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, January 29, 2008

2005 Norwich Navigator David Aardsma now

a member of the Red Sox. As Boston traded two minor league pitchers to the White Sox for the former Giant pitcher who has bounced around the bigs for a few years now. David went 6-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 9 games (8 starts) with the Navs in '05.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Former Nav Brad Vericker hangs them up....

as reported on another blog. Vericker who played in Norwich for parts of the '04 and '05 seasons had spent the last couple of years in the indy leagues. Good Luck Brad!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Scott Munter now a Devil Ray.....

the former Navigator/Defender who has pitched for the Giants has been signed by Tampa.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

2B or OF....what's his best shot?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Does John make it to the show this season....

Friday, January 18, 2008

Who loves ya baby?

Will Pat be back?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Does Mark start off in Norwich.......?

waiting on that one day in late March/early April when the minor team rosters and the debate begins about who landed where.

P.S.--Always get a bunch of cadets up there. Give out free tickest to the entire base if needed. They liven up the place better than any other group and drop a bunch of $ at the food stands.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I just got this wierd feeling he'll be back....

somehow, someway, sometime.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Back this season...............?

As reported in today's New London Day....

Norwich — The Connecticut Defenders will hold off on a decision regarding a proposed parking fee at the Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium until mid-February, after the annual Fan Fest.

Team officials have been considering introducing a $2 per vehicle parking fee as a way of raising revenue without raising ticket prices or concession prices. Team owner Lou DiBella said Monday team officials would re-evaluate the proposed fee after looking at ticket sales and advertising dollars projected for the coming season.

Thus far, however, DiBella said advertising revenue appears flat with the slowing economy. The team last year lowered food prices in the concession stands, and DiBella has not raised ticket prices since he purchased the team two years ago.

“I'm not looking to charge for parking,” DiBella said. “I don't want to charge for parking. I'd rather not charge for parking. But the reality is we haven't raised prices since we got here and we've lowered the food prices. ... Ideally I'd like to be the cheapest entertainment choice we can be and still end up in the black.”

The proposed parking fee raised objections in comments posted on the Day's Web site Saturday, as several people feared the charge would hurt attendance or cause traffic backups in the stadium parking lot.

DiBella repeated a call for community support for the Defenders, the AA minor league baseball affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, to show the region can support professional baseball.

The Defenders' lease with the city of Norwich runs through 2012, but the team has an option for an early buy-out after the 2009 season based on attendance and profitability.

“We'll hold off (on the parking charge decision) and see where we stand with advertising and tickets sold,” DiBella said. “We'll see where we stand economically.”

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tim Hutting traded to the Traverse City Beach Bums

of the Frontier League from the Joliet JackHammers of the Northern League. Tim played for the Navs in 2005 playing in 111 games at SS with 2 HRs and 27 RBIs with a .259 BA. Good Luck Tim!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Steve and Brian invited to Giants spring training

Saturday, January 12, 2008

$2 is reported in The New London Day

Norwich — The Connecticut Defenders minor league baseball team is considering charging for parking at Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium for the first time in several years.

Defenders General Manager Charlie Dowd said Friday that team officials are discussing a $2 charge per vehicle for parking, allowing buses in for free to encourage groups to come to the stadium, and giving full-season ticket holders free parking passes. Team officials hope to make a final decision by the end of January. The baseball season opens April 3.

“When you go to a sporting event or entertainment event, there's an expectation that you pay for parking,” Dowd said.

Team attorney Glenn Carberry said the Defenders may be the only team in the 12-team Eastern League that does not charge for parking. Last season, the New Britain Rock Cats charged $5 per vehicle.

Dowd said when he was general manager of the Bridgeport Blue Fish two years ago, the team charged $4 for parking. Dowd also noted that Six Flags amusement park charges $20 per vehicle for parking.

Dowd said it's a difficult decision, with the team weighing the need to raise revenue — in part to pay for parking lot staff and for possible improvements to the gravel sections of the stadium parking lot — against the desire to keep fans happy at a critical time in team history.

