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, March 31, 2009

Paul Oseguera...

Fan fest Tuesday at Dodd from 5:30-6:30 PM next Tuesday. Roster mania will be Monday!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Kyle Haines.....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

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

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Always look the ball into the glove kids...

we love you AR!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Adam Witter.....our Opening Day catcher??....

as we're now under two weeks to go!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dave Maroul.....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Josh Sharpless.......

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dave McKae........

Monday, March 23, 2009

Jake Wald....back in Norwich????

as the Giants signed a Triple A shortstop from the White sox last week.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Justin sits, Nestor swings, and Jason walks...

during the last game of the '08 season.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Now pitching for the Cubs...Jason Waddell...

Thanks ARfan for the report..didn't even know he was gone..

Friday, March 20, 2009

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

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pablo at bat and someone on deck......

who should be in Fresno soon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Kelvin Pichardo....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jake and one step closer to Richmond...

From today's Norwich Bulletin:

The Norwich City Council has approved a request to reassign the lease on Dodd Stadium to a group from Richmond, Va., that is attempting to purchase the team.

“It’s unanimous. Play ball,” said Jon Jacaruso, president pro tempore of the council, to a group that included Eastern League President Joe McEacharn.

The council met in executive session Monday night in a meeting that included McEacharn, Defenders general manager Charlie Dowd and team attorney Glenn T. Carberry.

The current owners, headed by Lou DiBella, are considered close to a deal with the Richmond group that wants to move the Class AA club there for the 2010 season. To do so, they would be required to buy their way out of the last year on the Defenders’ existing lease for $175,000.

There also is the possibility that a new team from the Class A New York-Penn League could relocate to Norwich once a sale is announced. Minor League Baseball regulations bar teams from negotiating relocation deals in the territory of existing clubs.

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and the Eastern League would have to approve any sale and relocation.

Carberry said it is to the city’s advantage to reassign the lease.

“We recognize that the details of this transaction raises … questions for the future, such as whether they intend to relocate the team in 2010, what the requirements would be for the new tenant to terminate the lease, what baseball approvals are needed for a team to relocate, and is another professional team going to come to Norwich?”

Carberry said the proposal for the sale provides for full payment, plus 4 percent interest, of all outstanding debts.

“I want to offer league support and commitment that any sale agreement will include making the city whole,” McEacharn said. “We’ll support that and enforce it.”

Monday, March 16, 2009

AR tracks one down....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

GB...wonder if he is blogging

again this season? Have not seen anything yet; any help?

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Friday, March 13, 2009

Osiris, Kelvin, and Ronnie....

and I'm ready for some warm weather!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Osiris Matos.......

From today's New London Day:

Norwich gets to take the first step in the potential sale of the Connecticut Defenders Monday when the City Council votes to assign the existing lease on Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium to a Richmond, Va., group, but expect a summer of brisk transaction activity once that is done, one team official said.
The council Monday will consider a resolution to transfer the stadium lease from the existing owners of the minor league AA Defenders to Richmond Baseball Club LC. The resolution requires that “as of the effective date” of the lease transfer the city must be paid in full all “sums accrued and billed.” That total is now $363,689, according to a calculation by city Deputy Comptroller Josh Pothier given to the Baseball Stadium Authority Wednesday.

The authority did not discuss the pending lease transaction, however. Chairman Michael Jewell said the authority would concern itself with the day-to-day operations and leave the lease and team transactions to the City Council. Using rent revenues, the authority handles stadium upgrades, renovations, utilities and some services, including the $46,494 it must pay for last season's police coverage.

Team and city officials called the lease assignment the necessary first step in what could lead to a flurry of activity that sends the Defenders to Richmond, Va., after the 2009 season and brings a new short-season Class A team - likely from the New York-Penn League - to Norwich for the 2010 season.

Team attorney Glenn Carberry said Wednesday “things could happen fast” after Monday's vote. The Defenders hope to close on the sale to the Richmond group before the April 8 start of the 2009 season.

Carberry said strict baseball rules prohibit him from discussing any specific plans to bring a Class A team to Norwich, but such a move is in the works.

Timing of both transactions will be tricky and will require approval by high officials in Minor League Baseball, Major League Baseball, the Eastern League, where the Defenders play, and the New York-Penn League.

Eastern League President Joe McEachran said if baseball officials do approve the sale, his league would want a solid plan for a new stadium in Richmond or major renovations to the rundown Diamond, where the team would play temporarily at first.

Bryan Bostic, the Richmond businessman trying to buy the Defenders, did not return phone calls this week, and declined to comment on the possible transaction in a

story in Wednesday's Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Pete Boisseau, a spokesman for the Richmond group hoping to win city approval of a new stadium as part of a major downtown redevelopment plan, said the group should have a decision by Ricmond officials before Aug. 1. If that decision is “no,” he said the group would work on a contingency plan. But while others say renovating the Diamond is an alternative, Boisseau said that is not feasible, especially while the team is playing there.

