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....

Friday, August 31, 2007

BaySox 10 Defs 4 down in MD. Carlos Sosa with

a two run homer, #9 for him. Brooks McNiven takes the L and Craig Whitaker's EL debut is one he'd like to forget.

In today's New London Day:


It was late in the afternoon Thursday, the last day in 2007 when Dodd Stadium was open for baseball, and there was Lou DiBella on the concourse with his dog, Chaplin, in tow. Chaplin, a rat terrier which Lou described as a “Jack Russell with satellite dish ears,” was really only looking for food. His dad, meanwhile, had his cell phone affixed to his right ear, listening to the final, painful, pitches of his Mets' meltdown in Philly.

“Let's go upstairs,” DiBella told an inquiring mind, who was there to talk about an encouraging season for the team he owns, the Connecticut Defenders.

And so DiBella, Chaplin and the inquiring mind headed to Lou's Lounge, an oasis next to all the skyboxes, with DiBella, and not Chaplin, barking. DiBella, nothing else if not a show unto himself, was bothered by some of Willie Randolph's managerial decisions.

DiBella sat down and spoke before he was asked a question.

“Well,” he began, “I'm very happy with my staff. Attendance is up. I'm very happy with my G.M. (general manager Charlie Dowd). He's an adult. He has ties to the community that were reflected in his ability to renew some relationships that had gone sour in recent years.”

DiBella admitted that the Defenders didn't make money in 2007, punctuating that with “and that's not good enough.” But he also acknowledged that things with the local Double-A baseball outfit are markedly better in Aug. 2007 than Aug. 2006.

Attendance, which will be somewhere around 195,000 showed a 15 percent increase, the largest single season increase in the history of the franchise. DiBella said that concession income is up as well.

Think about that: A franchise whose product looked to be swirling the bowl last year in an obscure ballpark with a baseball product on its fifth straight losing season actually reversed a trend — declining attendance — here in the Land Of Steady Habits.

That might elicit a yawn from the masses.

But anyone who has lived here long enough, with all the self-proclaimed experts about everything, should know there's reason for optimism.

“In previous years, a lot of what I said was spin. All spin,” DiBella said. “Not anymore. A lot of the crowds this year I liked. I'm comfortable with the direction right now. It's a very good job by our staff.”

Here's where the franchise stands: The Defenders can opt out — buy their way out, actually — of their agreement with Norwich that lasts through 2012, after the 2009 season. But if attendance and other revenue streams increase in the next two summers they way they did in 2007, the Defenders would be profitable, DiBella said.

But can that happen?

The Day's web site ran a question recently entitled, “Why don't you go to Defenders games?” There were an impressive number of responses, about 80 percent of which mentioned one of two factors:

The ballpark's location and a lack of interest in the San Francisco Giants, the parent club.

“I love the stadium,” DiBella said, “despite not loving the location.”

Translation: There's nothing they can do about being at the top of an industrial park.

Part Two of that, however, is something the Defenders must consider. The Giants have one more year here. After that, the Defenders ought to do everything possible to bid them a rousing “arrivederci.”

While it's true that attendance began to swan dive with the Yankees here, there was far more buzz about the erstwhile Navigators, because there was either a Soriano here or a Cone/Strawberry rehabilitation stint.

Most of the fans who watch the Defenders root for the Yankees or Red Sox. They have no attachment to the Giants, who play most of their games after bedtime.

And so if the Defenders could at least attract an American League franchise, the people here would have some familiarity. What they've got right now is five years of teams that lose 2-1 too much, five years of baseball that has been more boring than chemistry class.

The future of the franchise is tied to perpetually increasing attendance and attracting more and different advertisers. DiBella said, for instance, that while Mohegan Sun has been “a great friend to us,” he needs Foxwoods to renew the level of commitment it once had. At least the Defenders have something encouraging to sell.

There's not much more depressing than a ballpark closing for the season. But to think where the Defenders were a year ago at this time and where they are now ...

As DiBella said, it's not good enough. But it's a whole lot better.

