Last week the news in Fresno was all
about baseball. After a 17-year partnership with the AAA Grizzlies, the San
Francisco Giants decided to end their affiliation agreement and instead back
the Sacramento River Cats.
One of the major reasons cited for
the switch was how Sacramento is closer to SF than Fresno, which allows for
faster and more convenient moves between the teams when needed. Now, we all
know the public reasons for any major decision aren’t the only ones. There are
always layers of strategy and money under the surface. However, the public
reason certainly did come into play.
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For the Giants, having their Triple-A affiliate in their geographical
backyard was important. Many team’s transactions involve calling a
player up from or sending him down to Triple-A, the highest minor-league
level. The Giants, who for the last 17 years have partnered with the
Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, now will have many of their top minor-league
players just 90 miles away.
“When you have so many player moves that take place between your
Triple-A club and major-league team, it was just very difficult to pass
up an opportunity to get that close to our Triple-A club,” Giants
assistant general manager Bobby Evans said.