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....

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Rain Delay 5-31-07

SeaDogs top Defs 7-1 to take two of three from

Connecticut. A strange night at the park as the Seadogs jumped to a 1-0 lead after just two batters and would extend the lead to 3-0 with a pair of unearned runs in the third. Meanwhile everyone as waiting for the heavens to open up and the rain to come. It finally did in the top of the fifth driving most of the crowd out. When play resumed after a nearly a hour delay starter Garrett Brohuis, who wasn't nearly as sharp in his last three outings, was gone also.
Brooks McNiven came in and gave up three unearned runs in 2.2 IP as Portland built a 6-0 lead. The Defenders got their lone run in the seventh. Alex Requena hit a little grounder down the third base line that the Portland pitcher made the mistake of fielding instead of letting roll foul. The Defs would load the bases but a DP bailed out the Portland pitcher. With Alex on third TI hit a line drive to the left center gap for a RBI double. Those two hits and two by Trey Webb (three multi-hit games in a row) were the only offense for CT.

Misc fan notes: Every Thursday the first 500 adults get a pretty nice Sam Adams glass for free and drafts are only $3.00, a nice bargin although my drinking days are in the past now. I'll stick with the $1 Diet Pepsi.

Everyone was invited up to Lou's Lounge during the rain delay to check out the digs. It was pretty crowded. Have to check out the food sometime and turn food critic. Menu looked pretty good.

On the player front Joe Perez of the Norwich Bulletin reports on his blog that Eddy Martinez-Esteve has been sent to Arizona for extended spring training. EME hadn't played in the last four games including today's. What's does it mean for EME? Will he return to CT? It's been a frustrating experience for fans and I'm sure the player over the last two seasons. Stay tuned.
Who will the Defs get to replace EME?

Another OF assist tonight for Pat Dobson as he nailed a runner at the plate, kid's got a good arm.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Thanks to Defs GM Charlie Dowd for taking

the time to respond to this humble blog in the post below.

Ten questions with Connecticut Defenders GM Charlie Dowd

1.) One of the new initiatives taken by the Defenders new this season was to operate the food concessions in-house and most notably lowering the pricing on hot dogs (cheese, chili and kraut topping are free) and small sodas. And I got tell you the chili is pretty good. So good you could probably sell it as a stand alone item. The challeges of hiring and training the staff to run the stands and the logistics of ordering supplies are significant. Are you pleased so far with the conversion from the point of view of fan feedback, sales so far this this year verus last year and your overall efforts season to date?

I am delighted with the response that the food has received. I believe the quality is significantly better and the pricing is much more value oriented. Sales are higher despite the lower prices which indicates to me that fans like the effort to ensure lower pricing. Our per capita spending is up as well which is a good barometer of success. Sales in the suites are way up though I am disappointed thus far with the numbers in Lou’s Lounge. The room is terrific and the food has received great reviews, it is simply a function of not getting enough people up there yet.

2.) On March 29, 2007 the Defenders announced tickets sales for the upcoming season had reached 100,000 representing an 18% in ticket sales over last season year to date. Great job! I've been to the majority of games and I'm sure we've had the same thought. Where are those fans?

Lots of fans disguised as empty seats. That being said, our actual attendance is up and our revenues are up. I anticipate the latter part of the season being busy, that being said, I cannot be more angry at nights like last night. Perfect weather and a popular team in town. The fact is that our group sales efforts need to be better. Many of those tickets are flex tickets which give fans the leeway to use their seats on the days that they choose.

3.) Obviously season ticket packages, full or partial plans, are a quick fix for boosting attendance as well as providing the franchise with cash flow. Judging from the announced attendance figures and actual fans in the stands, it would appear that the franchise has 400 to 500 full season ticket holders. It suggests that perhaps the business community in Norwich and the surrounding area are not very supportive of the team. Does the team have plans to re-focus on the business community to increase ticket sales perhaps outsourcing this effort to a professional marketing team to canvass the area for season ticket commitments?

I don’t like to outsource anything. While I like the notion of enhancing our season ticket base and will make those efforts, the key to our success going forward will be group sales. One sale of 500 tickets equates to over 8 full season tickets!!! Certainly that pre-season money is helpful but the bodies is what we are ultimately after.

