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....

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Witter homers, Richardson stars as Defs win 3-2..

and snap a 6 game losing streak at Trenton's expense. Adam Witter's sixth homer of the season leading off the third tied the game at one. Connecticut went ahead 2-1 in the fifth with Witter drawing a walk and going around to third on a EME hit and run single. Witter scored on Antoan Richardson's sac fy.
In the 7th Richardson bunted for a single, went to second on Ben Copeland sac bunt, stole third and came home on the catcher's throwing error for a 3-1 Connecticut lead.
Paul Oseguera made his 2008 debut going 4 innings giving up 2 hits, 3 walks and getting 4 Ks. He picked off a runner in the first. In the second he had another runner picked off but his throw to TI ended up going down into right field foul territory and the runner came all away around to score.
Oseguera gave way to Justin Hedrick who went two innings striking out 4. Hendrick gets the win to improve to 1-2. Osirus Matos gave up a two out run in the 8th off the bat of Matt Carlson (2-4 both doubles). Sergio Romo came on for the 4 out save getting two Ks.

Misc fan notes: Catcher Nestor Rojas joined the team from Augusta as Dayton Buller went to Fresno. Rojas in limited playing time is 2 for 26 (.077).
Another cold one in Norwich but the wind was not as bad as last night.
Great to see a nice sized group of Coast Guard cadets at the game.
Next home game for me is May 9th as Connecticut goes on the road after Thursday's game.
Streak buster hat was the Gator/"Christmas in July" promo cap signed by Marty Janzen.

Pics top to bottom: Oseguera, Rojas, USCG cadets

Congrats Dayton Buller!!!!...........

on his way to Fresno. He's the third Defender to move up this season; Brooks McNiven and Ryan Sadowski the other two. Unclear of the other roster moves although Barry Gunther, a catcher, is with the Defs on the DL.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cold, ugly loss tonight to the Thunder 4-1

as Connecticut drops it's sixth game in a row. Defs starter Joe Martinez and one time Yankee Chase Wright dueled for the first five innings until Connecticut broke through in the sixth for a 1-0 lead. A one out single by Antoan Richardson was followed by a Ben Copeland single to right field. Richardson easily made it to third but the throw to third was cut off in the infield and Copeland was caught between first and second and tagged out in the run down. Travis Denker walked and TI hit a dying quail behind second on the infield that the second baseman flipped to the shortstop for the force but Denker's slide was ahead of it allowing Richardson to come in for a short lived 1-0 Connecticut lead.
Kevin Pichardo came in for Martinez in the 7th and walked the first batter he saw. An infield bleeder to second and another walk loaded the bases with no outs. Next batter..a walk forcing in the tying run. On comes Ronnie Ray who pitches his way out of it with a infield pop up, a called third strike (lousy call) and another K.
Ray comes on in the 8th and the wheels come off the wagon. A leadoff infield grounder to Maroul at third, who has little chance of getting the runner out at first, turns into a single and throwing error and a runner on second. Next batter hits a grounder to Denker and the ball rolls up his arm out into right field as the runner on second scores for a 2-1 Thunder lead. Next batter Cody Ehlers homers to right center, 4-1 and that's the ball game.

Misc fan notes: Martinez pitched well and we wished he came out for the 7th. Chase Wright's body language when runners get on is lousy for lack of a better word. He seems to scuff around, walk off the mound, the catcher and third baseman talk to him but hey he's 4-1 on the year better than anyone on CT. Pichardo had nothing tonight, second outing like that in a row. Five hits on the night for CT and you get the feeling that once this team falls behind it's over.
Shane Turner in the house for the SF Giants. Brooks McNivens sent out to Fresno and the radio guys said Paul Oseguera starts Wednesday for the Defs in his 2008 debut.
Way too cold and windy at Dodd tonight for April 29th.
Pic is Chase Wright.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fun (scary) quick fact..........

on Fox's NASCAR pre-race coverage yesterday they had one of their production people in an all-you-can-eat section, like the Defs are doing every Thursday. The guy had eaten up to that point:

15 hot dogs
9 cheesebugers
4 bags of chips
6 sodas

A total value of $141 on a $80 ticket.

How many calories do you guess that represents?

A.) 13,786
b.) 10,875
c.) 9,430
d.) 15,213

The correct answer is at the bottom of the von Schell post

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thanks Michelle for the TVS update:

From today's York Daily Record:

"LAKELAND, Fla. -- It didn't take long for Tyler Von Schell to feel at home with his new team. A mid-game replacement in York's 4-2 exhibition loss to Long Island on Sunday, Von Schell singled in his first at-bat in the sixth inning.

Von Schell, 28, came highly recommended from the Giants organization. One of Von Schell's former managers told Revolution Director of Baseball Operations Adam Gladstone that Von Schell could perform at a high level in the Atlantic League.

Expected to be one of the power bats in the middle of York's lineup, Von Schell decided against playing this season --- and informed Gladstone. Then he had second thoughts.

"I wanted to be here. I always want to play baseball," Von Schell said, "but I had personal matters I had to take care of before I left home."

It's been a difficult time for Von Schell. The Giants, with whom he spent his entire minor league career, released him during the final two weeks of spring training. Von Schell pondered retiring.

Trying to get back into a groove, Von Schell knew he had to join the Revolution as soon as he could.

"It's hard, because I've spent the last month off sitting on a couch at home," he said."

ANSWER IS "C" 9,430 calories

R-Phillies finish the sweep 9-4 this afternoon....

as Dave McKae gets shelled for 11 hits and gives up 7 earned runs in three innings pitched. Adam Witter (2 for 3) knocks in all four RBIs with a 3 run double and a RBI groundout. Kyles Haines and Carlos Sosa both had a pair of hits. Steve (JP) Palazzolo throws 3.2 IP of shutout ball is the only other bright spot besides Witter's performance.

