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....

Friday, November 12, 2010

From today's New London Day:

MLB wants better lighting for Tigers at Dodd Stadium
By Claire Bessette

Norwich - Ever since engineers first adjusted the light towers at the Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium in the spring of 1995 to prevent flooding the entire Plain Hill area with nighttime brightness, stadium officials have struggled to provide enough light for the minor league baseball playing field.

An inspection report required by Major League Baseball on all minor league facilities once again cited Dodd Stadium for poor lighting in both the infield and outfield, ordering corrections by the start of next season.

The Connecticut Tigers' first home game is June 20.

Other violations found during the Aug. 28 inspection included an insufficient number of players' lockers and a misaligned first base. Also, the pitcher's mound was the wrong height. One metal post along the first base foul line was unpadded, presenting a safety hazard to players, and the stadium needs a written maintenance plan.

The 15-year-old stadium also lacks several recommended features, such as a handicapped bathroom on the skybox level and larger office space, but those are not required renovations.

The Norwich Baseball Stadium Authority discussed the report Wednesday with Connecticut Tigers General Manager Andrew Weber.

Gary Schnip, the authority member who oversees stadium operations, did not attend Wednesday's meeting. On Thursday, Schnip said he has read the report and has contacted the authority's stadium lighting consultant, Tom Lemons of TLA Associates in Massachusetts. He said the work should wait until spring, noting that the stadium's new short-season Class A team starts its season in June rather than early April, as previous Dodd Stadium teams had.

"That gives us a little more time," Schnip said, "although we don't want to wait too long, because they're hoping to bring some college games there next spring."

Weber challenged the report's claim that the stadium failed to comply with the number of lockers in the home and visitors' clubhouses. Dodd Stadium has 30 lockers in each clubhouse, enough for AA minor league teams, which have 25-man rosters. The stadium was built for the AA Norwich Navigators, which later became the Connecticut Defenders.

The Defenders moved to Richmond, Va., last year, and the Class A Tigers moved in. Class A teams can have up to 35 active players on the roster, so Dodd Stadium must add five lockers to the home clubhouse and three to the visitors' clubhouse.

Weber told the authority he requested a waiver of the requirement but was denied. He said new lockers would have to be added to the center of the home clubhouse, a move he resists. Weber said he would speak to Major League Detroit Tigers team officials before deciding how to add the lockers.

Weber told the authority that the team already has padded the fence post and will re-set first base and the pitcher's mound before winter. Staff already has written the required maintenance plan.

Weber said the Tigers are very pleased with Dodd Stadium, as exemplified by the team's quick move in September to renew the two-year player development affiliation with the Connecticut Tigers.

As for the cramped administrative offices described in the inspection, Weber chuckled.

"They should go to Oneonta," he said, referring to the stadium in Oneonta, N.Y., where the Tigers had played before moving to Norwich.


Blogger Dfensfan said...

I agree with Andrew, that they should not put in more lockers in the clubhouse, in the middle. Simpy because there is not enough room.
Everybody on the Tigers this year did have a locker. There may have been one or two games where one opposing player did not have a locker, because the team carried so many players.

12:07 PM

Blogger thehondohurricane said...

Why am I not surprised about the lights? The rest sounds like much ado about nothing. I'll bet all those issues were present when the Defs were there.

7:20 PM

Blogger greg8370 said...

at least there was no suspense this past season when they turned them on...

9:56 PM


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