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....

Monday, May 31, 2010

Team practices times at Dodd:

as per the UCONN website are on Thursday at the following times:

UCONN 10-11:15AM
Florida 11:30-12:45
Oregon 1- 2:15
CCSC 2:30-3:45

these practices are open to the public and free...

UCONN vs Oregon Friday @ 7PM

as per the Husky website. Also all teams will conduct a public open practice on Thursday with TBA.

UCONN is joined by...

Florida State, Oregon and Central Connecticut State just announced!!

Yahoo! Sports projects....

Florida State, Oregon and Central Connecticut State (!) as the other three teams at Dodd.....

Sunday, May 30, 2010

UCONN hosts a NCAA World Series baseball regional site at Dodd.....

as announced minutes ago on ESPN. Expect Vanderbilt, to be one of the teams at Dodd along with perhaps Sacred Heart and Boston College rounding out the field. Game times TBA on Monday.
I'm pumped!

PS--posted here first!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

EME is back in Double A....

perhaps a rehab deal as he only played in a couple of games with Fresno.

Richmond leading the EL in home attendance with 135,932 in 22 gates for an average of 6,178. NB has drawn 118,301 fans in 21 gates for an average of 118,301.

Daryl Maday suffered his first loss of the season last night to Bowie and is now 7-1 so far this season.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Weekend poll of sorts......

It's tattoo night at the Richmond Diamond today with three or four area tattoo shops setting up at the park. If it's like similar promos other minor league teams have run you can get a discounted season ticket pass if you choose to be inked with the team logo.

Oddly we were talking about ink at work a couple of weeks ago and someone asked me what kind of tattoo I'd like--I don't have any and hate needles (yes I know it's not really needles anymore, but I still view it that way--it's a childhood deal). Oddly, and without hesitation I said a Yankee logo; the bat and top hat version on the left shoulder.

So chime in, would you get inked with a CT Tigers tattoo? A Flying Squirrel? Defenders, Navigators, or something else? If so, where?

Tigers front office is this a promo you'd like to run?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

From Mansfield Today....

by Jerry Trecker:

"When the University of Connecticut’s baseball team begins Big East Conference tournament play against Cincinnati today [May 26] at Clearwater, FLA there’s probably more than just that title at stake.

The Huskies (43-12) have just completed the finest season in school history and know that a good showing this week could net them a hosting role when the NCAA tournament starts the first week in June.

UConn officials have proposed hosting a 4- team Regional at Dodd Stadium (likely beginning June 4) and are buoyed both by the Huskies’ record year and the fact that a bunch of New England teams seem headed for the 64-­team field this year.

The fact that:

•Dartmouth has already won the Ivy League title and an automatic berth
•Sacred Heart and Central Connecticut are both battling for the NEC title at their conference tournament this week
•Maine is among the favorites in America East and
•Boston College remains in the running for an at-large bid after a good ACC season, all would seem to point toward a Northeast school acting as host.
UConn’s baseball team has been ranked No. 1 in New England all season, has lost only twice to regional opponents and appears to be the obvious choice.

The availability of Dodd Stadium doesn’t hurt, either. The Norwich facility doesn’t welcome its new tenant, the New York-Penn League Connecticut Tigers, until a June 26 opener.

While all of that argues in favor of the Huskies playing a home tournament game for the first time since 1994, there are some questions to be answered.


Despite achieving national ranking for the first time in two decades, Coach Jim Penders’ team has remained locked around the 19-20 spot, unable to crack the country’s top 16.

And, although Louisville and the Huskies have consistently been ranked this year, the Big East is not regarded as an elite national baseball conference.

Pittsburgh has flirted with the country’s top 25 without being able to secure a regular spot.

The Panthers might well be in NCAA-bid jeopardy, especially if the Big East champion is some­one other than UConn, Louisville or Pittsburgh.

That’s because the champ gets an automatic NCAA bid and it is unlikely that more than three Big East teams would crack the national field.

It’s all speculation until May 30.

That’s when the NCAA announces the 16 regional sites, a day before the 64-team field is revealed.

Only the top eight teams are actually seeded - they are in line to host second-round Super Regionals if they succeed in Round 1 - so it is not necessarily the top-16-ranked teams that get hosting roles.

“The NCAA has consistently said they are always looking for Northeast hosts,” Penders has said, but recent history has seen area qualifiers like Boston College (shipped to Texas) or Central Connecticut (sent to Arizona State) make long trips for first round play.

