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....

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ronnie Ray......who is in camp..but..

LC and AR fan are right about Justin

Friday, February 27, 2009


will he be pitching and or blogging this season? Spring training games in full swing and I'm getting the fever as the names start turing up in the box scores! It's 60 degrees out today and I feel like charging up the camera battery and heading up to Dodd.
Nice to see the Defs webpage advertising for host families for players. I think it's the first time the franchise (Yanks and Giants) has ever put up an ad for that; nice job!

And from Baseball America dated 2/25/09:

"The Diamond does not need a renovation. It needs a wrecking ball.

And that’s what will happen to the former home of the Triple-A Richmond Braves if plans for a new $353 million ballpark/downtown revitalization project are sunken by the economy, and the city focuses again on The Diamond to house a new minor league team. That’s a potential scenario the Richmond Times Dispatch reported yesterday, and considering the state is facing a $3 billion budget gap, such a grandiose project doesn’t seem nearly as realistic as it did six months ago.

But make no mistake, a new Diamond will share only the location and perhaps the foundation of its predecessor. A renovation is new bleachers and a scoreboard being put in Visalia. The Diamond project wouldn’t be a renovation. It would be a rebuild.

The Times Dispatch cited Triple-A Albuquerque as a comparison, noting that a new ownership group renovated the deteriorating home of the Dukes when they brought the Calgary Cannons to town in 2003. However the new Isotopes Park bears little resemblance to the former stadium.

"The first thing is we needed to have a new stadium built," Albuquerque general manager John Traub told Baseball America in 2007 after the Isotopes won the Triple-A Freitas Award. "A brand new facility was built from scratch. It launched a new era for baseball here; new ownership, new identity and a new major league affiliate."

The rebuild cost Albuquerque $25 million — compared to the $39 million Toledo paid for Fifth Third Field and $46 million Fresno’s Chukchansi Field cost in 2002. So it’s unclear if building a ballpark on the site of The Diamond would be significantly cheaper than a new one in the Shockoe Bottom District. However it may very well be a more realistic option considering the enormity of the current plan.

[UPDATE] The price of renovating The Diamond would likely be comparable to a new ballpark, HTNB national director for sports architecture Tom Tingle said in an email correspondence. He added that "it is reasonable to expect something in the $40 million to $50 million (range) depending on final seat count and whether it is Double-A or Triple-A."

The cost of tearing down The Diamond would also be a factor, Tingle added, noting that "it will not be a simple task. (The Diamond) is a unique structure." [UPDATE]

The other question is if talk of The Diamond renovation is a sign that Richmond still can’t make up its mind on a new ballpark and is changing gears yet again? It’s an all-too-familiar script that ultimately ran the Atlanta Braves out of town following four years of failed negotiations and scrapped plans for a new ballpark.

"We’ve had a lot of delays and lack of clarity in financing," Braves executive vice president of business operations Mike Plant said when announcing the R-Braves move to Gwinnett County, Ga., in January 2008.

It’s a history you would think Richmond would avoid repeating and a reason why Minor League Baseball needs to see firm plans for a new ballpark and lease before it approves any sale, even if terms are reached in the coming weeks between a local ownership group and Double-A Connecticut (as both the Times Dispatch and Norwich Bulletin have reported).

"Sometime this summer, we need to have a clear idea of where we are headed," MILB vice president Tim Purpura said last week. "(We’ll need to) get a team in there, on the ground, establish an identity . . . From our point of view, we have to see plans are being made for a ballpark, a lease structure, and what things will look like for the long term."

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at 11:35 am by Josh Leventhal and is filed under Business Beat, Minor League Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed."

Will the economy kill the relocation of the Defenders???

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Adam Cowart...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jake Wald....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Osiris Matos.......

Monday, February 23, 2009

Changes of address....

Ben Copeland now with the A's and the B-Mets Mike Carp now with Seattle..

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Adam Witter and Brooks McNiven...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

As requested..a pic of Kelvin's....

black wristband... it's almost scary I can find this stuff...

Kelvin Pichardo....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dayton Buller....

good luck to Dayton as he reports to Rockies camp...

