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, September 30, 2008

Adam Cowart...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ben Copeland.....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Old Time Hockey" RIP Paul Newman....

who passed away Friday at home in Westport, CT at 83 years of age.
"SlapShot" is one of my all time fav movies. What's your fav Newman movie or story?
Thanks to Bacci40 for getting this going. See the comment section under Bob Stanley's pic.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pitching coach Bob Stanley....

the "Steamer." He'll have a new crop of arms next season lead by Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Carlos Sosa tracking one down in LF....

at New Britain Staduim.
In reading some of the Carolina coverage today the Reds will bring the team to Carolina for an exhibition game on April 3, 2009.
Also the stadium is putting down a new field, installing a new outfield wall and creating a shorter right field porch.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Check out Joe Perez's latest blog entry......

link is on the right. It is indeed a sad saga....

Giants and CT renew for two years....

well at least I won't have to "learn" another organization before the moving trucks arrive at the end of the '09 season. Wonder if Simon will be back?

And in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch:

"A Class AA franchise from the Eastern League may be in Richmond's future, though relocation to Richmond seems more likely in 2010. An announcement, perhaps next month, of an approved stadium plan is expected to precede negotiations for a new team, making it highly unlikely one could play in Richmond at The Diamond next season.

At this time, Class AA is the highest competition level available for Richmond. The Class AA Connecticut franchise, because of weak attendance and an unfavorable ballpark location in Norwich, Conn., has been viewed as a possible replacement team for Atlanta's Class AAA club, which moved to Gwinnett County, Ga.

"I haven't had any conversations with any potential local ownership group from Richmond. None. Nobody," Lou DiBella, president of the Connecticut franchise, said yesterday.

DiBella said the Connecticut team will remain in Norwich for 2009, and chose not to speculate further."

And OMG does EME return?!?!

CONGRATS TI!!! As he and his wife welcomed their second child born into the world yesterday, a boucing baby girl!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 road greys...

Trenton and the Yankees sign a 6 year PDC today. No news on the Giants...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ben Snyder....

Joe Perez thinks the new PDC will be announced tomorrow and it will be the Giants renewing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kyle Haines.....

Sunday, September 21, 2008


check out Joe's piece in the Sunday Norwich Bulletin about the Defs...

Friday, September 19, 2008


Well if you read the below article carefully it seems that the Carolina folks get to choose who they want--the Giants or Reds and both organizations have presented their sales pitches. Wonder what the selling points and benefits each made to the MudCats?

From the NC News and Observer newspaper ..

from 9/19/08:

"It's musical chairs time in minor league baseball, and the Florida Marlins are no longer sitting with the Carolina Mudcats.
The Marlins signed a new deal with the Mudcats' Southern League rival, the Jacksonville Suns, in a move that will expand their footprint in Florida.

The Los Angeles Dodgers set all of this in motion by leaving Jacksonville for another Southern League team, the Chattanooga Lookouts in Tennessee.

The Mudcats expect to announce a new affiliate next week, said Joe Kremer, the Mudcats general manager.

Kremer confirmed that the Mudcats had met with representatives from the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday and would meet later today with the Cincinnati Reds.

He said the relationship with the Marlins ended on good terms, and that he understood why the team had to leave.

"It makes good sense [for them]," said Kremer, noting the geographical advantage the Marlins will have with a team closer to Miami. "Business is business. We parted friends. We didn't part angry."


Giants or Reds in '09????

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Reds or Giants according to ballpark digest ...

"Dodgers to Chattanooga; Marlins to Suns; Brewers stick with Huntsville NEW!

Posted Sept. 18, 2008

We have many affiliate decisions to report today. First, the Jacksonville Suns (Class AA; Southern League) signed an affiliation deal with the Florida Marlins, a move that makes logistical sense for both outfits. Second, the Chattanooga Lookouts (Class AA; Southern League) signed an affiliation deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Third, the Milwaukee Brewers renewed their deal with the Huntsville Stars (Class AA; Southern League). On the Double-A level, that leaves the Giants, Reds and the Yankees still unsigned. We'd be surprised if the Yankees and the Trenton Thunder (Class AA; Eastern League) didn't agree to continue their deal, which leaves the Giants and Reds to negotiate with Connecticut and Carolina."

