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, September 30, 2009

Bond, Brock Bond....

The EL's 2009 batting champ, Brock hit .333 (150 for 450) with a homer and 33 RBIs along with 21 doubles and set the table for Brett Pill's RBI bat.

Sept. LY = 2176

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Geivy Garcia....

He pitched in a total of 34 games in 2009 ending the season at 2-3 with a 4.73 ERA. He was converted to a starting role late in the season making 7 starts in all going 2-1 with a 4.15 in that role. As a reliever he went 0-2 with a 5.30 ERA. In total he threw 70.1 innings giving up 60 hits, issuing 48 walks and getting 58 Ks.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Richmond vs New Britain 2010 dates are out:

as posted on the RockCats website:

Monday April 26 6:35
Tuesday April 27 6:35
Wednesday April 28 10:35

Tuesday August 17 7:05
Wednesday August 18 7:05
Thursday August 19 7:05

I'm so there for that morning game....RockCats visit Richmond twice in 2010.

Mitch Lively.......

Mitch came to the team in the back half of the season. The reliever appeared in 14 games going 3-0 with a 0.70 ERA over 25.2 IP. He allowed just 17 hits and had 18 Ks.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ben Snyder....

Ben. a former starter in prior years, began the season in the bullpen but ended up returning to his starter role late in the season. Ben finished the '09 season 4-4 leading the team with 86 Ks. He appeared in 34 games with 5 starts throwing 97 innings allowing 82 hits to a 2.88 ERA.

As a counterpoint to yesterday's post re: the Jamestown Jammers is this from dated 9/24/09:

"Now that the Connecticut Defenders have officially moved to Richmond, Norwich (Ct.) city officials are turning to the next chapter in Dodd Stadium history in seeking a replacement.

We've heard all along from several team owners in recent months that the Jamestown Jammers (short season; NY-Penn League) were first in line to claim Norwich, and nothing we've heard inside baseball circles recently has countered that. The Vermont Lake Monsters (short season; NY-Penn League) are frequently discussed in the press as being a possibility to move, though recent jockeying in league circles apparently has resulted in Jamestown being pushed aside for now.

That doesn't mean there aren't other options for Norwich. First, the aforementioned Can-Am Association has got to be seen as a possible tenant for the ballpark; Norwich isn't far away from the league's Boston-area teams, and a Norwich team would be a ready-made replacement for the ill-fated American Defenders of New Hampshire.

Another option: a team in the summer-collegiate New England College Baseball League (NECBL). Despite all the uncertainty surrounding the Defenders this season, Charlie Dowd and crew managed to draw 2,000 fans a game to Dodd Stadium. Anything approaching that number would be a huge success in the NECBL.

So there are certainly options in Norwich. It may not have been a great Class AA market, but it certainly has a lot of potential for a shorter-season team -- and we expect someone to step to the plate fairly quickly."

Important to note there are no quotes attached to the above.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm feeling Lake Monsters not Jammers based...

on this Sept. 23 Jamestown Post-Journal article:

"It was officially announced in Richmond, Va., on Wednesday that the Connecticut Defenders baseball team of the Eastern League is moving there to begin play in 2010.

Richmond had been the home to a Triple A team from 1966 to 2008, but that city was without a team in 2009 after the Atlanta Braves moved their top farm club to Gwinnett County, Ga.

With the Defenders, a San Francisco Giants affiliate, moving to Richmond and no longer playing in Norwich, Conn., speculation will heat up again about a replacement team moving into that city's Dodd Stadium.

One of the teams mentioned is the Jamestown Jammers of the New York-Penn League.

Speculation about an NY-P League team moving to Norwich began last spring and in addition to Jamestown, the other teams mentioned were Batavia and Oneonta, also in the NY-P League. Now speculation has whittled the replacement teams down to Jamestown and the Vermont Lake Monsters located in Burlington, Vt.

Ironically, Vermont is the former Jamestown Expos team that moved to Burlington in September of 1993 and within a week the Niagara Falls Rapids moved to Jamestown and became the Jammers.

''It seems like any time there's been any rumors of relocation, they always point their fingers at the smaller-market New York-Penn League teams - Jamestown, Batavia, Oneonta,'' Jammer general manager Matt Drayer said Wednesday morning.

And it seems like Jamestown often heads the list.

''When Cal Ripken bought the Utica Blue Sox (and moved them to Aberdeen, Md.), supposedly it was the Jamestown Jammers that were moving to Aberdeen,'' Drayer said. ''We're still here.''

Then he noted, ''When the New Jersey Cardinals moved from Augusta, N.J., to State College, Pa., it was the Jamestown Jammers. Now it's a movement within another league and people are just guessing that the small-market team, Jamestown, is going to go relocate somewhere else.''

Drayer has not been flooded with calls wondering about the status of his team, which is affiliated with the Florida Marlins.

''I've had a couple of inquiries about it, but it's just rumors and speculation, that's all,'' Drayer said. ''We're operating as normal.''

Even friends have been asking and Drayer's response has been, ''I'm still here. There's not a for sale sign in my front yard.''

He added, ''If we were relocating, I probably would not be here right now.''

The Jammers are co-owned by the Buffalo Bisons and Bob Rich, Jr.

''The Riches have had the Jammers here for..., this next year will be the 17th season,'' Drayer said. ''We've been here for 16 years, going on 17 years. That's a long committed statement from the Riches saying that they like the city of Jamestown and they will continue to stay here.''

He added, ''It's not like they're getting any richer or that their organization is getting any more profitable. We've had our good years and we've had our bad years here, but they're committed to impacting the quality of life here in Jamestown. And they know minor league baseball does that for communities and they want to offer that to the city of Jamestown.''

The Jammers finished the 2009 NY-P League season with a 34-42 record for fifth place in the six-team Pinckney Division."

