Oct 25, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants president Larry Baer (center) celebrates in the eighth inning of game two of the 2012 World Series against the Detroit Tigers at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

SF Giants Reportedly Seeking to Steal the Sacramento River Cats


The last time I spoke about the San Francisco Giants, I was preaching the virtues of simply not caring about them anymore.  The A’s were in the midst of their second consecutive strong season, and the Giants were floundering in their defense of their second World Series title in three years.  Who cared what was happening in San Francisco, the A’s were vastly superior?  I’ve held that same stance this year, even as the Giants have gotten out to just as strong a start as the A’s have (Oakland currently has a better record by 1/2 a game).  Funny thing is, though, the San Francisco Giants always seem to find a way to creep back under my skin one way or another.  Today, they have accomplished exactly that.

A report this morning from Susan Slusser in today’s San Francisco Chronicle indicates that the Giants and the current Athletics Triple A affiliate Sacramento River Cats may have eyes for each other.  The affiliate contract between the A’s and the River Cats expires after this season, and it appears as if River Cats CEO Susan Savage may be seeing dollar signs.  The report states that she’s been playing hardball with the A’s, and that the San Francisco Giants are reciprocating their interest in some fashion.

I don’t have to tell you how brutal a blow this would be to the Athletics.  Not because they’re beholden to the River Cats, as no Major League franchise would be to their minor league affiliate, but because having a Triple A team in Sacramento is simply perfect.  The proximity to Oakland and the ease with which the A’s can call up players is an ideal situation for the A’s.  Presumably, the A’s would take over the Giants current affiliate, the Fresno Grizzlies, as Slusser speculates, should this all come to pass.

The impact of such a move, though, goes far beyond minor leaguers having to travel an extra hour to get to Oakland.  We’ve all closely examined the beaten dead horse that is the Athletics stadium situation, and it’s common knowledge that the Giants are largely responsible for the figurative, and sometimes literal quagmire the Athletics find themselves in at the severely outdated O.co Coliseum.  If it weren’t for the Giants, and using their infamous territorial rights, the Athletics could be building Cisco Field in downtown San Jose as we speak (I know, stAy people… I know).  But alas, they are not, and the O.co Coliseum has gone from bad, to worse as the MLB brass has sat on its hands for half a decade.

Despite their success on the field, the A’s woes continue, with no end in sight.  It’s all the Giants fault really.  So as power and greed once again seek to leave the Athletics hanging in limbo, at the hands of the Giants, I give my blessing to wish ill upon our neighbors across the bay.  Maybe if they do successfully steal the River Cats, they get stuck with Daric Barton as well (maybe it’s Sacramento itself that he’s attached to, and not the A’s?).  Maybe Tim Lincecum throws another no-hitter, and earns himself a 10-year $500 million contract.  Maybe Pablo Sandoval eats Lou Seal.  Maybe Michael Morse is is revealed to be a half-brother of Josh Reddick.  Or maybe the A’s just prove that they can’t be taken down by shady business dealings.  That might be sufficient punishment.

So, as the San Francisco Giants seek to potentially wield their powerful sword, and impose their will upon the A’s, I ask this.  Haven’t you done enough?

UPDATE: The River Cats released a statement regarding the report via their official Twitter account, view here.

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Tags: Oakland Athletics Sacramento River Cats Territorial Rights

  • Melissa Felkins

    Not the Giants doing…it’s all on the River Cats :)

    • SeanD25

      I think it’s very much the Giants doing. Interest from the River Cats alone is meaningless, the Giants have to want it too, and they’re the ones who can make it happen.

      • BruteSentiment

        Not true in the least.

        If the Giants were doing this, it would be tampering and they’d be penalized under major league rules. Think the Giants want to get into any hot water with MLB while this San Jose fiasco is going on? Not bloody likely. Add in that Slusser’s sources are with the River Cats and A’s, and no, not the Giants.

        Secondly, the affiliates can not be “stolen”. There is no beholding power one way or the other on affiliates staying with their major league team. Either side can choose to look in another direction. And the River Cats are probably just playing up negotiating angles. They have all the power here. They are the #1 valued minor league franchise (according to Forbes), and as mentioned, are perfect for the A’s.

