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, May 31, 2006

Defs shut out again 1-0.

Well that's three straight shutout defeats at home now and two in a row to the FisherCats. Matt Palmer pitched great scattering 5 hits over seven scorless innings. Jason Waddell gave up a scratch run in the eight for his first loss of the year. Don't know if Dave Mac is a screamer, but the Defender batters sure made an 0-5 FisherCat picher Tyler Yates look awful good swinging at a lot of first ball pitches tonight. Oddly enough if Portland drops the secong game of their doubleheader tonight the Defenders weill be back in first.
Fan notes: MLBB save great Lee Smith was n the Defenders dugout tonight; he's a roving coach for the Giants. First unused ticket night of the season and was able to get rid of that Foxwoods ticket I couldn't use before. Scott Munter not in the game tonight--thought he might geet in. Be back to the park bright and early Thursday morning for a 10:35 start. Love those morning games!

Monday, May 29, 2006

D-Mac posts today on his New London Day blog about the fight Friday

Kind of non-specfic though; was looking for some dish. Good to see him back in the lineup tonight as the Defs salvage a game, beating the Phillies 6-2 behind Pat Misch. Nate hits his third HR, a three run shot and Randy Walter goes deep for the first time this season. Geno picks up his first save in support of Pat.
Misc Fan notes: won't be a the game Tuesday but should be at all the rest this week. Hoping for those blue unis Thursday morning! Jonathan Armitage gets his first Double A hit tonight, congrats!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Love it when I can start my own news

cycle. Anyways, Defs drop their third in a row to the Phillies and fourth game overall today 10-1. Clay Timpner hit a home run for the lone Connecticut run; one of only 4 hits on the day for the Defenders. Fellow blogger Garrett B. gives up nine earned runs to fall to 2-2.
New addition to the roster from the Augusta Greenjackets is Jonathan Armitage who was hitting .253 with 3 HRs and 16 RBIs so far in Single A. It's a sign that Tyler's injury in the brawl Friday still needs healing and with Travis up with the Giants it fills the hole at first base. Web site roster needs updating Tuesday morning with all the comings and goings.
Portland won today so Connecticut is in second place by a half game.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Defender catcher Eliezer Alfonzo and Reading catcher mix it up last night. Picture from the Reading Eagle newspaper.

Odds & ends................

The brawl last night was just as I wrote; beanball 101. The 54 minutes was due to weather however. Some of that business last night is likely due to the replacement umps being used because of the labor dispute with the regular Eastern League umps. No warnings were issued by the HP ump despite three battters being hit ( 2 Defs, one Philly) prior to the third Defender being hit and the fight that followed. And even after that Defender pitcher Matt Palmer hit a Philly and didn't get tossed; so it sounds like an out of control situation. For more fight details check out the on-line issue of the Reading Eagle newspaper and a blog entry about it by one of their reporters. Note: that's where the picture comes from--the Reading Eagle newspaper. Wonder if D-Mac and Garrett will report on it on their blogs.
1B Travis Ishikawa and P Jonathan Sanchez (who has been lights out as a converted reliever) are up with the MLBB Giants. It is Travis' second stint with the parent club this season and he went 3-4 last night with 3 RBIs; his first MLBB RBI's. Reports I read is that Travis should be back later next week. Sanchez is taking Scott Munter's place in the Giants pen. Good luck and congrats Jonathan!
Former Gator Brad Viecker is playing for the Gary SouthShore RailCats joining former Gators Chris Curry, Jay Pecci and Josh Habel. Chris and Jay are doing pretty well so far stats wise.
Got a Defenders newletter yesterday. Good edition of it and the best part was they are bring back unused ticket days--the last Wednesday of the month. Great deal epecially since I have one and the annoucement comes just after I wondered about it in this space. No news about the cap deal for the upcoming Portland SeaDog games for all you Yankee fans out there..
Judging by the daily pic of the day on the team website it looks like the Defenders are wearing their away uniforms during some of the weekday home games. Haven't been able to catch one of those midweek day games lately because of work but I'm planning on the June 1 game next week so maybe I'll get lucky.
Took at quick look at eBay last night re: the Clemens bobbleheads. There are three on the auction block ranging in price from $9.99 to $34.99 but no action so far.
I've seen 18 games so far this year (17 gates) and the Defender record is 12-6 for those contests. I've used 10 vouchers so far with 14 left. Last year I hit 43 games and made the 24 vouchers last so we'll see.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Well something happened....

just looked at tonight's boxscore and it looks like there was a fight over beanballs with 5 Defs getting tossed and four Phillies ejected. D-Mac was HBP, then Aaron Sisk was HBP then a Phillies was HBP and then Eliezer Alfonzo was HBP right before the ejections so that probably was the deal. Looks like it caused a 54 minute delay of game. Pitchers Joe Bateman ended up playing second, R.D. Spiehs playing first and Oscar Montero and Jason Waddell played outfield because of the ejection. Got to give Matt Palmer credit--he plucked another Philly after the big dustup to even things up. They lost 3-0; second shutout in a row. Hope it's a wakeup call and a bonding deal they can rally around. I see Clay Timpner is back from Triple A as well.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Scott Munter returns....

to get his groove back with Defender pitching coach Bob Stanley, as reported by Will in his blog. Munter, who had been in the Giants bullpen, appeared with the Navigators in 2004.