I thinking the Jammers are not relocating to Dodd.

The other problem for me at least is what is a "Pinckney Division?"

Tyler LaTorre....

The backup catcher appeared in 69 games during the '09 season. Tyler batted .265 (48 for 181) with a homer and 24 RBIS. He also pitched twice, giving up a hit and a run in 2 IP.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Like yesterday's POTD, Dave Maroul, Antoan Richardson didn't see much playing time in the 2009 season. Before being released he appeared in 50 games batting .207 (18 for 87) with 6 RBIs.
After a wonderful farewell party, he was picked up by the Schaumburg Flyers of the indy Northern League. With the Flyers he batted .2897 (27 for 94) with 3 doubles, 4 triples and 6 RBIs. AR also stole 20 bases in 22 attempts.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Channel 8 coverage......

Familiar looking seat there.....

Dave Maroul....

Anyone remember Dave? Like AR, he never got off the bench in '09 and ended up batting just .218 (12 for 55) in limited playing time with a homer and 6 RBIs. He was sent down to SJ and actually ended up in Fresno at the end of the year.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Check out Jaybird's Jottings...

a blog by Jay Roberts, a long time Giants fan. He emailed me earlier today with some questions re: the Defenders. The link to his blog is to the right. Take a look at his "about me" section; it's pretty funny!
Thanks for reaching out Jay!

It's done.....

many thanks to EL President and franchise hijacker Joe McEachern for finishing today what he wanted most during the off season last year and all during this season and after: the Connecticut franchise is now moved to Richmond, VA. Got the press release emailed to me from the league office. Funny thing, press release on the bottom of the page says something along the lines of "Serving the Northeast with Exciting Class AA Baseball." Maybe someone should look at a map and rethink that. The hijacker has stacked the front office with his hand picked team as well while Lou stands by and accepts whatever deal has been made to prevent him from suing the league.

I understand it: a bigger market (read dollars) and maybe a new park (read more dollars). Not enough people went to Dodd to keep it going; I understand that all too well. Southeast Connecticut needs to take a long look in the mirror.
There might be an Act 2 at Dodd: short season A ball. Maybe that's part of the "deal" between Lou and Joe. If that's not supported--goodbye affiliated minor league ball forever.

Tim Alderson.............

Tim was 6-1 with the Defenders starting 13 games. He went 72.2 IP allowing 76 hits and getting 46 Ks. His ERA was 3.47 with a .265 BA against. He also homered in one game. Traded by the Giants to Pittsburgh for Freddy Sanchez, Tim finished the season with Altoona going 3-1 in 7 games started with a 4.66 ERA.

Check out Joe Perez's blog and the Norwich Bulletin on line for today's press conference details. Joe also has an article about the front office staff in today's paper

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The bird is about to fly.....

as reported first by Joe Perez yesterday on his blog, a press conference is scheduled tomorrow at 10:30 at the Diamond in Richmond. Cutter, the eagle, is today's POTD.

Monday, September 21, 2009

2009 was a great ride....

but now Double A baseball prepares to move south to Richmond. A championship would be been the icing on the cake but the team fell short. A great team lead by Brock Bond Bond, Brett Pill and yes, I have to give EME props. We got a glimpse of the Giants pitching future with Madison Bumgarner as well. We got real September baseball i.e. playoffs, for the first time since 2002.
The future of affiliated ball at Dodd is unclear but Double A is never coming back. Short season A ball is a hope and that means gates open again mid June of 2010. Maybe.

Blog future? Thought about it on the bus ride back from the NASCAR race in New Hampshire yesterday. It's says Connecticut Defenders at the top of the page after all and the Defs are soon to be no more. I do have the usual ton of pics and a readership that has grown and grown especially the last 12 months. It's a familar spot/routine for us both.
I'll keep it going thru the fall/winter/spring and we'll see what Opening Day in April sans Double A baseball feels like and I'll make another decision. The future of baseball at Dodd will be a big factor in that. If a short season team does come in 2010 I'll start blogging that team. I'll make it out to New Britain when the Richmond comes calling that's for sure; plus the blog boys will be spoiling for a reunion by then.
So starting tomorrow we'll go back to last season's Picture of the Day (POTD) format. That will be punctuated by Richmond news, short season news, pictures of past squads (I need to pick back up the 2005 team that I started earlier) and whatever else comes up. And I'm welcome to any suggestions to stuff you'd like to see.
Today is a beatiful New England day; wish there was a game this afternoon....

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's over...Defs lose 10-6 as Akron

wins the 2009 EL crown tonight.

I'll have more on Monday.....

A couple of pics from last night's game...

Brett Pill on first for CT

Brock Bond losing his bat

taken by Karen Schiely of the Akron Beacon Joural. Old friend Stephanie Storm wrote the game recap.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Defs hang on and win Game 3 8-7...

tonight in Akron. Exciting, exciting game as the Defs trailed twice early and then rallied. A big insurance run in the top of the 9th with CT leading 7-6 was the difference as a two out Brad Boyer single was then followed by a Bobby Felmy RBI double. Mitch Lively, the second of seven CT pitchers gets the win and Matt Yourkin earns the save.
With CT down 4-3 going into the fourth inning, the Defenders put together 5 straight singles by Brandon Crawford, Mike Mooney, Jackson Williams (bunt single on a sac try), a Brock Bond RBI single to tie the game at 4-4 and a two run RBI single by the red hot Mike McBrdye ( 3 for 5 tonight and .452 in the playoffs) putting CT up 6-4. An EME sac fly increased the lead to 7-4.
Craig Clark started and went just 2.1 IP giving up 6 hits and four runs. One of the hits was a homer by Carlos Santana and it was the third long ball given up by Clark in his two starts. Lively went 2.1 IP giving up a run. Alex Hinshaw, Geivy Garcia, Joe Paterson (1 run allowed), Craig Whitaker (faced one batter who reached on an error) also went to the mound tonight for the Defenders.
Lefty Ari Ronick goes for CT tomorrow as the team looks to tie the series at two games each.