        • SeanD25

          You’re taking the use of the world “stolen” too literally. The Giants have a license to print money, they don’t need to do this, but they are. All because I believe their ultimate motive is to squeeze the A’s out of the Bay Area altogether. Also, I think it’s naive to think back room dealings and contact isn’t taking, or hasn’t taken place – even if it’s coming from the Sacramento side. I just don’t think this would happen if it was 100% one-sided. The reason the River Cats are so highly valued is because of the great MiLB teams the Athletics organization has supplied to them, I highly doubt the Giants would be able to keep up the winning there.

          • bananas

            Then don’t put “stolen” in the title you fucking jackass. Such a whiny pussy, I hope we take your AAA team and you languish as a shitty team for years to come. Stop having shitty fans then that don’t go to the games if you want to make more money, instead of trying to move into Giants territory.

          • Melissa Felkins

            You make Giants fans look bad. Just stop.

          • SeanD25

            Just another internet tough guy who hides behind his anonymity. Nobody ever accused them of being smart.

          • jbenitez

            My response is going to be a polite one, with logic.

            1. Even if the Giants took the Sacramento River Cats, they would not get the players on it. The players remain with their organization. So the Giants won’t take our AAA players, therefore that would not result in leaving our team to languish. They would still have the same minor league players.

            2. The Oakland Athletics do not have bad fans. They have the best fans. Ask any fan at an Oakland Athletics game anything about the team, they can probably answer it. A lot of the fans at the giants games are just casual fans, who don’t go too deep into baseball knowledge, which is completely fine. Teams need casual fans to go their games. The Athletics don’t have as many fans, but the fans that they do have are the most die hard and loyal fans in the game.

            Also, the San Francisco Giants were having similar attendance issues when they were playing at Candle Stick Park. When they got a new ballpark was when attendance began to skyrocket. For example, when the Oakland Athletics won 3 straight in the early 70′s, the giants had a 7,992 average in 1972, 10,299 average in 1973, and 6,420 in 1974. They did not begin to average around 40,000 every season until they built their new ballpark in 2000. So before having a shiny new park to play in, the SF Giants also had attendance issues. So do not say that the Athletics have bad fans who don’t go to games, because the fans that go are about as die hard and passionate as you can get. Attendance would improve for the Athletics as well if they had a brand new water front ballpark. The rise in attendance since 2000 has come from the new park.

            3. The Athletics are not trying to move into Giants territory. The ownership wishes to move the team to San Jose. The Oakland Athletics had the rights to begin with, but decided to be the good guy and gave the rights to San Francisco so they could build a new park there if they needed to. Now that Oakland is in need, instead of returning the favor, the Giants won’t help the Athletics because they’re scared it will hurt their attendance. Which, with that very logic expressed by the San Francisco Giants, means that their attendance doesn’t mean they have good fans. Because a good fan sticks with their team, and doesn’t stop going to games because their rival team just built a new ballpark close by. It may Giants territory now, but only because Oakland was the nice guy who gave it up to help.

            If you are going to be commenting on articles here at Swingin’ A’s, please refrain from insulting our writers with foul and vulgar language. Your comment will either be removed, you will be blocked, or you we will respond with logic in a professional manner to prove why your rude comments are wrong. Like in this case. We welcome healthy debate, if you disagree with an article, feel free to express your opinions in mature manner, and be prepared for this side to engage in debate as well, so as to show readers why they believe they are right.

          • Josh Azevedo

            From the tone of the article it sounds as if the A’s themselves are sort of low balling the Sacramento Franchise which is a separate entity from the Oakland franchise. I think with the recent success of the kings staying in Sac and the view that Sac has more than been a great home for the A’s they feel they deserve top dollar in a new development deal, whether that be with Oakland or San Francisco.

  • blitz4075

    We need to steal the San Jose Giants if this happens.

    • BruteSentiment

      The San Francisco Giants are majority owners of the San Jose Giants. So….yeah. Not happening.

      • http://swinginas.com Jason Burke

        The San Jose Giants are the single A affiliate. Fresno is their AAA. So, yes it could happen

        • Josh Azevedo

          Actually it couldn’t. The San Francisco Giants as stated above are the majority owners of the SJ Giants, so unless they wanted to move their franchise to another city, the A’s wouldn’t be able to swoop in and steal the team.

      • blitz4075

        wishful thinking

  • Robert Clark

    Let’s go Giants!

  • nss

    What a freaking cry baby. Typical A’s fan: whine whine whine.

