Mike Saeger has been there through thick and thin with the 66ers. He was there when they were the Spirit, then became the San Bernardino Stampede, then the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino.
He broadcasted games from Fiscalini Field. He remembers when the San Bernardino franchise became a Dodgers afffiliate — the first time.
Now the keeper of the last 15 years of history with the California League in San Bernardino, Saeger is leaving for bigger and better things.
He’s heading to Double-A San Antonio (full story running in Wednesday’s paper). He had not pursued many Double-A jobs before, preferring to go for Triple-A or big-league jobs. If you’ve heard him, you know he’s Triple-A or big-league quality, for sure.. Not that he looked down on Double-A, but in weighing the benefits of Double-A (higher level, bigger exposure) vs. staying in San Bernardino (established commissions and where his wife is from), the saying had the bigger pull.
That is, until now. There’s a certain stigma from being a Single-A broadcaster that won’t let you get Triple-A jobs. So going to Double-A, where there’s a larger media market, many colleges in the area with a chance to broadcast games in the off-season, is the best option now with Saeger not getting any younger.
There have been many broadcasters who have gone from the California League to success: Matt Vasgersian (fromerly broadcaster of the High Desert Mavericks went on to work San Diego Padres games and is now with MLB network and doing NBC Olympics play-by-play) and Roxy Bernstein (former Mavericks broadcaster now does radio for the Florida Marlins) are the two that initially come to mind. Saeger is their equal in every way except one: big-league experience. Now is his chance to move up.
Good luck Saegs. We’ll miss your game notes, your good humor and your knowledge of the game, current and past. Hopefully we’ll hear you broadcasting games in L.A. sometime soon.
Since the six month waiver for Brett Sports to sell the High Desert Mavericks expired almost two weeks ago, the question has been, what next?
The Bretts announced their intention to sell the Mavericks last spring when they announced they were buying the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. That was required by California League and Minor League Baseball rules; one owner cannot own two teams in the same league.
Both Minor League Baseball and the California League have granted extensions to the Bretts to sell the team.
“Bobby has been trying diligently to sell the team,” California League president Charlie Blaney said.
Blaney would not comment on how long the extension is for, or how the league vote went, but “the league is very supportive of Bobby.” Blaney said that since the Bretts took control of the Quakes in August, no teams have been sold in minor league baseball.
There have been situations in the past where the league would take control of a league franchise, including I believe, Bakersfield with the California League a few years ago. But Blaney said this is not one of those situations.
“It would be a possibility, if they couldn’t pay their bills or were having trouble financially, but that’s not applicable here,” Blaney said.
I don’t know if broadcasters can really be traded, unless they both consent to do so.
But that’s in effect what has happened with the Quakes. When former broadcaster Jeff Levering was let go by the Quakes in the ownership change at the end of last season, he was replaced by Mike Lindskog, a former broadcaster in the Brett Sports empire, who is returning to the California League after being with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals.
Since then, Levering has been looking for new work. I for one, was sure he would find something as he is a quality broadcaster. And he finally did it — he’s got Lindskog’s old job with Springfield.
That might be weird for both of them. Lindskog will be hearing things about Levering, his predecessor and replacement this season, and likewise for Levering.
Interesting isn’t it that both their last names begin and end with the same letter? Coincidence? Probably.