo. And that’s not a joke, they do broadcast their games in Navajo amongst other languages. Then certainly the A’s can continue their Spanish broadcasts for this segment of their fans. And there are many, many thousands in the Bay Area who will miss this.

  8. Sad that CT will no longer be able to play the Spanish version radio call of an awesome play next year.

  9. at least it looks like according to slusser that the a’s are the favs to buy 860.

    but agreed that having a spanish broadcast team in cali, in the bay area, possibly in sj within the next half decade is a must to build up your fan base in that particular segment of the population.

  10. I know all the discussion is about the A’s buying KTRB, but with the loss of the Spanish broadcasting, maybe it’d be better for them to look into getting an FM station, that they could use a HD radio subchannel to broadcast the Spanish language feed on. Kill 2 birds with one stone… and not have to worry about finding stations willing to carry either language again.

  11. Most Mexican Americans/Latinos in the Bay Area are bilingual anyway, so what’s the big deal?
    JK. Of course they should have a Spanish broadcast up and running by 2015. Until then, well, firsts things first.
    Glad to see the A’s are the front runners in purchasing 860. Owning the station will come in handy when they relocate or contract (sarcasm).

  12. I can’t recall where, but I do remember reading an article about this towards the end of last season about how calling Spanish language games is a hard deal and that basically MLB pitched in for the last month of the season to have the rest of Oakland’s games broadcast in Español because of the radio station going bust or something.

    Even if the numbers were break even, you figure just for the ability to say to your Spanish speaking fans that you do offer the games in Spanish and all the other community outreach stuff would make more than enough sense to do it. If nothing else, you can write it off on the books.

    Seems rather chincy.

  13. Jaime Jarrin has been doing Spanish LA Dodger radio since 1959, one year after they moved West. He’s in the Hall of Fame along with Vin Sculley, who’s been dong Dodger radio/TV since 1950.
    Both simply amazing.

  14. I wonder how you say “another humiliating defeat” in Navajo

  15. So, considering demographics, doesn’t this fly in the face of kissing San Jose’s ass while sabotaging things in Oakland? I assume it has to be a legitimate business move based on real figures, as unfortunate as it is.

  16. According to Baseball Oakland, Amaury Pi-Gonzalez will now be the Spanish radio broadcaster for the LA Angels and LA Clippers NBA team. Another great A’s broadcaster who got away (Lon Simmons being canned shortly after Schottmann bought the club in late1995).
    I’m happy for Amaury getting two good gigs like that. He wanted to stay with the A’s, the job he loved doing since 1977, but the A’s may scrap Spanish broadcasting altogether, unless someone else pays for it. Pathetic.
    For 15 years we’ve put up with these cheap-ass ownerships, and this latest cost-cutting crap really pisses me off!
    How much more proof do you LW/JF apologists need? I better stop right there before ML officially tosses me.

    http://baseballoakland.blogspot.com/2011/02/pi-gonzalez-now-angel.html

  17. Now that I think back, I believe that that article I mentioned was in the CC Times.

    And the Montrealization of the Oakland A’s continues…

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