Fishercats shutout Defs 4-0. New Hampshire gets

4 runs in the top of the ninth with 3 coming on an Adam Lind 3 run HR off Joe Bateman. Defs managed only three hits in the game. Defs starter Jesse Floyd came out of the game in the 4th with an injury. Geno Espineli piched well in relief before giving way to Bateman in the 8th. Defs split the four game set with the FisherCats and head out on the road for the Memorial day weekend.
Misc fans notes: Kind on a ho-hum game and crowd, maybe 500-600 fans in the seats. Defs had been hitting well in the last 4 games but the FisherCats starter was pretty good. Eliezer's blond look is gone now as he has opted for a shave head look.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Defs blank the FisherCats 2-0 as Garrett Broshuis, Joe Bateman and

Billy Salder record the team shutout. Garrett (2-1) gave up three hits in six innings, Joe pitched a perfect 7th and 8th and Billy threw a 1-2-3 9th for his 8th save. Nate Schierholtz had a RBI single in the 5th and the Defs picked up an insurance run on a wild pitch in the 7th. A day after the 23-9 football score this was a typical Defender/FisherCat game i.e., low-scoring with good pitching. Defenders hitting continues to come alive as they bang out 11 hits plus a couple of hard hit outs and a couple of hits that would have been out of the yard in other EL ballparks.
Misc Fan notes: The first of 5 bobblehead promos went off tonight. Tonight's was the Roger Clemens figure. I got there at 4:45 having been warned by Jim, the main usher and gatekeeper, Monday night to get there early and had maybe 25 people in front of me. While waiting the people around me discussed various eBay notes and selling tips. The best perhaps collecting all 5 and selling them as a set. The line soon wrapped past the gift shop, Defender clubhouse and batting cage. It took 25 minutes once the gates opened to hand out all 1,000 bobbleheads. About 15-20 folks got the bobblehead and simply left and more than a couple complained about the league rule of no entry to the park once you're in.
The best part for me as the great packaging of the bobblehead. Pictures of all four players with a thumbnail description of their rehab with the Navigators, a Cutter bio, along with a schedule of June thru the end of season, web page address, and the front is the cover of the prelim. pocket schedule but without the "Navigators" airbrushed off. OUTSTANDING improvement over last years bobblehead packaging and a nice marketing tool. And by the way, the bobblehead is pretty good looking.
There was a NESN film crew there (free advertising) and the piece will run Wednesday.
So mission accomplished in getting a nice crowd up there (2600) on what would have otherwise have been a low turnout date, especially with yet another cold one up there today. Looking forward to the next one!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Went to a baseball game and a football

game broke out instead. Well a day after blowing out the RockCats 13-1 the Defenders found themselves on the other side of a blowout losing 23-9 to the FisherCats tonight. It was 14-3 when I left--hey, season finale of "24" was on. Chris Begg had nothing giving up 8 runs in an inning plus a couple of batters work and Mike Musgrave gave up the other six runs I saw. D-Mac went yard with a two run HR to make it 14-3. It's a long season and you're bound to get a couple of games like those but back to back against different teams is rare. Anyway, they've scored 22 runs in two games which a nice sign and the team is still in first place.
First big bobblehead promo coming up Tuesday; should be interesting how many find their way to eBay.
Misc Fan notes: Eliezer dyed his hair blond. Small crowd for Monday Mania and it' $5 ticket price but another cold and windy night on top of the hill. Didn't see many Buffet fans but the weather was against them.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

And just as I thought....

Will from the Norwich Bulletin drives those 50 miles to New Britain to cover the game last night, a 3-1 loss, and the Day doesn't send anyone, and doesn't even bother with a boxscore. Wonderful reporting.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

R.D. Spiehs wins both ends of the DH today..

and the Defs end up taking two of three from the B-Mets by scores of 3-2 and 2-1 both in extra innings. I wonder id another pitcher in franchise histort has won both games of a DH before?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

why did Eliezer change his number from "7"

to "43" last week? 4+3=7; is that part of it? Little help from one of the CT Defenders readers please? Thanks!

First raincheck of the season.