This is the opinion of Day assistant sports editor Mike DiMauro. He may be reached at or 701-4391.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Big Bad John Bowker knocks in 5 runs

on a pair of sac flys and a three run jack to ice the game for GB as the Defs beat NH 8-1. Simon Klink added a solo homer. Dayton Buller with a sac fly and a Randy Ruiz RBI single to rounded out the RBIs. GB finally with run support goes 7 IP giving up an unearned run, five hits and 6 Ks. Joe Bateman wrapped up the last two innings. Connecticut does a number on the FisherCats taking 4 of 5.

Misc fan notes: Long lines outside as folks were cashing in their vouchers. Nice crowd of 4000+.

Meaningless personal stats: I ended up seeing the same number of games this year as last year: 47. That does not include this seasons's All-Star Game. I went 20-27. The Chris Curry jersey top went 7-6 however. Oscar Montero's 2006 blue jersey went 1-0 and Geno's 2007 patriotic jersery goes 0-1.

Quick chat with Tony Scott on the way out. Tony is very upbeat about next season.
This front office group along with the game staff, ushers, etc. were great thru-out the year. Thank you all!

Hondo, Mrs. Hondo and Lance be well and happy; missing you guys already. God Bless--Greg

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I wasn't going to tonight's game but talked myself

into it anyway. Heck, only one home game left after this one and then that long countdown to the April 3, 2008 home opener. Got there in the top of the second just in time to see Geno throw a come backer with DP written all over it into center field. Of course then next batter Erik Kratz doubles in both runners and the 1-0 lead built on Randy Ruiz's second triple in as many at-bats on two games (thanks hondo) goes out the window. Connecticut loses 7-1 and the 6 game win streak is over. Geno who is usually very effective at Dodd just didn't have it today. John Bowker who going into today's game was leading the EL in hits with 151 goes one for three and Ruiz who's been on a tear of late went 2 for 4 as did Simon Klink. For the FisherCats Rob Crosby had a big night going 3 for 5 with a solo homer and three runs scored.
Robert Grace made is EL debut in the 9th (I left in the 7th is he #18 or #45? anyone?) and threw a 1-2-3 inning.

Misc fan notes: It's clean out the closet night at Dodd for the season ender as all those past promo items that never found homes will be given out. Amazing how quick the season's over.
Good to see Mrs. hondo, hondo and lance tonight; glad I talked myself into going.

*CORRECTION about what I said at the game Brooks McNiven is still with the team as the "move" to SJ was one of those "paper" moves we've come to know and love the last week or so.

Kind of wonder if the team will wear the road or blue BP jerseys for the last game.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Defs beat FisherCats 3-1 in Game 1 as

Dave McKae (welcome back?) goes 6.2 IP with 5 his allowed and 4 Ks. Brain Anderson gets the final out for his 28th save. A three run fourth fot the Defs was the difference. a Randy Ruix RBI double, a TVS ground out brought in the second run and Simon Klinks's infield hit plated the third run.
In Game two is scoreless after 8 innings.
Misc fan notes: My attendance for Wednesday is doubtful at this point. Hondo covered it in the comments section of yesterday's post but the Giants organization just doesn't have a plan. AND TVS bunting with two strikes?????

Monday, August 27, 2007

Carlos Sosa's RBI single in the bottom of the 9th

scoring Jake Wald who had double propelled the Defs to a 3-2 victory. Joe Bateman piched a scoreless ninth and picks up the victory in relief of Nick Pereira. Velez, Riuz, Klink and Cordido all had two hits each.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Defs comeback again and beat the Rockcats 6-4

today. The big blow was a Carlos Sosa 3 run homer in the 8th inning, his 8th, to put the Defs up 5-4.
John Bowker added a solo shot, his 20th, for insurance in the 9th. Brooks McNiven gets the win and Brian Anderson picks up save #27.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Welcome back Matt Palmer and Defs win

on Eugenio Velez's first HR of the season a three run homer in the to cap a Connecticut comeback tonight in NB. Connecticut was down 5-1 after one inning but used the long ball to get back in the game. John Bowker hit his 18th and 19th dingers and Randy Ruiz went deep for the second straight day.
Palmer is now spending part of his 5th season with the Navs/Defenders. He was a starter in Fresno this year going 10-8. No word who else went up or down or on the DL to make space on the roster. Billy Sadler gets his first Defender save.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Defs drop first game of DH 6-4; Lead Game 2 4-0 in NB.