Connecticut can put pressure on the committee with a good Big East tournament and also can lift the only cloud hanging around the program after seven terrific seasons under Penders.

This is Penders’ fifth team to win 30 or more games and the third to get in position to play for a Big East title.

Overcoming that next hurdle

It’s at that last step that the team has faltered.

In 2007, the Huskies made a dramatic run to the final Big East tournament game only to lose to Rutgers, 8-6.

That would have been a remarkable championship, since UConn lost on opening day and battled through the losers’ bracket to reach the final.

Last spring, in a rain-delayed Big East tournament final, Louisville jumped on the Huskies in the title game and triumphed, 11-3.

This season, in what developed into an epic pennant race, the Huskies held onto a slim half­game lead over Louisville until the final day of the season when Seton Hall edged UConn, 3-2, as the Cards were sweeping a doubleheader at Notre Dame.

Those results left Louisville the regular-season champ by a half-­game and eliminated the Irish from the Big East tournament.

When the Huskies open against Cincinnati today, they could face a pitcher who beat them in the regular season, freshman Andrew Strenge.

Strenge beat UConn, 3-2, in the series’ finale at Storrs on May 9 and has been the Bearcats’ best pitcher since then.

Strange shut out Georgetown in his last start and finished with a 7-1 record, an 0.62 ERA in Big East play and 29 strikeouts in 29 innings.

UConn is expected to counter with lefthander Elliott Glynn (7-2, 2.12), who beat Cincinnati, 14-2, on May 8, allowing six hits in six innings, coasting behind big run support."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Angel Chavez....

pictured here in a special 4th of July 2004 Norwich Navigator uniform is still playing. He's now a third baseman with the Durham Bulls, the Triple A team of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Antoan Richardson signs with....

the Mississippi Braves, the Southern League Double A team of the Atlanta Braves. Special thanks to AR Fan who had this info first. Good Luck Flash!!

I'm really, really rooting for....

the UCONN baseball team to host a regional site at Dodd next week.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A bunch of "pink" jerseys for auction....

on the auction site from several different teams. teams usually do this around Mother's Day to promote cancer awareness. Defs did this for three seasons (2007-2009) using three different styles. I "won" Brett Pill's jersey (as pictured) last season at the ballpark and I think I picked up the other two on eBay.
I also wondering what has become of the 2008-2009 Defenders away jersys that were briefly featured on the auction site; perhaps they will appear in the Tigers gift shop.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

You's a good looking logo...

I like it more and more....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Facebook update on Kelvin Pichardo....

via "Defsfan" tonight. Kelvin is working out with the Red Sox orgainization as he works his way back up the ladder.
Thanks for the update Defsfan!

Also check out the Norwich Bulletin Sunday for an article about the Ct Tigers by Joe Perez; it's on line now on the paper's website.

Randy Ruiz is now playing in Japan....

after asking the Blue Jays for his release earlier this week. Randy played for the Defs in 2007.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Where are they now.....Dave McKae....

substitute teacher..

From the media @ green and gold (on line) student newpaper of 4/21/10:

Baseball player subs for Oakland schools during off season

April 21, 2010 by adviser

It’s not normal to be able to look up your substitute teacher’s height, weight and Major Leage Baseball batting average on the Internet.

But students could do that for Dave McKae, a professional baseball player who subbed this spring at Media Academy.

McKae is from Walnut Creek and graduated from University of California, Davis in 2005 with a degree in economics.

The Major League Player graduated from San Ramon Valley High School in 2000.

McKae has subbed at a few schools in Oakland – Castlemont, Fremont Federation, YES and Oakland High.

McKae, who played for the Giants for four years and one year for the Red Sox, said he started to sub because it was off-season and he needs some extra money.

In high school, McKae threw the ball 80 mph. Scouts and colleges passed him up.

In 2007, during off-season, he wrote a book called “In Pursuit of Pitching Perfection,” a book about pitching.

McKae said he gave private lessons to little kids at the San Francisco Giants stadium and did a lot of networking during the off-season.

It is McKae’s first year as a substitute and he said he is enjoying it.

“It’s something I enjoy since I enjoy teaching baseball,” said McKae.

Some students were shocked to hear that we had a professional baseball player to sub at an Oakland school.

“I would expect him to have other things to do,” said Derick Moul, a senior at Media Academy. “He must care about education.”

Howard Ruffner said he appreciated McKae for subbing for his classes. Ruffner teaches four sections of Journalism to freshman and the yearbook class.

