It is that time of year again and baseball is back in Sacramento. Opening night at Raley Field where the Sacramento River Cats are taking on the Tacoma Rainers.
It’s a brisk night with a lgift breeze but unlike last year the rain has stayed away and we‘re playing baseball!
It is the 20th season here in Sacramento, the 3rd as the AAA Affiliate of the San Fransico Giants. The Cats are looking to bounce back from statistically the worst year in the franchises history where they finished a painful .393 winning percentage.
However, River Cats fans being the optimists they tend to be, history tells us that the last time they cats were this bad (.458 in 2002, their first year in Sacramento) they boucned back with a 92-52 record In 2003.
Many familiar faces are back in Sacramento this year, many of which spent time with the big club in 2018. Andrew Suarez and Tyler Beede lead the rotation, while position players returning include, Austin Slater, Ryder Jones and Aramis Garcia and Mac Williamson who returned to the club today after clearing MLB waivers. Also returning are pitchers Tyler Rogers and Steven Okert and a former River Cats catcher with the Oakland A‘s, two time all star, Steven Vogt.
Off the field there are many changes that fans will see throughout the ballpark. A new video board in center field, with recycled video boards under the suite level, which were recycled from the previous center field board.
Netting has been extended from the dugouts down the first and thrid base sides and the Team Store got a facelift as well.
Knee Deep Alley is back serving fans their famous craft beer, and the “storefronts” WIth themed concessions continue to be a hit as well.
Also returning are the themed nights as well. Baseball Bingo Mondays, Family Value Tuesdays, Wet Nose Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Orange Friday, Sutter Health Fireworks On Saturday and Sunday Funday!
There is something for everyone this year and we hope that is accompanied with a winning season. The Giants are focused on building the farm system and we will see it first hand here in Sacramento, but I warn now, do not get too attached to these players, especially the outfield, as the team in SF will likely be pulling from this group if the season progresses as expected and the outfield production in San Francisco is underwhelming.
Regardless of how the season goes, baseball is back, basketball is wrapping up and the summer is fast approaching.
- Greg B