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

AR in action...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Trey Webb and Simon Klink...

one of our readers, AR fan, has reported that Klink has retired...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Today's "official" pic of the day.......

folks there are 17 pics all together in that photo array of the '02 championship game. Just click on one of the displayed pictures to view them all as a slideshow.

The great spring training blog "San Francisco Giants Jotting" is up and in full swing. Check out the link on the right. Pics of Ronnie Ray and Buster Posey included.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Here's some pics of 9/14/2002 when.........

omax2004's 2002 EL champs photosetomax2004's 2002 EL champs photoset

when Norwich Navigators won the EL Crown in Game 5 at Dodd Stadium 5-0 over the Harrisburg Senators. It was the last game the Navigators played as a Yankee farm team as the affiliation relocated to Trenton in 2003. It was not a surprise they were moving the affiliation it was already official. What was not known was who was replacing them.
I was really into this game emotionally and didn't take as many pictures as I wish I had looking back on it. I've put up 17 of them in this batch. Manger Luis Sojo is number 14 holding up the trophy. Johnny Rodquiez is number 41. Fan favorite, as both a Yankee and then a Giants Navigator, Mike Cervenak is number 55. The last out is somewhat pictured; which is a popup to Erik Almonte. Julio DePaula, number #49, whose jersey I have, was on the mound to get the final out.
Nobody really wanted to leave Dodd that night. It was the happiest I've ever been there without a doubt.

Kyle Haines.....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Julio Cordido.....

well it's a day after the news. That it's not a done deal yet is the only thing that is certain for now.
One thing I didn't mention yesterday was whatever the product on the field was like, the front office and game day staff have always performed in championship form. Thanks again folks!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Short season single A??? Joe Perez of the Norwich Bulletin writes:

"Norwich, Conn. — If the Defenders leave Norwich, it opens the possibility of another franchise moving into Dodd Stadium, likely a short-season New York-Penn League team.

Which New York-Penn League team moves into Dodd Stadium is still in question. If attendance figures and location to parent club are any indication Jamestown, N.Y., (Florida) and Oneonta, N.Y. (Detroit) are the likely candidates. They are significantly behind the league attendance average for 2008.

Batavia, which has been the bottom of the New York-Penn League in attendance in recent years, looked like a perfect fit. But team Chairwoman Naomi Silver said no one has approached the team’s management group, which also owns the Rochester Red Wings, regarding a sale or relocation of the Muckdogs.

“Batavia has had a ball club for a very long time” she said. “About a year ago they were on the verge of going out of business. We’re about 30 miles down the road and we were in a position to try to help them out. Try and go in and run the team for a few years, see if we couldn’t turn it around. We’re not ready to give up the ship quite yet. There’s at least a reasonable chance that we can turn this operation around and get back to break even or a profitable point.”

Oneonta was sold in December 2008 after single ownership controlled the club since its inception in 1966. Part of that sale included an agreement to keep the Tigers in Oneonta through its lease, which expires after the 2010 season. The team could play out its lease and move into Dodd Stadium for 2011, leaving the ballpark vacant for a year. Oneonta owner E. Miles Prentice, a New York City attorney, was out of the country and unavailable for comment."

I'll go to short season games if it comes here. I saw a few Vermont Expos games back in the 90's and while the quality of ball is nowhere near that of Double A it is affiliated pro ball. Season runs mid June to Labor Day; 72 games in all, 36 home games and 36 away.

**UPDATE: the New London Day is now reporting that the move of a short season team into Dodd is part of the deal of sending the Double A team to Richmond.

Friday the 13th type news as both...

the Norwich Bulletin and New London Day are weighing in on-line re: the Richmond Times-Dispatch article of today below:

Published: February 13, 2009

A Richmond group hopes to buy a franchise that belongs to the Class AA Eastern League, the Connecticut Defenders, and move it to Richmond, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Bryan Bostic said the goal of Richmond Baseball Club LC, the organization he chairs, is to purchase a franchise by early April. Minor League Baseball rules prohibit Bostic from discussing the league or the franchise, he said. Bostic earlier this week confirmed that Richmond Baseball Club LC has made formal application to Minor League Baseball to acquire a specific team.

"I'm not allowed to say any level, any team, any city, any affiliation," Bostic said. "That day, we believe, is coming."