Ruffner said his first substitute quit because she couldn’t handle his freshman class.

But it appeared that McKae knew what he was doing.

“I was pleased,” said Ruffner.”I finally got someone who know what discipline is.”

McKae was a very good sub besides discipline, Ruffner said.

“When I met him, he was really nice,” he added. “He was very good and took good notes.”

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Jackson Williams....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No honor.....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Daryl Maday having a great season so far....


"Today will be a day of firsts for the Erie SeaWolves.

It will not only be their inaugural game at Richmond, but against one of the Eastern League's elite pitchers over the season's first month.

Right-hander Daryl Maday takes a 6-0 record and a league-best 1.54 earned-run average into the opener between the Flying Squirrels (22-15) and the SeaWolves (21-16).

First pitch at The Diamond is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

The three-games series is Erie's first against the San Francisco Giants' Double-A affiliate since it moved from Norwich, Conn., to Virginia's capital in the offseason. Last year, the former Connecticut Defenders reached the best-of-five Eastern League final, which they lost to Akron in four games.

The Squirrels filled a void caused when the Triple-A Richmond Braves moved to Gwinnett County (Ga.) after the 2008 International League season.

Maday won't be the only sterling starter whom Erie will encounter. Richmond right-hander David Mixon (4-1) is scheduled to face the SeaWolves on Wednesday.

Mixon's 2.32 ERA is ranked fourth in the league.

Combined, Richmond's pitching staff has a league-low 2.83 ERA. It also has a league-high 16 saves, with Rafael Cova responsible for half of them.

The Squirrels will try to tame an Erie team which has recovered from its franchise-record 0-8 start. Seven of those losses were on the road, but the SeaWolves now find themselves 11-10 away from Jerry Uht Park.

Erie will try to offset the Squirrels' power on the mound with power at the plate. The SeaWolves lead the league with 40 home runs.

Wilkin Ramirez has socked eight of those homers. The center fielder is tied for the league lead in that category, and tied for third with 30 runs batted in.

Michael Bertram wields another hot bat for Erie. The first baseman has a nine-game hitting streak and a .405 average over his past 10 games.

The Squirrels' best offensive threats have been outfielders Thomas Neal and Roger Kieschnick. Baseball America lists them as the No. 4 and 7 prospects, respectively, in the Giants' farm system.

The SeaWolves' probable series starters are Duane Below (2-3, 4.05 ERA), Thad Weber (2-3, 4.85) and Andy Oliver (3-1, 4.28). Oliver will face Richmond's Craig Clark (2-2, 4.05) in Thursday's finale, which has a 10:35 a.m. start.

Reasonable success over the next six days could nudge the SeaWolves into first place."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Where are they now.....continued

Flash is listed on the roster of the Schaumburg Flyers of the indy Northern League. The season starts later this week so we'll see....

Adam is in his second season pitching for the Wichita Wingnuts of the indy American Association.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Just win baby"......

just got done watching an installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 series about the then Los Angles Raiders. It chronicled the swirl of merchandising, hip hop music, legal battles etc that surrounded the team in it's 13 year stay in LA before going back to Oakland from where it had originally departed.
One of the things that Raider owner Al Davis wanted--and got--were street signs all over town trumpeting the presence of the team playing at the LA Coliseum, a venue in an area of town that is apparently less than upscale. And of course the Raiders packed the place--until they started to lose.
The whole bit about the street signs made me flash on former Navigators/Defenders owner Lou DiBella and the current ownership of the Connecticut Tigers. There was moaning and groaning from Lou and the Defenders about the lack of signage around Norwich and on I-395 near Dodd. I'm sure the current front office group is aware of that and would like to see that signage as well.
On the other side of the coin there is the BS (in my view) about Dodd being out of the way, etc, etc....and that's why attendance is less than great.
All of this is a rather long winded run up to the question of why didn't the Defenders front office at Dodd take a more aggressive approach to signage and making Dodd a destination and will the current regime take on that challenge? And yes, I know the new front office has a lot on their plate besides getting street signs all over Norwich and the surrounding towns.
Settling on a team name/logo to slap around town is the first step.....

From the New London Day:

"UConn is in the process of finalizing a bid to host the first round of the NCAA Division I baseball tournament June 3-6 at Dodd Stadium in Norwich.