And from the 700 WLW website:

"Lookouts look away from Reds

After 21 years as the Reds' Class AA affiliate, the Chattanooga Lookouts will be a Los Angeles farm team in 2009.

By C. Trent Rosecrans
Thursday, September 18, 2008
After 21 years as an affiliate with the Cincinnati Reds, the Chattanooga Lookouts will be wearing Dodger blue in 2009 and 2010 after the Southern League team signed a Player Development Contract with Los Angeles on Thursday.

The Reds are now searching for a home for their Class AA affiliate. The two matches the team has are the Carolina Mudcats of the Southern League and the Connecticut Defenders of the Eastern League.

The Southern League offers better weather for the team, while the Eastern League has easier travel.

Chattanooga owner Frank Burke told WGOW radio that the relationship between his franchise and the Reds had "become stagnant."

The last two Reds No. 1 draft picks to come through Chattanooga stayed with the Lookouts for a combined 42 games -- 16 for Jay Bruce and 26 for Drew Stubbs.

"It was an on-going negotiation that didn't work out," said Terry Reyenolds, the Reds director of player development."


he's smiling because he stayed healthy the whole season; first time in three years.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Carlos Sosa walks....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Eliezer Alfonzo...........

Monday, September 15, 2008


Starting Tuesday teams begin to negotiate minor league baseball affiliations. This process goes thru Sept. 30th.
Bookmark, the Richmond (VA) newspaper, as the Defenders may end up there in 2010, for the local reporting. Richmond lost their Triple A team and is looking for another minor bb team to replace it. Double A is the best they can hope for and CT. is rumored to be going there.

RIP Ernie Parsons. Ernie passed away at 60 years of age down in VA. His obit was in the New London Day today. I was aware he was ill. Ernie worked up here for EB and when he moved to VA. he put me in touch with his landlord and that became my first ever appartment. My boss knew him from high school and his girlfriend worked with us. This was back in 1977. The address was 46 West Main Street in downtown Mystic on the corner of West Main and Pearl. It was above the then Sunrise Farms store and about three doors down from Mystic Pizza before it became famous. The appartment faced the street and the rent was $140 a month, heat included. The back appt. rent went for $130 (no view). Ernie also passed on to me the beer bash hosting tradition during the annual Mystic Outdoor Art Festive that my back appt. friend Gary and I took up happily for the next 5 years. Where has the time gone? God Bless Ernie.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dave Maroul.....

just back from the NASCAR race in NH!
Trenton wins the EL championship!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Paul, Steve (JP), Josh, Jason, Justin, Ronnoe and Nate. Game 3 in the EL championship was rained out yesterday in Trenton.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Kelvin Pichardo, pictured below, joins....

Ryan Rohlinger, Orisis Matos, Alex Hinshaw, and Ben Copeland as former Defenders playing in the 2008 AZ. Fall League.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Josh Sharpless

Trenton and Akron tied a one game in the EL championship series as the Aeros downed the Thunder 13-10 last night in OH. No game tonight as today is a travel date.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kyle Haines.....

Trenton takes Game 1 from Akron on the road in the EL championship series last night 3-1.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Belated congrats to Nate Schierholtz on...

his first MLBB homer Saturday. Go Nate!

Dave McKae deals with Olmo at second and Mike Mooney in RF..

Game 1 tonight-- Akron (rescuers of my camera) vs Trenton (my Yankees' Double A team and former Navigators affiliate). I'm torn...

I ended up joining five fantasy football leagues offered by five different sponsors/platforms. I'm 2 up and 3 down after one week.