Misc fan notes: I'm wearing old school Norwich (Yankee) gear Tuesday and Wednesday for the Thunder (nee Navigators) games.

From Mike Ashmore's blog the pitching match-ups are:

4/29 – CON Joey Martinez (0-3, 2.95) vs. TRE Chase Wright (3-1, 3.34)
4/30 — CON Brooks McNiven (1-1, 2.08 ) vs. TRE George Kontos (0-2, 3.55)
5/1 — CON Adam Cowart (1-1, 2.13) vs. TRE Dan McCutchen (3-1, 1.42

Of course I have to work Thursday night...........

EL schedule making is for the birds....

it's bad enough we play the B-Mets 12 times in May including three out of four home series but I'm sure RockCat fans love this from today's Courant:

"The Eastern League season is only a month old, but the Rock Cats are ready for some new faces in the opposing dugout. They've faced the Portland Sea Dogs seven times and their game against the Trenton Thunder today is their eighth against the Yankees affiliate. When they return from a seven-game trip Friday, they'll face the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The Rock Cats have won four of five against New Hampshire as they meet for the third series in the young season. And they'll see each other again a week later in Manchester, N.H."

A roster move from today's New London Day:

"Prior to the game, the Defenders announced that right-handed pitcher Ryan Sadowski was promoted to Triple-A Fresno of the Pacific Coast League. Sadowski appeared in nine games, compiling a 1-0 record with a 3.27 earned run average.

Paul Osequera, a lefty who has been sidelined during the early part of the season with a finger injury suffered in spring training, will join the Defenders.

Osequera was 10-6 with a 3.54 ERA at Single-A San Jose in 2007."

Now does Osequera go into the roation replacing McNiven or Martinez?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Defs drop 4th in a row 9-2 to Reading as...

GB gives up 7 runs, 4 earned in 3+ innings as Connecticut gets blown out by the Phillies. RBIs from Antoan Richardson and Travis Denker as the offense could get only 5 hits to go along with 14 Ks in the game. Hopefully the Defs can get one Sunday.

Friday, April 25, 2008

This came up the other day so......

Eastern League (Double-A)
PDCs expiring after 2008 season: 5.

Akron Aeros - Indians (2008)
Altoona Curve - Pirates (2010)
Binghamton Mets - Mets (2010)
Bowie Baysox - Orioles (2010)
Connecticut Defenders - Giants (2008)
Erie SeaWolves - Detroit (2010)
Harrisburg Senators - Nationals (2010)
New Britain Rock Cats - Twins (2008)
New Hampshire Fisher Cats - Blue Jays (2012)
Portland Sea Dogs - Red Sox (2012)
Reading Phillies - Phillies (2008)
Trenton Thunder - Yankees (2008)

Southern League (Double-A)
PDCs expiring after 2008 season: 6

Birmingham Barons - White Sox (2010)
Carolina Mudcats - Marlins (2008)
Chattanooga Lookouts - Reds (2008)
Huntsville Stars - Brewers (2008)
Jacksonville Suns - Dodgers (2008)
Mississippi Braves - Braves (owned by Atlanta)
Mobile BayBears - Arizona (2008)
Montgomery Biscuits - Rays (2010)
Tennessee Smokies - Cubs (2012)
West Tenn Diamond Jaxx - Mariners (2008)

Texas League (Double-A)
PDCs expiring after 2008 season: 3

Arkansas Travelers - Angels (2008)
Corpus Christi Hooks - Astros (2010)
Frisco RoughRiders - Rangers (2010)
Midland RockHounds - Athletics (2012)
San Antonio Missions - Padres (2008)
Northwest Arkansas Naturals - Royals (2008)
Springfield Cardinals - Cardinals (owned by St. Louis)
Tulsa Drillers - Rockies (2010)

Source for this is Baseball America.

In the EL I don't see Akron, N.B., Reading or Trenton changing teams. I sure do see Connecticut changing teams. So where's the swap?

Defs drop third straight 3-2 on the road in Reading...

tonight. Connecticut pushed across it's only two runs in the first on RBI doubles by TI and Travis Denker as the offense produced only six hits and stuck out 8 times. Ben Copeland had a pair of singles and a stolen base. Kelvin Pichardo gave up a two run homer in the seventh that gave the Phillies the lead and victory. Adam Cowart goes 6 Ip allowing 6 hits, one earned run and records 5 strikeouts. Connecticut drops a game under .500 to 10-11.

Jeff Nettles.........

April 22, 2008.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

From today.............

"Sergio Romo struck out two in a perfect inning for Double-A Connecticut on Wednesday and has yet to allow a run in 10 innings.

Double-A hitters haven't had any more luck with Romo than A-ball hitters did. Because of his lack of a quality fastball, it seems to be almost taken for granted that he'll collapse at some point, but he's as good of a minor league reliever as there is out there. He allowed three hits, walked none and struck out 10 this season. Last year, he had a 1.36 ERA and a 106/15 K/BB ratio in 66 1/3 IP in the California League. He is 25 now, so it'd be nice if the Giants stopped moving him at a glacial pace and tried testing him with Triple-A."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Baysox 3 Defs 2 as Bowie takes the rubber game of

the 3 game series and Connecticut finishes the homestand with 4 wins and 3 losses and is back to .500 with 20 games played.
Defs scored in the first on a Kyle Haines single and a TI double with one out. Simon Klink then walked but Carlos Sosa K'd and EME flied out to end the inning. As is their wont, Connecticut would immediately allow the other team to score in their next at bat. Starter Brooks McNiven, who had nothing tonight, gave up a single, double, and a two run RBI single for a 2-1 Bowie lead with no outs. The runner on first stole second and advanced to third on the catcher's throwing error and came around on a RBI single for a 3-1 BaySox lead.
Connecticut would cut into that in the fifth with a Antoan Richardson triple off the center fielder's glove and a RBI ground out by Haines. Connecticut would threaten in the 8th with back to back 2 out singles by Sosa and EME but Ben Copeland hit a tapper in front of the plate to the catcher for the third out.
As usual the bullpen threw well; Ryan Sadowski (2 IP), Steve (JP) Palazzolo (2 IP) and Sergio Romo (1 IP) shutting down the BaySox and as usual the Defs had more Ks (9)than hits (7)in the game (tip of hat here to Hondo on spotting that trend).