Mike Enright, UConn's associate athletic director for communications, said 16 schools will be selected to host the opening round, which is comprised of four-team, double-elimination events. Enright said UConn's bid will be submitted before Friday's deadline, and the 16 host sites will be announced May 30, a day before the 64-team field is announced.

"The NCAA has always said they would like to have a site in the Northeast," Enright said. "And with the year we're having, we're hoping to get that chance. We've been working with the new ownership group of the Connecticut Tigers and both of us feel it would be a good event to bring to Dodd Stadium."

UConn, ranked No. 20 in the latest national poll, was 39-11 prior to Saturday night's Big East Conference game at South Florida. The Huskies also began the night tied for first place in the conference with Pittsburgh (both are 16-5).

UConn finishes Big East play at home with a three-game series against Seton Hall starting Thursday in Storrs, then departs for the conference tournament May 26-30 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.

The last time UConn hosted an NCAA baseball regional was 20 years ago at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury, a field that included eventual 1990 national champion Georgia."

A little more info on the NCAA regional bid--does anyone know if these would be day games or night games.....?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

From the Hartford Courant.....


UConn's baseball team hopes to capitalize on its breakthrough season by bringing NCAA baseball back to Connecticut.

The Huskies (39-6) who will try to set a school season victories tonight at South Florida and have clinched a spot in the Big East tournament, are planning to submit a bid to host one of the 16 NCAA regionals the first weekend in June.

UConn wants to host the event at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, which is available until the New York-Penn League's first-year Connecticut Tigers begin their season in late June.

"We feel, with the season we've had, it's a good chance to showcase Northeast baseball," said UConn spokesman Mike Enright.

The NCAA tournament has 64 teams, assigned to 16 regional sites. The four teams at each site play a double-elimination tournament, and the 16 winners advance to eight super regionals, which are best two-of-three series.

The eight survivors advance to the College World Series in Omaha.

The Huskies (16-5 Big East), ranked between 19th and 22nd in four national polls, entered play on Saturday tied with No. 7 Louisville for first place in the Big East. The winner of the Big East tournament May 26-30 in Clearwater, Fla., gets an automatic bid. But the Huskies, with wins over Southern Cal, Ohio State and Boston College, will likely earn an at-large bid.

The bids to host the regionals are due Friday; the sites will be announced May 30. The NCAA tournament selection show is May 31.

UConn and the state last hosted an NCAA regional in 1990, at Waterbury's Municipal Stadium.

Where are they now.....continued

Dayton is with the Rockies Double A team in Tulsa.

Nate is with the Phillies Triple A team in Lehigh Valley.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bridgeport BlueFish Defenders alumni...

Paul (Defs 2008) won last night as the lefty improved to 2-1 on the season. He's 27 IP to a 2.33 ERA.

Todd (Defs 2006 and 2007) is hitting .345 (10 for 29) in nine games. The catcher has 5 RBIs so far.

The former Blue Jay and Yankee (Defs 2009) is hitting .329 (23 for 70) with a homer and 9 RBIs.

Charlie Dowd has a nice little collection of former Defs just down I-95 a bit.

are doing well so far in the indy Atlantic league.......

Thursday, May 13, 2010

From today's Norwich Bulletin report...

"Norwich, Conn. — The Connecticut Tigers are quickly settling into Dodd Stadium. But General Manager Andrew Weber told the Norwich Baseball Stadium Authority Wednesday said they also are trying to settle into the greater community.

Weber said the team is looking into playing a role in the city’s annual July 4th fireworks celebration, which very nearly did not come off last year until a last-minute fundraiser.
Weber said the team is on the road July 3, but will play a home game July 4. He said the team has contacted City Manager Alan Bergren’s office about the event.

He also said the team would like to continue using Dodd for the annual Classic and Antique Auto Show sponsored by the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce, working to address past complaints, such as the unavailability of concessions during the event.

Dodd already will host the Eastern Connecticut Conference baseball championship tournament later this month, and Weber said they are attempting to lure some college baseball, too.

On the stadium side, Director of Facilities Bryan Barkley said they have some work to do.

“There are some Band-Aids that we’re trying to fix,” he said.

He said 30 percent of the toilets don’t work, there are some leaks in the irrigation system, and they need to clean up and repair areas of the food concession that have been ordered by the Uncas Health District.

Authority Chairman Michael Jewell said they have determined that at least some repair costs are the responsibility of Lou DiBella, owner of the Connecticut Defenders, who were in the stadium until the end of last season."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Where are they now.....