    • SeanD25

      It was the fat joke that struck a nerve.

    • matt wilson

      Bandwagon giants fans est. 2010

  • Carl Elftman

    Let’s say it’s Oakland has the rights to Sacramento and the Giants can’t have it. Or we can move our AAA team to San Jose and the A’s will have to play in their stadium because Oakland and cant fix the plumbing.

  • Michael Darmousseh

    Blaming all of the A’s woes on the giants. Hilarious. They could build a brand new stadium in oakland or berkeley or even emeryville. They giants have territorial rights just like every other team in baseball. Grow your fanbase by giving them what they want (a new stadium), not by trying to steal fans.

    • SeanD25

      Saying the Giants have territorial rights just like every other team demonstrates a lack of knowledge on this topic. The Giants are the ONLY team who owns territorial rights like this in all of MLB.

      • Mark Young

        You know the A’s were polite and gave the giants those rights in the first place so they could move to San Jose if the mayor didn’t help build a new San Fran stadium. He did and now the giants greed wants to keep the rights and leave the a’s to rot. Maybe learn more about the history? Or just a typical est. 2010 giants fan?

      • Josh Azevedo

        To be honest the Bay Area is the only one out of four “2 Team” areas that have weird boundaries dividing them in the first place.

    • Mark Young

      This was meant to be directed at Michael.

    • matt wilson

      Hey Michael did you know that the A’s gave the territorial rights to the sorry ass giants. No you didn’t, and now the giants owners are afraid of the A’s cause our fan base as small as it is, is still better than the giants and the bandwagon giant fans (which is about 90% of you) will jump ship and become bandwagon A’s fans

      • Michael Darmousseh

        Actually Matt, I did know that. The A’s gave away their territorial rights because they didn’t think they needed them. It was a gift to the giants. Now that the giants are the bigger team in the bay area the A’s are demanding the territorial rights back. Unlike the A’s though, the Giants are not likely to give away a huge market for no compensation.

        The mistake the A’s made in the past doesn’t change the situation today. The giants have the rights to the south bay.

  • CB – The lover of baseball

    Hahahahahahha! A’s fans. I like watching your team. I like the 5k of you that show up and beat your drums. I like BART. I like 2 dollar Wednesdays. I like being a Giant fan living in Oakland and going to more A’s games that 99% of the people posting on the internet. But you A’s fans don’t read too good. Most of you grew up in Lafayette or Danville and went to fine schools so you don’t even have that excuse.

    • Mark Young

      Read too good? You don’t write very WELL. And the a’s have brought more titles than the giants here.

      • CB – The lover of baseball

        Congratulations on your fine edumication and world championships. They seems to be serving you well. If the A’s want to move to SJ I think it is the stupidest idea ever but I am not stopping them. Let’s go Oakland sounds so much better than Let’s go San Jose. But that is just me. I’m sure all you Contra Costa and South bay fans that never go to games now will go to a lot more games when they move the stadium away from all the dark scary black people in the hood.

  • Rick Kelly

    The Giants helped bring Major League Baseball to the West Coast. They have been here since 1957. The A’s moved to Oakland in ’68. Finley used Kansas City as a platform and never had the intention of keeping the team there even though he said he would never leave Kansas City. Oakland will always be in the shadow of San Francisco. I know a lot of A’s fans feel the Giants fans aren’t true baseball fans and only go to the games to be seen. I think you are mixing up Giants fans with Dodger fans. Ha! Anyway, the Giants now own the longest sell-out streak in the National League. Need I say more!

    • Mark Young

      The a’s have more titles. The giants sell out to rich and retarded businesses. The A’s have more of a winning history. Need I say more?

      • Rick Kelly

        I don’t think ‘retarded businesses’ is the right phrase coming from someone who supports a team with a city that has one of the highest crime rates in the United States so you keep hoping for new ballpark that will never come. The best thing the A’s can do is to move out of the Bay Area!!

        • matt wilson

          God you have no clue what tradition, history, or anything about baseball, you are just like the other 90% of giant fans that jumped on the bandwagon in 2010 and try to talk baseball.

          • Rick Kelly

            No clue about baseball or tradition, jumped on the bandwagon. I have been a Giants fan since 1963 when my father took me to my first game at Candlestick. Where do you get off on telling me this? Maybe you need to look at your own life and heart.