4.) Another incentive to buying full season tickets may be lowering the price, which currently ranks in the upper quartile in the Eastern League. The teams currently offers a $100.00 reduction for the following season for those full season ticket holders who attend 50 or more games on the scheduled game date. Why not lower the full season tickets by $100.00? It might generate enough participation to offset the price reduction.

I may be wrong but lowering our ticket price would likely only lower our ticket revenues. This is an issue that I will discuss with Tony Scott at great lengths this summer. Bear in mind that many of our senior execs are new to the market and are still learning.

5.) You've got to be excited about the upcoming Eastern League All-Star game on July 11, 2007. Could you please discuss how ticket sales are going, what special events will be held and possible cable TV coverage?

The AS Game is going well with about 3,500 tickets sold/held thus far (We have to hold seats for league guests, etc.) Many of the ancillary events are coming together nicely such as the home run contest and fan autographs. Television will be produced by Comcast with the game being picked up by SNY (NY Mets).

6.) The May 17 article in the New London Day detailed the money problems surrounding the team. What kind of assurance can you offer over and above those quotes in the article that will put a fan's mind to rest? Specifically is owner Lou DiBella still committed to making this work and keeping the team in Norwich?

Perhaps you and I saw different articles in the Day. The article was about the rent, not about money problems. We owe the Stadium Authority rent back to ’06 and into this year. We intend to pay it but we also intend to do things to the ballpark that should have been done over the past 13 years such as the suite level renovation, air conditioning, etc. We are having some landlord/tenant issues that both sides recognize and are working through. Lou and his partners are in this thing for about $10 million. They are committed to the area though at some point they need to see returns like any businessperson would.

7.) During the off season the team is either moving the fences in or the infield out toward the outfield. Has it been decided on what will happen, who pays for that, what the new dimensions will be and what are the dimensions currently to the power alleys in straight away left and right?

Those decisions will likely be determined in part by cost. I am hoping to present the Giants with some ideas with the notion that if they would like a reconfiguration of the dimensions, they will have to contribute. It’s a valid request on their part and a reasonable position on ours.

8.) In looking at this year's promo schedule there are Community Days for Montville, the Shoreline and Glastonbury on tap. What has the team done in terms of market penetration to areas like Middletown, East Hampton, Deep River, Colchester, Stonington, and Westerly?

We have been and will be in those communities though it seems as the community days in the past have not been too successful. We are looking at a variety of means of bringing the periphery markets into the ballpark.

9.) Do you think that the affiliation with a NL West coast team is a draw back and would the front office by more inclined given the win/loss record here since 2003 to find a better fit?

We likely will not be the Mets/Yankees/Red Sox in the immediate future. I am not convinced that the other 27 teams matter. Look at New Britain where they are the Twins. Little or no nexus to Central CT but they have produced some good players. I like the Giants, I am not happy with the current performance but I don’t think that they are either. The big club has been responsive to us to some extent, I am hopeful that they will improve the product on field soon. That being said, we have to understand that this is a development situation first and winning is sometimes secondary. Fortunately, the Giants believe that winning enhances development.

10.) If you could be Eastern League commisioner for a day what changes would you enact?

The EL is a well run league however, my first act might be to ensure that the Defenders are home on Thursdays-Sundays and eliminate the early week games from their home schedule!

Defs win 5-2 over the Seadogs behind the two hit

pitching of Alex Hinshaw, Ryan Sadowski, and Brian Anderson and solo homers by Pat Dobson and Trey Webb their first EL home runs.

Dobson lead off the game for the Defs with the dinger to straight away center for a quick 1-0 lead. Portland would get the run right back in second when Carlos Sosa got turned around on a fly ball to left that he ended up dropping allowing a run to score.

In the bottom of the fourth Connecticut scored twice. Mark Minicozzi ( 2 for 3) walked. Sosa ( 2 for 4 ) singled and Steve Holm walked to load the bases with no outs. John Bowker grounded into a double play that scored Minicozzi. Travis Ishikawa ( 2 for 4) then brought in Sosa with a single for a 3-1 Defs lead.