Steve (JP) is with the Triple A Tacoma Rainiers (Seattle). I think I have one of his jerseys...

Jake is with the Mobile Bay Bears, Double A team of the Arizona D-backs

Brian is rehabbing after a two injury in San Jose. He's wearing the black away uniform the Defenders used in '06 and '07; it's a sharp looking jersey as was the the grey away jersey the team used in '08 and '09.

Jason as noted by Steve H was just released by the Tigers. He was with their Triple team, the Toledo Mud Hens and had just one bad outing in 9 games but it was his most recent outing that was the clunker...might be a back story there....
Jason had come back to Dodd last season with Erie (Detriot) and had pitched well getting a save if I remember correctly.
Good Luck Jason!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The lousy weather we've been having here...

of late somehow reminded me of Travis Denker. Travis is now with the Dodgers Class A team in the California League, the Inland Empire 66ers (that's a mouthful) after being released by the Mariners PCL team earlier this year.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Brett Pill PCL player of the week....

from the website:

"FRESNO, CA - The Pacific Coast League announced today that Fresno Grizzlies infielder Brett Pill has been honored as PCL Player of the Week for May 3-10. The award marks the first such honor for a Grizzlies player this season.

Pill, 25, batted .478 (11-for-23) with three walks, seven doubles, a home run, four runs scored and eight RBI over the seven-game span. The Giants' seventh-round pick out of Cal State Fullerton in 2006, Pill reached base at a .538 clip and slugged .913 for the week. He raised his batting average from .260 to .313 and took the team lead in doubles with 10 in his first season in Fresno, after leading the Double-A Eastern League with 109 RBI in 2009.

Grizzlies catcher Buster Posey, infielder Brock Bond and outfielder Joe Borchard also had superb weeks. Posey batted .391 (9-for-23) with three doubles, two homers and eight RBI. Bond batted .406 (13-for-32) and is in the midst of a team-high 16-game on-base streak. Borchard, meanwhile, became just the second Grizzlies player in franchise history to hit for the cycle on Monday, May 3, going 5-for-6 with a double, a triple, a home run, three runs scored and six RBI."

Congrats Brett!!!

Fred Lewis heating for the Blue Jays

as noted by Yahoo Sports:

"LF Fred Lewis is hitting .400 (16-for-40) over the past nine games with six doubles, two home runs, 10 RBI and seven runs scored. He has also produced five multi-hit games in his past six games where the Jays have gone 5-1 and helped lead them to a 9-7 win Sunday with a three-run homer. In the 19 games that he has started with the Jays, the club has a 12-7 record."

Hope he does well against the Red Sox! The above pics are from his 2005 season in Norwich.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Brett Pill

Brett Pill
Originally uploaded by Dave Nelson

Brett Pill

Brett Pill
Originally uploaded by Dave Nelson

Thanks to Tom Clifton for alerting me to Dave Nelson's great pictures on
There are a ton of game photos posted there by Dave Nelson of 2010 Fresno players many of them former Defenders. Take some time and check it out; it's time well spent.
Special thanks of course to Mr. Nelson for his public postings!
A reminder that every picture of mine that I've taken/posted is on the Picasa site that links to Blogger.

Brett Pill.....

another blog fav, Brett is now hitting .312 (29 for 93) with 9 doubles, 3 HRs and 14 RBIs. Brett got off to a slow start this season, like last season's as well, but is heating up now.
Kelly, any fresh pics you can send?

Roger Kieschnick....

Old friend Kevin Frandsen, picked up on waivers by the Angels from the Red Sox last week, made his Angles debut yesterday going 3 for 4.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Clay Timpner....

Friday, May 07, 2010

Thomas Neal.....

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Craig Clark deals....

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Andy D'Alessio......

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Alfredo Simon has somehow...

turned into the Orioles new closer. He's recorded two saves and has a zero ERA over 3IP. Orioles playing the Yanks in a three game set this week. Yanks won last night 4-1 behind ex-Giants Randy Winn's first HR in pinstripes. In other news, Matt Palmer got lit up last night in Fenway.
Current Detroit rookie and ex Trenton Thunder great/former Yankee farm hand Austin Jackson is leading the AL in hits. Phil Coke, another ex Yankee/Thunder player and now Detroit Tiger is 3-0 out of the bullpen. Full disclosure, I have Jackson on one of my fantasy teams.
Both Jackson and Coke went to the Tigers from the Yanks in the trade that brought Curtis Granderson to the Bronx. Granderson is now on the DL which is how Randy Winn got to the plate last night. Former Norwich Navigators Nick Johnson (a brutal start so far) and Marcus Thames (another ex Tiger) are also on the Yankee roster. Both are on their second tours of duty with the Yanks. Thames hit his first MLBB homer while a Yankee off Randy Johnson in an interleague game. Johnson of course later pitched for the Yanks. It's a small world and I didn't mention Johnny Damon in the above mix....

