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Mariano will be skipper as River Cats become Giants farm team

OB MARIANO will take the helm of the minor league team, which is based in West Sacramento, as the club switches affiliation from the A’s to the Giants   (courtesy photo)

BOB MARIANO will take the helm of the minor league team, which is based in West Sacramento, as the club switches affiliation from the A’s to the Giants
(courtesy photo)

NEWS-LEDGER Jan 28, 2015 —

From the River Cats

Bob Mariano takes the helm as the River Cats’ sixth manager since the inaugural season in Sacramento in 2000.

During his previous six seasons as the Giants Triple-A skipper, Mariano has managed several big leagues stars such as Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, and most recently Joe Panik, Travis Ishikawa, and Roseville native Andrew Susac during this past season.

Prior to managing Fresno, Mariano as served as skipper for Single-A Advanced Vero Beach (Dodgers) of the Florida State League in 2001, the Pacific Coast League’s Tucson Toros (Brewers) in 1997, and the California League’s Stockton Ports (Brewers) in 1995.

Mariano has been with the San Francisco Giants organization since 2005, serving as a coordinator of minor league hitting instruction for the Giants farm system from 2005-11, before beginning his managerial career in 2012. Mariano previously served as the minor league hitting instructor with the Los Angeles Dodgers (2002-04), and in roles with the Baltimore Orioles (1985-86), New York Yankees (1988-92), Milwaukee Brewers (1993-97) and Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000).   The Phoenix native also managed in the Italian Baseball Federation and Australian Baseball Federation. The former utility player spent seven seasons in the minors with the Yankees and Orioles  He originally signed with the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 1980.

Andy Skeels will serve as hitting coach at Raley Field; Dwight Bernard as pitching coach, James Petra as trainer, Brad Lawson as strength coach and Pablo Lopez as clubhouse manager.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

Cabaldon: no threat from MLB team

NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 11, 2012 —

By Steve Marschke, News-Ledger Editor

With talks between the City of Sacramento and the Kings owners at a standstill, Sacramento Mayor  Kevin Johnson has let it be known that he wants Sacramento to get a new major league baseball team. Sacramento is a “major league city,” he said, and a stadium in the right spot could help jumpstart the city’s downtown railyards project.

  A major league team across would presumably “trump” the minor league River Cats baseball team and their relatively new stadium in West Sacramento.

  But West Sacramento’s mayor isn’t worried.

MAYOR CHRISTOPHER CABALDON (News-Ledger/2012)

  “It doesn’t mean anything,” Mayor Christopher Cabaldon told the News-Ledger. “The Oakland A’s aren’t interested, Major League Baseball and minor league baseball aren’t interested. . . There’s no impact (on West Sacramento and the River Cats) because it’s not going to happen.”

   The A’s want to go to San Jose — which is within the territory designated as under control by the San Francisco Giants, but which offers a larger market and more potential corporate sponsors than  Sacramento. The Giants are fighting the proposed A’s move. Meanwhile, Sacramento is in the A’s territory and the River Cats are affiliated with the A’s. The River Cats have some legal obligations to stick around until the bonds that helped build Raley Field are paid off — roughly another 20 years.

  The teams’ wishes are balanced by their obligations to their leagues and by the power of their leagues, making “an extremely complicated set of procedures for how these things happen,” said Cabaldon.

  And right now, neither Major League Baseball nor any of its teams is pushing to take a chance on the Sacramento market.

  So, Cabaldon said, West Sacramento’s government is not spending a lot of time studying Johnson’s baseball dream.

  The River Cats declined an interview request, but issued the following statement, with a reference to Mayor Johnson’s “Think  Big Sacramento” task force:

“We have not discussed the proposal with ‘Think Big’ or City of Sacramento officials. We are obviously proud of the community support of Raley Field and the success of the River Cats. We are focused on providing the best experience to our fans in and around the ballpark and have been excited to see (West Sacramento’s) Bridge District prepared for future development.”

[adrotate group=”7″]  Raley Field opened in 2000 in a former warehouse district in West Sacramento amid regional cooperation, after a bout of competition for the stadium site between West Sacramento and Sacramento. A regional coalition helped put together a bond package that helped finance it.

  River Cats spokesperson Zak Basch said the River Cats have drawn an average of 7,659 fans this year, and Cabaldon said the team was among the most successful in the minor leagues.

  When the stadium was designed, its 11,000-seat capacity was intended to be expandable to host a possible future major league team. The league’s requirements for a stadium have since changed — stadiums and teams rely more heavily than ever on items like luxury boxes —  and Basch said the expansion issue has not been studied lately.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Ramirez gone from ‘Cats & A’s

MANNY RAMIREZ: superstar slugger played with River Cats while attempting to return to majors (courtesy of Oakland A's)

NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 20, 2012 —

The Oakland A’s organization granted outfielder Manny Ramirez his release the organization last week.

Ramirez, a former star player, with  returned from his suspension from major league baseball to play 17 games with the triple-A River Cats minor league team based in West Sacramento. After a slow start, he brought his batting average to .302 with three doubles, 14 RBI, 17 stikeouts, five walks and no home runs.

But the A’s did not open a spot in their major league outfield for him.

Ramirez is now a free agent who says he hopes to play in the major leagues again if there’s an opportunity.

Meanwhile, the A’s came off a couple of high-scoring losses to the Tacoma Rainiers over the weekend. On Saturday at Raley Field, the Rainiers prevailed 11-5, led by a 3-for-4 night at the plate by Chris Carter that included Carter’s 11th home run of the season.

[adrotate group=”7″]   On Saturday, The Rainers won 12-10 in a season-record four hour, seven minute game.

  Yes, you can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper.  It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Oakland A’s win in West Sac

[adrotate group=”10″] NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 4, 2012 —

More than 10,000 fans showed up at Raley Field in questionable weather on March 31, to watch the Sacramento River Cats host the Oakland A’s major league baseball team.

The minor leaguers fell by a score of 9-0, as the A’s Tommy Milone pitched six perfect innings.

The Oakland Athletics loaded the bases in the first inning, scoring three when River Cats fielder misplayed a fly ball. They scored three more on a home run by Coco Crisp later.

The exhibition game was stopped due to rain after seven innings. The River Cats are the AAA minor league affiliate of the Oakland team.

On Monday, the River Cats hosted the Stockton Ports, winning 8-6 in a game featuring a grand slam by Grant Green.

They open their regular season tomorrow in Las Vegas, and will play their first home game in West Sacramento against Reno on April 13.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012