Defs wrap out 12 hits in game 1 but hit into 3 DPs and have two runners thrown out on OF assists; one at home naturally. Pat Dodson goes 3 for 3 and Randy Ruiz and Jake have a couple of hits each. GB gives up all 6 RockCats runs in the first helped out with his own error and falls to 2 up and 17 down.
In game two, Ruiz has gone deep with a two run homer as the Defs lead 4-0 after 3.5 innings. Ryan Sadowski takes the start out of the bullpen.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Defs winning big 11-1 heading into the 9th in NB..

as they've gone deep four times: Randy Ruiz (3 RBI), Simon Klink, Julio Cordido (3 RBI) and TSV (3 RBI) all go yard. The Defs have managed 9 hits and seven are extra bases. Geno Espineli cruising along nicely.

In today's Bulletin..

Our view: Norwich shrugs as Defenders edge closer to exodus

The Connecticut Defenders have three strikes against them and, yet, the Norwich City Council is considering issuing a $610,000 bond to pay for work at Dodd Stadium. It's a bond that would be money wasted since the team is already, in essence, out.

No one should delude themselves into thinking Dodd Stadium will be home to professional baseball much longer. The management team of the Connecticut Defenders has been working tirelessly to promote the team and to get people in the seats. While some improvements have been made, let's all be honest, it is not nearly enough. The Defenders still have one of the worst attendance records in Double-A baseball. That is strike one against the team. The team is, after all, a business and it is not interested in performing any public service for Norwich.


Strike two against the team is its affiliation. How many people in this region care about the San Francisco Giants? Take Barry Bonds out of the equation -- and he will never come to Norwich on a rehab assignment -- and the Giants might as well be a franchise for a baseball team in another country. Unlike the years of Yankees affiliation, when fans could see the likes of Alfonso Soriano, Shane Spencer and Nick Johnson and then follow them in big league careers, there has yet to be that kind of connection between fans and players with the Giants affiliation.

If location is everything, it is the strike that was thrown right down the middle of the plate and was ripe for hitting. Instead, Norwich sat with its bat on its shoulder and watched this one go by. Dodd Stadium is in one of the worst possible locations it could be in. It is not close to the highway. It is buried in an industrial park, and the easiest way to get to it is closed off with a gate. Norwich called that pitch and has watched it ruin the chances of the stadium ever being successful without much effort to change the scenario.

Never had a chance
In truth, there are many more strikes against the Defenders.

Norwich, with its Stadium Advisory Authority, has made alternative uses of the stadium difficult at best. It has also been less than helpful in allowing team ownership to do what it believes is necessary to attract visitors. Although, it must be noted, the Stadium Advisory Authority would like to credit the team with the expenses it has already taken to improve the stadium.

The city has not negotiated the gate issue, even though it is the city that was supposed to do traffic studies and re-examine the concerns after season one.

So, why should the taxpayer be expected to pay for a failing venture? The City Council should do what City Councils have done when it comes to Dodd Stadium and the baseball team playing there for the last 12 seasons -- nothing of substance. In doing so, Norwich leaders will reap what they have sown through the years with Dodd Stadium. They will have an empty facility. And no one should blame Defenders owner Lou Dibella and his staff for the outcome.