Misc fan notes: Connecticut with a scheduled day off Thursday before starting a three game set in Reading on Friday. Another day off on Monday and then the Yankees come to town with the Trenton Thunder for three games Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I'm looking forward to those games a bunch.
It's official, I hate the sumo wrestling between innings promo.

Pics from top to bottom: McNiven, TI and Klink

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hat's off to this guy......

the current Connecticut Defender's bat boy. The best they've ever had and I've seen them all. Hondo mentioned this tonight and he's right. Don't know the young man's name. Any help?

Defs lose 7-3 and the 4 game winning streak is snapped

as the Bowie BaySox take advantage of four Connecticut errors and come back after trailing 3-1. I'm not recapping this one because (a) I have concerns about my blood pressure and (b) it's a long season and you're bound to have a stinker once in a while. Having said that, I'm real curious how Bien reacts to this loss with Wednesday's lineup because they're some guys on this team who can't field their positions. And with an offense that that's dead last in league offense you can't give away any runs to the other team because you're offense most likely isn't getting them back.

Misc fan notes: Good to see Justin Hedrick back on the mound after a week off as he throws a shutout inning. Jason Waddell throws a perfect 9th as his comeback continues to progress well. Really thought Matos was going to lose it tonight.
Not a lot of folks in the stands tonight; where's that global warming?
Back at the park Wednesday; Connecticut needs win that game and take both series on this homestand; especially after taking the Phillies 3 of 4.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Defs win another 1-0 game over the BaySox..

in a game that took just 2:03 to play. Connecticut scored the only run in the bottom of the 9th. A Ben Copeland single, a TI sac bunt, a IBB to Adam Witter and a HBP to Simon Klink laoded the bases for PH Olmo Roasario who singled in the winning run.
Dave McKae throws a seven innings of two hit ball and Ronnie Ray (Mr. Excitement) tosses the final two frames for the victory to improve to 2-0.

Misc fan notes: Back Tuesday to Dodd!

Blast from the past Navs 3 Seadogs 2 (6-25-02)...

with Jeff Nettles in town here's a couple of pics from that day. Jeff is #30 and looks like his father in these pics. OF John Rodriguez is #41. Catcher Chris Snuez is #50 and Andy Phillips is the other player. Phillips solo homer would be the difference in this game.
Always liked those vests. It's a uniform top I don't own and rarely pops up on eBay much.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

EME stars as Defs take third in a row 6-5...

over Reading and climb back over .500 this afternoon. EME goes 3 for 5 with a RBI and knocks down the tying run at the plate in the 8th, his third OF assist of the season. Travis Denker knocked in a pair and scored a pair of run going 1 for 3 with a triple. Simon Klink was 2 for 4 with a RBI and David Maroul was 2 for 5 as the Defs had 12 hits in the game.
Garrett Broshuis improves to 2-1 going % IP 6 hirs 3 runs, 2 earned with 2 Ks and no walks. Steve Palazzolo goes two innings and gives up his first run of the season.
Jason Waddell throws an inning and is bailed out by EME and Kelvin Pichardo tosses a perfect 9th for his first save.

Misc fan notes: I'm compelled to post EME's pic and it's well deserved.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Defs win 5-4 this afternoon......

thanks to a four run sixth inning that broke a 1-1 tie. Kyle Haines (2 for 4, double) drove in two runs with a single after a Reading error kept the inning alive. Simon Klink delivered a pitch hit infield single in the inning as well.
Adam Cowart goes six inning allowing one earned run for the win. Ryan sadowski had a shaky top of the 7th as the Phillies scored three runs, two earned to draw to 5-4. Osirus Matos shut Reading down until the ninth when Sergio Romo gave on to nail down the save with his league leading sixth save.

Misc fan notes: Was at work today and listened to three innings including the rally. Connecticut GM Charlie Dowd was in the radio booth and sounded pretty good. He touched on the all-you-can-eat Thursday promo and said they sold twice as many tickets for it this past Thursday then for the first one. I've heard unofficially that 80 of these tickets were sold for the April 16th game. I can see a Thursday this summer where running out of food might be an issue.

Check out today's Bulletin for some nice photos

of last night's game taken by Tali Greener. Click "photo gallery" to view. Another nice source of pics can be found at "SJ Giants Fans." Click the link on the right under baseball blogs.
Check out Tom Clifton's pics.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Danny Federici..............

last appearance with the E Street Band on March 20, 2008. "Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)"

Tonight the right side of a 1-0 score as...

Adam Witter's two out homer (tied with several other players league leading 5th HR) in the bottom of the fourth accounted for all the scoring and the Defs break a 5 game losing streak. Brooks McNivens pitched great going 7 innings, the longest for a Connecticut pitcher this season. He carried a no hitter into the top of the sixth, and finished up giving up just three hits. Kevin Pichardo pitched the 8th and Sergio Romo picks up his EL leading 5th save with a 1-2-3 ninth and maintians a zero ERA for the season. EME had a pair of hits, a single up the middle and grounder to third the third baseman misplayed but never got a glove on.