Misc fan notes: Check out Joe Perez's Norwich Bulletin Connecticut Defenders blog (link is to the right) for some really great pics of the last game at Dodd!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The three amigos

from left to right:

the Hondo Hurricane (Section 11 row G seat 16), greg (Section 11 row H seat 15) and LC (Section 12 row G seat 1 across the isle from Skip).

Thanks for sending the picture along Lance--it's a keeper!!

YouTube video shot by the Norwich Bulletin...

last night. They found a lot of the regulars to talk to.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Defs lose a heartbreaker 7-6 to Akron in the...

final franchise game played at Dodd. A press conference in Richmond next week will confirm up the worst kept secret in minor league ball.
CT had plenty of chances to win this game but the continued lack of that one big hit did them in tonight as the team is now down 2-0 in the best of five games league championship series.
A lot of turns and twists in this game but a fly ball over EME's head with the game tied at 4-4 with Matt Yourkin on the hill to start the top of ninth opened the floodgates. The next batter hit an infield single and then Josh Rodriquez, the next batter, crushed a ball to dead center--above the green batters eye-- for a 7-4 Akron lead.
CT fought back in the bottom half. Brock Bond singled, Mike McBrdye tripled him in to make it 7-5. Brett Pill (a solo homer earlier in the game) stuck out but Brad Boyer hit an infield single to second to score McBrdye to make it 7-6 and Boyer advanced to second on the 2B's throwing error. But EME flied out and Tyler LaTorre took a 3-2 pitch for strike three to end the game.
McBrdye had the big line for CT tonight going 4 for 5 with two doubles and a triple with two runs scored and a pair of RBIs. Brock Bond went 2 for 4 with 3 runs scored. Brad Boyer knocked in a pair of runs.

Misc fan notes: You know the last four home games, all weekday night games, the crowds have been just great. Lively, loud and just really into it.

Thanks for Brian Irizarry for the air time tonight. Brian will get to call the final games for CT along with Brian LaRiche who's going out to OH for the games.
Brian Irizarry will also get to spend time with my favorite all time UCONN basketball player, Jen Rizzotti, now Coach Rizzotti as he calls the games for the University of Hartford women's bb games.

Thanks to Joe Perez for spending time with us in Section 11! Always great getting Joe's perspective on all matters sports.

Thanks to the staff pictured here, no player pics tonight, these are just some of the folks that took care of Lance (aka LC), Skip, (aka the HondoHurricane) and myself this season and past seasons and these folks are as much part of the memories as the ball players have been.

Thanks go out to LC for always keeping us loose in Section 11. His love for the game his enthusiasm and generosity are unmatched.

Special thanks to Skip for his many baseball savvy insights that often made it's way onto this blog, his friendship and generosity and the passion he brings to the park. And his wife is smoking too.....

Richmond vs NB 2010......

HEY!! There's no crying in baseaball!! We're still alive with the best road record in the league! GO DEFS!!!!

Pics top to bottom: Joe Perez of the Norwich Bulletin, Bob P. inside guru of both Dodd Staduim and UCONN athletics, Brian I. adjusts the crowd mic while Brian L. vamps, and Tom the gatekeeper with a long time former colleague.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Defs come out flat, drop Game 1 7-2 to Akron...

in the EL League Championship Series. CT starter Ben Snyder was unable to repeat the magic he had in Game 1 against New Britain last week. Ben goes just 3.2 IP giving up 9 hits and 5 runs. He struggled with control hitting two and walking two. A couple of bloop hits tossed it with some sloppy play behind him was too much to over come.
CT managed just six hits in the game as Akron starter Josh Tomlin was lights out going 7 IP and allowing 5 hits, no walks and getting 7 Ks.
A Jackson Williams RBI single and EME's solo homer accounted for the Defenders runs. For EME it was his third homer at home in the playoffs, an unexpected power surge late in the season. It's lead to the belief that the ball carries well in the September night air, a time when the teams have not traditionally played since the season started a week later this year and we're not used to seeing, as Akron hit two out tonight as well.

Misc fan notes: Didn't take many pics tonight; too much into the game and trying to soak up as much as possible. Special thanks to LC for keeping us loose in Section 11 tonight.

Note to the front office to please staff up Cutter's Corner tomorrow as that one guy in there tonight was swamped.

A very raucous (Hondo's adjective) crowd again on hand tonight with most folks staying until the end. Attendance for tonight was 3449 as all three home playoff games have had very lively crowds.

Defs worn their home whites for this game; wonder if the camo uniforms come out for the next game.

Pic: WHO IS NUMBER 9 ??? Any help!!

After 15 years it come down to September 16, 2009!

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's safe to say that....

Based on this picture taken by Rob Heyl of the New Britain Herald during yesterday's game:

1.) Defs are wearing those camouflage uniforms straight thru the Akron series.

2.) The the vast majority of the announced crowd of 3100 plus in New Britain must be sitting someplace else.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

DEFS WIN!!! 2-0.......

in New Britain this afternoon and take the Divisional playoff over the RockCats three games to one.
Lefty Ari Ronick goes 5.1 IP in his EL debut giving up just 2 hits and two walks and getting 3 Ks. Mitch Lively, Alex Hinshaw and Joe Paterson shut out NB the rest of the way as Ct threw three lefties at the RockCats. JoePat comes up big going 3 IP, giving up just one hit and notching 2 Ks.
CT scored in the fourth as Bobby Felmy singled and then moved to second on a wild pitch. Jackson Williams singled in Bobby for a 1-0 lead. It stayed that way until the 7th inning. Brock Bond (2 or 3) walked and advanced on a Mike McBrdye ( 3 for 4) single. Brett Pill (2 for 4) then knocked in Bond with a single to close out the scoring at 2-0.