Hinshaw meanwhile was cruising along on a 75 pitch count into the fifth when he gave up his only hit a HR to left as Portland pulled to 3-2. Hinshaw (2-1) left after five innings giving up the one earned run and striking out 5

In the bottom of the fifth Trey Webb (2-4!) hit his tater over the left field wall to get the Defs back up two runs.

Ryan Sadowski came on in relief of Hinshaw and was lights out in his three innings giving up no hits, no walks along with two K's.

Connecticut added an insurance run in the 8th on an infield single by Steve Holm, who busted it down the first baseline, a single by TI and a two out single by Todd Jennings.

Brian Anderson came on in the 9th and kept everyone in their seats by walking the first batter, giving up Portland's only other hit to the next batter before getting three fly ball outs for his ninth save.

Misc fan notes: In addition Holm's infield hit, Travis Ishikawa was hustling after foul balls all night especially on that he extended himself on a dive after a long run near the Defs bullpen that he just missed. And both of his hits were timely tonight; the 2 out RBI in the fourth and the single in the 8th to get a runner in scoring position. Good game for TI.

Got to be happy for Webb after the start he's had; that's two multi-hit nights in a row for him. The pic above is him.

Where's EME? That's three games in a row.

Welcome aboard SP Dave McKae. He's up from SJ. And welcome back OF Alex Requena. Darren Sack heads out to San Jose.

Great to be back at Dodd tonight plently of Red Sox fans in the seats but I wish there were more of you there!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Seadogs bomb Defs 10-3; Velez injured sliding into

third on a successful steal (great, just great). Darren Sack takes the loss. Trey Webb and Pat Dobson collect two hits each and John Bowker gets 2 RBIs. EME not in lineup. Travis back down to .215.

Misc fan notes: I'll be back at Dodd Wednesday and Thursday. Joe Perez reports Klink will be out for a bit and a pretty funny blog entry on attendance. Check it out.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Thunder win again 7-6 to take four of five.

The Defs were lead by John Bowker going 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs, Carlos Sosa 2 for 5, DH Steve Holm 3 for 4 and Mark Minicozzi's 2 for 4. Nick Pereirara takes the loss. I'll be at the Dodd Wednesday and Thursday night. Retail ______.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Defs split win Game 1 4-1 drop nightcap 3-0 against

Trenton today.

At last we score runs at home against the Thunder! And Connecticut wasted no time in game 1 in the first inning Eugenio Velez doubled came in on a Carlos Sosa double and Sosa scores ahead of John Bowker's 7th HR of the season. Steve Holm would add an insurance run in the sixth onhis 4th HR, a solo shot.

Velez who should have been stealing in the bottom of the 9th in Friday's game swiped 4 bases; second twice and third twice and went 3 for four on the game. Bowker went 2 for 3 in the game.
Geno Espineli pitches 6 inning allowing only one run on a home run among 5 hits allowed. Brian Anderson picks up his 8th save.

In the nightcap the same old story--the Thunder shut out the Defs with the Defs managing only two hits. Ben Cox was the hard luck loser--again.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Garrett Broshuis pitches great (again) and Carlos

Sosa goes 4 for 4 with a double. But the Defenders are shut out yet again by the Thunder for the fifth game in a row at home despite wrapping out 11 hits. Congrats to Pat Dobson for two outfield assists; one at home.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Thunder shut out the Defenders again 1-0 in 11 innings

tonight at Dodd. The Defenders have been now been shut out all four games they've played against Trenton at home this season by a combined score of 6-0. And unlike the winterly conditions played the first series in April it was a warm perfect night for baseball for the announced crowd of 4800 plus. The loss was the sixth in a row for Connecticut.

A nice pitching effort by Alex Hinshaw, Joe Bateman (looked sharp--his best outing yet), Osiris Matos and Justin Hedrick went by the boards. Jake Wald had two of the six Connecticut hits.

The Defs had only one threat. A leadoff single by Eugenio Velez in the bottom of the ninth was followed by a sac bunt by Wald. Carlos Sosa flew out to deep left center moving Valez to third. A walk to John Bowker set the stage for EME to be the hero. Eddy hit a hard smash up the middle that the pitcher got a glove on but the ball was scooped up by the shortshop whose throw just nipped EME at first.