Carberry said it's possible the Defenders could stay in Norwich in 2010 if stadium construction or renovation in Richmond is delayed, and that in turn would hold up plans to bring a Class A team to Norwich.

”All this will play out over a period of months,” Carberry said.

OK well, either (A) we get a single A team in 2010, (B) no single A team in 2010, or now maybe (C) another season of Defs baseball in 2010 which turns into (D) a single A team in 2011 and then (F) no single A team in 2011.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Adam Cowart...

From today's Norwich Bulletin:

"Norwich, Conn. — As the sale of the Connecticut Defenders draws closer to completion, and their departure grows more likely, the big question for baseball fans in Eastern Connecticut is which team, if any, moves into Dodd Stadium for 2010.

It’s hoped the sale of the Defenders to a group from Richmond, Va., will lead to the relocation of a New York-Penn League team here. But so far, it’s only talk. There are expectations, but no guarantees, that Dodd Stadium will have a tenant once the Defenders leave.

Defenders owner Lou DiBella said the best way to keep a team in the region is to support the Defenders, whether this is their last season or not.

“You need the support of a community,” he said. “You have to let baseball know, let the Eastern League, the New York-Penn League and affiliate teams know that Norwich is a solid market and that the market wants baseball.”

DiBella said a Class A team with a short season — 76 games running mid-June to Labor Day — would be ideal for Dodd Stadium. He said that schedule meshes with the best attendance months the Defenders have had in recent years, while poor weather early and late season historically cuts attendance. In recent years, the Defenders, in one of the smallest markets in Class AA, regularly have ranked near the bottom of the Eastern League in attendance.

Three New-York Penn League teams are thought of as the main candidates. Franchises in the New York cities of Batavia, Jamestown and Oneonta have struggled at the gate.

Jamestown Jammers

DiBella has his eyes on bringing the Jamestown Jammers, a Florida Marlins affiliate, to Norwich.
Owned by Rich Entertainment, a subsidiary of Buffalo food manufacturers Rich Food, the Jammers have struggled for years at the gate and have become a frequent target of relocation talks. General manager Matt Dreyer said he’s heard nothing from ownership, but can’t believe the Jammers would move away from their corporate base. Rich Entertainment also owns a team in Arkansas.

Norwich Corporation Counsel Michael Driscoll, the city’s attorney, could not be reached Tuesday to see what assurances the city could receive on a replacement team.

Before plans for an incoming team can be finalized, the sale of the Defenders to a group led by Richmond, Va., businessman Bryan Bostic, reported to be about $15 million, must be completed.
Bostic announced last month that he submitted an application, which is in its final stages of completion.

The Defenders have a lease on Dodd Stadium through the 2010 season, and will play this year in Norwich no matter who owns the team. Moving the team would require Norwich to transfer its lease from the Defenders to Bostic’s Richmond group. City Manager Alan Bergren said the City Council likely will discuss the lease Monday at its regular meeting.

“There is a provision by which the council can authorize me to transfer the lease,” Bergren said.
The team also has a buyout clause, which it can exercise for $175,000. City Comptroller Joe
Ruffo said that money would be paid to the city’s Baseball Stadium Authority. He also said the team still owes nearly $300,000 in rent, though the team and the Eastern League have assured Norwich the money will be paid in full by the April 16 home opener.

Eastern League President Joe McEacharn could not be reached Tuesday to determine how the debt to the city might affect league approval.

The process for Eastern League approval of a sale begins once a potential buyer and a team’s ownership have agreed upon terms of a sale. The buyer then submits and application to the league, which does its due diligence, including background checks, financing qualifications, management structure and more. Once the application is approved or denied, the deal can be completed.

Who will blink first?

It’s this step in the process where the two sides stand. The biggest holdup is coming out of Virginia, where a game of chicken is taking place between Bostic and the Richmond Metropolitan Authority.

Bostic wants to build a $60 million stadium as part of a $350 million complex, but the city won’t approve it until a team is in place. For its part, the Eastern League won’t allow the Defenders to relocate until a long-term facility better than the one in place is in Richmond.

DiBella said he could not call a sale of the Defenders imminent.

“In this economy, what is imminent?” DiBella asked. “There is an application that baseball will consider when (the sale) is closed. I believe that’s close, and I believe that would be advantageous to everybody.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ryan Rohlinger.......

swinging a very hot bat in the desert!

From today's New London Day:

"The sale of the Connecticut Defenders to a Richmond, Va., business group could be closer to reality at this time next week, as city officials review a request to transfer the existing lease of the Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium to the potential new team owners.

Speculation has been strong that the AA minor league Defenders would be sold to Richmond, which lost its AAA minor league team last year, and that a lower level, short-season Class A minor league team would move to Norwich in its stead.

The City Council will consider a resolution next Monday that would assign the existing Dodd Stadium lease from Navigators Baseball, LP to Richmond Baseball Club LC. A likely condition of the assignment of lease would be that the team pay off the approximately $300,000 owed to the city in back rent.