Monday, September 08, 2008's take on the Connor Gillaspie...

call up from his short season rookie team:

"More foolishness from a Giants team with no concern about maximizing its chances of putting its best team on the field when it could possibly have a chance of contending. Gillaspie was a great pick with the 37th overall selection in this year's draft, and he has a chance to be a nice long-term third baseman. However, adding him to the 40-man roster now is the height of foolishness. The team is up to 13 infielders on the 40-man roster (including Kevin Frandsen on the 60-day DL), 10 of whom are 26 or younger. That's a whole bunch of spots already spoken for next year, and the Giants are going to have a tough time improving their current roster without jettisoning young players to do it."

The rookie third baseman was hitting .268 (19 for 71) in 18 games with four doubles and 8 RBIs. Thanks for taking Rohlinger out of here!

Adam Witter.....

should he go to SJ to work with Steve Decker on his defensive skills next season? Too many passed balls and errors and he's another Defender batter who struck out too many times, 102 times out of 400 ABs. But he lead the team in walks (64), homers (20) and RBIs (77).

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Pablo's so far is batting .351.....

that's 26 for 74 with two homers and 8 RBIs. He has four doubles, a triple and has scored 12 times. Meanwhile the search continues for Ryan Rohlinger.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

For those of us in the Northeast, we're going to..

needing an umbrella over the next 24 hours.
Trenton sweeps Portland with a win last night and Akron now holds a 2 to 1 edge in games over Bowie in the Southern playoffs with their 6-2 victory last night.

** The "hondohurricane" has commented on Joe Perez's article. Check out the post of9/3 below under the comments section.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Daryl Maday

Trenton takes a 2-0 playoff lead over Portland and Bowie and Akron at tied at one game each after last night's games.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Paul Oseguera

Trenton beats Portland last night 2-1 in Game 1 of the Northern Division playoffs. Akron beats Bowie 6-5 in 12 innings in the Southern Division playoff opener.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

From today's Norwich Bulletin....

beat writer Joe Perez's review of the 2008 season:

"As another Connecticut Defenders season is in the books, it will be remembered as much for what it was for what it could have been.

Despite finishing at 68-73, the sixth-straight losing season (all under San Francisco’s watch), the Defenders played inspired and playoff-worthy baseball from last June through early August.

The arrivals of Ryan Rohlinger and Pablo Sandoval coincided with the team’s turnaround that saw them just two games out of the playoffs when the pair were promoted to the majors. Once they were gone, the Defenders looked more like the squad that relied upon five or six innings from the starting pitchers before turning the game over to the bullpen while hoping to scratch out a few runs.

It was a dangerous way to live and it often hurt the Defenders.


The starting pitching was strong for the most part. Right-hander Joey Martinez was among the best arms in the Eastern League despite a very high loss total. He was the bad luck pitcher of the year. Martinez posted a Pitcher of the Year worthy ERA of 2.49 — the best in the league — to go along with a good strikeout total, but hovering around the break even mark (10-10) tainted an otherwise fantastic year. Martinez was also named the All-Star Game’s Pitcher of the Game.

“I’ve just fallen on that weird day where we haven’t been scoring a ton,” Martinez said after a recent loss. “It stinks. It stinks to lose. It doesn’t matter if it’s me or if it’s (Garrett) Broshuis or if it’s (Dave) McKae or if it’s any of the guys. I’ve just fallen on that day a couple times this year. It’s not real frustrating (personally); it’s just frustrating to lose as a team.”

Broshuis returned for his third season, and while rarely spectacular, he was consistent. After three wins a year ago, Broshuis posted a sub-4.00 ERA and won a career-best 13 games.

Another steady performer on the mound was Nate Bump. Bump worked his way back after two shoulder surgeries and sitting out a year. He eventually moved into the rotation and at times flashed the kind of stuff that got him to the bigs in 2003. Shoulder tendonitis shelved him for much of the team’s run, but returned late in the year in the bullpen.

The bullpen, despite frequent overuse, should be viewed as nothing short of a smashing success. It lost Sergio Romo, Osiris Matos and Ryan Sadowski and didn’t miss a beat. Justin Hedrick caught the attention of the Giants and other organizations with overpower stuff and his ability to close out games. Kelvin Pichardo, Jason Waddell and Ronnie Ray all saw no fewer than 44 games and usually made life miserable for opposing batters.