Nick Periera's two hitter (8-22-07)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Defs split with Senators tonight. Connecticut wins the

first game 6-0 behind the pitching and hitting of Nick Pereira to break the 9 game losing streak.
Nick throws the complete game shutout giving up only two hits and notching 4 Ks. The Defs scored three runs in the fourth on three walks, a Dayton Buller HBP and Pereira's two run dunk single. Connecticut put the icing on the cake the next innings as Tyler Von Schell hit a three run homer (see pic) to make it 6-0. Randy Ruiz playing his first game in the outfield for CT made a great catch of a foul ball falling into the Senators bullpen in the top of the 7th.
In game two Dave McKae joinsns GB in an exclusive Defenders pitching club this season i.e. throwing a complete game one hitter and losing. Two walks, a sac bunt and a two run single that from where I was sitting Klink would have gotten if not for the baserunner coming down the line toward him. The Defs could muster only six hits, two from Pat Dobson, in the game and none in the clutch as they fall 2-0 in Game two.
The nightcap also saw the return of catcher Todd Jennings to the team. Jennings started the season here and moved up to Fresno midseason. Regular catcher Steve Holm is injured.
So the Defs starting pitching throws two CG's allowing only three hits in 14 innings but they still split.
What do stats mean? Well tonight the Texas Rangers blow out the Baltimore O's 30-3. A Ranger reliever, Wes Littleton, entered the game in the 7th with his team leading 14-3. Littleton pitched three scoreless inning to wrap the game up as his team added another 16 runs to it's total. And Littleton is credited with a save.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and..

sometimes it rains." From Bull Durham.
Anyway mother nature wins today as tonight's game is a rain out. A doubleheader at 4:35 Wednesday as Justin Hedrick makes his first start of the season in Game 2. With that start time there'll be a hundred or so people tops for the first pitch and Harrisburg will be on the road by 9 PM.

Lance posted the Senators 2008 schedule under the comments section of yesterday's post. Take a good look at those starting times. Hopefully the Defs will use similar times next year.

Proposed starting times are the subject of a poll on the Defs web page as we post. It's kind of one side sided since the only choice to vote for starting times for night games is 6:35 but actually that's the time I want anyway for the whole season. For Sunday's my vote is for 1:05 and for Memorial Day 2:05.

PS--MORE weekday day games please! Especially for getaway games for visiting team in for weekday series. I also like a couple of 10:35 games thrown in; nothing like a morning baseball game--great way to start the day.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Senators beat Defs 6-5 as Connecticut goes to the dogs...

inside joke there as this was the bring your dog to the park promo night. That's 9 "L's" in a row now. Velez goes 4 for 5 with two steals and a caught stealing. Ashley's fav player Trey Webb knocks in three. Sadowski takes the loss in relief of McNiven. I should be on hand Tuesday and Wednesday.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Defs lose 8th in row 4-2 to Trenton....

well at least they scored. Sometime Yankee starter Tyler Clippard pitched the Thunder to a three game sweep. Connecticut could only manage 4 hits, one a Randy Ruiz solo homer in the ninth. Never have seen such domination by one team, Trenton, over another, Connecticut, in a season. The Thunder take 17 of 18 games from the Defs with 9 of them shutouts. GB falls to a mind blowing 2 and 16. Connecticut pitchers are probably happy to take bats in hand with the Senators coming in.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Petition denied, Defs lose again 1-0 to Thunder...

just add one to all the game stats below. Matt Carson, AGAIN, for the straight night hits a solo homer for the only run of the game. Carson also threw out Eugenio Velez at home (the Dave Mac tradition of runners thrown out at home continues under Shane Turner) trying to score on a John Bowker single. Bowker's hit and a total of three hits by Velez were the only hits the Defs could manage tonight. Geno was the hard luck loser. Carson's homer was a bomb to dead center.

Misc fan notes: Missed the fan fest out front; heard it was good. The crowd of 4344 pushed attendance to the highest season total since the last Yankee year in 2002.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Defenders petition the EL to move Trenton to the Southern Division

minutes after being shutout 1-0 by the Thunder for the 8th time this season and losing for the 15th time in 16 games overall against Trenton this year. Just kidding, but really, it was the third 1-0 shutout to boot. The only run was a homer by Matt Carson who has killed them all year. Dave McKae (5-3) goes 8 IP and scatters 4 hits. John Bowker picked up a two of Connecticut's five hits.

