Thoughts and pictures of my local minor league baseball team the New York Penn League Connecticut Tigers; a Detriot farm team. We'll still be looking at former Navigators/Defenders players along the way....

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Akron downs Connecticut 2-0 as the Defs could

manage just 4 hits off Aeros pitching and three of those runners were then thrown out on the basepaths. Eugenio Velez singled twice and was caught stealing twice (that's 14 CS so far) and Julio Crodido was out at third stretching a double into a triple.
Geno Espineli should have won with his pitching line but falls to 6-7. The big news is Billy Salder is back from Fresno as Taylor Wilding goes back to SJ. Salder threw a shutout inning tonight and had been with Fresno this year. Billy made his MLBB last season.
For the tradeline the Giants dealt Matt Morris to Pittsburg for local star and Pirates rookie OF Raja Davis. With Nate, Fred, Dan and Bowker all trying to crack the Giants OF what does this mean?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Idle day off pitching appearance wonders......

Here's a list of those pitchers who appeared in just one game in a given season omitting position players and rehab starts in the Norwich Naigators/Connecticut Defenders franchise history:

'95--Grant Sullivan and Mike Carper

'96--Kent Wallace and Charlie Brown

'97--Mike Boddie

'98--Anthony Shelby and Joe Lisio

'00--Alex Graman and Stanton Wood

'01--Shad Whitely and Cloter Bean

'02--Seth Etherton

'05--Mitch Walk

'06--Frolian Ramirez

Boddie, Graman, and Bean all made it to the bigs breaking in with the Yankees.

Ramirez was released by the Giants after the '06 season and caught on in the indy Can-Am League and played on the league operated road team until his release on June 20, 2007.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A football game breaks out in Portland as...

the Defenders win by a touchdown 20-13 over the SeaDogs. That's 35 runs in the last two games. The big bat belonged to Julio Cordido going 3 for 4 with his first Defender homer, a three run shot, and knocking in 7 runs on the day.
TVS had a pair of homers, his 8th and 9th in just 28 games with the Defs and had 3 RBIs. Simon Klink, Trey Webb, and Pat Dobson (4th HR) all had 2 RBIs each.
Dave McKae got lit up for 11 runs, 10 earned in just two innings of work. Osiris Matos (5-0) got the win. Shane Turner gets his first ejection in the sixth.
Arena Baseball...catch the fever!!!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

John Bowker, in appreciation...........

now batting .296 (117 for 395) with 27 doubles, 17 HRs and 70 RBIs. Just having a great season so far. Thanks John!

Are you kidding!? Defenders 15 SeaDogs 0 in

Game 2 as the Defs complete the sweep. A five home run attack with one each from John Bowker (17), TVS (7) his second on the day, Simon Klink (5) his second on the day, Pat Dobson (3) and Randy Riuz's first as a Defender.
Bowker goes 4 for 5, misses the cycle by a double and drives in five runs. Dobson, Klink and TVS all knock in two runs each.
Probably the biggest margin of victory in franchise history and when was the last time they hit 5 out in one game
A bullpen effort as Ryan Sadowski, Justin Hendrick and Joe Bateman combine on a three hit shut out with Bateman getting the win.

Defs take Game 1 4-3 with two runs in the 7th and

hang on as the SeaDogs score 3 runs in the bottom half of the frame. Nick Pereira (6-9) gets win. A Simon Klink solo HR (4) and Eugenio Velez's RBI double were the key hits in the 7th. Tyler Von Schell added a solo blast of his own, his 6th.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Congrats Brian Buscher! Making his MLBB debut

tonight with the Twins and is 2 for 3 already. The former Norwich Navigator and Connecticut Defender third baseman was picked up by the Twins in the off season and started this year with the RockCats and had spent about six weeks in Triple A.