Trenton would score in the 11th on a lead off walk, stolen base and a single down the first base line.

Misc fan notes: Travis Ishikawa is out on bereavement (thanks hondo) leave so Pat Dobson played first. Roving scout and ex-Navigator manager Shane Turner was in the dugout and I think Felipe Alou was there also.

Nice crowd on hand. The place is so alive when there's people in the house.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

B-Mets complete the sweep and beat Defs 9-6...

in New York. It was the fifth loss in a row for Connecticut. Darren Sack took one for the team pitching-wise giving up all 9 Met runs in 4.1 IP on 11 hits.
The Defs offense picked up sum. Eugenio Valez went 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored. Carlos Soas continues his hot hitting alos going 3 for 5 with a double and 3 RBIs. EME goes 2 for 4 and is now batting .256.

Simon Klink and Travis Ishikawa (second game in a row) didn't play.

Misc fan notes: Looks like great weather for Friday Fireworks so that should mean a big crowd. Defs took out a half page ad in the New London Day for the Memorial Day weekend games.
I'll be there Friday and looking forward to taking some pics of Valez but then work kicks in again. However June is looking real good attendance wise for me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

B-Mets win again 5-2 against the Defs...

at one point the Defs had nine hits and no runs scored thanks in part to triple play turned by the Mets, a double play and two runners thrown out from the outfield; one at home. Carlos Sosa continues his hot hitting going 3 for 4 with yet another double and EME goes 2 for 4 with a RBI. Todd Jenning also goes 2 for 4.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

B-Mets beat Defs 6-5 with a run in the ninth tonight in

New York. Ben Cox in his first relief appearance takes the loss to fall to 0-5 on the season. Starter Geno Espineli goes 6.1 IP allowing 4 runs, three earned on 7 hits and a walk and getting 6 Ks. Orisis Matos allowed the tying run to come across setting up the stage for the B-Mets to win in the bottom of the ninth off Cox.
The Defs got a first inning HR from John Bowker, his team leading sixth. Travis Ishikawa goes 2 for 4 with a RBI and run scored. Carlos Sosa goes 2 for 4 with yet another double knocking in a pair of runs. Simon Klink got the start at third. EME played left field for the first since last week and Sosa played right for the first time this year.

Love getting my recap in before anyone else.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Congrats Brian Horwitz! Promoted to Triple A Fresno..

Brian was batting .309 with 2 HRs and 10 RBIs this season. Since his arrival in mid 2006 he has been the most consistent hitter the Defenders have had. Good Luck!

The post-Horwitz era starts with a 2-1 loss in a

game that was pretty much like Saturday's contest; i.e. the Defs get good pitching, lack the timely hit and drop the game.

Garrett Broshuis had another good outing going 7 IP allowing 5 hits one earned run and getting 5 Ks. His ERA drops to 3.27.

John Bowker doubled in the only Connecticut run one of only six hits from the Defs offense.

The game maked the debut of Eugenio Valez who went one for 4 in his first Double A game batting in the leadoff spot. He starts now at second. From Joe's Norwich Bulletin blog Jake Wald and Simon Klink will platoon at third. I can't remember Jake playing third before back in the 2005 season but he moved from short to second this season and did a great job at that new position. Pat Dobson played center field in place of the departed Brian Horwitz. I wonder how long that will last?

Joe also reports that Alex Hinshaw will take Ben Cox's spot in the rotation and Cox returns to the bullpen where he has spent his career prior to this season.

So the up the middle infield the team had at the beginning of the season of Jake and D-Mac has become Mark Minicozzi at short and Valez at second. Valez was the SAL MVP last year with 14 HRs and 90 RBIs and Minicozzi put up good numbers in SJ last year and got a late start to this season so on paper more offense for the Defs.