Misc fan notes: Quick game, under two hours and a OK sized crowd that was into it.
Winning game assist goes to Hondo who worn a Navigators cap as a streak buster and called Witter's homer before his at bat.
Same old, same old? 15 games in and CT leads the league in team pitching and is last in league batting.
A rare opening of the "Frisco Fry Shack" tonight.
Work takes hold for the next three games and I'll be back at Dodd Tuesday night.
Pics from top to bottom: Frisco fry shack, Kyle Haines, McNiven, Cutter,and a full moon over Dodd

I wish the Defs website would provide roster

updates. Daryl Maday's pitching debut in last night's game was duly noted in the Defs web recap but Trey Webb going on extend spring training and the reason for it wasn't. Maybe it's my computer but when I click on the roster button I get sent elsewhere else. Is this just me?
I see also that the website doesn't have Brooks McNiven starting tonight's game. What's up there?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Defs lose 1-0 to the Reading Phillies, 5th loss in a row

Really I'd like to know how many games this franchise as a Giants farm team have lost by: (a) 1-0 and (b) by one run. You just get a sense sitting in the stands some nights that 1-0 will somehow stand up even in the fourth inning. After last night's long day's journey into night in Portland (I hear they got in around 4:30 this morning) they needed a strong starting performance from today's starter Joey Martinez. Martinez gave them six strong innings allowing an unearned run (E1) on five hits with 5 Ks. A Phillies double into the gap and a groundout put a runner on third with one out in the sixth. The Defs pulled the infield in and it paid off with a grounder to short and the runner holding at third. Next batter hits a slow runner down the first base line that Martinez fielded and his throw pulled TI off allowing the only run to score.
Defs had a chance in the 8th as Antoan Richardson was HBP, stole second and went to third on the catcher's throwing error into centerfield. With one out TI flied to shallow left center and Richardson was thrown out at home (another stat I'd like to know: # of Defs/Gators thrown out at home since 2003).
The Defs scratch out just three hits on the evening.

Misc fan notes: Plenty today:

1) The field looked really, really good. Guess the new sod took hold with a little sun and daytime warmth.
2.) The left center and right center field nights didn't come on causing a 45 minute delay until they finally got powered up. Def's front office does the class thing and comps tonight's crowd with free tickets for Friday's game.
3) Because the bullpen pitching staff is spent the Defs called up Daryl Maday from Augusta, ( I don't know if someone was sent up/down) who made his debut tonight. Maday pitched three innings giving up 3 hits and 3 walks and was bailed out by a Ben Copeland outfield assit at home.
4.) Liked Reading's unis; very Phil. Phillies circa 1980's.
5.) And last but not least Tony Scott, the Defs box office manager, last day will be Sunday April 20th. Tony's moving on to a job closer to home and in his prefered field with a major corporation. Tony always made time for Hondo and myself and he'll be missed. good Luck Tony!
Pics from top to bottom: Martinez, Maday, and Phillies uni

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Defs, SeaDogs tied at 7-7 going into the 12th...

Connecticut tied it up in the ninth on Adam Witter's solo HR, his fourth of the season. Connecticut starter Dave McKae went 5 IP issuing six walks and two hits along with three runs, all earned. Ronnie Ray came in and was a diaster giving up four runs in an inning plus five batters allowing 6 hits and 2 BBs. Ray seems always to flirt with trouble and this time it caught up to him. The bullpen of Kelvin Pichardo, Sergio Romo and Jason Waddell have shut down the SeaDogs for five innings now.
Run producers for the Defs have been Kyle Haines in his first start going 3 for 6 with a double and RBI. Adam Witter with 2 RBIs. Carlos Sosa, EME, Simon Klink and Ben Copeland (2 for 5, triple) all have a RBI each.
Long day tomorrow for me--I'm crashing. Be at Dodd tomorrow with a buddy of mine--Strat!!!!!!! that I have not seen for a bit with Reading in the house. Should make Friday's game as well then work takes over for a bit.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New road uniforms as pictured in the Portand

newspaper. Grey and blue from the looks of it. Also I went to breakfest at Old Tymes in Norwich Sunday and my placemat contained breast cancer awareness events in the region. The Defenders will wear the pink uniforms Friday May 9th.

Defs drop another 3-2 in Portand as now we're

just a .500 ball club. GB goes 6.1 IP giving up 4 hits and all three earned runs. Jason Waddell stikes out the side in his one innings of work. Adam Witter gets both RBIs. Antoan Richardson goes 2 for 5 but gets picked off second to kill a rally in the 8th; of course the batter at the plate, Witter, then singles after the pickoff. Lets hope for a win Wednesday so this road trip isn't a diaster.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ugly loss in Portland 5-4 in 11 innings...

as a Justin Hedrick wild pitch with the bases loaded and two outs scores the winning run. That's two losses in as many games for Justin. Adam Cowart started and was gone by the fourth giving up 4 runs; 3 earned and 9 hits with a walk. The bullpen then combined on 7 shutout innings of one hit ball with 7 Ks. Those relievers were Steve Palazzalo (2 IP, one hit 4 Ks, ERA is still zero), Kelvin Pichardo (2 IP, 1 K), and Orsis Matos (3 IP 2 Ks, his ERA is still zero).
Offensively, David Maroul, Olmo Rosario each had a RBI and EME had two RBIs. EME also THREW OUT two runners one at third and one at second! TI went 2 for 5 and Adam Witter went 2 for 4.
It's the first time the Defs have lost two in a row this season. Newcomer Kyle Haines finally got into a game going 0 for 1.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bowker hits another homer in today's game...

becoming the first Giant ever to hit home runs in his first two games. He goes 2 for 3 with the two run shot, RBI single and sac fly; 4 RBIs on the day. Other ex-Navigators/Defenders in the lineup today did pretty well: Fred Lewis 2 for 4 batting .333 on the year, Eugenio Velez 1 for 5 with 2 RBIs, Dan Ortmeier 1 for 1 and Brian Wilson picks up the save # 3 this season in a 7-4 victory.