Misc fan notes: Good to be back at Dodd, seems like the team has been gone forever. Last fireworks crowd of the year drew 5300+; could have been more but a late t-storm delayed the start of the game 20 minutes or so. The Frisco Fry Shack had a rare opening tonight.

In today's New London Day

Norwich — City officials want to spend $190,000 to resod the playing field and $100,000 each to move in the fences and renovate the bathrooms as part of a $610,000 upgrade designed to make Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium more hitter-friendly and more inviting to fans.
Some of the changes, which would be paid for by a bond issue requested by the city's Baseball Stadium Authority, are required in accordance with the city's lease with the Connecticut Defenders, the San Francisco Giants' Double A minor league franchise.
But the cost could prove to be controversial among taxpayers, since the Defenders are about $200,000 behind in their lease payments to the city, and attendance, despite rising slightly this year, has dropped over the past several years to among the lowest in its league.
Poll: Why don't you go to more games?
Team and city officials will meet this morning to discuss the financial situation. Team attorney Glenn Carberry said the deficit is not as extreme as it appears to be because the Defenders took on many of the expenses the authority couldn't afford in lieu of rental payments. Those bills must be subtracted from the back lease payments.
Acting City Manager Joseph Ruffo, who is also the city comptroller, hopes to get exact figures from both sides at today's meeting. On Monday, the council will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. on the proposed ordinance to bond the money for the improvements, which also include new skybox carpeting.
The council must wait to vote on the ordinance until it hears a report from the Commission on the City Plan at the Sept. 4 meeting.
The Defenders, who have averaged 2,885 seats sold through Aug. 15, are currently last in the 12-team Eastern League in attendance. Norwich has the smallest population base of any Double A team, further hampering the team's efforts to attract fans and revenue.
For the past two years, the Giants have requested the stadium's fences be moved in to help increase home runs and scoring, but the project was put off until the resodding was approved to save time and money.
Team and city officials considered moving the infield closer to the walls, but Gary Schnip, the stadium authority member in charge of upkeep at the facility, said it now seems more cost-effective to just move the fences. Although final details have yet to be worked out, Schnip said it might be enough to adjust certain sections of the fence.
“The goal is to make the field play smaller,” Defenders General Manager Charlie Dowd said. “It's a goal enunciated by the Giants at every meeting .... It's a function of making it more in line with what the big-league affiliate wants, and what the fans want. Fans want power.”
Norwich Mayor Benjamin Lathrop and Dowd said the upgrades included in the bonding package should help improve attendance. Fans have complained about the poor condition of the bathrooms for years. Although they are not dirty, they appear to be, Dowd said, and that's what matters.
“It's the future of the ballpark,” Dowd said. “It's an issue whether people will come back. We want to keep mom happy, and mom cares about clean bathrooms.”
All agree there is much riding on the improvements. The Defenders' lease runs through 2012, but the team could leave after the 2009 season by making an early buyout payment.
Lathrop supports the bond, as long as the team fulfills its financial obligations. He also said the city has a responsibility to make sure the stadium remains professional quality.
“I'm supportive of taking care of the facility the city has,” Lathrop said. “We committed to this stadium 13 years ago. Let's not make a skeleton out of it. I'm very supportive. I've always been very supportive of that stadium.”
Carberry, who led the effort to bring minor league baseball to the region in 1994, said the $10 million Dodd Stadium has been “a great investment for the city of Norwich.”
Over the years, Norwich has spent $1.25 million on the stadium, and the city owns the facility outright.
“The community has had the benefit of 13 years of professional baseball with more to come,” Carberry said. “It has cost the taxpayers about $100,000 per year for the city to have this beautiful facility which has attracted close to 3 million people to Norwich.”
The Defenders return from a road trip tonight to play host to the New York Yankees' Double A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder. The Yankees' Double A affiliation was formerly with Norwich, but the franchise moved to New Jersey after the Norwich Navigators won the Eastern League championship in 2002.
Defenders General Manager Charlie Dowd said he continues to hear complaints that having the San Francisco Giants as the parent club has hurt attendance, but hopes the team can stand on its own.