Kyle Haines was a breath of fresh air in the middle infield. An Eastern League All-Star, Haines hit .95 before the game, but struggled greatly afterwards at .219.

Olmo Rosario was a find out of the independent leagues and produced solid numbers in an all-star year. He was shaky in the field, but showed flashes of power and speed.

First baseman Travis Ishikawa was en route to an al-star season before being called up. He was one of six of this year’s Defenders to reach the majors.

Rohlinger provided the best defense at third in years and made some of the more difficult plays look routine. He also gave the team a solid bat in the middle of the lineup that could hit pay dirt with any swing. Smart, yet aggressive, Rohlinger was a key piece to the mid-season turnaround.

Of course, there was Sandoval. In one season he has climbed from Single-A San Jose to the majors. His composite numbers in 2008 are among the best of anyone in baseball.

He moved in behind the plate and changed the opposition’s approach to base running thanks to a string and accurate arm. His powerful bat didn’t always produce mammoth homers; instead he learned to change his approach at the dish to reflect Dodd Stadium’s quirky conditions and would deliver RBI singles to all fields.

A tireless worker with an upbeat attitude his teammates fed off of, Sandoval’s arrival – and subsequent departure – were felt on and off the field. As Sandoval went, so did the Defenders.

“I don’t think we have won four games since Sandoval left,” Connecticut manager Bien Figueroa said last month. “We can’t hit with men on base ever since they left. I’m happy for them because they went to the big leagues, that’s what we’re here for.”


The inability to score runs could be directly linked to the team’s inability to make contact with the ball. Four Defenders (Dave Maroul, 110; Simon Klink, 104; Adam Witter, 102; and Carlos Sosa, 101, each made striking out a way of life. At least in the case of Witter, he also hit 20 home runs and drove in 77 runs, both team highs.

Equally as troublesome was the league-worst .255 team average.

The worst that can be said about the pitching staff is it was sometimes erratic. Ben Snyder, who was called up in June was the shakiest of the group, but improved his numbers each month, rewarding the Giants for their faith in him. Dave McKae struggled with his control on occasion, which was the opposite of his 2007 season. He found himself with one bad inning that, combined with a soft-hitting lineup, would foil any chance for a win.

Part of McKae’s woes can be attributed to injuries. At stretches, injuries ravaged the pitching staff, putting a greater strain on the healthy arms. Martinez, Bump, Romo and Paul Oseguera were just a few of the pitchers who lost time to injuries.

What hurt the pitchers more than injuries were errors. The Defenders were among the worst defensive teams in the league and the third-most unearned runs, nearly 20 more than the league average. With 130 errors, only Erie’s 156 mistakes were worse.

If you are going to give the other team bases runners, you better hope you can counter whatever runs are scored. But Connecticut was in the bottom three in runs, hits, home runs, RBIs, total bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

The Defenders had 10 players – seven of whom would have been considered an everyday player while with the team – that hit below .250.

Corner positions are historically where teams find their punch. Not the Defenders. Eddy Martinez-Esteve’s .298 average (6 homers, 42 RBIs) brings up the collective average of other corner players Carlos Sosa, Mike Mooney, Julio Cordido, Klink and Maroul to .252. Without Martinez-Esteve it drops to .238.

The offensive offense is a big reason why the Defenders dropped 28 one-run games.


The Giants promoting Sandoval and Rohlinger in August denied the Defenders of a chance at its first playoff since 2002. Rohlinger has spent most of his stint on the bench in San Francisco, making his promotion more perplexing. He played in the first five games with the Giants and then saw 10 at-bats over the next 14 games. Had he been allowed to finish the year with Connecticut, it may have made some difference for the better.

Sandoval’s promotion made sense because he was major-league ready. But he was catching behind Bengie Molina and playing first behind Ishikawa. The Giants moved him to third, his original position in the organization – also his weakest – at the expense of Rohlinger.