The franchise is expected to sell to Bostic and his partners next month for about $15 million. The Connecticut franchise has been affiliated with the San Francisco Giants since 2003 and will be affiliated with the Giants through 2010.

If Minor League Baseball approves the deal, sources say, Bostic's group is expected to operate the franchise in its present home in Norwich, Conn., this season. Then it will move to Richmond in 2010.

The executive vice president of Minor League Baseball, Tim Purpura, consistently has chosen not to identify franchises that may be relocating to Richmond. This week, he said, "We still look at [Richmond] as a very viable place for minor-league baseball and we hope to have a franchise there in the near future."

The Richmond Braves, who left for Gwinnett, Ga., after last season, were Atlanta's Class AAA franchise. There are no Class AAA franchises in the International League for sale.

"The superstars go straight from Double-A to the majors," Bostic said this week. "The Triple-A, taking nothing away from it, is more oriented toward the [physically rehabilitating] list, and a player ready and waiting if necessary. But Double-A, the [future] superstars, that's where they're playing."

Neither Lou DiBella, the Connecticut Defenders' president/managing partner, nor Charlie Dowd, the franchise's general manager, could be reached for comment. The Eastern League president, Joe McEacharn, chose not to comment.

Richmond's Class AA team would play at The Diamond in 2010 and 2011. The 2012 season would bring a shift to a new ballpark, according to Bostic's plan. He advocates a Shockoe Bottom ballpark, part of the proposed $363 million Shockoe Center.

The departure of the R-Braves, owned by the Atlanta Braves, "I view as a silver lining, and so does Minor League Baseball, ultimately," Bostic said. "Because the best minor-league baseball [franchises] are owned and managed locally. They engage the community in a way that outside ownership just cannot deliver.

"That's why we're doing this. We're doing this because local ownership can drive extremely successful baseball teams. We have world-class operators that are part of our team. I can't go into who they are, but I can tell you that you will be thrilled when those names are announced."

Bostic's group includes 10 to 15 "committed investors," he said. Asked if it was the eventual goal of Richmond Baseball Club LC to bring Class AAA baseball back to Richmond, Bostic responded, "Our goal is to bring affordable, family entertainment to the Richmond region as quickly as possible."

Joe Perez of the Bulletin has written a long piece as well that is on-line.

Dave Maroul.....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Jason Waddell as Jake Wald looks on...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

TI signs...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From today's Richmond newspaper:

"The leader of the ownership group that wants to return professional baseball to Richmond said yesterday that the group has applied to Minor League Baseball to buy a specific team by early April.

Bryan Bostic, chairman of Richmond Baseball Club LC, said Minor League Baseball rules prohibit him from naming the team or league.

But Bostic has said his group would pursue the highest level of baseball available. International League President Randy Mobley has said there are no Class AAA franchises available. That leaves a Class AA team from the Eastern League as the most likely fit.

Even if the local group buys a team, Richmond will not have minor-league baseball in 2009. Richmond Baseball Club LC would operate the franchise at its current location this season and relocate the franchise to Richmond in 2010.

"For us to move forward with a team, based on the opportunity, we would need to do that prior to Opening Day," Bostic said of the franchise purchase.

Minor League Baseball prefers that sales not occur during the season, said Scott Poley, the organization's vice president for legal affairs and general counsel.

Joe McEacharn, president of the Eastern League, declined comment. The last two Eastern League franchises sold went for $24 million (Reading, Pa.) and $18 million (Altoona, Pa.).

If Richmond Baseball Club LC purchases a franchise, it would do so with no public assurance of a stadium to replace The Diamond. The city has yet to approve the $363 million Shockoe Center project that includes a baseball facility.

"We've always said that our goals are to play at The Diamond for 2010 and 2011 and to be in a new ballpark for 2012. That plan is non-wavering," Bostic said yesterday after he delivered prepared remarks to Kiwanis Club members.

Does that ballpark have to be in Shockoe Bottom?

"The plan is non-wavering," Bostic answered. "We will be in a new ballpark in 2012. We think a Shockoe Bottom ballpark is without question the right location and the right opportunity at the right time and is transformational for the community."