Up in Portland the Defs fall 9-2 as Brooks McNiven takes the loss. John Bowker drove in both Connecticut runs, one on his 16th HR and the other on a RBI double as the Defs managed only six hits. and the hitters were struck out 9 times.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Where did Randy Ruiz come from? Anyway the

Defs lose to the SeaDogs up in Portland tonight 7-3 and Shane Turner' 3 game win streak and the fourth for the team overall ends. Garrett takes the "L" and Matos got smacked around in his 1.1 IP of work.

John Bowker goes deep with his 15th HR of the season, a solo shot. TVS gets a pair of hits and a RBI.

SeaDog pitching stuck out 14 Defenders....14. Yesterday they stuck out 11 times.

Randy Ruiz, I guess, is the replacement for Alex Requena. Connecticut is his fourth team this year with other stops in Reading, and Altoona in the EL and Ottawa in Triple A. 30 years old, from the Bronx.
This is usually the time in the minor league season for strange stuff to start happening to the roster. Last year it was Quincy Foster, Jon Armitage, Osiris Matos, and the one start wonder Frolian Ramirez that popped up toward the end of the season. Hondo that was the guy; he lasted just an inning in his only start.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Defs win 3-0 on Carlos Sosa's 3 run jack ...

in the bottom of the 8th. The Defs managed only four hits in the game as RockCats starter Anthony Swarzak fanned 11 in 7 IP. Geno Espineli, Ryan Sadowski (2-2) and Kelvin Pichardo (SV 2) combined on the six hit shut out.

Misc fan notes: A quick game that took only 2:17 before 5200+ on camp day.

If you have an opinion about the media coverage of the team between the New London Day and the Norwich Bulletin now is a good time to head over to Joe Perez's Bulletin blog and get in on that discussion thread.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Random thoughts......

as hell week has wrapped up for me and I ease my way back into blog-world:

1.) The big news is obviously the "reassignment" of Defs manager Dave Machemer. WHY...with a whopping 5 weeks left and a last place club make this move? Maybe the Giants brass wanted a fresh set of eyes on this team? Maybe it was a reactive move to Sabean seeing a pair of stinko games in New Britain? Maybe no one has a clue in Giants upper mgmt? Who's accountable for a farm system that was not produced a single regular position player in at least 5 years? Obviously not Sabean who just got a contract extension. Anyway at least Mac still has a job as a scout and I hope there is no pay cut.
Despite the lousy record at least Mac was aggressive on the bases. The TI and EME busts sure didn't help and the promotion of Brian Horwitz further weaken the offensive. Starting pitching never gets a lot of runs to work with.

2.) If someone had told me at the beginning of the year that Steve Holm and John Bowker would be the breakout players on the team this year I would not have believed it.

3.) Brooks McNiven stinging together a nice little run here. This year's version of Geno Espineli.

4.) Guys.....can we please score some runs for Garrett next time he takes the hill!!!

5.) Doubtful I'm getting up to NB this season......

6.) How will the trading deadline impact this Defs squad. When the Yankees were here it was always pretty interesting what Navigators were moved/traded.

7.) Went to tonights game: Pretty retro feel to the Defenders as they looked more like the Norwich Navigators of 2004 and 2005 with Shane Turner back as manager, and players Tyler Von Schell, Steve Holm, Jake Wald, Joe Bateman and the 2007 debut/return of Julio Cordido all on the field. I had my Chris Curry uni on tonight to complete the look.
What's Julio doing back here?

8.) From Joe Perez's blog a good interview with Sabean, who has never to my knowledge been to Dodd, and sounds like he really doesn't care where the team plays as long as it's in the EL. And another good post about local media coverage.
Good job by Joe being in NB and putting himself in the position to interview Sabean. Wish Joe would cover the Defs exclusively when they're in town and then take his days off when the team is on the road but you need a life too.

9.) Giants' PDA with Connecticut is up in 2008. I hope we get another affiliate like the Mets because I think that's what Lou still wants and I hope that keeps us here beyond 2009.

10.) Thanks Lance for the posts while I was away!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Defs lose 11-3 in NB as three CT pitchers get

knocked around pretty good.

