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, December 31, 2008

JP.......Happy New Year!

Steve Palazzolo from his mustache days. And as Tom commented, it's good to less than 100 days way from Opening Day.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bull Durham tune...from a New Year's Eve (1985) concert by

the group Los Lobos.

Dayton Buller....

Here's hoping '09 finds Dayton well and playing in a more stable atmosphere.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Kyle and TI in the background and.....

Jake and Simon up front.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

AR was safe on this play....

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Carlos Sosa...........

Friday, December 26, 2008

Nate Bump...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!!...........

to all and especially to Hondo, LC, bacci40, AR fan, KRB, Dfansfan, Tom, '08 CT MVP Jared and all those others who stop into this blog.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ryan Rohlinger.......

CT visits NB on May 13, 2009 for a weekday day game!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jason Waddell......

getting loose in the bullpen.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Simon Klink only hit two homers at Dodd...

in '08. This was the first against Trenton; hit down the RF line.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Adam Cowart...and bonus pic....

the bottom pic is the home Opening Day lineup for the Navigators on 4/14/04, a 4-2 loss to the RockCats.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Luis Sojo from 2002.....

finishes up manager week on the blog. Luis took over fron Stump Merril in 2002 and lead the Navs to the EL crown in 2002. Always liked those pinstripe vests.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day bonus pic from 2003.....

Since we're riding a manager and coach wave here lately. That's Ross Grimsley, Navigators batting coach Willie Upshaw and Giants roving pitching coach Lee Smith along with catcher Chris Curry. Pic taken on 5/24/03; a 5-3 victory over the Thunder. They were still selling those Navs caps (fitted) this year in Cutter's Corner for the bargin price of $5 (I picked one up).
Snowing heavily in CT right now; happy to have had today off.

Bob Stanley .....

Working from bottom to top; bottom pic is Bob as the B-Mets pitching coach in 2002. Next pic is Bob getting tossed on "Dead Day" in 2005; note Bob is not wearing the special dye-tied techicolor uniforms the team worn for the game but instead what became his standard game garb a SF windbreaker. Having said that a rare pic of Bob in uniform is the next pic and the last is Bob taking some cuts in this year's HR Derby at Dodd. Bob went 0 for 1 in his entire career (a K) with the BoSox but knocked a few over the fences at Dodd on that Day.
Pitching staffs have always been the strength on the Norwich/CT team. Was surprised to see him gone. Bob would always give away a ball to some kid when walking to the dugout with the starting pitcher and catcher before the game started. He made a lot of kid's day that way. Of course a lot of those kids's father were already BoSox fans. Talked to him a few times over the years. Nice guy and I wish him well.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

#21 is back--Dave Machemer to manage Augusta...

From the Augusta Chroncile dated 12/15/08:

"When the Augusta GreenJackets take the field in April to defend their South Atlantic League championship, they'll do so with almost an entirely new coaching staff.

Dave Machemer, a 57-year-old, veteran minor league manager, will lead the GreenJackets in 2009 with help from Nava, pitching coach Steve Kline and trainer James Petra.

"I'm thrilled. I really am," Machemer said. "Last year was a little different for me, and I'm happy to be getting back into the hands-on, day-to-day routine of managing. I think I'm better at that."

Machemer, who will begin his 18th season as a minor league manager this spring, has served as a scout for the San Francisco Giants for portions of the past two seasons after being reassigned from his position as manager of the Double-A Connecticut Defenders midway through the 2007 season.

The 2007 Defenders were 41-58 and in last place in the Eastern League when Machemer was reassigned, but he came back in 2008 to manage the Arizona League Giants to a rookie ball championship.

Machemer said he could be reunited with many of the players on last season's rookie ball team.

"I'm going to have some of those guys, and I'm looking forward to it," he said. "But it's going to be tough to top last year's team."

The GreenJackets have reached the postseason each of the past three years highlighted by last season's 93-50 record and SAL Championship. Andy Skeels, last year's GreenJackets manager, has been promoted to manage the Advanced-A San Jose Giants."

Giants really shaking up their minor league mgmt. teams for '09. Why does that picture remind me of the '07 EL All-Star Game???

From today's Norwich Bulletin....

by beat writer Joe Perez:

"Steve Decker is a no-nonsense kind of guy.

The new Connecticut Defenders manager manages the game the way he played during his seven-year career in the big leagues.

Officially named the team’s skipper Wednesday, replacing Bien Figueroa, Decker said he can’t promise wins, but he can deliver excuse-free baseball, something that had been rampant at Dodd Stadium in recent years.