Misc fan notes: Ramon Castro in the lineup today as DH after being HBP in last night's game. Akron up next!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

NB beats SJ...I mean..CT, 6-1 tonight in

Game 3 at New Britain. CT still holds a 2 games to 1 edge in the best of five Divisional playoff. Craig Clark (16-2 in SJ) gave up two homers to Brian Dinkelman, a solo homer and a two run job to give the RockCats a 3-1 lead. Dinkelman now has three homers in the series. Wilmin Rodriquez, a reliever from SJ, would give up a three run homer in his one inning of work to wrap up the scoring.
CT scored it's lone run in the fourth on a Brett Pill single and a double by Ramon Castro. CT managed only five hits three doubles and a triple along with Pill's single in the game.

Misc fan notes: GB pinch ran in the game. NB drew 4,987 to tonight's game. An Augusta pitcher, Ari Ronick, makes his Double A debut for the Defs in Game 4 Sunday....

Interesting artilcle from yesterday's New Britain Herald..

by Ken Lipshez:

"The transfer of the Norwich-based Connecticut Defenders to Richmond, Va., for the 2010 season is a foregone conclusion.

If you need any more proof, the Rock Cats published next year’s schedule on a back-to-school folder handed out Monday and it shows them visiting what was marked “Defenders” just prior to a trip to Bowie, Md. When the Cats distribute the slate in earnest, the DF will no doubt become RICH. The Eastern League is obviously waiting until after the season to make it official.

It doesn’t make me happy. I have enjoyed the years of motoring cross-state to Norwich for games. I like Dodd Stadium, although its absurd location in an industrial park on top of a mountain in the somewhat remote Yantic section of the city is part of the problem.

In spite of the impending move, a vibrant crowd of 3,519 attended the first game of the Northern Division playoffs. Over 4,000 came to Game 2. Many observers unfamiliar with the nature of minor league ball would think that postseason games would attract sellout crowds but history reveals it couldn’t be further from the truth.

When August passes into September and the children return to school, the perspective of the families who frequent minor league games in the northeast changes. Their minds leap from summer to fall. They aren’t likely to stuff the kids in the SUV on a chilly weekday evening for a night at the ballpark as they readily do in July and August.

The intrepid people who work for the Defenders, most of whom are unlikely to stay with the team after the semi-trucks are loaded, obviously made an effort to promote the playoffs. Whether the Defenders win or lose to the Rock Cats, the franchise appears to be getting a rousing sendoff. If you need any further proof, the Southern Division opener in Akron, once an EL hotbed, attracted 2,646.

The media came out, too. Newspapers from Hartford, Norwich and New London were represented. In addition to the radio teams from both markets, several stations sent reporters. Television crews from three of the four major networks also covered the game.

The atmosphere was electric. What a shame this move couldn’t have been averted.

The EL scene in Connecticut had three representatives not long ago. New Haven’s Ravens left for Manchester, N.H., after the 2003 season, ironically after playing the Rock Cats in the EL North championship. Next year, the Rock Cats will be alone in the Nutmeg State.

Perhaps Dodd Stadium will become home to a short-season Class A team from the New York-Penn League, although that tidbit seems to be a bit more safely guarded than the Defenders’ departure.

“If something else comes in here, then everything will have worked out okay,” Defenders owner Lou DiBella said Thursday, further confirming the impending move.

DiBella believes the region is ripe for success, would like to be a part of NY-P team at Dodd and senses an incoming owner would solicit his help.

“We bring a short-season team in here and one of those college leagues,” he said. “They play 21 games and their schedule is very [flexible] and you can work them in with [the NY-P schedule]. All of a sudden you have 62 games between June and September instead of 71 games between April and September.

“I don’t think our fans are going to care if we’re Single-A or Double-A. The hard core is not as many people as I’d like but they love baseball.”

We don’t hear the scuttlebutt bouncing around NY-P circles as we do around the EL since there are no NY-P franchises in Connecticut. We do know that the owner of the Vermont Lake Monsters has taken a look. I understand the Jamestown (N.Y.) Jammers may also be a candidate to move to southeastern Connecticut.

The quality of NY-P baseball is a far cry from the EL. Many short-season Class A players don’t make it to Double-A, but the games are fun. I saw a NY-P game in Burlington, Vt., a few years back and another this year in Brooklyn, and it’s good baseball.

I still find it more fun to watch teenage players in affiliated ball with dreams of making the big leagues than independent-league baseball, which may have an ex-big leaguer or two but few with the chance to advance.

Yes, the Defenders are leaving. No, I’m not positive that they will be replaced by a NY-P team immediately, but for the sake of Defenders fans and the media from southeastern Connecticut, I hope professional baseball has a future in Norwich. If the NY-P League moves in, I hope the fans and media alike will welcome it with open arms.

As I’ve said many times, too many in Connecticut feel that anything short of “big-league” is not worthy of their attention. Connecticut is not New York City. It is not Boston. Maybe fans were spoiled by having the Whalers. Surely the dramatic rise of UConn sports helped contribute to our “big league or bust” mentality.

Yet fans in greater NYC flock to NY-P games in Brooklyn and Staten Island. Red Sox faithful jam the grandstands in Lowell. I just hope fans in the Norwich/New London region will appraise such an opportunity with an open mind, and if the two playoff games at Dodd are any indication, I think they will.

And if they plan to continue following the EL by joining us for Rock Cats games, I hope the City of New Britain will consider more seats and parking at New Britain Stadium. Rest assured that the Rock Cats front office will aggressively pursue such an upgrade, but that’s a story for another day."

