January 6, 2009 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Sacramento River Cats
West Sacramento, Calif. - The Sacramento River Cats and Oakland Athletics announced today that Tony DeFrancesco will return as manager of the River Cats for the 2009 season. DeFrancesco previously managed the River Cats from 2003-2007 and led the club to three PCL Championships in his five-year tenure with the team. DeFrancesco served on the Oakland Athletics coaching staff during the 2008 season.
During DeFrancesco\'s first five seasons at Sacramento, the River Cats compiled a 413-307 record and won four Pacific Coast League Southern Division titles and three PCL titles (2003-04; 2007). The 45-year-old DeFrancesco has spent 14 seasons managing in the A's minor league system in addition to last season with the A\'s coaching staff. In 2003, he was named the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year and also earned honors as The Sporting News Minor League Manager of the Year after guiding the River Cats to a 92-52 regular season mark, still the best record in franchise history.
DeFrancesco's 14-year minor league managerial record, which includes stops with the A's Arizona Rookie League team (1994), Short-A Southern Oregon (1995-96), Single-A Visalia (1997-98), Double-A Midland (1999-2002) and Sacramento, stands at 935-831.
A former catcher, DeFrancesco was a ninth round selection of the Boston Red Sox in the 1984 June Draft and spent eight seasons in the minor leagues with the Boston and Cincinnati organizations. A graduate of Suffern (NY) High School, DeFrancesco played three seasons at Seton Hall University.
As announced in November, Pitching Coach Rick Rodriguez and Hitting Coach Brian McArn, will return for the 2009 season. Athletic Trainer Brad LaRosa will also return next season. Last season\'s manager, Todd Steverson, was named in December to the Oakland Athletics\' Major League Coaching Staff as First Base Coach.