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.