Hot Diggity Dog!!

Happy New Year!! No, you’re not in some alternate universe, for me the new year starts on baseball’s Opening Day, and that time has come for the Minor Leagues. The green freshly cut grass, the bright white uniforms, the smell of hot dogs and beer lingering in the air amid the hustle and bustle of the fans, yes, this indeed is another happy new year.

While I patiently waited all off-season, and even endured the 99-day lockout imposed by Major League owners, there’s one thing I’m looking forward to the most this year, and it’s not watching the best prospects. Yes, I’m still excited to watch Heliot Ramos, Sean Hjelle, and Michael Plassmeyer work their way to the Majors, and there will be veterans like Carlos Martinez trying to make it back for one more run, but this year, this year is different. This year I’m looking forward to hot dogs.

The ever famous $2 Dog, Dinger Dogs, Green Chili Queso Dogs, the Diablo Dog, and my oh so favorite Greek Dog. These specialty dogs use locally produced Miller’s Hot Dogs who are based in Lodi, California, and topped with an amazing combination of flavors that will keep your mouth watering, your wallets thin, and you belly bulging. Here’s a quick description of the three gourmet dogs:

Green Chili Queso Dog, topped with white cheddar queso, hatch green chiles, and hickory smoked bacon. It’s a south of the border twist on an American classic that goes well with a Modelo beer.

Diablo Dog, smeared with cream cheese and topped with a house-made jalapeno relish, raspberry jam, and bacon. Its sweet, salty, with just the right amount of kick from the jalapeno relish. Oh, and the raspberry jam goes surprisingly well, so come with an open mind, and an empty belly because your tastebuds will thank you for it.

Greek Dog, topped with Tzatziki, tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta. You get a piece of the Mediterranean at Sutter Health Park, and make sure you class it up with a glass of wine from Bogle Chardonnay. Yes, this is what I’m having for dinner tonight.

If you’re not a hot dog fan, don’t worry, Sutter Health Park has a wide array of food options from ballpark classics, pizza, barbeque, tri-tip, and Mexican just to name a few. You’re bound to find something no matter what you’re craving. Of course, Sutter Health Park has more than food to offer, it is a Triple-A baseball park too.

The start of the new season brings opportunities. Opportunities to try new food, opportunities to watch the stars of tomorrow today, the opportunity to make new friends, and more importantly create memories. Those memories are not just for the fans who come out to the games, but players make their own memories as well. Heliot Ramos reflected on his time in Sacramento and the memories that he created for himself last year. From going out to eat “mondongo”, Columbia’s version of what many of you might know as “menudo”, every day with coach Jolbert Cabrera to playing against his brother, and 2019 River Cats alum, Henry Ramos in a professional game to which he said,

“Honestly that was one of the best experiences. I’ve watched my brother since I was like ten years old play professionally, and I look up to him a lot, he’s my role model. So, seeing him and playing against him, he hit a lot of homers playing against us, so its cool seeing him play like that. To me, he’s a superstar”.

Of course, not every athlete has a chance to play with or against their brother at the professional level, and their memories can be as pedestrian as the ones we make at work every day. Bryce Johnson shared his memory about when Mike Tauchman joined the team last year in early August,

“Mike Tauchman, came to us in Salt Lake, and he ended up coaching first base over there in the box, and [the pitcher] picks off over there [at first base] and I kid you not, like 45 seconds after the ball was already thrown back to the pitcher by the first baseman, he screams, “Back”!! telling the runner to get back. Of course, the runner’s already standing back on first base, but Mike Tauchman has a bunch of memories I can take from, I love that guy. He’s a character and he’s always got some trick up his sleeve that makes everyone laugh; he’s a great guy”.

What memories are you looking to create this year? Or what are some of your favorite memories from the past 22 seasons of River Cats baseball? I’d love to read what you have to say in the comments. If you’re looking for more memories from the Sacramento River Cats, check out my new book, “Let’s Get It All”, a memoir of the amazing 2019 River Cats run to the Triple-A Championship. Part One is available now for FREE on this website at

I’m Finished!!

Writing my first book has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done but I can finally put it away and say I did it. I took a lot away from the experience, and it took a lot out of me, but my growth as a writer shows. What started off as a history of the River Cats, evolved into a chronicle of the 2019 Championship season. The book’s ebb and flow is much like a full baseball season, and my emotions are reflected in my writing, but there are also flashes of brilliance; moments in which you feel as if you were living that moment again for the first time. This is my second rewrite over the last three years, but closest to what I had originally written when I took on this endeavor.

I thought that I would be able to have this book done by the start of the 2020 season but editing became a chore I was not prepared for. I would put the book on hold when the Covid pandemic hit as my mental health was pushed to the limits over some personal life experiences, and baseball took a backseat to what was going on in the world. I was just about complete with the book by the time the 2021 season opened, but then it was through an online discussion with Walter Beede that made me trash what I had written.

The preparation I took for writing this book included reading as many books on baseball as I could and trying to emulate them; it was a horrible idea and it showed, so I deleted it. I was so wrapped up in writing a “good” book, that it just didn’t feel right anymore. I was trying to impress some imaginary audience, when I should have been true to my own writing style and to those who already follow me for what I have to say and were looking forward to my insights on this memorable season.

I’ve slowly built this back together over the past year, and I’m finally ready to release it, with a catch. I will be releasing this book for free and because of that, I will be releasing sections of the book on the first of each month from April 2022-October 2022. My reasoning is simple; I want the continued engagement with my followers, and hopefully attract more in anticipation of “what’s next”. As an added bonus I will also be releasing previously unpublished photos from the 2019 season on my Instagram and Twitter and last but not least, the physical copy will be available in October/November for anyone who would like a copy for the holidays.

Thank you to the Sacramento River Cats for the opportunity and access you gave me to write this book, and thank you to every other team in the Pacific Coast League, as well as the Stockton Ports, and the Boise Hawks for allowing me access to their teams in helping fill out some sub plots to the main story, and most importantly, thank so much to all of the fans who have supported me and been patient while I worked on this project. Now, enjoy the first games of the postponed 2022 Spring Training, and come back here on April 1st as I drop the first section of my book, “Let’s Get it All”!