FisherCats score in the 9th beat Defs 5-4...

after Connecticut had rallied with a pair of runs to tie it up in the top half of the ninth. Justin Hedrick, the fourth pitcher of the game for Connecticut takes the loss. Connecticut got its's runs on a two run double by Adam Witter in the top of the fourth. In the ninth Connecticut got a single from Olmo Rosario (2 for 4), a pitch hit double by Dayton Buller and a two run single from TI (2 for 5). dave maroul went two for four and had a sac bunt that set the stage for Witter's double knocking in two. On to Portland!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

John Bowker's big MLBB debut (thanks lc!)

from AP:
"(John)Bowker, called up earlier in the day to start in right field, also singled in his first career at-bat. After his sixth-inning homer, Bowker received a curtain call and came back out of the dugout and tipped his cap to a standing ovation - the first time that's ever happened to him.

A Sacramento native with lots of friends and family in attendance, Bowker became the eighth San Francisco player to homer in his first major league game, joining the likes of Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda and the late Bobby Bonds. He got the ball from his base hit, too.

''That was awesome,'' he said. ''To get that hit out of the way and to hear the crowd was a plus.''

Congrats John! As Clay Timpner went back down to Fresno

Defs rally with two runs in 9th and win 4-3...

in New Hampshire. Simon Klink's two out 2 run double scored pinch runners Trey Webb and Dayton Buller. Webb running for Travis Denker who had singled and Buller was running for Adam Witter who walked. Sergio Romo gets his 4th save and makes a winner of Ronnie Ray who got the final out in the 8th for Connecticut. TI had a RBI groundout and EME went yard for his first HR of the season for the other Defs RBIs.
Joe Martinez had a much better second start going 5IP (six hits, 2 ERs, 3Ks, and one walk). Jason Waddell went 2.2 IP giving up a go ahead HR in the 8th setting up the comeback.
I was able to listen to the 9th out in my car on the radio during lunch. Got to love our manager Bien F. who was pulling out stops, pinching running guys, pinch hitting for another player making defensive moves all over the place. It seems he's always using that bench/bullpen every game.
Pic is Simon Klink

Letter to the editor in today's Hartford Courant....

Why has The Courant decided to give free publicity to one Connecticut AA baseball team and not the other?

The Courant is circulated statewide. As a resident, I would like to read equal coverage of both teams as well as the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets.

There were lovely articles about opening day for the New Britain Rock Cats and a stunning tribute to their radio announcer [Page 1, April 7, "Voice Of The Rock Cats"]. The Connecticut Defenders have wonderful family-affordable games. The front office provides great between-innings events. What a terrific way to spend some time with your kids. It's America's pastime!

But The Courant seems to recognize only one minor league team in Connecticut. Imagine how many subscribers would drop The Courant if it gave us only Yankees news.

Alice Hinchcliffe


The writer works as an usher for the Connecticut Defenders in Norwich.

Congrats Clay Timpner! Making his MLBB debut

in last night's Giants game as a pitch hitter. Clay was here in the first half of the 2006 season. Clay is wearing the black "Connecticut" uni mentioned below.

Opening night part 2 at New Hampshire

Looks like different road uniforms for the Defs. They auctioned off the black "Connecticut" ones last year and wondered about it then if new ones were in the offering.
Anyway this is from the Union Leader newspaper website.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Defs fall 5-4 in New Hampshire.....

as the FisherCats push across a run in the 8th and win their first game of the season. Connecticut jumped out to 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a Antoan Richardson walk, a Travis Denker (3 for 5) single and a TI goundout. The FisherCats came back with four runs in their half of the frame off Dave McKae as two costly Connecticut errors figured in. A Carlos Sosa (2 for 4) three run homer tied it up in the fifth. Kelvin Pichardo takes the loss in relief. Both teams had runners thrown out at home. Trey Webb was ejected in the 8th. Simon Klink and EME both had a pair of hits as Connecticut had 12 in the game.
Pic is Carlos Sosa from 4-5-08

Another point of view.....

Kevin Gray on Baseball: Fisher Cats opener has it all
Staff Sports Writer
9 hours, 1 minute ago

MANCHESTER – The Hilton Garden Inn, a popular spot to watch the Fisher Cats, has some competition this season.

Fans packed the new Samuel Adams Bar & Grill last night, and the 2008 season was under way at Stadium.

The roomy baseball tavern beyond left field was ready for a business on an evening full of surprises. New Hampshire pitchers Daryl Harang and A.J. Wideman met fans at the entrance gate, handing out magnetic schedules.

Gov. John Lynch and other dignitaries came out for the opening of the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame. Oh, and they played a baseball game, too.

Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky threw out the ceremonial first pitch -- twice -- and Eastern League action heated up before you could say "train-track" homer.

Adam Witter gave the Connecticut Defenders an early 2-0 lead with a laser shot to right field, his third home run of the year against New Hampshire.

Almost 6,000 fans watched the Fisher Cats battle back, tie the game, then fall behind, 4-2, on Simon Klink's wall-ball single.

At that point, patrons in the Sam Adams Bar & Grill were watching three games, with the Bruins and Red Sox being televised on alternate flat screens. Yes, the Fisher Cats have done some growing up since cutting their teeth at Gill Stadium in 2004.

"I might be biased, but I think we have the best minor league fans in the country," Fisher Cats owner Art Solomon said. "We feel it's our obligation to make it even more fun, more entertaining to come out."

A 60-plus-degree afternoon dipped to a chilly 50-something, nothing compared to the 2007 opener of 39 degrees. (And last year, six inches of snow covered the field for the scheduled first game.) Sumo wrestling, Cotton-Eyed Joe and the crazy hot dog guy were back for another season along the Merrimack River. The only thing missing was a Fisher Cats win. The Defenders held on for a 4-2 win, but there was still plenty to celebrate.