Even though the sun finally came out this afternoon after a week of rain, the field was too wet to play on. Got there about 6:20 for the 6:35 start just as they pushed back the start time to 7:05. Watched Johnny Gil try to air blow the grass dry for about 20 minutes from the right field gabezo to pass the time. They finally called it about 7:15. DH on Thursday morning starting at 10:35 which means I'm totally shutout for the Mets series. Reminds me of the line from Bull Durham--"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains."
Anyway, next home homestand starting Monday against the FisherCats will include the first bobblehead giveaway on Tuesday the 23nd; attendance will be interesting to see.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The numbers.......

One of the goals of the front office this year was to hit 200,00 in attendance. After 17 gates the Defenders, according to the Eastern League website, have drawn 40,197 or an average of 2364 per gate. They are 11th out of the 12 team league. With 50 gates left due to rainouts, the team has to draw 159,803 or 3196 per gate assuming no more washouts. I still think they can do it with better weather, not this week however, and the meat of the promo schedule due up and with school being out soon.
The team continues to think up new promo's, the latest in celebration of owner's Lou Dibella's birthday on May 17th--all fans born on a 17th get in for free. Cute idea. Hoping they reprise the hat promo for the upcoming Seadog series for all those suffering Yankee fans out there. Also wondering if they repeat last year's gasoline promo. I think it was a free ticket with a purchase of 10 gallons from a gas station in Norwich.
I will say they have done a great job getting the word out on the bobblehead giveaways. Caught a blurb on channel 3 last week and it has popped up in a bunch of different news outlets.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A long day's journey into night.....

as the scheduled 2:05 doubleheader started at 4:00 due to the just miserable wet weather that has lasted about a week so far and naturally the first 7 inning game went extra innings with the Defenders winning 1-0 on a two out Tyler Von Schell single in the 11th. The game lasted 3 hours 21 minutes.. They're playing Game 2 as I'm posting this with the Defs down 4-2. I had a bunch of family stuff the front half of the day and got home around 3:00 and lo and behold Game 1 hadn't started yet so I hustled up to Dodd to and walked into Miracle ticket #4 of the season from a guy who was leaving and had an extra ticket. He'd been there since 1:15 and couldn't wait around anymore. I found a hundred of the faithful inside watching the Yankees/A's game on the video screen. Looked like great weather in New York. Anyway I had more stuff to do tonight and had to leave after the bottom of the sixth. The RockCats pitcher in Game 1 had great stuff and stuck out about 10 or so Defs batters.
Misc fan notes: I understand the weather Sunday is suppose to be worse and that's why this DH had to go off with the thinking Sunday's game could be washed out. It would be tough make up 3 games by scheduling three DH's later on.
Welcome back Derin McMains from Frenso and the Day gets their blogger back!
Whoever is left in those stands deserves an award of some sort from the front office.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Good Luck radio guy Jeremy Lachan who

will become the play by play voice of the Worchester Tornadoes of the indy Can-Am league.
And I read in Will's Bulletin story today A.J. LaBarbera has retired. Good Luck A.J.!
Rain out today; DH scheduled at 2:05 Saturday. Wish they could of pushed the time back to 1PM. I know they have an "unadvertised" t-shirt promo Saturday; maybe that's the reason or perhaps the weather pattern will be better by then.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pat Misch shuts out the RockCats on three

hits over seven innings to run his record to 3-0 as the Defenders take the first game of a four game set over New Britain 3-1. My guy, Eliezer Alfonzo, knocks in 2 runs and Brian Buscher added an insurance goundout RBI to pace an eleven hit attack. Joe Bateman gave up an unearned run in the ninth but gets the save.
Misch has been pitching great, lowers his season ERA to under 1.00 in the victory.
Misc Fan notes: Seriously I've been to about 400 games in the 12 years up at Dodd and tonight's game had to be the most miserable, cold, wet May game I can remember. There was this fine dizzle most of the game, with the wind blowing it all over the place. I hid out in the gaezbo most of the game and still got soaked. There were maybe a couple hundred fans at best for the game. I left in the eighth. I wonder if they gave free ticket vouchers to the few people left who actually stuck it out to the end of the game. I remember the Yankee/Navigators doing that a few times. It's a class move.
Liked what I saw out of the new centerfielder Alex Requena; a couple of hits and runs scored, stolen base and seems like he can cover some ground out there. Barry Gunter was sent back to Augusta without getting into a game and A.J. was put in the inactive list--I don't know the deal there.
Anyway, got my first foul ball of the season. Totally no kids around so it was mine to keep. Barely had to move for it. Also first freebie t-shirt of the year on the Oxford Health Plan t-shirt toss deal. The guy who threw it to me told me after he reads the blog everyday. Thanks!! Didn't know anyone really knew me up there.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Welcome back RP Oscar Montero and

welcome to new catcher Barry Gunter. I realized after the last post that the Day lost it's blogger--DMac. I have a bunch of new pictures to take this weekend that's for sure. I like the changes; A.J., and Eli for DMac and Justin--I think CT. gets the better of that. Alex had a great debut last night. Oscar is OK, not great and Barry, well who knows?