Other legal details still need to be worked out, said Norwich City Manager Alan Bergren. He said the council would meet behind closed doors to discuss the transaction before voting in open session on the resolution.

Officials from all parties have been under strict gag rules imposed by Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and the Eastern League, all of which must approve any team sale or relocation.

But with the resolution now on the council agenda, Defenders owner Lou DiBella confirmed Monday night that a possible sale of the team to the Richmond group could be completed by early April. He declined to comment on the sale price. DiBella said he would like to see the deal completed by the beginning of the baseball season. The Defenders start this year on April 8 in Portland, Maine. The first home game at Dodd Stadium is April 16.

Joe McEachran, president of the Eastern League, said earlier Monday that the league still has not approved the possible sale of the Defenders to Richmond, which is not even in the league's approved territory, and the Eastern League would want a deal for either a new stadium or improvements to the existing Richmond stadium before allowing a team to move there.

McEachran said likewise, no short-season Class A team has permission to discuss moving a team to Norwich, which remains Eastern League territory.

But officials said the City Council's assignment of the stadium lease to a potential new owner is a necessary first step to those future discussions.

The Defenders definitely would play this year in Norwich, but could move as early as the 2010 season. The lease with the city runs through 2012, but has a buyout provision which would allow the team to move after the 2009 season, paying the city a $140,000 early departure penalty.

DiBella also confirmed that he is working to bring a Class A, short-season minor league team to Norwich for what could be a “seamless transition” from one level of baseball to the other. The new team likely would be a member of the New York-Penn League, which plays a 76-game schedule, 38 home games, from mid-June through mid-September.

DiBella urged Norwich fans to continue to support the Defenders this year to improve the chances of bringing another team to Norwich.

”Likely is Norwich will not have a year without (Major League) affiliated ball,” DiBella said. “There's a lot of evidence that a team with 70 games playing in an industrial park in a ballpark that's not easy to get to has struggled here. A short-season team could do very, very well. The best thing for Norwich would be if Norwich supports short-season baseball.”

DiBella pointed out that the Defenders drew about 200,000 fans even in the declining economy last year, but attendance in the cold months of April and May always was low.

”If a deal is made and the team moves to Richmond and a short-season team moves to Norwich, it would be a win, win for everybody,” DiBella said."

I think this is the first quote from Lou on the subject.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Joey Martinez.....

got to believe he is going to make his MLBB debut sometime this season.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Ryan Rohlinger.......

swinging a hot bat in AZ with a pair of homers so far.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Jake Wald....and mystery surrounds the Defs sale..

From today's Richmond Times-Dispatch:

"The local ownership group that plans to buy a minor-league baseball franchise and move it to Richmond is expected to make the purchase before opening day early next month. But the transaction may not be acknowledged or announced until later in the season.

The delay would be linked to "business considerations," according to Pete Boisseau of Boisseau Partners, the public relations firm involved with the baseball group.

Several sources have identified the Class AA Connecticut Defenders of the Eastern League as the franchise targeted by Richmond Baseball Club LC. The group apparently intends to operate the Defenders in Norwich, Conn., this season, then relocate the franchise to Richmond and play at The Diamond in 2010 and 2011, while a new ballpark is built.

Boisseau would not detail the "business considerations" involved in a delayed announcement of the purchase. Connecticut Defenders ownership/management may want the season to begin without the distractions and possible business issues that would accompany a public announcement of the sale.

The current owner of the franchise, Lou DiBella, has not returned several calls seeking comment. Bryan Bostic, the leader of the potential local ownership group, yesterday chose not to comment when asked about the timetable for the purchase, but last month he said, "We have always said that Minor League Baseball does not do transactions during the season. So that means for us to move forward with a team, based on the opportunity, we would need to do that prior to opening day."

Neither Minor League Baseball nor the Eastern League would announce a sale. "In technical reality, baseball authorities will not be aware of the closing until we are told by the parties involved," said Joe McEacharn, president of the Eastern League.

Bostic continues to strongly advocate the proposed Shockoe Center development, which would include a new ballpark. The city is studying the proposal and is expected to make a determination by August.

"I feel like we're on the right course," Bostic said."

Friday, March 06, 2009

Steve Palazzolo.......aka JP....

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Joey Martinez.....

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Daryl Maday..........

Monday, March 02, 2009

Justin Hedrick.....

his stats in '08: 2-3, 1.37 ERA in 65.2 IP, 43 games, 21 BB and 74 Ks with one save

Ronnie Ray: 6-4 3.10 ERA in 72.2 IP, 46 games, 24 BB and 47 Ks

Both should be in Fresno at the start of the season. Justin deserves a look for sure.

I sure hope this is the last winter storm!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Dave Maroul.....

Angel Chavez, who as Defsfan noted, had a big day yesterday...

with the Red Sox, is pictured here in 2004.