Some notes:

1.) Those notebook covers likely said "Defenders" on them last year also, just like 2009 RockCats pocket schedules says "Defs" because the RockCats front office remains upset the it's the "Connecticut Defenders" as opposed to say the "Norwich Defenders" or the "Thames Valley Defenders" or whatever.

2.) There is a 2010 EL schedule floating around--have to visit some team websites.

3.) A college league and a NY Penn league running at the same time at Dodd? Interesting marketing possibities there! Although there's some maybe's in Lou's comments.

4.) That's right--we out drew Akron--twice!

5.) Expanding NB Stadium (bleachers?) and shuttle buses is probably in there future as well.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Defs, RockCats rained out....

as the series picks up Saturday with Game 3.

Check out Joe Perez's blog and sidebar piece in the Bulletin on the relocation.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Defs win 10-7 to take a 2-0 lead in the...

division playoff series against the RockCats tonight at Dodd before 4,018 fans.
Like last night CT jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on singles by Mike McBryde (2 for 5) and Brett Pill (2 for 4, RBI) and Brad Boyer's RBI gound out. The RockCats would tie the game at 1-1 in the second and take a 4-1 lead in the third as Wilson Ramos would hit a three run homer off CT starter Daryl Maday.
But the Defenders came right back in the bottom half of the inning. With one out Brock Bond walked and McBryde then singled. Brett Pill singled in Bond to make it 4-2. With two outs EME connected for his second three run homer in as many days, a bomb to left center that just kept carrying, to put CT back in the lead 5-4.
The RockCats would tie the game at 5-5 in the fifth as Maday gave away to old friend Alex Hinshaw (1-0). In the bottom half of the Bond singled, Pill hustled his way out of a double play to keep the inning alive with two outs to bring Brad Boyer up. Boyer homered to right to make the game 7-5 Defenders.
In the top of the sixth a McBryde relay to Brandon Crawford who relayed to catcher Jackson Williams cut down a RockCat run at the plate to end the inning. In the bottom of the sixth a infield single by Ramon Castro and a single by Bobby Felmy put runners on first and second for Williams. Both runners then moved up on a wild pitch and came home on Williams double down the left field line making the score 9-5 CT. Bond then knocked in Williams with a single to make it 10-5 Defenders.
The RockCats would score an unearned run off Mitch Lively in the 7t to make the score 10-6. In the ninth with Joe Paterson on the mound the the RockCats plated another run to make it 10-7 before Geivy Garcia recorded the final out with the tying run in the batters box.

Misc fans notes: Senator Chris Dodd, his wife and children in the park tonight. Senator Dodd's presence made a discussion on health care possible.

Franchise mover, facilitator, enabler, source of colleral damage and EL league President Joe McEachern in the house. Owner Lou DiBella also present. RockCats President Bill Dowling on hand.

Also old friend Andy Pappas in the stands.

Akron wins tonight to take a 2-0 lead in their series.

Craig Clark makes his EL debut in Game 3 for the Defenders Friday night.

Pics top to bottom: Hinshaw, Boyer's HR and EME's HR.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Defs jump out quick and win Game 1 6-2 of...

the Northern Division playoffs beating the New Britain RockCats. Ben Snyder was the story tonight taking a two hit shutout into the 9th inning before tiring and turning the ball over to the bullpen. Synder pressed into starting Game 1 because of the promotion of Madison Bumgarner threw a master piece over 8 innings notching 6 Ks. He gave up a homer in the 9th followed by his only walk of the game and left after hitting the next batter. Shane Kaufman struggled in relief walking in a run. Matt Yourkin came on to record the final two outs to preserve the win.
CT took a 4-0 lead in the first. Brock Bond lead off with a hustle double to right. Mike McBryde laid down a great sac bunt to move Bond over. Brett Pill singled up the middle to make it 1-0. Brad Boyer singled to get on base. Then EME turned on a pitch sending it over the left field fence for a three run homer and CT lead 4-0.
The Defenders added another run in the fourth as Mike Mooney doubled and would score on a wild pitch to make it 5-0. CT added it's last run in the 8th on a Brandon Crawford single to make it 6-0
ENE was the hitting star going 3 for 3 with the homer, a single and a double. He was also hit by a pitch causing a warning by the home base umpire to both benches.
Bond (double), Crawford and Jackson Williams (double) all had two hits as CT pounded out 13 hits it all. They were on the verge of really busting the game but left 13 runners on base and batted just 4 for 18 with RISP.

Misc fan notes: Good times in Section 11 as the usual crowd was joined by Patty and Joe Perez and my buddy Strat along with assorted local media and Jesse English was in the stands with the CT pitchers charting the game. Very festive.
Didn't take many pics as I was too into the game.
Pics top to bottom: Snyder and EME do the radio postgame with Brian LaRich, post game line, EME's HR, new Defender reliver Wilmin Rodriquez #6, the return of Alex Hinshaw #41, Craig Clark on the phone next to Game 2 starter Daryl Maday.
I now need a pic of another new Defender as the Bryan Millikan era is over and former Augusta starter Ari Ronick (7-6 2.65 ERA, a lefty) is now with the team.

Happy Bithday Brett Pill!

RIP Missy (7/30/85-9/9/02) we love and miss you!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Your starting pitcher...Madison Bumgarner

Good Luck Madison! Took this pic yesterday. Quiet kid, everyone likes him.
Congrats as well to Dan Runzler and Waldis Joaquin who both made their recent MLBB debuts.

Congrats Brett Pill.....EL Player of the Week!