The Atlanta Braves' Class AAA team played in Richmond from 1966 till last year. The team has relocated to Gwinnett County, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta.

Bostic, during yesterday's Kiwanis Club appearance, suggested that an eventual Richmond affiliation with the Washington Nationals would "seem like a natural fit."

"We're not allowed to talk to the Nationals or any other team in that regard, due to Minor League Baseball rules," he said. "However, it's 90 miles away, 100 miles away, and I will say that the major leagues are looking for their minor-league affiliates to be closer to home."

The purchase of a Class AA franchise would give the potential ownership group access to a Washington farm club when one becomes available.

Minor-league locales often switch major-league affiliations.

If Richmond Baseball Club LC bought the Eastern League's Connecticut Defenders, for instance, the franchise would continue to be the Class AA team of the San Francisco Giants through 2010. The Giants and the Connecticut franchise renewed their player-development contract after last season for two more years."

Love the "if" at the end of the article....anyway I guess their plan is to get a team first and then hope that this $363 million projection that includes a new ballpark is approved. This group is also have to spend some bucks on their temporary home at the Diamond.

And from yesterday's

"A Richmond group has reached an agreement to buy an Eastern League team -- reportedly the Connecticut Defenders -- and will operate the team before moving it to The Diamond in 2010.

We're told the final sale price is less than the $18 million reportedly paid for the Altoona Curve, the most recent full purchase of a franchise.

A group led by Richmond resident Brian Bostic has applied to MiLB and MLB for permission to buy the team. The current game plan is to close on the purchase of the team before the 2009 season and run it in Norwich before a move to The Diamond for the 2010 season.

After that, it's anyone guess where the team will end up. A developer originally proposed building a new ballpark in Richmond's Shockoe Bottom area, but over time that proposal morphed into a plan for tax-increment financing to fund a new ballpark overseen by a traditional stadium authority. Bills approving the tax-increment financing have passed the state House and Senate, but in a telling detail the legislation would allow for either a new ballpark or the renovation of The Diamond."

This would mean of course Lou would be out as owner by Opening Day. This from a story dated 1/7/09:

"A local group says it's ready to buy a team and move it to Richmond (Va.), but they first want assurances from the city that a new ballpark is forthcoming.

Brian Bostic, head of the local group, says they are working to buy a team by March 1. It's believed the team is the Connecticut Defenders (Class AA; Eastern League), as talk at the Winter Meetings centered on owner Lou DiBello's willingness to exit the baseball world after bad experiences with Norwich officials over the management of the team's ballpark."

Simon Klink.....

Check out and bookmark the excellent spring training blog "San Francisco Giants Jottings" (link on the right) that is now stirring back to life. Great reporting and picture taking of the Giants spring training games and players.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Osiris Matos.......

Check out McCovey's re: the Giants fanfest. In the comments thread one fan posted a bunch of pics that include Joey Martinez, Palbo, Hinshaw, Rohlinger, etc.

From today's Hartford Courant...

the juxtaposition of this article nearby an article describing the latest steroids revelation concerning a MLBB player; this time A-Rod, speaks volumns to me. I vaguely remember Conley pitching for the Red Sox. The first two-way pro I remember knowing about was Dave DeBusschere (Knicks and White Sox) because there was mention of it on the back of his baseball card. It amazed me someone could do that on the pro level. Next one I knew about was Yankee pitcher Steve Hamilton (Yanks and Lakers).

"Forty years ago Gene Conley was coaching the Hartford Capitols of the Eastern Professional Basketball League, the precursor of the CBA, with the likes of Art Stephenson, Spider Bennett, Eddie Griffin, Don Carlos and Wes Bialosuknia on the roster.

Conley was the great two-sport star of the '50s, playing pro basketball and baseball at the same time. He won three NBA titles with the Celtics and was a pitcher for the 1957 Milwaukee Braves when they won the World Series. Conley also pitched for the Red Sox, for whom he won 29 games in three seasons.

But his coaching stint with the Caps did not last long. Early in the 1969-70 season, Conley resigned, leaving the 0-3 team. Team owner Mark Yellin was not surprised. Had Conley not quit, he almost certainly would have been fired.

"It was a case of either the coach or about half the players," Yellin told Owen Canfield of The Courant at the time.