Carlos Sosa started again in LF as EME DHed for the third straight game and hasn't played left since May 16 ( he pitch hit on the 17th). Wonder if there's a story there? Like to see Sosa get some serious playing time in to get his bat going. In the last four games he's 4 for 15 (.267) with three doubles and two runs scored.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

RockCats' turn to win by a 2-1 score tonight.....

the game can be pretty much summed up by hondo comments under yesterday's game recap. The Connecticut bullpen pitched this game by committee. Alex Hinshaw goes 3IP and gives up a run on one hit and fans 6. Brooks McNiven goes the next three innings and gives up the single deciding run on 4 hits and gets 2 Ks. And Joe Bateman hurls two shutout innings with 3 Ks to his credit.
Brian Horwitz gets 3 of the Defs 6 hits and the only RBI as the bats were cold for CT. tonight.

The question is why was Hinshaw staring? The Middletown Press/New Britain Herald had Broshuis as the probable pitcher for tonight and the good news is Jake's back at second and leading off.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Defenders nip RockCats 2-1 in New Britain....

as pitcher Darren Sack improves to 2-3 going 6.2 allowing just 4 hits and one earned run. Carlos Soas was the hitting star going 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and runs scored. Soas doubled in the second and came around on a RockCat error and in the seventh doubled and scored on Steve Holm's double.
Brian Anderson got the save, his seventh, but not without the usual adventure of putting a couple of runners on before getting the third out.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Defs give it away in 11 innings 6-2 and split with

the B-Mets and drop the homestand with 3 victories and 5 losses. The recap is canceled on the advice of my doctor; something about high blood pressure, my age, family history, etc. etc. But I feel compelled to note that Pat Dobson went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles, TI continues to move his average up with a 2 for 5 a triple included, Todd Jennings went 2 for four and pitcher Ben Cox knocked in both Defs runs with a RBI single.

Why wasn't Brian Anderson closing? Why was Minicozzi sac bunting not once but twice? How happy am I that I was at work for this one?

Good crowd: 4400 kids.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

B-Mets win 9-4 this afternoon. Nick Pereira takes

the loss to fall to 1-4. Nick gave up 5 runs all earned along with 5 his in his 7 innings plus three batters of work. Jeff Petersen gave on for the first time in what seems a month and gave up four runs, three earned on 5 hits two of them home runs.

The Defs actually outhit the Mets in the game 13 to 10. Mark Minicozzi in the leadoff spot hit three doubles. Brian Horwitz hit his second HR. John Bowker chipped in with a couple of RBIs. And Jake Wald, TI and Simon Klink all had two hits apiece. But all that didn't add up enough.

Another day game Thursday. Hopefully they win and take three of four.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hopped into my car tonight around 9:45 PM getting

out of work turned on 1310AM hoping to get at least a post game report. Well looking at the box score maybe everyone, fans (only an announced 1300) and players included, wanted to check out "American Idol" tonight as the game was played in less than 2 and half hours. Connecticut beats the B-Mets 3-1 at Dodd for their second win a row.

Geno Espinelli pitched a gem tossing 7 IP giving up only three hits, an unearned run, 7 Ks and only one walk. Justin Hedrick and Brian Anderson hold down the fort. Anderson gets his sixth save but as his his wont left the tying runners on in scoring position before getting the third out.

Defs got all their runs in the fifth down 1-0 thanks to some sloppy Mets defense. Simon Klink got on board via an error. Todd Jennings singled and Espineli layed down the sac bunt. Mark Mincozzi forced Klink out at home on a grounder back to the pitcher. Jennings then scored on a wild pitch to tie up the game. with Mincozzi moving to second. Brian Horwitz then hit an infield single to the third baseman who threw wildly to first allowing Mincozzi to score to put the Defenders up 2-1 and Horwitz to moved to second. John Bowker (2-4) then doubled into Horwitz for the final run of the inning and game for a 3-1 Connecticut lead.

Misc fan notes: EME goes 2-4 (avg .258) with a K. TI goes 1 for 4 with a K to raise his avg. to .207.

Nice night for baseball where was everyone?


I heard from a team official last night the Defenders raised approx. $2600 for cancer reasearch with the auction of the pink jerseys and all jerseys were bid on. Great job one and all!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Defenders beat B-Mets 7-4 and break their 3 game

losing streak. Defenders wrapped out 10 TIMELY hits to get starter Garrett Broshuis his first victory of the season.