ON THE MOUND: NH starter Scott Richmond gave up a pair of runs in the first inning, courtesy of Witter's homer, but settled down and looked strong for the next three frames. The 6-foot-5 righty pitched into the fifth and exited after yielding four earned runs and six hits.

Richmond, a Canadian, caught a break when the Blue Jays invited him to a fall tryout last year. The 28-year-old still has plenty of time to start climbing the minor-league ladder.

"We liked his arm and the movement on his ball. We felt like we should bring him to spring training and see if there was something more "" and there was," Toronto farm director Dick Scott said. "I'd say he has a chance to pitch in the big leagues if he can command his stuff."

Richmond was tabbed with his second loss of the season as the Fisher Cats dropped to 0-6. Connecticut starter Garrett Broshuis, making his 11th career start against the Fishers, took a no-decision.

Fisher Cat alumnus Jesse Carlson just became the 24th player to join the Blue Jays after playing in New Hampshire. The slim lefty joined Toronto's bullpen on Wednesday.


SOUP'S ON: New Zealander Scott Campbell, a second baseman, has been the most intriguing player to begin the season. His goal entering 2008 was simply to reach Double-A, but he earned a spot on New Hampshire's roster and has been raking at the plate ever since.

In the first inning, Campbell shattered his bat and still managed a hit against Connecticut's Garrett Broshuis. The single raised his average to a league-leading .588 (10-for-17).

"I felt really good at the end of spring training and just took that into the season. All I'm trying to do is stay with my approach and work the counts. And I've been lucky to get some pitches where I want them."


OLMO'S WORLD: Former Nashua Pride standout Olmo Rosario cracked the starting lineup and played shortstop last night. Rosario, last year's Can-Am League MVP, entered last night with a team-leading four hits and three stolen bases.

The Dominican native briefly played with the Tampa Bay organization before making a stop in Nashua, then rejoining affiliated ball this season.

"Baseball is baseball wherever you go. I try to do my best," Rosario said.

The 27-year-old, batting with the bases loaded, had a chance to break open the game but popped up to deep short in the fourth. Fellow Nashua Pride alum Steve Palazzolo replaced the Connecticut starter in the fourth, working 1 2/3 innings without allowing a hit.

The Defenders' two-run rally in the fifth made a winner out of Palazzolo, notching his first Double-A win.

Staff writer Kevin Gray covers baseball for the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. His e-mail address is

I suddenly have this urge to see a game in New Hampshire, where the EL is having it's All-Star Game. This reporter blogs for the FisherCats. If you're really into minor league ball it's worth bookmarking.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Defs win on road and beat the FisherCats for the

fourth time in as many games 4-2 tonight. Adam Witter hit his third homer of the year with TI (2 for 4 two runs scored) aboard in the first. Carlos Sosa (4 for 4) and Simon Klink add RBI each in the fifth as Steve Palazzolo gets the win in relief of Garrett Broshuis. Palazzolo, Justin Hedrick, Ryan Sadowski and Sergio Romo (save # 3) combined to shutout New Hamphire over the final 5.2 inning as Connecticut improves to 5-2 on the season. All of CT's runs came with two outs; nice to see. Meanwhile the batting averages for some Defs players are going south, south, south. Hope it's just the weather.
Pic is of Adam Witter from 4/5/08

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Defs fall 1-0 tonight to the SeaDogs.....

as Portland scratched across a run without a hit in the 7th. Adam Cowart came on to start the 7th, the deepest in a game so far this season for a Connecticut pitcher, and got a grounder to short go under Olmo Rosario's glove for an error. Ronnie Ray came in and walked the first batter he faced. A passed ball that looked to cross up catcher Dayton Buller moved the runners over to second and third. The pride of Hamden, Connecticut Portland's Jeff Natale was up next. Instead of walking Natale, who was all over the bases last night, to set up a double play or force at any base Ray pitched to Jeff. Natale hit a little nubber in front of the plated that Ray tried to shuffle over to Buller but didn't and the only run scored. Ray got the next batter to fly to right and Ben Copeland nailed the guy at the plate trying to score.
Connecticut could only manage a pair of hits. Simon Klink had a hard double and another hard out later in the game. Trey Webb playing second had his first hit of the season but was picked off. Webb saved a run in the fourth with a great catch of a two out flair to the outfield.
Cowart pitched well allowing Portland's only two hits, picked off one runner and had 4 Ks with two BBs. Jason Waddell was effective getting two K's in the ninth.
Connecticut manager Bien F. continues to juggle the lineup, benching Denker for Webb at second, DHing TI and starting Klink at first, dropping Copeland down to the eight hole, etc. I'm liking that we have a manager shaking it up. He hasn't had the same lineup twice.

Misc fan notes: From the Defs Front office:

"NORWICH, CT- Only a week into the season, the Defenders have added to their talented roster Wednesday. Infielder Kyle Haines comes to Connecticut from extended Spring Training to join the 4-1 Defenders.
Haines, 25, was the 31st selection of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft. In 2007, Haines played for the Advanced-A San Jose Giants where he hit .250 in 60 games with 3 HRs, 17 RBIs, and swiped 6 bases.
A graduate from North Clay High School in Salem, Illinois, Haines attended Olney Central College and Eastern Illinois University where he put up gaudy numbers at the plate, never batting under .327. Haines is revered for his discipline at the plate and contact approach."

Another he a "true" shortstop or what?

Another small crowd as LC and I stayed to the bitter end. First loss for me on the season. The Curry jersey falls to 4 up and one down. The Defs hit the road for the next 7 games and I'll provide "road" updates off the box scorces.

