KJ’s Arena “Plan C”: Major League Baseball?

With potential arena operator AEG backing out of any future arena plan that did not include a major tenant, local news is reporting that Mayor KJ and his “Think Big” group are planning to pursue Major League Baseball. Specifically, it appears the Mayor is planning to seek the Oakland Athletics franchise. (Apparently the group doesn’t “Think Big” about hypocrisy.)

As this is still a town that was too dysfunctional to acquire a Minor League team, losing the River Cats to West Sac, I don’t know how they can promote this with a straight face. I think forcing the River Cats out of Raley Field would be a colossal mistake even if Sacto could support an MLB franchise, a question to which everyone except apparently the Mayor and the people advising him knows the answer: No it can’t.

But even as the arena negotiations were falling apart the Mayor had no problem getting reelected. So don’t expect the pro sports silliness to cease anytime soon.

Crazy River Cats fan leaves epic voicemail about Manny Ramirez’s hair

Sports blog Deadspin posted this awesome recording left by a disgruntled River Cats fan and “viewer of television” with some issues about Manny’s dreadlocks–namely that they are the harbingers of the apocalypse, responsible for everything wrong with society. She is extremely concerned about dreadlock-caused blindness, and thinks that mandated short hair would reduce the instances of performance enhancing drugs: “If they have to act clean-cut, maybe they will be clean-cut.” It’s long and she repeats herself several times, but it’s worth a listen.

I think this goes here.

River Cat called up to majors

from MiLB.com

But it’s not a player. Announcer Johnny Doskow will be announcing some Oakland A’s games in place of Ken Korach, who is recovering from surgery, reports Sac Biz Journal.

Doskow is excited about the opportunity to announce games for a major league team. He said he “lost it” when he found out he might be asked to announce games for the A’s in Boston.

Go Johnny. Speaking of which, who’s up for some River Cats baseball?! I know I am. The season gets underway next week of course, with the home opener coming Friday the 13th against Reno. But before all that, the Cats will host the A’s on Saturday, after Oakland returns from the MLB exhibition series in Japan. It’s the first time in 5 years Raley Field has hosted major league baseball.

Fair-weather River Cats fans miss a thriller

River Cats win, River Cats win!
River Cats win, River Cats win!
I made it out to Raley Field yesterday afternoon to watch the River Cats take on the Fresno Grizzlies. It was Dinger Bobblehead Giveaway day and we were lucky enough to be one of the first 2,500 fans. Plus, kids were allowed to run the bases after the game so all signs pointed to a great day for baseball. It didn’t hurt that Brandon Belt was playing for the Grizzlies.

After seven close innings, the Grizzlies were up 3-2. The weather was great and the River Cats were poised for a comeback. Then the top of the eighth came and the Grizzlies hung four runs on the Cats making the score 7-2. At this point many fans headed for the aisles. So much so it was like being at a Laker game. Then, in the bottom of the eigth, the Cats scored a run, then another, and another, and another, finally tying the game after a Fresno fielding error. The game was tied 7-7 going into the ninth inning. The Cats kept the Grizzlies off the board in the top of the ninth.

We were all set for extra innings when Jai Miller hit the first pitch out for a walk-off home run. Pretty exciting stuff. Sure, more times than not, your team will not come back after being down big late, but you have to hang in there because you never know what is going to happen.

River Cats, get excited yeah!!!

#1 FAN!!!
I can't believe I have used this photo twice.

As the soon-to-be only game in town, this is the perfect week for the River Cats to open their 2011 campaign. This week also has the advantage of being the week that every other team is starting their season.

The Bee’s Appetizers blog has a roundup of new food items at Raley Field, including a “baked potato dog.”

The roster will feature several players from last year’s division title winning team.

The home opener is Thursday against the hated Tacoma Rainiers, and will feature $2 Miller beers!

Let’s hear from you, River Cats fans: What are you most looking forward to about the River Cats season?

How I Met Your Swisher

Former beloved River Cat and current evil Yankee Nick Swisher has been cast as himself in the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” entertainment blog “The Wrap” reports.

When Swisher drops by MacLaren’s bar, the women all swoon– putting a major crimp in bachelor Barney’s game.

It’s about time an episode centered on how Barney is a ladies’ man. Swisher’s episode airs February 1, 2010.

Art Savage Memorial Saturday at Raley Field

River Cats owner Art Savage, who passed away last week at age 58, will be remembered Saturday in a public memorial at Raley Field. From the River Cats:

The entire River Cats family is shocked and deeply saddened by the passing of Art Savage. Art was an extraordinary person whose dedication to his community was only surpassed by his commitment to his own family. All those who were lucky enough to have had their lives touched by Art were far better because of it. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Savage family during this incredibly difficult time.

The Savage family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, those who wish to show their support and honor Art’s memory can do so in the form of a donation to the River Cats Foundation. The River Cats Foundation was created to serve and benefit children and families in need in our community. Donations should be made to:

River Cats Foundation, Inc.
Attn: Dan Vistica, Chairman
400 Ballpark Drive
West Sacramento, CA 95691

Art Savage Memorial Service
Saturday, November 28 – Service begins at 1:00 p.m. (ballpark opens at 12:00 p.m.)
Raley Field
400 Ballpark Drive
West Sacramento, CA 95691

Art Savage, RIP

Art Savage, the owner of our beloved River Cats, died today at age 58. His death was sudden and shocking; he had recently beat lung cancer. A family member of mine who had a personal and professional relationship with Mr. Savage writes:

Would you please let the Sac Rag readership know that their community has lost a truly good and decent man.

Most will know that he was a hugely successful in professional sports and that he brought that success to Sacramento. Those who knew him know that he could have been successful at anything and that he shared his success with those who worked with him. Those who knew him the best know that none of his success, though, was anything at all compared to his love for his wife and family and his loyalty to his friends.

What a legacy he has built in the River Cats. He will be sorely missed and my heart goes out to his family. RIP

Happy Birthday Dinger!

Sacramento needs a mascot. A crusty old prospector? A river otter? Wine grapes? A vampire?

Until this happens, we’ve got Dinger, who turns 10 today and is having a Birthday Bash. Today’s game against the Reno Aces begins at 1:00, but the real action starts at Noon with Mascot Kickball. 18 mascots from across California will do battle in the classic schoolyard sport of champions. Guests include some awesome mascots, such as the dapper USF Don, the UOP Powercat, and Poppy, and some not-so-awesome, such as the PG&E Helmet (which sadly resembles a form of birth control), the creepy Mr. Jelly Belly, and MacGruff the Crime Dog, who simply worries me with that trenchcoat.

Have a great celebration, Dinger, and go Cats!