Despite a second-consecutive season of improved attendance, owner Lou DiBella and his partners say they are still losing money, which puts the Defenders in a precarious position. They hope that a strong showing at the gate to end 2008 carries over into next season.

“It was a good step forward,” minority owner Ray Carbury said. “The economy has been a little bit difficult. Other teams in the league were down by about seven percent. It was a good step forward and we’ll just keep building every year to get it back to the levels it did in the past.”

Their Player Development Contract (PDC) with San Francisco expires in a couple of weeks and the appeal of the franchise to other teams may depend upon its solvency in Norwich. DiBella would like the city to furnish a billboard along Interstate-395 promoting the ball club to help drive up attendance at Dodd Stadium, which might as well as be a cast member on “Lost,” as it is situated in a business park.

While no longer last in the league in attendance, the turnstile woes may lead to the team being sold and relocated after next season. There is speculation the team may land in the soon-to-be-vacant Richmond, Va., market.

Before any of that can be addressed, the team’s affiliation must be put to rest.

The Giants dislike Norwich and perpetuate the inability of batters to succeed at Dodd Stadium. While it is certainly a favorable field for pitchers, the number of Defenders hitters to reach the majors proves that good hitters hit no matter the surroundings.

Florida and Milwaukee have interest in a potential move into town."

Post 2008 season blog format....

I'll post a daily picture starting with the 2008 season and I'll work my way back in the vault. Newsworthy stuff I'll mention and if I don't or I miss something please post as a comment.
I visited over to Will Bentzel's excellent blog: "Senators Fans Unite" last night and the Harrisburg Senators are moving their 2009 game starting times from 6:05pm to 7:00pm on weekdays and Saturdays and on Sundays from 1:05pm to 2:00pm. Also they'll have 6 weekday day games; three start at 10:30am for school groups so they can stay most of the game and 3 that start at noon. The link to Will's blog is on the right.
Personally I'm real happy with the Defs starting their games at 6:35 pm and 1:05pm on Sundays but sure would like to see some more day games during the week!

Today's pic is Mike Mooney.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

2008 season is over....random thoughts follow:

1.) I made a goal for myself at the beginning of the season to post every day and recap every game and except for a bad thunderstorm that knocked me off line for a day in July I met that goal and I'm pretty happy about that.
2.) I'm real happy about the number of in-season "hits" the blog received from April to August this season that numbered about 13,000+, more than double last year's total. I think this blog is kind of unique in the cyber world of minor league baseball blogs and any suggestions you have to improve it would be great.
3.) Looking at the RockCat's 2009 schedule the other day there are about 10 day games scheduled and I hope the Defs throw more in there for 2009 than they did in '08. In today's Courant there was a story on the RockCats and it mentioned that the Eastern League had pushed back the start of the '09 season a week or so in hopes of less bad early season weather and better attendance overall with the season ending in Sept.
4.) Hope the Defs/city fix the; a) bathrooms b) pitch speed display( really, I looked at eBay at one point for a used gun this season) c) the bottom half of the scoreboard d) invest in some paint.
5.) I hope there is a new affiliate next season; I'm burned out on the Giants.
6.) I think Pablo will be something special.
7.) Props to Travis Ishikawa who totally turned my perception of him around with his play this season.
8.) EME made it through the whole season and is now a singles hitter.
9.) To the Defs: bring back the ZOOPERSTARS!!!
10.) To those you stop in here daily--thanks.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Defs drop the last one 4-3 in Trenton this afternoon

in a game that lasted 2:36. Olmo went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles as he ends the season with 31 two baggers on the year. Adam Witter knocks in a pair of runs to finish with 77 RBIs on the season.
Ronnie Ray takes the loss as his record drops to 6-4 .

Misc fan thoughts: I have some Tuesday. Hope everyone had a good holiday weekend.

Fearless's season finale takes

less than 2 hours and 15 minutes to play.
And since the Defs didn't have year end rewards my 2008 MVP pick is.......Jered Allen, batboy extraordinaire.