Pics from top to bottom are Cowart and Klink

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Well I left after 9 innings with things tied and as I'm typing this Travis Ishikawa just went yard for a 2-1 walkoff homer in the bottom of the 11th to beat the SeaDogs.
Before that not much offense except for Olmo Rosario who went 4 for 4 with three stolen bases and scored the other run on a Carlos Sosa goundout in the sixth. Rosario has a nice Dodd swing, just serving the ball out there working the pitch.
Brooks McNiven started his first game of the season throwing 6 shoutout innings and giving up just one hit, striking out three and walking three. Ryan Sadowski gave up the tying run in the 7th. Osiris Matos went two innings and Sergio Romo gets the victory in relief by working the top of the 11th.

Misc fan notes: Tough night for Simon Klink with 4Ks as the Defenders stuck out 15 times in 11 innings. And the bats remain quiet for the third straight game. EME rested tonight. Another small crowd of a couple hundred or so on a cold night.
Great seeing Lance tonight after the long winter!

Pic is Brooks McNiven

Monday, April 07, 2008

Well, that could not have been pretty....

as the Defs drop their first game of the season to the Portland SeaDogs 7-3. Joe Martinez takes the loss as three Connecticut errors in the second lead to 5 runs and basically that's all she wrote.
It was 7-0 before the Defs scored in the 5th on a RBI single by Antoan Richardson plating Carlos Sosa who had doubled. The Defs added a pair of runs in the 9th on a TI 2 run double.
Like yesterday Connecticut managed only four hits in the game. SeaDog pitching totaled 16Ks(!) on the game with starter Dustin Richardson getting 10 in five innings. Like I said, it could not have been pretty.
Olmo Rosario started his first game at third and had an error. Trey Webb was back at shortstop. Travis Denker now has three errors in two games. Steve Palazzolo and Kelvin Pichardo combined for 4.1 of shutout ball. Defs pitching issued 7 BBs to go along with 8 Ks.

Congrats Steve Holm! First MLBB hit yesterday...

great to see that in his second game with the Giants. Have to work tonight and will miss the game. I'll provide a generic update from the box score and will be back at Dodd Tuesday and Wednesday. Note to the new radio guys who I'm beginning to like--it's just Dodd not "the Dodd."

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Dayton Buller's three run homer the difference..

as the Defenders win 4-2 sweep the FisherCats. Leading 1-0 in the bottom of the 4th and with one out TI gets his first hit of the season and first hit of the game for Connecticut. EME followed with a grounder thru the left side of the infield putting runners on first and second. After a Omar Rosario stikeout Buller, in his first game of the season, drove the ball high over the left field wall to make it 4-0. It was the third homer for the catcher's position in as many games with Adam Witter hitting homers in the first two games.
In the Defenders second, a walk to TI and an error put runners on first and second. TI and EME then pulled a double steal of all things. Ti would then score on Rosario's sac fly for an early 1-0 lead.
On the mound Connecticut starting pitcher Dave MaKae scattered seven hits in five innings getting 5 Ks. McKae, who last season was either lights out, especially seeing a team for the first time, or totally not, had just enough good stuff to go 5 innings and get the victory.
Jason Waddell, who pitched here in 2006, made his first 2008 appearance and walked the bases loaded before getting the final out in the sixth. Osiris Matos came on in the 7th and was not his usually sharp self walking two but giving up no runs. Ronnie Ray came on in the 8th and gave up what was first scored first as a two base error to Antoan Richardson. The call was later changed to a double. A walk and a pair of Travis Denker errors made the score 4-2 with Ryan Sadowski coming on to close out the eight. Sergio Romo then picked up his second save in the 9th.
The Defs managed only 4 hits in the game, Rosario a single but it held up and the Defs take three from the FisherCats.

Misc fan notes: Simon Klink played a first for the first time this season as TI was the DH. I thinking I'm liking our new manager. I mean a double steal with TI and EME in the second lead to the first run? The same two runners were in the same spots on the base paths when Dayton went yard. Was it in the pitcher's head? Happy to see Dayton do well; talked to him yesterday about a bunch of stuff. He's a fine young man.
It was a very cold afternoon. They probably could have easily fit the total crowd into the skyboxes for the sake of warmth. Any kid who wanted a foul ball went home happy.
Pics from top to bottom: MaKae, Klink at first, TI scoring on the SF, Buller, and Waddell.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

GB pitching his way out of the Tar Pit....

if you've read Garrett Broshuis' blog (link on the right) you know what I'm talking about. GB in his first start was great going 6 IP, allowing 5 hits, one a solo shot, 4 Ks ( a lot for him) and better yet no walks as the Defenders win 6-1 over the FisherCats this afternoon. The bullpen of Kelvin Pichardo, Steve Palazzolo (yes he's that tall), and Justin Hedrick went an inning each to close it out in a tidy 2 hous and 22 minutes.
Hitting star was shortstop Olmo Rosario who played last year in the Cam-Am League. Rosario hit a two run homer in his first EL at bat to put the Defs up 2-0 in the third inning. EME had walked it front of it. Rosario added a single to his line going 2 for 4 on the day and played decent short as the Defs turned 3 DPs.
Adam Witter went yard the next inning for his second HR in as many games. The Defs then broke it open in the 7th with a Carlos Soas 2 run RBI single and a Simon Klink RBI single.
The only negative to the game was three baserunners thrown out. Ben Copeland tripled after the Rosario HR and with no outs was thrown out a home on a grounder to short. Simon Klink was nailed trying to go to second on a throwing error with no outs and a runner on third. And Travis Denker overslid third on Sosa's RBI single.

EME's line looks pretty good; a soft single to right center and a single up the middle with two runs scored on the day. TI still looking for his first base hit.
The defense was good with those 3 DPs and Witter picked a runner off first early on.
All in all a good game for Connecticut.

