Reporting Steve Large
WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s big baseball announcement Monday where he said “we don’t want to be caught flat-footed” caught his very own political allies off-guard.
“I don’t believe in cannibalism among friends,” said West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, whose city is home to the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats.
Johnson’s plan would explore replacing the River Cats with a big league team. He specifically mentioned the Oakland A’s, the River Cats’ parent team.
“This is one where at least at the moment we have a significant disagreement, and I think it could have been handled differently,” Cabaldon said.
Cabaldon used strong language, saying Johnson’s baseball dreams will go nowhere.
“The notion that someone is going to snap their fingers and tomorrow the River Cats are going to be replaced by a major league team isn’t real,” he said.
More than opposing the idea, Cabaldon is upset he only learned about it when Johnson left a voicemail, the night before his public reveal.
“I’m personally a good friend of Mayor Johnson’s and we’ve done a lot together,” he said. “This is a bump in that road.
“Look if we said, ‘We want to have a conversation about locating the kings in West Sacramento. We want to move the state Capitol to West Sacramento,’ and I just announced it? I think that would cause a little bit of friction on the other side of the river too.”
In his press conference Monday morning, Johnson made sure to praise West Sacramento.
“That’ll be our first meeting coming out of Think Big, to sit down with our friends across the river,” he said.
Later Monday night, Johnson released a statement to CBS13 reading “We should have done a better job reaching out to our various stakeholders in advance of today’s announcement.”
But Cabaldon says he’s still upset. Kevin Johnson, the man able to sink a long shot and keep the Kings in Sacramento, is now getting tagged out at home.
“If we’re going to move forward as a region with a leader in the form of the mayor of Sacramento, it has to be done in a different way,” Cabaldon said.