The Blog will be dark thru 7/25/07 as work will

take over my life thru next Wendnesday as the old phrase, "Eat, sleep, and work" becomes my reality until then. My game attendance will also be taking a hit. Sorry for the hiatus.

Misc game note: They lose in NB was night in what seem to become a pattern since the All-Star break. In other words, one inning of scoring and not a enough of it, lack of hitting, lack of timely hitting and a good starting effort down the tubes.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Defs lose 3-1 on a lazy, hazy, windy Sunday at


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Kevin Mulvey fans 11 and B-Mets win 1-0.....

Mulvey gave up just three hits in 8 innings, none hit hard--a bloop double by Tyler Von Schell off the right fielder's glove, a flair single by Trey Webb and and grounder up the middle by Simon Klink and that was all she wrote.
Connecticut had a couple of chances but couldn't convert and Gino Espineli is the tough luck loser. Justin Hedrick looked very good in relief striking out three of four batters he faced and Brian Anderson threw a scoreless 9th.
The usual suspects for the Mets beat us as a Mark Kiger double proved to be the key hit as he came around to score on a Celeb Stewart sac fly.

Misc fan notes: Avoid home games when you're up against Sailfest in New London as there was a smallish crowd on hand.
I am officially sick of watching the B-Mets as the last 8 home games have come against them.
Thanks Andy for getting me my uniform!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Nate update

Great stuff on Nate from the local news out in Fresno. Click on the video icon. Thanks Vai!

Defs lose 4-2 in snoozer at Dodd tonight.....

Starter Dave McKae didn't have much going only 4 innings giving up three runs, 2 earned on 7 hits, 2 walks and 4 Ks. Kelvin Pichardo made his EL debut throwing two scoreless innings. His first inning of work was a bit of a struggle but he showed some heat striking out two.
Jake Wald was the offensive tonight hitting a pair of RBI triples scoring Mark Minicozzi both times. Eugenio Velez and Carlos Sosa had a tough night at the top of the order combing for a 0 for 10 with 4 Ks and Velez leaving a bushel of runners on base in scoring position.
As usual our old friend Brett Harper was in the middle of the action going 3 for 4 with a double and 2 RBIs.

Misc fan notes: Geno--I want your uniform please! I don't need it signed or washed.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Brian Anderson's 21st save tonight....

Defs nip B-Mets 2-1 at Dodd....

Simon Klink was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in Eugenio Velez with the winning run in the bottom of the 8th after the Mets had tied the game off Orisis Matos in the top half of the inning.
Alex Requena, pitch hitting for Matos, lead off the 8th with a walk. After Velez tried to sac bunt Requena over unsuccessfully twice Velez slapped a single to put runners on first and second. Trey Webb then popped up his sac bunt attempt for the first out. John Bowker then walked to load the bases. Tyler Von Schell, whose single in the sixth had put the Defs up 1-0, tried to squeeze home Requena but the bunt went to the pitcher who forced Requena out at home. With the bases still loaded Klink went down 1-2 in the count before getting hit to force in the winner.
Nick Pereira pitched another good game, his second in a row over the B-Mets going 6IP, giving up just 4 hits, 2 BBs and striking out 8. Matos goes to 4-0. Brian Anderson comes on in the ninth to notch his 21st save.

Misc fan notes. In light of the "fog out" of last night's EL All-Star Game the front office promo for tonight's game was anyone with the last name of "Fog" or "Fogg" got in for free. Worked for me and a great way of turning a negative into a positive.

Picher Ben Cox is now in San Jose. Cox had begun the season as a starter and went into the Connecticut bullpen as the season progressed.