Jake Wald was the your #1 star of the game since hockey was a theme tonight. Jake quietly is having a great season on the field palying a new position and at the plate no matter where Mac sticks him. Tonight he went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles, 2 RBIs and a run scored for the 6 hole in the lineup. Other offensive starts tonight were Carlos Sosa (playing in LF over EME) with a pair of doubles, RBIs and runs scored, Brian Horwitz with a 2 for 3 evening including a double and a pair of walks and Travis Ishikawa going 2 for 4 with a RBI and walk raising his average up above .200 to .205.

After falling behind 1-0 in the first, Connecticut got three runs in the bottom of the third on three straight 2 out RBI hits. TI single plate Horwitz who had singled and moved up on a WP. carlos Sosa followed TI with a double into the left center gap to bring TI around. Wald then brought Sosa home with a double down the third base line for a 3-1 CT lead.

The B-Mets tied the game in the fourth but the Defs came back with two runs in the fifth. Back to back walks to Horiwtz and John Bowker and a single by TI loaded the bases. Sosa was HBP to force in a run and Simon Klink's RBI ground out made it 5-3 Defenders.

The B-Mets came back in the fifth with a run chasing Broshuis (5.1 IP, 7 hits, 4 ERs and 4 Ks). But the Defenders bullpen held the rest of the way with Alex Hinshaw (4Ks in 2.1 IP) and Osiris Matos (1.1IP) getting his first save closing the door on the Mets.

Connecticut picked up a couple of insurance runs in the seventh. Carlos Sosa's second double was followed by Wald's RBI single. A Todd Jennings' (boy, I'd like to see him heat up) two out RBI single made the score 7-4 Defenders.

Misc fan notes: Another small Monday night crowd of 500 or; not much juice in the park except that one guy in Lou's Lounge testing out his lung power.
Hinshaw is another guy quietly putting together a nice season so far. In 11 games so far he's given up runs in only two of them going 20IP, with 25 Ks and 13 hits allowed pitching to a 1.80 ERA.

It was Chris Pronger...drafted in '93 now with the Ducks

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Congrats Fred Lewis! First MLBB HR and hits for

the cycle today in Colorado going 5-6 with three runs scored. And a big day for ex-Navigators overall as Eliezer Alfonzo went 3 for 6, Kevin Frandsen 4 for 5 2R 3 RBIs and Dan Ortmeier 2 for 5, 2Rs and2RBIs

Phillies score early and often and win 10-4 today and take

three of four from Connecticut. First home game I've missed this year--hey, it's Mother's Day. Darren Sack had his worst outing giving up 5 ERs (2.2IP, 6 hits, 4 BBs 3Ks) and falls to 1-3. Brooks McNivin gave up a run in 3 plus innings but Joe Bateman (his third straight ineffective outing since coming back) and Brian Anderson gave up two runs each to end the Reading scoring.
For the Connecticut offense John Bowker had a couple of hits (2-5), EME got on base three times (2 BBs, single and two runs scored) and Trey Webb in a rare start at third got his first two RBIs of the season.
Travis Ishikawa (.190 avg.) rested and Patrick Dobson got the start at first.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Defs lose 2-1 this afternoon as the offense could

muster only three hits; a infield single by Steve Holm in the fifth, and a couple of Mark Mincozzi hits was all the support starter Ben Cox (0-4, pictured) got. Cox, like Nick Pereria was last night, struggled with his control issuing four walks along with six hits in 4.2 IP. He gave up both runs, the first unearned.

In the fourth Mike Garciaparra, Nomar's brother, singled with one out and stole second. The batter at the plate hit a twisting foul ball the Travis Ishikawa caught after a long run and fell partially into the seats. Great catch. Garciaparra seeing Travis had his back to him and in the stands, tagged up on the catch. Travis recovered but threw the ball wide of third baseman Simon Klink allowing Mike to continue on home for the first run. of the game.

In the fifth Reading's aggressiveness on the basepaths paid off again as a single, a stolen base putting the runner in scoring postion, and another single made the score 2-0 Phillies.