From the EL office today:

"Connecticut Defenders first baseman Brett Pill has been named the Eastern League Player of the Week for the week ending September 7th. The 6’4”, 211 lb. slugger had an excellent week for the Defenders, batting .382 (13-for-34) with two doubles, four home runs, nine RBI, seven runs scored, three walks and a .794 slugging percentage over nine games. Pill, who also took home the award earlier this season for the week ending July 5th, had at least one hit in all but two of the games he played in last week and drove in multiple runs in four of those games, including going 3-for-6 with one double, one home run, three RBI and two runs scored in a 6-5 win over New Hampshire on Thursday. With his performance last week the San Dimas, California native pushed his season total in RBI to 109, which led the league and is the highest total by an Eastern League player since 1999. He also finished among the league leaders in total bases (253-2nd), hits (157-3rd), doubles (37-3rd), extra-base hits (57-3rd), slugging percentage (.480-4th), home runs (19-tied 4th), OPS (.828-tied 5th) and batting average (.290-6th). Brett, who turns 25 this Wednesday, was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the seventh round of the 2006 draft after hitting .328 as a junior at Cal State Fullerton University."

Brett Pill’s Batting Line for the week ending September 7, 2009
9 .382 34 13 2 0 4 9 7 0 3 .794

Brett Pill’s Batting Line for the 2009 Season
139 .298 527 157 37 1 19 109 71 6 37 .480

Put a big charge into section 11 yesterday. Best player in franchise history? A discussion for a winter's day perhaps but you can sure make it.

The Last Defender...well last regular season Defender...

anyway. The honor goes to Bryan Millikan who goes down in history as the last regular season player in franchise history. HOWEVER one of our posters, Jay, reports that pitching help is flying in from SJ. Both players are lefties.
Craig Clark is a 16-2 starter, with a 2.86 ERA. He threw 147.2 IP allowing 131 hits, 135 Ks with a .237 BA.
Wilmin Rodriguez was 4-1 with 3 saves with SJ. A 2.72 ERA over 59.2 IP, 44 hits, 50Ks with a .209 BA.
Jay also reports that Josh Phelps was released.

Thanks for the info Jay!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Defs win 5-1 to end the 2009 regular season....

and win the last regular season game in franchise history as well. They beat the same team they opened at home against in 1995 the Reading Phillies. Now it's on to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
It was a typical season closer game--if it's close, swing, and let's get the game over with.
Garrett Broshuis threw 6 solid innings to earn to the win and improves to 6-4 with a 3.84 ERA. He gave up 3 hits, one a solo homer and stuck out 7. GB has won his last three starts pitching 18.2 innings allowing just two earned runs.
Geivy Garcia pitched the last three innings to earn his first save of the season. He gave up just one hit and had 2 Ks.
CT held a 2-1 lead into the 8th inning on the strength of a Brandon Crawford RBI ground out and a Mike McBryde sac fly. The Defs broke the game open as Ramon Castro doubled, McBryde singled Castro in and then Brett Pill connected with his 19th HR of the season to make it 5-1 and bringing his EL RBI leading total to 109.
Ramon Castro goes 2 for 2 with that double and scores two runs.

Misc fan notes: Good to see LC as always. Brock Bond wins the EL batting crown hitting .333 (150 for 450). Brett Pill tops the EL leader board withthose 109 RBIs.
The team ties the franchise record for wins with 83. They finsh 83-59. 39-32 at Dodd and 44-27 on the road, best road record in the league.

Pics: The bullpen pic, (Bottom row left to right: Steve Calicutt, Joe Paterson, Shane Kaufman, and Matt Yourkin. Standing left to right: Byran Millikan, Cutter, Mitch Lively, Craig Whitaker, and Geivy Garcia.) GB, Pill's HR, and the last regular season score.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Defs lose 6-0 as Shane Kaufman

gives up all 6 runs in one inning. Tyler LaTorre throws a scoreless ninth and MadBum goes just one inning, the first. CT manages just 7 hits in all.
NB beats Trenton to clinch second place.
Back to the NASCAR race.
Can't believe tomorrow is the last regular season game!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Defs swept 9-4 and 4-3 tonight...

by Reading. In Game 1 Daryl Maday takes the loss after going 4.2 IP, allowing 9 hits (2 HRs) and 7 runs and his record falls to 6-5 with a 4.25 ERA. Brack Bond and Ramon Castro each had three hits with Castro hitting his third homer. Bryan Millikan made his CT debut throwing the last 2.1 IP. He gave up one hit, a homer and 3 walks and 2 runs.
Game 2 featured a start by Steve Calicutt (0-1), who like Millikan, was just called up from Augusta. Steve lasted just 2.1 IP allowing 3 runs on two hits and three walks. Dan Griffin threw the last two innings and the team is somehow determined to blow his arm out in the later stages of the season.

Misc fan notes: Like today I have to work Sunday, recap later in the day.

In today's Day:

" Connecticut and Reading play a doubleheader (two seven-inning games) today at 5:05 p.m. Daryl Maday (6-5, 3.92 ERA) starts Game One, and Decker said one of a couple of relievers on their way up from Augusta (likely lefty Steve Calicutt) will start Game Two. … Madison Bumgarner (9-1, 1.95 ERA) starts Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Decker said he will only pitch a few innings, as he will most likely start the first playoff game at Dodd Stadium since 2002 on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. … New Britain beat Trenton 8-7 to move two games up on the Thunder for second place and the final playoff spot in the North. The Defenders will play the second-place team in the Northern Division in the first round of the playoffs."