If you're from out of town and attended the EL All-Star Game

last night and can't make it back because of travel distance please consider the following:

Reach out to the Defenders front office and tell them you'd like to mail back your stub and for that stub to be "donated" to the US Navy morale dept at the US Navy Sub Base in Groton, CT.
The stub is worth the two admissions and if you were at the Game last night you saw those 800 sailors having a great time. I think it's a nice way to thank those who protect us.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

EL All-Star Game called due to foggy conditions..

in the top of the third with the scored tied at two. The fog rolled in around 5:30 and blanketed the field for the home run derby that started at 6:00. Well, the HR derby was scheduled to start at 6:00 but the stadium fire alarm kept going off with an automated P.A. announcement telling people to leave. It was a false alarm but got to be comical since ever time it seemed to have turned off Johnny Gill would begin to introduce a player and the alarm would go off again.
Anyway, the fog never left and once the game started it was a question of when, not if, the game would be called. Balls hit to the outfield proved impossible to field and a hard foul into the stands, especially over the dugouts, would have been pretty dangerous. Oh well....

Misc fan notes: Great meeting "BruteSentiment" whose day had started with last night's MLBB All-Star Game and was stopping over to the EL All-Star Game on his way to Boston. Pretty impressive he'd stop by. He's a good guy and has a wealth of player info. Drive careful!

Place was packed tonight. Great to see and everyone can exchange their stub for two additional games. Nobody has control over the weather but the front office has nothing to be down about.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kelvin Pichardo promoted from San Jose to Connecticut

yesterday as reported on the San Jose Giants website and mentioned on McCovey's. A reliever with a 2-3 record and a 3.09 REA, three saves, in 29 games with 46.2 IP allowing 37 hits and with an eye catching 71Ks.
Not info on a subtraction from the Connecticut roster as of yet.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Defs win 6-4. Simon Klink drives in 4 runs...

with a 3 run homer, his third of the season and a sac fly to lead the offensive. Mark Minicozzi goes 3 for 5 witha RBI. Alex Requena scorces three runs and Dayton Buller has his first muli-hit game as a Defender.
Brooks McNiven has his best start going 7 innings giving up just 4 hits and three runs all earned. Brian Anderson gets his 20th save of the season.
Misc fan notes: Congrats to Tyler Von Schell; EL player of the week--his first week back in the EL.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

B-Mets rally with 4 in the eigth and beat Defs 12-10

in another seesaw after in New York. Connecticut jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second only to see the Mets explode for 8 runs in the third. The Defs chipped away taking a 10-8 lead only to lose the game.
Eugenio Velez went 4 for 5. Tyler Von Schell (hot, hot, hot) scored three runs, went 3 for 5 with 3 RBIs two of them on his fourth homer in nine games. John Bowker 2-4 with 2 RBIs, Alex Requena 2-5 with 2 RBIs (second good game in a row) were the other hitting stars. Dayton Buller picked up his first EL hit since coming aboard.
Geno Espineli gave up the eight runs in the third, five were earned as the Connecticut defense committed 4 errors plus a run scoring passed ball in the game. Taylor Wilding ended up taking the loss giving up those 4 runs in the Mets eighth.
Wierd move of the game: OF Carlos Sosa pitched to one batter who got on via an error. What was that all about?
Something to watch for: four hitters were HBP, two on both teams. Great schedule making to blame here as these teams are in the middle of playing 11 games against each other from June 30 to July 15. Something's going to give.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Defs rally, beat the B-Mets on John Bowker's 13th HR

of the season in the top of the ninth. Connecticut jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second only to give up 5 runs in the bottom half of the inning. The Defenders tied it up in the sixth to set the stage for Bowker's homer.
The top of the order was cooking tonight as leadoff hitter Eugenio Velez went 3 for 5 with 3 RBIs. Trey Webb, in the two hole, knocks in a couple of runs with a single and a sac fly. And Bowker's homer accounts for the other run as the first three hitters in the lineup produce all six runs. Tyler Von Schell and Alex Requena get two hits apiece.
Osiris Matos picks up the victory in relief to improve to 3-0.