Connecticut finally broke thru with an unearned run of it's own in the sixth. Jake Wald walked, moved to third an infield error and came around on John Bowker's SF. Connecticut would then get a single from Mincozzi to put runners on first in second with one out, but Travis would strike out and EME (back after missing 7 games) also fanned to end the inning.

Connecticut threaten again in the eight getting a pair of runners on but could not push across the tying run.

Misc fan notes: Defs worn the pink jersey tops in support of breast cancer awareness. Not bad looking actually. Should have been more folks in the yard today.

Friday, May 11, 2007

6 run Phillies fifth sink Defenders 8-2 in front of

the biggest crowd of the season (5300+ announced) tonight. Connecticut starter Nick Pereira struggled with his control issuing 5 BBs plus 5 hits in his 4.2 IP of work. He still had a 1-0 lead going into the fifth thanks to John Bowker's fifth home run on the year when the wheels came off. A walk, single and another walk loaded the bases and a RBI grounder tied the game at 1-1 but a 2 out singlle RBI single after another walk put Reading up 3-1. That was it for Pereira whose record falls to 1-3. Ryan Sadowski would come on and see his perfect zero ERA go by the boards with his first bad outing of the season. A walk, a two run RBI single by the Phillies pitcher Tim McClasky (2-3, 3 RBI's) and a wild pitch made the score 6-1 and bascially that was the game.

The Defenders added a run on a Carlos Sosa single, a smash that first baseman couldn't handle plating Mark Mincozzi (2-3) who singled and moved to third on a Travis Ishikawa single (2-3).
Joe Bateman came in for the last two innings and is still rusty giving up three hits including a homer to close out the scoring.

Misc fan notes: Great to see people in the park. A buzz in the air, food stands humming, the snack shack down the right field line opened for the first time this year, multiple giveaways and best yet-- nice weather. Let's hope the crowd Saturday is as good.

From all signs tonight Dodd will host it's biggest crowd

of the season. Fireworks Friday of course and the weather will be OK. I'm hearing and reading 4200-4500 for tonight. The aux. parking lot will see it's first action.
According to the EL website the Defenders have drawn 16,140 in 10 gates at home for a average of 1,614. To reach GM Charlie Dowd's goal of 200,000 the club will have to average 3,225 per gate the rest of the way (200,000 - 16,140 = 183,860 divided by 57 remaining gates = 3,225).
Possible? Yes. But far from a gimme.
Was disappointed with the crowd last night. A good giveaway with Sam Adams and anyone presenting a Comcast cable bill could get the entire family for free. I don't know if Comcast let their customers know about it or not. I'm a Metrocast customer and looking at the promo schedule there is a Metrocast day June 10th so I'll be watching for something in my bill perhaps to tell me about it. If there isn't someone dropped the ball somewhere.
There's plenty of deals out there beyond the two above. Xtra Mart fill up Thursdays provide a free ticket with a 8 gallon purchase. I've been to three Xtra Marts stations and the promo is very well signed. Getty and Lukoil appear to have similar deals later in the season.
And there's deals for Big Y customers, Triple A customers, seniors, military, so the pieces and programs are in place. Could there be more? Sure and hopefully they will add as the season progresses. But the front office needs to continue to beat home those promos like a drum if they want to hit that 200,000 number.
Great Cancer Awareness promo coming up Saturday with the players wearing pink jersey tops that will be auctioned off. Was a little disappointed that the bidding would start on Saturday but end on Sunday giving those of us that will be off celebrating Mother's Day a reduced chance at a winning bid. Maybe half the tops Saturday and half Sunday? Anyone listening?

Jumped on the Reading Eagle on line this morning for their

coverage and saw that Brian Mazone who pitched here for the Navigators (Giants) for a couple of seasons and moved over to the Phillies organization getting to Triple A, was sold to the Samsung Lions of the Korean League. The Phillies signed another ex-Navigator (Yankees) Jason Anderson from the indy Atlantic League to replace him.

