11-29-18 - Rafael Palmeiro

Rafael Palmeiro

Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

Rafael Palmeiro at 53 -- Needs One More Game

By Amaury Pi-Gonzalez
Rafael Palmeiro has the numbers to be in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Now, the 53-year-old said, "I am missing the game," and he wants to come back to the MLB. However, his chances are not very good, as his prime days have passed.

Palmeiro was born in Havana, Cuba, and played in the MLB for 20 years (1986-2005) with the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Rangers (again) and returned to the Orioles for his last two seasons in the league.

On July 15, 2005, Palmeiro's last season, he was at Safeco Field in Seattle, WA. In the fifth inning he hit a double to the left field wall against Mariners pitcher Joel Pineiro. That was Palmeiro's 3,000 career hit. I was broadcasting the Mariners games, in Spanish that year, and I had the call of that game. ESPN Deportes picked it up and I have the CD of that moment. Palmeiro also received a copy of the CD. After the game I interviewed Palmeiro, who was very happy and gracious.

Palmeiro is the only Cuban-born player to reach the 3,000 hit plateau. In my opinion, he finished with excellent numbers that are Cooperstown-worthy: 20 career years combined for a .288 batting average, 3,020 hits, 585 home runs, 1,835 runs batted in, all in a total of 2,831 games played.

Unfortunately Palmeiro's career didn't ended well. Former Rangers teammate and fellow Cuban, Jose Canseco, identified Palmeiro as a fellow steroid user in his 2005 book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big , and claimed he injected Palmeiro with steroids.

On March 17, 2005, Palmeiro appeared at a Congressional hearing about steroids in baseball and, while under oath, denied ever using steroids. He stated, "Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that."

Five months later, on August 1, 2005, Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days after testing positive for steroids.

Palmeiro is part of that ugly phase in the game, the Steroid Era. After an excellent career, he wants to comeback and play in the major leagues. "There is no doubt in my mind that I can do it," he recently said.

This January 24, the inductees into the Hall of Fame were announced but his name will not be on the list.

For Palmeiro, his career numbers alone could help him secure a spot in the Hall of Fame. However, the steroid scandal has caused him to fall off the ballot.

Here is the deal: If Rafael Palmeiro plays in one more MLB game, he will become re-eligible for the Hall of Fame.

Buena suerte, Rafael!

Oakland A's play-by-play announcer Amaury Pi-Gonzalez is now entering his 24th season as the Voice of the A's for all Spanish broadcasts. For a sixth straight year, Pi-Gonzalez will also do selected games for the Los Angeles Angels on Fox Sports Network West in Southern California. Reprinted courtesy Amaury Pi-Gonzalez: That's Amaury's News and Commentary. For more information, visit: SportsRadioService

3-6-17 - Pops

Michael King (left), with an associate from USF (center), and Karla Granadino-King, are pictured at the Olympic Club in San Francisco,  proudly sharing with the world their  Pops Premium Rumpopo. A King family secret, Pops Premium Rumpopo is a  delicious rum cream liqueur recipe brewed in the family tradition.  The award winning recipe is a Belizean family favorite and now available at all Total Wine & More stores in California and Bay Area retailers.
For more information, visit

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