Misc fan note: In a week and 8 games Tyler Von Schell sure has done a lot: .367 avg. ( 11 for 30), 8 runs, two doubles, 3 homers and 9 RBIs. Is he the spark?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Defs take Game 1 2-0 for fourth straight win over

Harrisburg in tonight's doubleheader. Nick Pereira had his best performance of the season going 6 innings, with 4 hits allowed, striking out a season high 9.
Trey Webb homered in the first, his second, for a quick 1-0 lead. Eugenio Velez had a RBI triple in the third to score Jake Wald who had walked. Brian Anderson got his 19th save, another 1-2-3 inning with 2 Ks. Good too see that; he's stuck out 5 of the last 7 batters he's seen.
In Game two, Connecticut is down 3-0 after 2 innings.

Brian Anderson and Osiris Matos added to....

the EL All-Star North team. They replace Defender Alex Hinshaw, who just came off the DL and SeaDog and hot Red Sox prospect Clay Buchholz who was selected for the Futures Game in S.F.
I don't have a problem with Anderson being on the team as he has 18 saves but I'm puzzled about Matos's selection and that fact the Defs, the last place team in the diversion, have 6 All-Stars.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Defs and Senators rained out....

DH Friday to make it up.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Defs win a wild one in Harrisburg 9-6 on the 4th of July

and again Tyler Von Schell is the hitting star going 2 for 5 with a solo homer, his third, and a 2 run RBI single to pat the lead. Steve Holm goes 3 for 5 with a pair of RBIs. Mark Minicozzi and Trey Webb (double and a RBI) had two hits each. Eugenio Velez scores a pair of runs, gets a RBI and steals base #29.
Geno Espineli started but only went two innings giving up two runs. Joe Bateman gets the win in relief going 3 innings. Brian Anderson gets his 18th save and probably his most dominant one striking out 3 of the four batters he faced.

Pat Misch called up by the Giants yesterday...

as reliever Vinnie Chulk was placed on the bereavement list. A crowd favorite in his Navigators/Defenders seasons it's the pitcher's second callup to the big team after making a one inning scoreless MLB debut last season.
Misch has a 2-3 record, one save this season at Fresno with a 2.03 ERA in 57.2 IP. 40 hits given up and 62 Ks.
He got in last night's Giants game and pitched a 1-2-3 inning!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

"B" boys blank Mets 2-0....

"B" boys as in Connecticut starter Brooks McNiven and Tyler "Bomber" Von Schell. McNiven had his best start going 7 innings scattering 8 hits, no walks and two Ks to improve to 4-3. Osiris Matos got the two inning save, his fourth of the season, to complete the shutout.
Von Schell, who went 3 for 4 last night and scored three runs, figured in both Defender runs tonight. In the second he homered to left(see pic), his second since getting here Saturday, to put the Defs up 1-0. In the fourth he singled and came clugging around on Simon Klink's two out triple to close out the scoring.
Catcher Dayton Buller had his Double A debut tonight and made an immediate impact throwing out two Mets trying to steal in the first inning. He also started a rally ending double play in the Mets half of the fourth.

Misc fan notes: The Frisco Fry Shack, open for business for just the second time this season!
Just under 4,000 tonight, wish there was more.
Belated congrats to the Defenders All-Stars: Eugenio Velez, John Bowker, Stev Holm, Alex Hinshaw, and Geno Espineli.
Strange play of the night and one I've never seen before: With two outs and a 1-2 count on Mets CF Corey Coles and Coles jawing with the home plate ump over the previous pich that was called a strike. Coles didn't get back into the batter box in the alloted time and a automatic strike was called ending the inning and Coles was then ejected for agruing that call.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Defs rally, beat B-Mets 5-3. Garrett Broshuis gets the

