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, June 30, 2006

Three months of home games in the book....

my "record" stands at 17 wins and 13 defeats. I'm on pace for a new personal attendance record this season. Thank God for that self created "gift" 6 pack of vouchers to supplement my original purchase.
Defs ended up winning 3-2 last night with two runs in the bottom of the 16th inning. The winning RBI was a bases loaded walk to pitcher R.D. Spiehs of all people. Nate nailed a runner at home at the top of 16th to keep it a one run game going into the bottom of the frame. Wished I could have stayed. Looking forward to the 4th of July DH. I won't be posting much over the next few days.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

They're still playing...thanks for nothing Mr. Redman

the score is 1-1 after 12 innings. I left after 9 innings. Geno and Jason piched great but Jason gave up a one out HR to the Senators Prentice Redman that tied the game up. Waddell stuck out 7 and Geno went six innings of shut out ball in another spot start. Nate had a RBI double in the first for the lone Defs run so far. Dodd Stadium almost got fogged out in the middle innings (see pics) but it drifted off.
Misc fan notes: Light crowd tonight, under a 1000. Congrats to Brian Munhall, Tyler Von Schell, Brain Buscher and Pat Misch for their selection to the EL North All-Star team.

Congrats Doug Clark! First MLBB hit last night

in a pinch hitting appearance for the Oakland A's. Doug also swiped his first MLBB stolen base. The former Navigator from Mass. made his MLBB debut late season with the Giants going 0-5. These pics are from the 2004 season. I have his #29 Gators jersey.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The 3 Killer B's (Brians) key the victory over the Senators tonight 4-3

Brian Horwitz knocked in the game winner in the bottom of the ninth with his second RBI single of the game to score Derin McMains who lead off the inning with a triple as the Defenders snap a 7 game losing skid.
Brian Buscher went 2 for 4 with a pair of singles, a RBI, a stolen base and a nice back hand stop in the top of the eighth.
Brian Munhall went 1 for 3 with a pair of stolen bases and runs scored including one on a passed ball.
James Garcia made his Dodd 2006 debut (see picture) going 5 innings and allowing two runs on four hits. Oscar Montero and Joe Bateman each went an inning. Billy Sadler got victory after blowing the save in the top of the 9th.
Misc fan notes: OK, I totally forgot the games now start at 7:05 not 6:35 for the rest of the season (except Sundays) and got to the park way too early. Gave me a chance to work on some autos, one of them Horwitz, who looked at the above picture I had printed out and recognized it from seeing it in Portland on their scoreboard for player intros and had wondered where it came from; (this humble blog from an earlier post)!
Small crowd for a bobblehead promo tonight. Had to be disappointing to the front office. Hopefully the win is a step in the right direction and will get for folks up there.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Congrats Matt Palmer on his promotion to Triple A

Fresno and welcome back James Garcia from Fresno in a couple of pitching moves had by the Giants and reported on the McCovey Chronicles blog (see link on right. Matt is currently leading the Eastern League with a 1.30 ERA. His record is 5-3 with the Defenders. He started out in the bullpen this season and moved into the starting rotation with the conversion of Jonathan Sanchez to a reliever. He's been in Norwich/Connecticut for four seasons coming here first as a closer at the end of the 2003 season. Matt will start tonight for the Grizzlies. This is the highest level Matt will have reached so far. Good Luck Matt!
Garcia was here last year as a starter and then moved to the bullpen. He left to pitch with Team USA towards the end of the season. Last year as a Navigator he had a 6-7 record in 32 appearances. He started 15 games and had an ERA of 4.93 giving up 112 hits in 95 innings pitched. He has split time between San Jose and Fresno this season.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I keep forgetting to post Oscar's picture for

our readers in Venezuela.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Defenders on NESN Thursday @ 6PM vs Portland!

Rare chance to view an away game on TV. I think they were on a couple of years ago on NESN also against Portland, the Red Sox Double A team. And then way back in the day when ESPN was doing minor league games the Navigators were on a couple of time in '95 or '96.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Travis makes the catch against the Mariners this weekend

these are AP wire pictures

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Let's hope we're done with this for while.....