Misc fan notes: Tried out the new camera today. Will post pics shortly. Small Saturday crowd--nice to see the sun. Barry Gunther is on the DL; expect Dayton Buller to catch Sunday.

More on Rosario and Palazzolo from the Nashua Pride website:


The Nashua Pride announced today that the Can-Am League has sold the contracts of shortstop Olmo Rosario and reliever Steve Palazzolo to Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants.

Rosario and Palazzolo are no strangers to affiliated baseball having spent time in the Tampa Bay Devil Ray’s and Milwaukee Brewer’s organizations respectively.

Rosario was the Can-Am League Player of the Year for the 2007 season. The San Cristobal, DR native led the league with 133 hits, was second with a .362 average, third with a .550 slugging percentage, tied for third with 41 extra-base hits, and tied for third with 25 doubles. The shortstop also slugged 12 homeruns, batted in 59 runs, and legged out 4 triples.

In the 2007 postseason, Rosario was among the leaders in almost every statistical category. The former Tampa Bay Devil Ray minor leaguer was first with 13 hits, tied for first with 2 stolen bases, tied for second with 6 runs scored, third with a .419 batting average, tied for third with 2 home runs, fourth with a .472 on-base percentage, and fourth with a .645 slugging percentage.

Steve Palazzolo was arguably the Pride’s top setup man out of the bullpen in the 2007 season. He led the team with a 2.14 ERA and a .208 opponents batting average. The North Reading, MA native was tied for third in the league with 43 appearances. In 54.2 innings pitched, the 6’10” righthander allowed only 41 hits while striking out 63 batters."

Pics from top to bottom are: GB, Justin, Olmo, Kelvin and Steve

Alternate jerseys this year.....

Joe Perez writes in today's Bulletin:
"A favorite that was a big hit with fans was when the team donned alternate jerseys. According to Dowd, there are five scheduled uniform changes this season with some being auctioned away: Mother’s Day, Juneteenth, Military, a Puerto Rico-inspired jersey to honor Roberto Clemente and an Autism Awareness jersey."

I'm a sucker for these things. Usually I've taken so many player pictures by the time these promos start to pop I'm grateful for a new look. Also these usually support a good cause when auctioned off. A note for the folks in the front office to split the Mothers Day pink unis auction between two days; Saturday and Sunday, since some of us want to be with Mom on Sunday and had no chance last year at winning a two day silent auction.
Real curious to see what the Autism jerseys look like. As a NASCAR fan I've seen some real interesting paint schemes supporting this. Hope they come up with a different Juneteenth jersey this year. A bunch of those are still on sale in Cutter's Corner. Another suggestion is for the team to wear the blue "CD" practice tops as they did in several '06 games. I own the pictured jersey worn by Oscar Montero shown above.
I have a modest collection of Navigators and Defenders jerseys and a goal of mine is to pull them out of the closet this season and wear them all to a least one game. The Chris Curry black mesh "Gators" jersey was one of my many layers Thursday night and remains my favorite mostly for the type of player he was. Steve Holm, who got in his first MLBB game yesterday (0 for 1), is in the same mold: blue collar, no nonsense, shakes your hand and looks you in the eye kind of guy.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Sergio Romo's first Defenders save 4-3-08

Sorry folks but my memory card filled up before strike three!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Defs take Home Opener 3-2 over FisherCats....

as five Connecticut pitchers combined on the win. Ryan Sadowski gets the win in relief of Adam Cowart with Ronnie Ray,Osiris Matos and Sergio Romo finishing up. Romo was lights out fanning all three batters he faced in the 9th for the save. Ray, pitched out of a bases loaded, no outs jam he created in the the 7th by getting the first and second outs on K's and and fly out to end the threat.
The Defs got all their runs in the fourth. Antoan Richardson reached on an error, stole second and came around on a Travis Denker double, the Def's first hit of the season. Adam Witter followed with a homer down the right field line for a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the 5th, Cowart, who always pitches from the stretch with a variety of side arm angles, and with the Cats seeing him for the third time around gave up two straight singles to start the inning. The next batter hit a grounder to SS Trey Webb, who could have taken the out at second himself and thrown over to first for the double play but tossed to Denker instead and only got the force out at second. With runners now on first and third a slow roller to third baseman David Maroul brought scored one run and Maroul's throw to first went over TI's head to put runners on second and third still with on out.
Ryan Sadowski then came on for Cowart and struck out the next two batters with a run scoring wild pitch in between.

Misc. Fan notes: Richardson is a little guy and FAST. He also was picked off twice.
EME: batting 8th in the lineup went 0-3--called third strike, weak grounder to second and a pop out to right field (some things don't change) and was replaced in left field in the 9th by Carlos Sosa.
Simon Klink was the DH; curious to see him at first as reported.

Bien Figueroa, new Defs manager, who stuck with Ray with the bases loaded--a real manager? Joe Perez of the Norwich Bulletin asked him in an interview posted today about Dodd:
"BF: I don’t want to hear excuses about the field. First, you’re supposed to learn how to hit. I told my players that I don’t want any excuses about the park. This is the only park in the league that it’s hard to hit the ball out of. Most of the parks in this league have very short fences. If you can it in this park, you can hit in all the other parks, its very simple."
Nice...very nice.

It was cold, maybe 2000 or so in the stands. Rain in the forecast however this weekend.

Great seeing Hondo after seven months.

Pictures from top to bottom: Cowart, Witter's HR, Ray with Denker at second and Copeland in right, Romo with Denker/Copeland

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mark Minicozzi rehabbing.....

as he has a slight injury. Check out the Norwich Bulletin as there is a video clip of various players being interviewed; one of them Mark.

Thanks to all those of stopped by the blog yesterday...227 visits in all!!