Posted - 8/17/2007 8:24:50 AMIt never ceases to amaze me how free market entrepreneurial types are so willing to take risks when it comes to using other people's money.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

BaySox win 7-6 to complete the three games sweep.

Bowie scored a run off Kelvin Pichardo (1-2) in the 9th to win. Nick Pereira started and gave up four home runs in 4.2 IP. Justin Hedrick and Billy Sadler shut out the BaySox in their three innings of combined pitching as Connecticut rallied to tie the game. Pat Dobson hit his fifth HR and Simon Klink his ninth HR of the year in the comeback effort.

Just a suggestion for the team website.....

please take a look at the San Jose game recaps. There is usually a "notes" sction that discusses various stats, player/roster moves etc. Would be nice to see something like that on the Defenders recaps. For instance Yosandy Ibanez is back off the DL. Mark Minicozzi is sent to San Jose. Stuff like that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Former Red Sox Star Jose Offerman Arrested For Bat Attack

Defs lose 6-3 to the BaySox as the bullpen

coughs one up. Ryan Sadowski and Brian Anderson (1-5) in relief of Brooks McNiven give up 5 runs late as Bowie takes game two of the three game set. Randy Ruiz knocked in all three Connecticut runs. Crowds in Bowie pretty thin for these two games so far.

Indy baseball fever....our future?

Offerman arrested after attack with bat

BRIDGEPORT — Long Island Ducks shortstop and former major league All-Star Jose Offerman attacked Bridgeport Bluefish starting pitcher Matt Beech with a bat in the second inning of Tuesday's game at Harbor Yard, delaying the game 17 minutes.
Both Beech and Bluefish catcher John Nathans were injured by Offerman, who was struck by a pitch and rushed the mound. Offerman was later arrested. A source said he was charged with second-degree assault and faces a $10,000 bond.
Offerman, a former Bluefish, homered on the first pitch of the game by Beech. An inning later, Offerman was hit on his left calf by an 0-and-1 pitch. He immediately charged the mound, wielding his bat in his right hand. Beech, who had his arms outstretched in an attempt to defend himself, was struck on the fingertips of his pitching hand as both benches immediately emptied.
Nathans was in the middle of the sea of bodies coming to the aid of Beech. Offerman struck Nathans in the back of the head with his backswing, and Nathans later suffered from nausea, Bluefish left-hander Mike Porzio said. Police said Beech, a left-handed pitcher, had a broken right middle finger.
"He hit him with a cut fastball in the left calf," Bluefish manager Tommy John said of the pitch that began the melee. "And the next thing you know, Offerman's going to the mound with his bat over his head taking swings at Beech. He took at least two, maybe even three (swings)."
"It was just a scary incident for everybody witnessing
what took place," said Porzio, who signed a witness report after the attack. "Everybody was in shock at the time because it's not something you see. I've played 15 years and I've never seen that before.
"Everyone was fearful for Matt Beech because apparently something set Offerman off, because he's played a long time and nobody could believe what they were seeing. Unfortunately, though, he got out to the mound before we could. Luckily for Matt Beech, he was agile enough to dodge a bat. But it may have only been John Nathans taking one on the backswing in the head to have saved Matt Beech from really taking one in the face."
Nathans left the game at the end of the inning.
"He attempted to keep on going, but he came in the dugout and fell over," Porzio said. "Clearly, it was more than just a bang on the head."
Members of the Bridgeport Police Department converged on the Ducks clubhouse once order was restored on the field. Offerman was ultimately arrested, while Beech and Nathans were taken to an Bridgeport Hospital to be examined. "I called (Atlantic League executive director) Joe Klein immediately after the incident and told him what had occurred on the field," Bluefish CEO Mary-Jane Foster said. "And I have asked that the Atlantic League suspend Jose Offerman from the league for life."
Offerman — who appeared in 98 games for the Bluefish in 2003 — Beech and John were ejected. Offerman can expect to face a lengthy suspension and possible banishment from the league.
Ducks manager Dave LaPoint declined comment.
Former Bluefish third baseman Dee Jenkins was banished from the Atlantic League for his involvement in a brawl at Long Island on Sept. 18, 2001, and former Newburgh Black Diamonds pitcher Earl Steinmetz was banned after shoving umpire Adam Gladstone to the ground in an altercation in 1998.