Conley had a lot of great moments in Harford. He was an original member of the Caps in 1966, the first to sign a contract with them, and had some great games. He pitched in the Eastern League for the Hartford Chiefs, winning 20 games in 1951, when he was named MVP of the league and minor league player of the year by the Sporting News.

That 20th victory was special, a two-hitter (both infield singles) against the league-leading Wilkes-Barre Barons at Bulkeley Stadium. The Aug. 26, 1951, edition of The Courant had this to say: "After the game the popular Conley and his wife were presented with a set of traveling luggage and also a purse of money contributed by Hartford fans."

Money cropped up again in a January 1957 clip in the files. Conley was asked to take a pay cut by the Milwaukee Braves after an 8-9 record in 1956. He was making about $17,000 and the story said that the cut "was not believed to be the maximum 25 percent permitted in the majors."

Pay cut? In baseball?"

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Ryan Rohlinger.......

Steve Decker update...


For the Keizertimes

Steve Decker of Keizer, former pennant-winning manager of the Volcanoes, has been staying busy in baseball.

Last year he managed the class A advanced San Jose Giants of the California League, winning both halves of the season before losing the playoffs. He went to the Dominican Republic in November to help develop players there, and he is preparing to manage the Connecticut Defenders of the class AA Eastern League.

The parent San Francisco Giants send people in their organization, usually two men at a time, to the Dominican Republic through the off-season to instruct players who have signed with the Giants organization. Decker and Fred Stanley, the Giants' farm director, went there for about a week.

Decker, who played winter ball in Mexico and Puerto Rico, said he found the Dominican Republic a much less developed place than the parts of Latin America where he had been.

"You're dealing with a different realm of aptitude," he said, noting that the Dominican Republic is a Third World country, in which many of the players have little formal education and are less advanced than players in the same age group in the United States and Mexico.

A former catcher whose career included several seasons in the Major Leagues but never in a first-string capacity, Decker works mostly on hitting but is also involved with catching and the other phases of the game. As a manager, he said, he has to stay involved with all the phases.

"The best way to communicate is hands-on," he said.

The Eastern League plays a 142-game season that will start April 9 and end in the first week of September. The Connecticut club, based in Norwich in the southeastern part of the state, finished fourth last year with a 68-73 record. The Defenders name honors the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in nearby New London and a submarine base in nearby Groton.

Describing the home stadium as a "pitchers' ballpark," Decker said he planned to focus on pitching, fielding and "little ball" offense to get the most out of his players. His pitching coach will be Ross Grimsley, a major league veteran who played with the Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles and Montreal Expos and had a 20-victory season with Baltimore. Gary Ingram will be the hitting coach and Eric Ortega the trainer.

His player roster, of course, will not be known until the last week of spring training.

Decker managed Salem-Keizer from 2005 through 2007. The Volcanoes were the Northwest League champions in 2006 and 2007, and in 2007 they were the Minor League Team of the Year.

His playing career included 263 games in the majors, spread out over most of the 1990s. He played for the Giants, the Florida Marlins, the Colorado Rockies and the California Angels (now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim).

Friday, February 06, 2009

Getting hungry for baseball, garlic fries, .....

sunshine, warm weather, etc.
2009 Promo schedule is up on the Defenders website. There is an Irish Heritage Night (green unis?), Autism Awareness Day, and a Tim Linecum bobble head giveaway on 5/30/09.
Don't see the Sam Adams Thirsty Thursday special and All-You-Can Eat Thursday but it's early yet and hopefully those will be back along with some of the other promos from previous season.

Mike Mooney....

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Paul Oseguera...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ronnie Ray to Simon Klink....

and does anyone get tonight's UCONN women vs Rutgers bb game on their cable system???

Monday, February 02, 2009

View from Lou's as....

Joey Martinez delivers.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Nestor Rojas.........

good to have January out of the way but snow coming on Tuesday.

Angel Chavez was signed by the BoSox to a...

minor league contact a couple of weeks ago. He played for the Navigators in the '04 season mostly as a shortstop and made his MLBB debut in '05 appearing in 10 games for the Giants. He played in Las Vegas last season, the Triple A team of the Dodgers.