“One thing I’m really going to harp on to the Connecticut Defenders is our plan offensively, of what the park dictates we do,” Decker said by phone. “We used that field as a crutch. Hitters come up and say, ‘It’s not my fault; it’s the field’s fault.’ Well there’s no reason why you shouldn’t hit for a high average. You’re probably not going to hit for much power, but you’re still going to hit for high average.”

Decker already has his first change in mind: “The first thing that’s going to be done is we’re cutting that grass as short as possible. I’m going to try to bring in as much speed and aggressive base stealing as you’ve ever had there.”

With eight years in the parent San Francisco Giants farm system, Decker has been hands-on in cultivating much of the talent at the lower levels of the system. Decker spent four years as a coach with short-A Salem-Keizer before leading it to back-to-back Northwest League crowns in 2006 and 2007. He took over San Jose last year and guided the team to a league-best 85-55 record.

Now San Francisco’s golden boy of coaching talent will try to turn Connecticut, which hasn’t seen a winning record since 2002, into a contender. A large number of the players expected to make up the team’s roster will have worked under Decker.

“I think it will help a lot,” he said. “They know how they’re supposed to play and how they’re supposed to work and prepare to compete at (game time). My teams have all been character guys. We have good players and guys who are getting better and developing. The one thing you can control is how you go about your business, and that’s one thing that we try to do.”

If nothing else, the promotion of Decker to the helm of the Defenders’ ship is an indication by the Giants how much emphasis is being placed on developing players at the Double-A level.

“I think he is thought of very highly by the organization and will likely entrust him with some of the pride of the system, hopefully, I think speaks volumes,” Defenders General Manager Charlie Dowd said.

Connecticut, which finished 68-73, saw its entire coaching staff purged by San Francisco.

Filling the vacancies are pitching coach Ross Grimsley, who guided Single-A Augusta’s pitching staff to a 3.02 ERA and 18 shutouts a year ago; hitting instructor Garey Ingram, who joins the team from the Midwest League’s Great Lakes franchise; and Augusta’s trainer Eric Ortega takes over as the team’s trainer."

Check out Joe's blog for more Decker stuff. Interesting comments about how he sees the team for '09 and Dodd. Link is on the right.

Picture is of Ross Grimsley as the Norwich Navigators pitching coach in 2003. Welcome back Ross! My brother is is big Orioles fan so I lose the Red Sox guy in Steamer and pick up an O's guy.
Steamer's wife was a fixture at the park also.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Matt Palmer signed by the Angels....

to a minor league deal and the former Navigator/Defender is invited to the Angles MLB spring training. Tip of the hat to Hondo for picking up on this transaction (see comments under Pablo's pic).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


the future everyday 3B for the Giants?

Monday, December 15, 2008


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nestor Rojas.........

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Jake and Olmo with the...

old Beehive Stadium scoreboard in the background.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Simon Klink.....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dave Maroul.....

Also the New London Day reports the Defs are behind in rent payments to Norwich but both sides state things will be worked out soon.
Hondo was first to report here that Kyle Haines (Phillies) and Ben Copeland (A's) have been picked up in Rule V draft action today with the Double AA draft just starting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nate Bump...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ronnie Ray......

Monday, December 08, 2008

Kyle Haines.....

Sunday, December 07, 2008

GB tosses in NB...

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Friday, December 05, 2008

Cowart to TI....

this did result in a pickoff.

Just back from Dodd. Put in my '09 ticket order and bought Justin Hedrick's pink uniform (size 48) from the '08 season's Cancer Awareness Day. Pretty happy to get that uniform as I was outbid the past two seasons on the pink jerseys since I'm with my Mom on Mother's Day and I'm unable to raise my bid from Saturday when the auction begins. Check out the Defender's website for additional details about the pink jerseys.
No pocket skeds yet but did pick up a schedule sheet with game times. Basically the same times as last season with 6:35 PM kicking off night games and 1:05 Sunday start times. I've said it before but there's a big difference to the good side about starting at 6:35 instead of 7:05. Thanks for keeping it! Same is true for the Sunday time of 1:05 over 2:05.
There is a 12:05 on Wednesday April 22. Camp dates on May 21, June 4 and July 13 begin at 10:35.
Kind of wished for a 1:05 start on Saturday April 18th and another day game on Tuesday April 21 along with a few more day games sprinkled in during the summer. From August 1st to the close of the regular season on Monday Sept 7th (a night game for fireworks I suspect) there are 22 games that accounts for 31% of the home schedule.
Happy Holidays to everyone I didn't see today at Dodd!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Justin Hedrick.....

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

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

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Paul Oseguera...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Mike Mooney....

Thanks for your continued "viewership" as the blog had 1,419 visits last month compared to Nov. '07's 486 visists.
Three months down and four to go!