**Matt was a former Navigator and a good guy when he played here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Radhames Liz no hits the Defs thru 7 innings and ends up...

with 14 Ks in 8 IP in Bowie's 4-2 victory tonight. Liz (11-4), who already no-hit the Senators this year, lost his no hit bid on Simon Klink's infield single and lost the shutout on with the next batter as Dayton Buller connected for his second HR. Connecticut put a couple of runners on in the 9th but came up short.
The losing pitcher for CT? GB, of course. Oh, Yosandy Ibanez made his first appearance in a month or so being on the DL.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Joe Strummer

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Jake slams but Defs lose 7-6 in Erie,,,,

Jake Wald's sixth HR of the season came with the bases loaded but it wasn't enough as Connecticut fell 7-6 and lose 2 out of three in Erie. Justin Hedrick took the loss in relief of Geno. Joe Bateman had a good outing throwing three scoreless innings. The team is off Monday and plays in Bowie until returning home on Friday. Seems like they've been gone forever......and

(Misc fan notes) as Joe Perez in today's Sunday Bulletin story "The beginning of the end for Defenders in Norwich" suggests the sound you think you're hearing is a clock ticking down to that fateful day the moving vans go down the hill and the EL team is no more. If that day comes in 2008 or 2009 or at all is anyone's guess.
NY-Penn league?--I used to go to Vermont Expos games with my late father in-law. The games could be pretty good or pretty bad. Short season rookie baseball, about 36 home games and people up there would get pumped up about the team. Limited number of tickets since they played on the UVM campus in South Burlington at Centennial Field that seats around 3000 and they pack the place. Seriously, people would brag in the supermarket about having tickets (think UCONN womens basketball tickets back in the day) to that night's game. Shuttle buses to the park since there zero parking on site. And being close to Montreal sure helped.
Indy baseball? I went to a BlueFish day game back in '98. There were maybe 200 people in the place. The park was OK, the game was against the Newark Bears and I don't remember much more. The act of going to a New Haven Cutters game has never happened and likey will never happen. I did go to a few Ravens games in the mid 90's.
Relocation to Mohegan or Foxwoods? There is a minor league team in Vegas but a gaming organization owning a team? Although the NBA allows the Sun but I don't see it happening....
A new PDC with either the Brewers, Cubs or Marlins? I wish that list was Yanks, Mets or Red Sox instead but I'd settle for the Marlins off the first list, since the SeaDogs, when they were a Florida farmteam, had some great teams.
My guess? Lou sells and say hello to the Lowell Spinners, Vermont Lake Monsters, Tri-City ValleyCats, etc., etc.,
And it's a darn shame because Double A baseball is really the cutting edge for deciding which guys might make the jump to the bigs and we will have lost something special here that will never return.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

SeaWolves nip Defs 10-9 in another homer feast...

as Erie hit 5 dingers to Connecticut's 2 tonight. Dave McKae in his second start against Erie gets lit up but Kelvin Pichardo ends up with the loss in relief.
Velez, Bowker and Webb get three hits each and Klink and TVS go deep.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Connecticut beats Erie in Home Run Derby 6-3

tonight. Randy Ruiz (4), Steve Holm (9), Simon Klink (7), and Carlos Sosa (7) all go yard. Nick Pereira (7-9) serves up three gopher balls among the six hits he allows in 6 IP. Nick also stuck out 8 batters with no walks. Ryan Sadowksi and Brian Anderson (SV 26) shut down the SeaWolves as the Defs win their second straight on the road.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Defs rained out in Akron and..........

the game will be made up only if it affects the end of the season playoff standings. That would be a long bus ride for just one game from Bowie where Connecticut's season is scheduled to end.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Simon Klink's HR in the top of the 13th is the

game winner as Connecticut beats Akron for the first time in 5 tries 3-2 tonight. Kelvin Pichardo gets his first EL victory and Brian Anderson picks up save #25 in a game that took nearly 4 hours to play. John Bowker goes 4 for 6 and Julio Cordido has three hits for the Defs.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Dayton Buller and TVS go yard but CT falls...

