The Sacramento River Cats are looking forward to being affiliated with a new Major League Baseball Franchise.
River Cats President Jeff Savage says the team's success as an Oakland Athletics triple-a affiliate has been "second-to-none." But, internal and external research shows more people in the Sacramento region want the team to be affiliated with the Giants.
"The newest poll on line right now on the Sacramento Bee, but I mean, I think over 6,000 fans have voted on it," says Savage. "It's overwhelmingly in support of the Giants coming to town as our triple-A affiliate."
Oakland has been the parent club of the River Cats for all of the minor league team's 15 years. All of the front office staff for the River Cats will stay with the team.
Fresno loses a relationship with the Giants that dates back to 1958.
San Francisco Giants Assistant General Manager Bobby Evans says Fresno wanted to keep the relationship and made the decision difficult for the parent franchise. But, in the end, Sacramento won out.
"There's a lot of comparables between the two franchises in terms of quality of ballpark, proximity to San Francisco, and fan support," says Evans. "Even Fresno is in the top 20 in all of minor league baseball in fan support. But, ultimately I think for us the proximity between San Francisco and Sacramento is really half the distance it is to Fresno and that gave us an advantage. Really, when you're talking about major league call-ups, player transactions, as well as our staff getting a chance to see our AAA team, this is a better location for us."
Fresno will now become the home of the Houston Astros triple-A team.
Oakland will move its coaches and players to Tennessee next year where they will play as the Nashville Sound.