Bullpen relief is really needed. Calicutt pitched for the team a month or so ago on the road but did not appear at Dodd before being sent back to Augusta.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Defs double up the R-Phillies 12-6....

at Dodd tonight in front a big Friday night fireworks crowd of 6500+. CT was down 4-0 after the the top of the first as Neil Sellers connected off Ben Snyder for a three run homer as Reading jumped out quickly to a big lead.
CT came right back in the first as a hustling Brad Boyer beat out a two out infield hit and Brett Pill hit another moonshot to left to cut the Phillies lead in half. It was Pill's 18th HR and brought his RBI total to 107.
In the bottom of the second the Defender would score four times to take the lead. Bobby Felmy hit a long homer to right center to make it 4-3. Sharlon Schoop followed with a single and Tyler LaTorre reached on an infield error. Ben Snyder laid down a nice sac bunt to move both runners over to second and third. Brock Bond's RBI ground out tied the 4-4. Mike McBryde then homered to left, another bomb, for two rund and CT lead 6-4 and never look back. Felmy's homer was his 7th of the season and McBryde's shot was his 5th.
CT would ice the game with another four runs in the fifth. Sharlon Schoop's safety squeeze scored one run and LaTorre added a two run single and then scored on a Phillies error.
Plenty of hitting stars tonight as CT pounded out 17 hits in all. Bond had a double and triple and 2 RBIs. Schoop had a 3 for 5 night with a pair of RBI. But Bobby Felmy had a the best line going 4 for 5 with a double and homer with two runs scored.
Snyder gets the win to improve to 4-4 with a 2.88 ERA. Shane Kaufman and Dan Griffin wrap up the game for the Defenders.

Misc fan notes: I want one of those camo unis; they've grown on me. Very lively crowd tonight; especially in the early innings as the Defs were coming back.

I "talked" to Cutter last night in the elevator and Tater will be back befoe all is said and done.

RockCats beat the Thunder tonight which gives them a two game lead over Trenton with three games left for the second place race in the Northern Division.

Pics top to bottom are: Ben, Brett's HR, Ben's sac bunt, Bobby's HR and Mike's HR

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Defs win in 13 innings 6-5.....

in a game that lasted 4 hours and a minute. Brett Pill doubles in Brock Bond who had singled as CT comes back from a 5-0 deficit to win. Pill endes up with 3 RBIs on a 3 for 6 night that included a double and homer.
Mitch Livley gets the win to improve to 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA. Lively went the last 3.2 IP giving up two hits and getting 5 Ks.

Misc fan notes: Spent a lot of time tonight chatting up Tom, Bob, Brendon, GB and chilling up in Lou's watching Giants/Pat pre season football as opposed to watching the early innings. Peaceful night at the park, full moon......
Pic is of starter Geivy Garcia. They are wearing those camo uniforms more and more...

It's been a long season...

Real Men of Genius • 29 - Mr. Major League Infield Raker - The best bloopers are here
and before the playoffs start, well, this tune they started lately playing at Dodd when they rake the infield has been bothering me. I finally heard enough of it over the PA to figure it out. Enjoy...

Congrats Pat Misch!! First MLBB win...

as the long time Navigator and Defenders wins his first game pitching for the Mets today. Misch went 7 IP giving up four hits and two runs as the Nets beat the Rockies 8-3 today.

Thanks to Hondo for the heads up!

Defs and FisherCats tied at 5-5 in extra innings as the Defs rallied fron 5-0 down behind solo homers by Brett Pill and Mike Mooney (both no doubt jobs over the left field wall).

Thanks GB!

From Garrett Broshuis' latest column in Baseball America:

"Another game has ended at high Class A Visalia in the California League, and T.J. Brewer lies on his bed at the less than lavish LampLiter Inn just before midnight, grocery store sandwich draping from his hand. The muted TV jealously emits a high whirring protest as the pitcher's eyes fixate upon a different, more interactive screen: his laptop.

"It's the first thing I do when the game ends," Brewer says as a crusty crumb drops. "I turn on my computer, go straight to and check up on my buddies."

Across the country, minor leaguers and fans of minor leaguers perform similar rituals. A short time ago, ardent fans waited for their hard copy of Baseball America. Now such information becomes visible with a click of a mouse, updated in real time.

"The internet in general has made it a lot easier to follow minor leaguers," fan-turned-blogger Grant Brisbee said. "Five years ago, the website was a total shell, and now you can pick up radio feeds from all over the country. The stats used to be very bare bones too, but now it's easy to find performance splits on everyone down to the Arizona League."

In addition to and, multiple fan sites exist for all 30 MLB teams. They range from sites with ornamented names, such as and, to the straightforward and

As founder of, Brisbee continuously interacts with fans of the San Francisco Giants. He posts his opinions, musings, and frustrations from the perspective of a pure fanatic, providing a forum for others to posts their own pie-in-the-sky thoughts. (Picture a written version of the SNL skit featuring "Da Bears" fans.) Often the topics drift to the minor leagues.

"There's a reader who culls through the box scores every day and posts a recap of the minor league performances, and it's definitely one of the more popular features on the site," Brisbee said.

Unique to the minors, fans occasionally find themselves rooting for players who aren't property of their favorite MLB team. Greg Fogg, a Yankees fan who resides near Norwich, Conn., follows the Double-A Connecticut Defenders—a local Giants' affiliate. He can be spotted at almost every game just behind home plate: glasses and hat on, camera in hand. In mid-2005, Fogg began blogging about the games on his aptly named Greg's Connecticut Defender's Blog.

"The blog has grown since its inception," he said. "I post daily now, even in the offseason. Giants fans are very interested in their prospects down on the farm and the blog provides them with game updates, observations and pictures of them in the flesh."

In this way, he does a service to other fans all over the country—a process he enjoys.

"I like minor league baseball a lot and it doesn't matter about who the parent clubs are that much."

Phone Home

The Internet has also eased communication. One of the iconic images from the movie "The Rookie" is Jim Morris standing in a phone booth, trying to talk to his family for a few moments while another player angrily awaits. Now phone booths are about as relevant as Vanilla Ice.

Brewer, after checking the stats of buddies, morphs into Skype mode. He now directs his attention to his girlfriend in Arkansas, whose face illuminates the screen.

