Sacramento Manager named: Say hello to Todd Steverson

From the comments a few weeks back:

I'm guessing Todd Steverson goes to Sac-Town

He's marched through the system like a prospect player, and he's had good success along the way.

And if the A's keep Robnett around, all the more reason, since Steverson has managed him at every level and should be due a shift to AAA by now.

Nailed it.

River Cats Introduce Todd Steverson as New Manager; Announce '08 Coaching Staff - 11/08/07

West Sacramento, Calif. - The Sacramento River Cats and Oakland Athletics named Todd Steverson as the third manager in River Cats' history, Oakland Athletics officials announced today. Steverson replaces Tony DeFrancesco, who was named the Athletics' third base coach in October. Pitching Coach Rick Rodriguez and Hitting Coach Brian McArn will return for their 8th and 4th seasons respectively with the team to round out the coaching staff. Steverson, Rodriguez and McArn will be joined by Athletic Trainer Brad LaRosa in his first season both with the A's organization and at the Triple-A level.

Steverson, who spent 2007 as manager of the Athletics' Double-A affiliate Midland RockHounds and the previous two seasons (2005-06) at the helm of the Single-A affiliate Stockton Ports, has a lifetime managerial record of 214-203. The 36-year-old Los Angeles, Calif. native joined the A's organization in 2004 as the hitting coach for the short-season Single-A Vancouver Canadians. He spent the previous five seasons in the St. Louis Cardinals farm system at Single-A Palm Beach (2003), Single-A Potomac (1999; 2001-02) and Single-A Peoria (2000).

Steverson had a seven-year playing career that included major-league appearances with Detroit (1995) and San Diego (1996). He finished his minor league career in 1998 with Triple-A Memphis of the Pacific Coast League. Steverson was originally drafted out of Culver City (Calif.) High School by the Cardinals in the sixth round of the June 1989 amateur draft but elected to attend Arizona State University. Three years later, in 1992, he was a first-round draft pick (25th overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays.

I love this. I talked to Steverson back in 2004 when he was with the Vancouver Canadians, and asked him if he was bothered about getting promoted through the system, or if, like pitching coach Lefty Lefferts, whether he just enjoyed coming out every summer and being down with a little ball with the kids.

He replied, "Yeah, I wanna go to the Majors again, sure. But it's not like when you're playing, where you're trying to make it up a level every season or your career is over. It might take a while, so I'm going to just have fun with it, make sure I get better at it every year, and what happens happens. Either way, whether it's short season or AAA, it's still the best job in the world to be with a ballclub."

Regardless of his patience, Steverson has been jumping up levels as fast as most of those he's coached, and it's been clear the A's like what he brings.

And as someone who sat behind him all season in 2004 and listened to what he was telling players, and laughed as he'd sneakily slide ten bucks through the fence to buy tickets for the 50-50 draw between innings, and saw kids climbing all over him after games, and host families counting him and his family as friends, I can say the A's know what they're doing by taking guys like this into the Family o'Muppets.

As for the rest of the Sac-town coaching staff:

Rick Rodriguez
Rodriguez, 47, will serve his eighth season as Sacramento's pitching coach in 2008. After three years with the River Cats from 2000-02, he managed the Modesto A's in 2003 before returning to the Cats in 2004. Prior to his first stint with the River Cats, he was pitching coach for Modesto in 1999. Last year, Rodriguez's pitching staff had an ERA of 4.19, 3rd best in the PCL and 3rd lowest in team history.

Rodriguez played parts of four seasons in the major leagues as a right-handed pitcher. In his major league career, he compiled a 3-4 record and a 5.72 ERA in 31 games. He played in the majors with Oakland (1986-87), Cleveland (1988) and San Francisco (1990).

Brian McArn
McArn, 38, is the third hitting coach in the club's history. Last season, his third with the Cats, Sacramento hitters batted .277 and led the PCL in walks (613). He replaced Joe Sparks in 2005, who serves the Oakland A's as their major league advance scout. Roy White was the River Cats' hitting coach for their first four seasons, from 2000-03.

This season will mark McArn's eleventh as a hitting coach in the A's organization, his twelfth as a coach in professional baseball. Prior to joining the Cats, he served as Hitting Coach for Midland, after six seasons with Modesto (Single-A). McArn began his professional coaching career with the Vermont Expos (Single-A) of the New York-Penn League in 1996.

McArn was selected by the A's in the 26th round of the 1991 Amateur Draft out of the University of Nebraska and spent two years as a player in the Oakland organization before injuries ended his career. After retiring, McArn coached at American River Junior College in Sacramento for five seasons.

Brad LaRosa
LaRosa, 31, joins the River Cats in his first season in the A's organization. For the past 3 seasons, he served as a Minor League Athletic Trainer in the St Louis Cardinals organization. LaRosa replaces Walt Horn who was named Assistant Athletic Trainer for the A's in October after spending 30 years as a trainer in the A's minor league system.

In addition to his athletic training duties, LaRosa, a 2000 graduate of Southern Illinois University who earned a graduate degree in 2003, assists with the team's travel and equipment responsibilities.

Cross posted from Notes From the Nat

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