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Matt Palmer pitches a gem over 7 innings and

Scott Munter closes out the last two innings for his first Defender save as Connecticut is on the right side of a 1-0 score over the Bowie BaySox tonight. The Defs managed only three hits; a single and double by Brian Horwitz and a Nate Schierholtz double none of them figured in the only run of the game. In the bottom of the 7th walks to Andy Busch and Jake Wald lead to Randy Walter pinch running for Busch and brought up pinch hitter Jon Armitage. Jon hit a grounder to the shortshop who threw to the second base to force Wald but the throw to first was wild and Walter came around with the winning run.
The story was Palmer who had great control allowing only 3 hits and walking just one. He had 7 k's as well. His record improves to 5-3.
That makes three in a row heading into the Father's Day afternoon game.
Misc fan notes: I got a late start up to Dodd tonight and when I turned on the radio around 6:45 there was a rain delay in progress. The front office folks are getting pretty good at the tarp dance. The game got underway around 8:00 and that cut down the crowd some.
Class act shown again by the front office as the ushers were coming around the 6 & 7 inning handing out vouchers for a future game to thank the fans for hanging in thru the rain delay and sticking with the game that long. It's the smart thing to do and all those fans who got vouchers will tell their friends, co-workers, etc.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Team effort as Defs win 3-1 over the BaySox

Nice win. Lots of stuff to cover. Starter Jesse Floyd had to leave in the top of the third with what lookeed like a hamstring pull. Geno Espineli, R.D. Spiehs, Joe Bateman and Billy Sadler held the BaySox scoreless the rest of the game collectively pitching out of a couple jams including a bases loaded no outs situation. Geno gets the win and Billy gets a four out save.
Hitting star was clearly Brain Buscher going 3-4 with a single, double and solo blast that hugged the right field line. Alex Requena used his speed for a 2-4 and a RBI. Clay Timpner's speed lead the the first run as he singled and thenling second went to third on the catcher's throwing error and then scored of a wild pitch.
The game also marked the return of Nate Schierholtz to the starting lineup. Good to see his bat back.
Misc fan notes: Got to Dodd around 6:45 and had to park way out in the aux. parking. First time for that in a long time and it was because the weather was great, most schools let out for summer today and it was Friday Fireworks and that meant a big crowd inside. Good to see the place alive and kicking; hope those folks caught Defender fever and return often over the summer.
Also it looks like D-Mac lost some sort of bet as he was sporting a very rough looking mohawk tonight (see pic).

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bomber goes BOOM!!! Defs win 7-6 in a comeback thriller...

Tyler Von Schell's second home run of the game gave the Defenders a walk-off victory at Dodd breaking a 6 game losing streak and nine game home losing streak. Bomber's first home run (see pic) gave them in early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 4th. Aeros came back against Connecticut pitching--Misch, Montero and Bateman to take a 5-2 lead but Connecticut kept chipping away finally tying the game in the bottom of the 8th at 6-6. Billy Salder got the win. After Jason Waddell gave up a one out triple, Salder stuck out two Akron hitters to preserve the tie and staging the stage for Bomber's walk off. Great win as the bats gave around to salvage the game.
And if any one player has hit the ball harder and either gotten robbed, or hit right at someone over this slide it's been Tyler. So it was good to see him the star tonight.
Misc fan notes: Bring back the cadets for good luck. About 150 Coast Guard cadets were in attendance to root on loudly the team just like Opening Day; another victory. Those young people, who've elected to service our country, bring a joyous attitude to a simple thing; going to a baseball game and really infuses the rest of the crowd. They also do a great job with "Take me out to the ballgame" and "Sweet Caroline" during the seventh inning stretch. God Bless American.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Defs fall again to Akron 6-4 tonight at Dodd.