"I use Skype to talk to her and her family. Her nieces love it. They'll just get it into their little heads all of a sudden, 'Hey, we want to see T.J.' This way they can. And it's good to see her face."

At home in Bloomington, Indiana, his family uses the Internet to listen to the ballgames, a common occurrence shared by most minor leaguers' families taking advantage of freely streaming audio feeds.

"My parents both listen to the radio broadcast. They follow the same routine every time I pitch. My grandma drives 35 miles to be there, and they put it over the speakers. Sometimes my dad gets real nervous and has to go out to the back porch to smoke."

We're Watching

With entire towns and families able to witness dreams either unfolding or unraveling, added pressure may exist for minor leaguers to perform, especially with the growing popularity of fan forums.

"It definitely puts pressure on the guys that look at (fan forums)," Giants minor league coordinator of instruction Shane Turner said. "It's best to just not look at them."

One prominent thread seen on devoted to Yankee's prospect Jesus Montero boasts over 1,200 posts to the player/savior with over 65,000 views. Some opine him as the successor to Jorge Posada; others deem him the greatest thing since the invention of pinstripes. When a player fails to meet such expectations, comments can turn harsh.

"I don't read the forums," Brewer claims. "I'll go on once in a while because they have a summary of all the teams. That way I can see what everyone is doing without having to go to each team's website."

Other players can't resist. Some frequent the fan sites to read about themselves during moments of excellence, only to later be trapped during failings. Occasionally, they or their family members will post in defense.

"I'd be nervous if I knew which players checked in. It's a lot easier for me when they're uniforms running around in my TV," Brisbee says. "The whole 'real people with feelings' thing would be pretty inconvenient if I'm trying to form opinions on how they make a living."

Players use Facebook and Myspace to communicate with each other and to friends and family back home. Pictures, comments, and the occasional prank are all posted.

Regardless of whether or not the Internet has ultimately eased the lives of players, it certainly has revolutionized the manner in which fans follow the game.

"It's helped the minor leagues tremendously," Turner declares. "The whole minor league boom and the rise of the Internet, I'd like to see a study done to see just how closely they're correlated. They've certainly taken place over the same time period."

Now if something could just be done about those grocery store sandwiches."

Garrett Broshuis is a pitcher, and writer, in the Giants system who has spent most of this season with Connecticut

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

3 ejections, 1 run, Defs win...

tonight at Dodd beating the FisherCats 1-0 to even up the three game series at one game each. CT got the one run of the game in the fourth as Brandon Crawford singled, went to second on a Ramon Castro sac bunt and came in on a Jackson Williams double. Next batter Mike McBryde grounded to short and was called out sliding in first base on a close play. McBryde argued the call and was tossed. More on that later.
Garrett Broshuis (5-4 4.09) went 6 innings giving up 6 hits a walk and striking out 5 batters. He got off to a rocky start in the first couple of innings but settled down the rest of the way. The Hondo Hurricane's pitch for GB was 98 pitches in all with 25 pitches thrown in the first inning. It's GB second strong outing as he's given up just one run in 12.2 innings over his last two starts.
Shane Kuaman came on in relief of GB and threw 2.2 innings striking out 3. Matt Yourkin got the final two outs for his 8th save as the three CT pitchers combine for a 9 hit shutout.

Misc fan notes: In the top of the 8th FisherCat first baseman stuck out and argued the call getting himself tossed by the home plate umpire. The NH came down from the third base coaching box the question the ejection. The next batter came up the the plate, stepped out the box for a practice swing or two and took his time getting into the box mainly so the home umpire could get an earful from the NH bench about the ejection. The ump finally ejected one of the coaches causing that guy to run onto the field to give the ump an earful up close and personal The FisherCat manager had to insert himself between his ejected coach and the home plate umpire. Of course then the NH manager had more words for the ump after his coach had removed himself from the field.
Contrast that with McBryde's ejection at first. Gary Ingram, the first base coach really didn't put up much of a beef and Decker didn't even bother going over to talk about the deal. It seemed Decker was more upset with McBryde in the dugout than anything else.
Maybe it's the Giants way not to argue, maybe it's not an apples to apples comparison, maybe Decker is taking a "professional" approach but I haven't seen Decker argue or get tossed all season. But hey, he's in first place and I'm in section 11.
The other deal here is for the second straight night only two umps were on hand and it's noticeable on close plays at first. Where's the third ump?

Pic: The bullpen guys are all growing moustaches in honor of the postseason. I hear some guys have them drawn in. To a man, it suits none of them but I appreciate the solidarity.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Defs lose a head scratcher 5-2 to the FisherCats..

at Dodd tonight. starting pitchers Madison Bumgarner and NH's Andrew Liebel making his Double A debut hooked up in a good pitchers duel. MadBum left after 7 IP and trailing 2-1 but Brett Pill's 16the homer of the season over everything in left tied it up at 2-2 and got Madison off the hook for the loss.
Enter Dan Griffin (8-7) in the top of the 8th to relieve MadBum. Here's a guy who had his longest outing of the season two days ago. pitching great (4IP, no runs, 5Ks) Why is he in there? Of course he gets smacked around and gives up 4 hits, a walk and three runs--ballgame over. Liebel goes 8 IP allowing just 5 hits and two runs for his first Double A win
Brett Pill knocked in CT's other run with a RBI ground out in 4th to break. That RBI gave him 101 RBIs at that time and broke Donny Leon's franchise RBI record of 100 set in 1999. Congrats Brett! Pill almost had another homer in the 9th but LF Nick Gorneault robbed him of a 2 run shot leaping high and reaching back over the wall to rob him. The play ended the game as Brad Boyer was doubled off first on the play.

Misc fan notes: Trenton and Portland both win tonight. GB goes tomorrow.
Pics: A MadBum fastball and the new franchise RBI leader