The Defenders' new lease with the city runs through the 2012 season, but the team has an option to pull out of Norwich after the 2009 season if finances and attendance are poor. Attendance had been sagging for years, but last year the Defenders saw the biggest attendance increase since the 2002 season, when the then-Norwich Navigators won the Eastern League championship.

The Defenders drew 195,235 fans in 2007, an increase of 24,428, or 14.3 percent, over the 2006 season.

At the end of the season, team owner Lou DiBella hailed the attendance improvements but looked forward to further improvements in the next two years.

Dowd said the team is considering a “nominal” parking fee rather than a ticket price increase, because it would apply per car rather than per person.

“If four people come in one car, that amounts to 50 cents a person,” Dowd said.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A new manager.....

as reported by Joe Perez in today's Bulletin............

Defenders hire manager from outside the organization

Figueroa comes from Orioles’ farm system
Jan 10, 2008 @ 11:31 PM
Norwich Bulletin
Welcome to Norwich, Bienvenido Figueroa.

The Connecticut Defenders announced Thursday that Figueroa will be the 10th manager in franchise history. He comes to the Defenders and their parent organization, the San Francisco Giants, after serving as the bench coach for the Bowie BaySox in 2007.

“I feel great,” Figueroa said by phone. “I’m new to this organization. They have a lot of good players coming up, they have great talent. I can’t wait to see it.”

Figueroa takes over a Connecticut team that hopes to benefit from a farm system that gave the Giants’ affiliates the second-best winning percentage in minor league baseball last season. Despite that success, the Giants have produced few major-league caliber position players and the Defenders haven’t been above .500 since winning the 2002 Eastern League championship.

But with the likes of pitcher Henry Sosa and shortstop Manny Burris, who Baseball America ranks among the Giants’ 10 best prospects, projected to start the season with the Defenders, Figueroa hopes to develop major league talent and win on the field.

“My job is to get them to play better,” he said. “And secondly, make sure they go to the high levels in a winning way. I want to be sure they go to the next level and feel good about themselves. That’s the way they need to be in San Francisco. They want the kids to develop to go to the major leagues and be winners.”

Being at the helm of the Defenders won’t be a new concept for Figueroa. He managed in the Baltimore Orioles farm system, where he spent the past 11 seasons, from 2002-06. He led the Single-A Fredrick Keys to the Carolina League championship in 2005. That team featured current Orioles Nick Markakis and Adam Loewen.

He was taken in the fifth round, the 150th overall selection, by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1986 draft. As a middle infielder, Figueroa played 12 games in the majors, all in 1992. He also spent time in the Montreal, Texas, Colorado and Baltimore farm systems before retiring as a player in 1996.

“We’re very pleased to have such a seasoned guy with a proven track record at the helm” Defenders general manager Charlie Dowd said in a statement. “The organization is excited to welcome him to Norwich.”

Figueroa will be joined by pitching coach Bob Stanley, hitting coach Victor Torres and trainer Dustin Luepker.

Stanley is entering his fifth season in that capacity for the Defenders, while Torres is not an unfamiliar face. He shared duties with former hitting coach Gary Davenport early last season as Davenport recovered from offseason knee surgery. Luepker previously served as trainer for the Giants’ Single-A team in Augusta, Ga.

Reach Joe Perez at 425-4257 or

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Christmas ended yesterday at about 2:45 PM for me..

as we wrapped up the physcial inventory of my sister store having done mine the day before. It was an especially LONG season for me as I was short-staffed an asst. mgr. and the work load was heavy for a bunch of reasons. Thanks to Hondo and lc for keeping the fire burning in here.
And it's about 65 degrees out; perfect for a ball game! Anyway the wait is less than three months now. CANNOT believe the Giants haven't named a manager for the Defs yet. Do they even care?
The pic is a Holiday related promo from the Navigators days. It was a "Christmas in July" promo with the players wearing special one game only caps and then they were auctioned off. Mine is Marty Jenzen's who pitched in the bigs for the Yanks and Blue Jays. Dodd was decked out with wreaths and other holiday decorations and Tater had a Santa Claus hat on.
Maybe the promo can be done again this year. I think Holridge's Nursery is on board and can provide the evergreens and the caps are cheaper to order up than special jerseys....