The good news was they banged out 9 hits and 4 fours thru the first four innings and rallied after trailing 3-0 to take a 4-3 lead. Brain Horwitz had a two run rbi single and an Aaron Sisk moonshot HR to left were the hilights of the rally. The bad news was Akron reliever Dan Denim came on in the fifth and pitched perfect ball the rest of the way as the Aeros scored two runs in the fifth off Defender starter Garrett Broshuis to take back the lead. Akron would add an insurance run off Scott Munter. Garrett gave a bunch of hits but the problem was the 4 walks, a HBP, and a few WP/PBs that worked their way into the mix.
The Defender defense turned in some nice plays. Clay Timpner saved two runs with a great catch in center and he later threw out a runner at home, Alex Requena in left had a nice sliding catch in foul ground and also threw out a runner at home and 3B Brian Buscher had a couple of picks that turned into round the horn DPs.
Anyway it's the 17th L out of the last 19 games and I can't remember the last home win. I mean I even worn yet another different cap and worn my Defenders t-shirt there for the first time in hopes of breaking the streak. Pat Misch will win tommorrow. Time for the front office to run the old guarantee win promo?
Misc fan notes: The second rehab bobblehead promo went off tonight (see pic of the faithful) with Andy Pettitte's figure being given away. They got more of a crowd with the first one--the Clemens bobblehead. I won my first contest of the year the All State horse race as the red horse put me in the winner's circle and I won very nice road atlas. I should have given it to the Aeros bus driver who was asking for all kinds of directions last night.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The snowball continues to roll downhill as

the Defenders lost their 16th out the 18th game tonight at Dodd 3-2. Chris Begg pitched well enough to win and the Defenders offensive continues to look for a hit with runners in scoring position. Randy Walter had a nice game with a great catch in right and a laser shot of a home run in the 7th down the left field line. Tyler had the other rbi on a double to the wall. It's the fourth straight loss to Akron all of the one run type and fifth one run loss overall.
Anyway, welcome to the newest Defender pictured above, Brian Horwitz, who was batting .324 in 207 ABs with 2 home runs and 31 RBIs in San Jose. Brian went 1-4 in his debut tonight. Let's hope he might be the spark. Brian's here because Travis is back up with his third stint the Giants.
Misc fan notes: I rarely eat or drink at the ballpark usually because I just ate lunch/dinner. But one thing I will get from time to time is fried dough which isn't being offered this season. The folks from Culinard have other ideas about the menu.
Memo the Culinard: open the fried dough shack--you're missing out on $$$'s. And I'm talking about the real deal, not that offering you're trying to pass off as fried dough.
Great weather up there tonight and I thinks it's good for the rest of the week so hopefully the fans come out. Bobblehead promo Wednesday will pump it up.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Nate at bat earlier this season...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cap History 101, part 9 of an occasional series

This one is first baseman's Aaron Rifkin's cap tossed in the crowd and caught by me after the Navigator's game seven victory over Harrisburg to capture the Eastern League crown in 2002. Rifkin spent the next few seasons with the Yankees in Trenton before a trade sent him to Seattle's Triple A Tacoma in 2005. He shows no action this year so I don't know if he's out of baseball or rehabbing.
With the Defenders playing the Senators the timing is pretty good on this cap. The Defenders broke thru and snapped their 7 game skid last night behind Chris Begg and Aaron Sisk's second home run in as many days. Yet another Aaron made his Defenders debut in the game, Aaron Hornostaj, replacing Derin McMains who is on the DL and going 1-5.
Those readers wanting to view catch up on the entire cap history to date need to go over to the 2005 Navigator blog.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

In response to the fans in Venezuela....

thanks for your continued readership--Greg

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Defenders shoutout twice today by the Portland