Monday, May 03, 2010

Richmond is....

leading the EL in attendance with 65,995 with 10 home gates thru yesterday's game. They are 9-1 at the Diamond so far and are winning tonight. Erie is in the bottom spot attendance-wise.
Old friend Brandon Crawford is today's pic.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Mr. Ford....

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Q&A in Mystic....

with C.J Knudsen, VP of Operations and Eric Knighton, Assistant General Manager answering questions from a half dozen or so fans. GM Andrew Weber was unable to attend this afternoon's meeting due to illness.

Some of the highlights:

The team will work hard to ensure the water fountains, Stott Ave. street sign, the lower quarter of the scoreboard and the speed pitch display will be working this season.

The team will apply for a New York Penn League All-Star Game in the future whether it's in 2012 or 2013 or another year remains undecided.

There will be three mascots at times, Tater, Cutter and C. T. the Tiger to provide greater promo coverage and fan interaction.

The team will assess the 7:05 game starting time with the possibility of perhaps changing it back to 6:35 in 2011. Fan feedback will be sought out here.

Currently fans who purchase voucher paks will not receive free parking passes. Parking will be $2.

Attendance goal for 2010 is 100,000

Team will control it's own concession and not subcontract it out. Job Fair for game day staff positions is May 22 starting at 10AM at Dodd. Team vows to properly staff concessions/ticket windows. There likely will be no "all you can eat" promo this season.

Name the team contest is back on. Details to follow.

Front office is confident that the Player Development Contact with the Detroit Tiger will be renewed.

NCAA baseball tournament at Dodd with UCONN as the host team is a possibility at the end of this month.

The team is looking at ways to speed up traffic in and out of Dodd. Going to a two lane plan on Wisconsin Ave and using two entrances into Dodd (the one by the street sign and the one on the other side of the main parking lot) were discussed.

Ticket pricing being the same for Single A as it was for Double A: the fan experience at the ballpark compared to other forms of entertainment options remains a bargain.

Team is looking hard for host families. Check the team website for details.

High school ECC baseball championship will be at Dodd.

There will be a Boy Scout sleepover event.

Baseball clinic to be held August 3 and 4

Lou's Lounge is renamed "The Yard."

There will be a Hall of Farmer signing event scheduled this season. Details to follow.

Hall of Fame Cooperstown bus trip in the works as the team plays at DoubleDay Field during induction weekend.

Misc fan notes: Very nice interacting with the front office folks, good to meet them and spend some time together. Some things I feel passionate about:

1.) Re-stablishing the Monday-Saturday start time as 6:35 in 2011. Games can "drag" on for 3 hours and getting out at 9:30 as opposed to 10:00 makes a big difference for those with little ones who tire out easily, prompting early exits (and loss of concession sales) and for those of us who work the next day. Perhaps a ballot box can be set up on the concourse along with on line voting for fan feedback.

2.) Expand the $5 ticket to include at least one section in the park, not just standing room and berm sitting. This is basically the Falvey's Family Section (20/21?) of previous seasons. The berms are where the kids play--no one wants to sit out there with a bunch of kids hoping for and then chasing as a hoard for a foul ball. Standing room is not needed.

3.) Provide military and senior discounts. Continue the outreach at the Sub Base and Coast Guard; they are excellent fans.

4.) Be bold--go for the 2012 All-Star Game! It's the 10th anniversary of the first All-Star Game held at Dodd and the fifth anniversary of the 2007 EL All-Star Game.

5.) Folks who buy voucher paks deserve free season parking.

6.) If you want the upgraded food menu upstairs at "The Yard" don't charge admission to it ($20) if that's the only place you can get it. The food up there is darn good and I've spent more dollars there than in the food stands downstairs and the gift shop combined. It's an accepted practice to go up there and get your food, hang out for a couple of innings and go back down.

Pic is for C.J. Knudsen and everyone eating at Al's Fries, South Burlington, VT. Doug and Lillian--we love you and we miss you!