Welcome OF Alex Requena and welcome back

C Eliezer Alfonzo and INF A.J. LaBarbera from Triple A. Goodbye C Justin Knoelder, OF Clay Timpner and 2B Derin McMains to Triple A Frenso. Requena had a big night in his CT. debut in a 4-3 victory over the B-Mets going three for five with 3 SB's

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Defs win 3-2 over Thunder....

Jesse Floyd gets his first EL win after giving up a couple of solo HRs in the first two innings. Brian Buscher's two run single tied it after a Thunder error extended the fouth inning and a Nate Schierholtz ground ball DP scored the winner as the Defs rallied for the second straight game. Jonathan Sanchez was great in relief and Billy Salder gets the save with a perfect ninth.
The big fun was in the sixth when Thunder player Shelly Duncan struck out and got into it big time with the home plate ump. Duncan said something to the ump fter the K and headed back to the dugout and the ump followed him and they got into it some more when Duncan getting tossed. The home plate ump walked away as the other two umps held Duncan back. Duncan tried to charge the ump again and a couple of Thunder coaches had to hold him back.
As that was calming down Defenders manger Dave Mac got into it with the third base ump over something but didn't get tossed.
Anyway the Defs take three of four from the Thunder and head north to play the B-Mets in a three game set.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Defenders rally with 5 runs in the

bottom of the 8th to beat the Thunder this afternoon 6-4. Again like last night the "subs" Brian Munhall and Aaron Sisk played key roles. Sisk had a solo HR, his second in as many days, and a RBI single in the 8th and Munhall the tie breaking hit, a two run double,
after Jake Wald had tied in up. Geno Espineli got the win and Joe Bateman the save. Happiest person on the Defs roster had to be R.D. Spiehs won gave up three two out runs in the top of the seventh for a 4-1 Thunder lead.
Misc fan notes: Eddy Martinez-Esteve had to leave the game in the middle of his first at bat after injuring his wrist fouling off a pitch. Starter Pat Misch went six innings, didn't have great stuff, but kept the Defs in the game leaving with a 1-1 tie. His run support this year has been non-existent and he came into the game second in ERA in the EL.
Congrats to Justin Knoelder called up by the Giants to replace M. Alou last night. It's his third stint with the Giants so far. The two pics are of Sisk's HR today and Munhall right before the big two run double. Munhall had no real backup so Sisk would have been pressed into duty if something had happened.
Sorry for the lack of a big post last night. It's been a long work week and game two ended late last night. But the great thing last night was seeing 3-4 different people I hadn't seen in a while and catching up on stuff. It seemed every time I turned aroud someone else was turning up. Dodd is a great place I wish more people would enjoy it. The place was only half full with the Yankees in town plus firworks. I read that New Britain sold out last night.
Miracle tickets #2 & #3 today. Was meeting Strat at the game and was going to use my Triple A card discount (2 for 1) to buy the tickets but a guy asked me if I needed a ticket. He had a stack in his hand, I asked for two and presto two free tickets!
Old friend 2002 Norwich Navigator Danny Morell stared the game for the Thunder.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Subs prevent sweep as backups

Brian Munhall and Aaron Sisk hit their first homers as Defenders, both solo shots, as the Defenders hang on and win Game 2 of the doubleheader over the Thunder 3-1. Billy Sadler saved it and Joe Bateman got the win. The Defs lost Game 1 7-3 with Nate Schierholtz knocking in all three runs with his second homer of the season a two run job, and a RBI single. Chris Begg took the loss in the opener.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Another rain out today in Portland..........

so the Defenders will end up playing back to back doubleheaders Thursday and Friday. It'll be interesting to see how the pitching rotation is handled. Mostly likely one gane will be a pitching by committee affair with Sanchez being stretched out some.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Well, that's interesting.....

a few posts back I compared the differences between the two local newspapers who cover the Defenders, The New London Day and the Norwich Bulletin. The Bulletin was the clear winner mainly because of it's on-line content and it's beat reporters blog among other things. I also sang the praises of Defenders second baseman Derin McMains after his game winning homer last week in another post. Well magically, the Day has signed up Derin to write a blog for their on-line site. Weird, huh? Was it me or Memorex?
Misc fan notes: I caught a pregame interview on 1310AM with Garrett Broushuis Saturday and he talked a bit about his Sporting News blog. Seems like not all the guys know about his writing but now with Derin writing I'm sure everyone will be clued in. Defenders took 2 of 3 against the FisherCats up there this weekend and were shutout on two hits last night by the SeaDogs in Portland. They are now in a first place tie with the SeaDogs. Tonight's game was washed out. Matt Palmer was to have gotten his first start of the year.