Seadogs. I'm sure these guys can't wait to get out of town as the Defenders drop every game of what turned out to be a six game homestand. I'm not going too far into the gory details but Tyler Von Schnell got robbed twice in the second game of a double and homer before he finally got a hard single in the bottom of the seventh for the second and final Defenders' hit of the day.
Great to at last see some emotion out of manager Dave Machemer after Travis Ishikawa missed a base running sign and went in standing up into third and was out from here to there. Mac threw his hands up twice in anger as a rally died before it got started. Then in the sixth I after a called third strike I thought he was going to get into it with the home plate ump but it died on the vine. I mean he looks up at the scoreboard and half the guys are batting under .200. It didn't help that Nate Schierholtz was serving two games of his suspension and his bat was out of the lineup.
Misc fan notes. The team came out for the second game wearing I guess would be called their alternate road uniforms; see pictures. It didn't help break the losing streak however. I like the blue unis better.
Scott Munter finally got into action mopping up the first game in effective fashion and Eliezer Alfonzo's (another good day at Shea for him) replacement, catcher Andy Busch made his Defenders debut today in the second game. Welcome aboard Andy.
Speaking of Shea, Jonathan Sanchez got his first MLBB victory today over the Mets. Don't think we'll be seeing him again soon.
Feel bad for the front office; what should have been a festive weekend really didn't turn out that way because of the weather. Get some rest this week guys.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Belated congrats also to Defenders pitcher

Jonathan Sanchez who made his MLBB last Sunday pitching a scoreless his first time out. Sorry Jonathan, can't image what I was thinking about. I have a sneaky good feeling about him.

Congrats Eliezer Alfonzo! Home run is his first

MLBB hit in his MLBB debut at Shea today off former Yankee and current Met pitcher Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez in a 6-2 Giants victory. Former Gator Matt Cain notches the victory for the Giants. Just saw Eliezer's HR on the TVs highlight as I was typing this. He gave a little fist pump going round first. I got to chuckle that he's has no HR's with the Defenders and hits a dinger in his first MLBB game today. He still remains the best offensive backstop in franchise history in my opinion.
Misc Fan notes: Defender DH washed out today. Cutter bobblehead promo and fireworks to be rescheduled on dates TBD. Doubleheader Sunday starting at 2:05. Got my first Defender t-shirt as a birthday gift today and it's the right one! Thanks!!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Another long day's journey into night...or how I spent

my birthday today at Dodd. Mother Nature throws another weekend curve at our home team team. Tonight's game scheduled to go off at 6:50 got going at 9:25 due to the on and off rain system that moved in the area. It should have been a good gate for the team with the Red Sox farm team in, a beach towel giveaway, pregame concert and postgame fireworks. But the rain scared off enough folks to wreck the walkup. The fact they got the game going probably means they can post the gate they did collect but by the time the game did start there were maybe 500 or so fans left.
Got to give major credit to the front office for comping tonight's ticketholders for a future game. Class move and the right thing to do as a lot of people waited around a while eating Nathan's hotdogs.
I stayed for the first inning and by the time I got home the Defenders were in a
6-1 hole after two innings and it's raining pretty hard where I live. Neither starting pitcher had much and the field conditions are a factor.
In happier news Eliezer Alfonzo got called up to the Giants today and will probably see action Saturday at Shea as the Mets/Giants were rained out tonight and they will play a doubleheader tommorrow.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Well, I tried a different cap and they did wear their

blue unis but it wasn't enough as the Defenders fell again today 7-3 to the FisherCats. Chris Begg gave up four runs in the fifh and that was basically all she wrote. The Defenders lead 1-0 after a Clay Timpner leadoff double and a Tyler Von Schell single in the first. The Defenders added a couple of unearned runs but fell to their fourth loss in a row. First place Portland comes in for a four game set this weekend.
Misc Fan notes: I really like the blue away uniforms. First time I've seen them in person. They don't sell them in the gift shop but they should. Tons of kids today from various area schools. One group started a "Let's go Tater!" chant. Tater wasn't at the game today so it's interesting he lives on to some folks.
Big weekend coming up promotions wise. First pregame concert of the season Friday plus Dunkin' Donuts beach towels to the first 1000 fans and fireworks after the game. Saturday features a doubleheader and Cutter bobblehead giveaway to season ticket holders and kids under 12. And Sunday is Rite Aid camera day with fans permitted on field to take pregame pics. And this against the Red Sox farm team with good weather in the forecast and there should be some decent gates.
It was hot today with the temp. topping out at 91 degrees. Got a little burn going on.
Where's Scott Munter? Thought he would of got into a game by now.
Did an email interview for the Courant today re: the blog. The piece should be out in July sometime.

MLBB great Lee Smith takes in the action

during last night's game.