4-3 in Akron. GB pitches a CG with a line that is usually good enough to win but.....
Buller hit his first EL HR since his call up and went 2 for 4. Carlos Sosa in the leadoff position again goes 2 for 5 with a double and RBI. The Defs hit into a couple of DPs and had a runner caught stealing to go along with their 8 hits. That's 4 in a row by the Aeros over the Defenders so far.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Erie wins 4-2 to aviod the sweep this afternoon.

Sosa, Riuz and Cordido each have a pair of hits, but Erie turns 3 DPs and Velez is out a second trying to stretch a single into a double. Geno pitches well enough in 6 innings but a three Erie fifth does him in.

Misc fan notes: A crowd of 4000+! I guess the money giveaway was a hit. The team is basically gone for the next two week. Only 10 gates left..........

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Pat Misch in the middle of history tonight....

as Barry Bonds ties Hank Aaron's HR mark of 755 in Pat's first MLBB start ever. Good Luck to the former Navigator/Defender!

Defs use the long ball and win 8-3 over Erie

tonight. A trio of Connecticut batters hit homer runs: Carlos Sosa (1-3, 6th HR and 3 RBIs), Randy Ruiz (1-4, 3nd CT HR, 2 RBIs) and Ashley's favorite player Trey Webb (2-3 a double, 3nd HR and a RBI). Eugenio Velez went 2-4 with pair of SBs and a RBI.
I was curious to see how Dave McKae would fare against a team that hadn't seen him yet, unlike Portland for instance, and his line looks good: 6.2 IP, 7 hits, 3ERs, 8Ks and no walks. CT goes for the sweep Sunday.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Defs rally to beat Erie 7-5 tonight.....

I was there but saw little of the game as it was also my 4 year old grand daughter's first game. This meant chasing her from the left field berm to the right field berm with assorted stops in between for most of the game.

What I did see was Steve Holm's solo HR to put Connecticut up 1-0. And Carlos Sosa dropping a fly ball to start a five run Erie rally. And then Randy Ruiz hitting his first HR at Dodd as a Defender to pad the Connecticut lead to 7-5. And not much in between.

Misc fan note: Thanks to Trey Webb for signing a ball for Ashley and he had a big night.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Akron completes the three game sweep 7-2 tonight as a ...

5 run fifth against starter Brooks McNiven (6-5) who didn't get out of the inning was the turning point in the game. Joe Bateman gave up a 2 run single to the first batter he faced but then settled down nicely getting the next 10 batters he faced getting 5 Ks.
The Defenders lead briefly 2-1 on a Velez RBI single and a run producing Akron error in the third. The Defs managed only five hits in the game; two each from Velez and Webb and another by Steve Holm.

Misc fan notes: the last Sam Adams glass give away tonight; really nice glasses and I hope they do it again next year.........................
And that got me thinking....can we, the faithful readers, come up with 10 promo ideas for the front office for next year? Please submit your ideas here or LMK at the park. Let's see how many get used????

Erie in town for the next three games of which I'll only see Friday's game. If it rains tomorrow I'll be upset as I like to see every team in the course of the season.

Another small crowd and a lifeless kind of game that really semed to drag on and on.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

If GB is pitching it means that...Garrett will pitch

well enough to win but get zero run support. So why should tonight be any different? Defs fall 6-3 to Akron. Defs manage just 6 hits with Cordido, Bowker and Holm getting the RBIs. Not a eye popping line for GB: 5.1 IP 9 hits and two runs against the first place Aeros but the guy is not 2-13.

Misc fan notes: Small crowd and I need a better pic of Ruiz.