(No) moneyball

The Sacramento River Cats take on their MLB affiliate the Oakland Athletics this Saturday, March 31; 6:05 p.m.; look for tickets at www.rivercats.com.

The running joke among Oakland Athletics fans—lifer here!—is that they’re “quadruple-A.” You’ve seen Brad Pitt in Moneyball, so you know that the Athletics have one of the lowest team payrolls in all of Major League Baseball.

Yankees, Red Sox, the Giants—they’re MLB. And then there’s “triple-A,” which would be your Sacramento River Cats. And finally, the A’s are somewhere in the middle. Not quite majors, definitely not minors.

Quadruple-A. Anyway, too much inside baseball, right.

No matter: The River Cats are awesome. They’re winners in a winning stadium. But the best players (such as A’s second baseman Jemile Weeks) are always sent up to the majors in Oakland, which sucks for the 916 (and 530).

Well, this Saturday, the pros of the past return when the As visit West Sacramento to battle their minor-league brethren. And, while Oakland is obviously supposed to win, I’m going out on a limb: The River Cats will take this year’s exhibition match-up.

How? Manny Ramirez’s dreads—the slugger might suit up for the Cats before serving his 50-game drug suspension. And also the fact that the A’s, who’ll have just returned from two games in Japan, will likely be jet-lagged like a bad hamstring.

I betcha a Dinger Dog.