Tag Archives: baseball

River Cats get a new manager


From the Sacramento River Cats minor league baseball team:

Seven-year Major League veteran Steve Scarsone will be the fifth manager in River Cats history, the Oakland Athletics announced today. Rick Rodriguez—who was the A’s bullpen coach for the last two seasons after spending 10 seasons in Sacramento—will return as pitching coach in 2013, while Greg Sparks will return for his second season as the club’s hitting coach.

The River Cats are a Triple-A minor league baseball team playing at Raley Field in West Sacramento.

Steve Scarsone takes over as skipper of the River Cats in West Sacramento (courtesy photo)

Scarsone has managed teams in  Single-A Kane County in 2009, Single-A Advanced Stockton in 2010, and Double-A Midland for the past two seasons. He previously managed Single-A South Bend (2001) and Single-A Advanced Lancaster (2002) in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

“The Oakland Athletics are pleased to promote Steve to Sacramento after exhibiting outstanding leadership and development skills at the minor league level,” said Keith Lieppman, director of player development for the A’s, in a press release.  “He not only has shown good leadership qualities as a manager but also is a proven teacher and instructor. We believe he will carry on in the fine tradition of the outstanding young managers that have led the River Cats throughout their history.”

In college, Scarsone played at Santa Ana Junior College before being drafted in the second round (32nd overall) of the 1986 January amateur draft by Philadelphia. He made his Major League debut May 15, 1992, and went on to enjoy a seven-year big league career with the Phillies, Orioles, Giants, Cardinals and Royals. During those seven seasons, he combined to hit .239 with 20 home runs, 86 RBIs, and 103 runs scored in 350 career games.

Scarsone also played parts of 11 seasons in the minors, including three seasons in the Pacific Coast League. He enjoyed one of his best seasons in 1998 for the Vancouver Canadians—the franchise that moved to Sacramento following the 1999 season—when he led the team in hits (110), home runs (20) and RBIs (55).

 Rodriguez—the longest tenured pitching coach in River Cats history—returns to Sacramento for the first time since 2010. Rodriguez played four seasons in the major leagues, including two with Oakland and one with San Francisco. He finished his career with eight saves in 31 career appearances. In 11 minor league seasons, he tallied a 52-41 record with a 3.89 ERA spanning 946.2 innings pitched.

The Athletics also announced that Brad LaRosa will return for his sixth season as the River Cats head athletic trainer, and Jared Elliott will join the staff as the strength and conditioning coach after spending the 2012 season with the Midland RockHounds, Oakland’s Double-A affiliate.

Scott Emerson—the River Cats pitching coach since 2011—has been named the A’s minor league roving pitching instructor

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

River Cats settle for division title



The Sacramento River Cats forced the Reno Aces to the fifth game of the playoff series. But after leading Sacramento led 3-0 in the fifth inning they allowed Reno to score six unanswered runs and lost 7-4 at Aces Ballpark on Sunday afternoon.

The loss wrapped up a winning River Cats season.

The Cats wasted no time putting runs on the board on Sunday, plating two in the top of the first with RBIs from Kila Ka’aihue and Michael Taylor. Sacramento tacked on a third run in the fifth on a Grant Green RBI-single, scoring Josh Horton.

  Cats starter Sonny Gray, who retired 10 in a row after allowing two hits in the first, gave up three runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at three. After a scoreless sixth, Reno put four runs on the board in the seventh, taking a 7-3 lead. Sacramento put a small rally together in the eighth when Green led off the frame with a triple, followed by a run-scoring double from Ka’aihue. Later in the inning, with Ka’aihue on third, Aces second baseman Taylor Harbin made a diving catch on a blooper from Daric Barton to end the threat.

After holding the Aces scoreless in the bottom of the eighth, the Cats came to the plate in the ninth, needing three runs to knot the game at seven. Reno reliever Sam Demel retired Sacramento in order, to close out his team’s 7-4 victory.

Gray allowed three earned on eight hits and one walk with five strikeouts in six innings for the no-decision. Merkin Valdez suffered the loss, giving up four earned in 0.1 innings pitched. Green, Ka’aihue and Horton all had two hits, while Ka’aihue was the only Cat to drive in more than one run.

The River Cats finish their 2012 campaign with a PCL-leading 86-58 (.597) regular season record. They will try to extend their record-long stretch of PCL Division titles to seven in 2013. Tickets for the River Cats’ 2013 season are on sale now by calling (916) 371-HITS.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Little League ‘Fall Ball’ signups


Walk-in registration for West Sac Little League “Fall Ball” will be accepted on Tuesday (7/24) & Thursday (7/26) from 6pm to 8pm at Wicked West Pizza in Southport.

Cost is $55 for T-Ball (ages 4 & 5) and $85 for all other ages including Juniors.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

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.


  “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.”

  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.

  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