win and Tyler Von Schell goes 3 for 4 with a double and RBI and scores three runs to lead the offensive comeback.
Connecticut fell behind after the top of the fourth 3-0 as Broshuis came up a sole homer in the third and old friend Brett Harper connected on another two run shot for the B-Mets only runs of the game.
In the bottom of the fourth Connecticut would score twice. After loading the bases a one out grounder by Steve Holm forced in one run and the relay throw to first was in the dirt allowing the second run to score.
Connecticut went ahead in the 6th on a Von Schell RBI single and a Simon Klink sac fly. Von Schell looked to be out at home on the sac fly as the ball beat him to the plate leading to a protest by the Mets manager and catcher. They picked up an insurance run in the 8th as Von Schell lead off with an infield hit and came around on a booming double by Carlos Sosa to close it out at 5-3.
Broshuis went seven IP giving up hust 5 hits and notching 3 Ks. Alex Hinshaw just off the the DL pitched the 8th and Brian Anderson gets his 17th save after giving up a leadoff double. Good to see Garrett get a win as his record so far this season is not reflective as to how he has pitched.

Misc fan notes: Article in today's Norwich Bulletin by Joe Perez on attendance. One one hand GM Charlie Dodd is quoted sounding very hopeful and upbeat about things getting better. On the other hand owner Lou DiBella is quoted as unhappy with the number of people attending while acknowledging the team will likely break the 200,000 mark for the first time since 2002.
On my hand I can tell you after seeing my 29th game tonight that the field is in good shape, the staff is the most friendly and accommodating I've dealt with (and that's not a slam on any particular regime) and it starts out in the parking lot and all the way in to my seat.
Some of the promotions have been innovative and unique. The food downstairs is good. The menu up in Lou's Lounge is improved and my one tasting was darn good. The outfield billboards were all sold prior to the start of the season.
Lou has read this blog in the past and has complimented me on it and even offered to do an interview.
But Lou, outside looking in, the way this article is presented, you should have acknowledged the hard work your staff has done year to date in getting you in position to surpass 200,000. I know it's your money and I'm sure you'd like a packed house every night but your staff (and it's the first year for a bunch of these guys) is busting it every night I'm there and a public pat on the back from you to them was called for. But again, I don't know how the article was edited.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tyler Von Schell's sac fly today.

Defs drop one literally.....5-4 this afternoon to the Mets

in what should have been a tidy 4-2 win. After going down 2-0 the Defs came back with some timely hitting to take a 4-2 lead. Jake Wald hit the Dunkin' Donut sign in left to start the Connecticut scoring. Simon Klink and Mark Minicozzi had RBI singles in the fourth and Tyler Von Schell had a sac fly in the fifth for the Defender runs.
In between Wald had a couple of throws from deep shortshop and shallow left field to help starter Dave McKae. McKae went six innings, gave up two earned runs, one a tainted but earned run in the first, and had 2 Ks. Not a dominant performance when you saw it in person however. According to Joe Perez's blog the scounts were there to see McKae (Yankees?) with the trade deadline coming up.
But in the 8th...well Ryan Sadowski who had a 12 pitch 1-2-3 7th, started the 8th with 6 balls in a row. Out comes Steamer and the next pitch is a popup to Mincozzi, playing his first game at second in who knows how long, which he drops. Pat Dobson in right tries to get the runner at second but his throw is wide and it's runners on first and third. Next batter is a RBI groundout to make it 4-3. Old friend Brett Harper goes yard for a 2 run homer and a 5-4 victory.
Let's remember Minicozzi is probably the team's third or maybe 4th option at second after Webb, Wald, Velez (yeah I know he's got to be in CF) and perhaps even Dobson. Also earlier in the game Minicozzi and Dobson got crossed up on another popup that fell in for a single. Adding insult to injury in the 9th now down 5-4, that's when Webb goes in as a defensive replacement.

Misc fan notes: I left this one after 6 to indulge my NASCAR passion, especially with the race being run in New Hampshire. As I found out from Tony Scott, our favorite ticket attendant Justine who is a big Carl Edwards fan is also, like me, a Yankees fan. Justine is up in Loudon today at the track. Edwards drives for Rousch/Fenway and the 99 car is sporting Red Sox logos this race. That's got to be tough.

Von Schell is wearing #29. Dayton Buller is wearing #15.

Smallish crowd; fireworks Monday and Tuesday nights.