Mazone, now 30, also came from the indy Northern League before the Giants signed him. I really liked him and he had a great season in '06 leading that league in ERA or Ottawa. He also hit only the second home run (and last so far) for pitchers in franchise history. The first? Current Defender/Naviagator Joe Bateman.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Defenders bounce back and win the opener of a

8 game homestand tonight 5-2 over the Reading Phillies. Jake Wald (pictured) in the leadoff spot went 3 for 5 and scored three runs as the hitting star of the game. In the two hole Brian Horwitz followed up Wald going 2 for 4 as the Defs pounded out 11 hits in the night.

Wald got the Defs going in the first with a single and scored on Brian Howitz's single as the Phillies RF misplayed allowing Wald to score and Howitz to go to third. An out later Mark Mincozzi grounded out to the third baseman who threw home but Howitz slide under the tag drawing an argument from the Phillies catcher and manager.

Connecticut starter Geno Espineli gave up a two double on the line in short left field that LF Carlos Sosa lost in the sun. The next batter Phillies prospect Jesus Merchan brought him home with a sharp single.

In the third Connecticut would go up 3-1. Wald and Horwitz with back to back singles and a SF from John Bowker.

In the fourth was a play I always wonder about and is a sometime source of debate. Geno issued a walk and the runner steals second. With two outs the batter hits a grounder to Geno who throws it away allowing the runner to score. Should it be an unearned run when the pitcher commits the error?

The Defenders would come back in the bottom with a Carlos Sosa triple (the only extra basehit for CT.) into the left center gap. From where I was sitting I thought Carlos was out at third but the call drew no Phillies' protest. Carlos would then score on a Todd Jennings sac fly for a 4-2 lead.

Espineli left after 5 innings giving up just three hits with 2 Ks and 2 BBs enroute to his second victory. Alex Hinshaw came in relief and was lights out allowing jus two hits and notching 6 Ks in 2.2 innings pitched. Brian Anderson came on for the 4 out save getting two strikeouts himself as Connecticut pitching rung up 12 K s on the night.
Nice hiiting effort by the Defs tonight with 10 singles and some good situational batting; 2 SF and the RBI groundout.

Travis Ishikawa (2-4 ) drove in an insurance run in the seventh on a check swing tapper to third base that he beat out scoring Wald with his third run scored in the game.
Misc fan notes: The report I get is EME injured a hamstring and should return shortly.
Again a small turnout at Dodd. It's disappointing to see especially with the Sam Adams giveaway pint glass (nice) and free admission for the whole family for Comcast customers bringing a copy of their bill to the park. Don't understand it. I'll have a longer rant on this in the near future.
Curry jersey is now 3 and 3.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

My first thought was "Ah heck they lose a heart breaker

and the road trip is an even split." My second was "Where the heck did Joe Bateman come from?"
Joe Bateman gives up a 2 out walk off homer to Chip Cannon in the bottom of the tenth to give the FisherCats a 4-3 victory in the rubber game of the three game set. It was Bateman's first appearance of the season. Nothing like getting thrown into the deep end. It's all about development not wins and losses right? I guess Anderson, if he's still with the team, wasn't an option with a tie game on the road.
Anyway, Garrett Broshuis had another good outing with 6 IP giving up 6 hits, one earned run and punched out 5 Ks.
Simon Klink ties the game up for the Defs with a homer in the top of the ninth after Travis Ishikawa (2-4) was ejected for arguing his called strikeout along with manger Dave Machemer. I would have loved to have seen that.
John Bowker gets an outfield assist for throwing out a runner at home in the bottom of the ninth to perserve the tie setting the stage for Cannon's shot in the tenth.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

FisherCats rout Defs 12-1 with a five home run

attack. Starter Darren Sack gave up 8 runs and reliever Brook McNiven the other four FisherCat runs as New Hampshire cruised to the victory in a game that lasted a mere 2 hours and 3 minutes.

FisherCat starter lefty Kurt Isenberg made his EL debut throwing a complete game. the lefty gave up seven hits and struck out 8. A John Bowker triple and a Mark Minicozzi RBI ground out was the only offense for Connecticut. Bowker continues to shine going 2 for 3 with the triple and a double.

Would really like a Defenders victory Wednesday so the road trip ends up 4 up and 2 down.

Here's a link to the New Hamphire Union Leader newspaer. Pic of Travis getting tagged out in yesterday's game by Chip Cannon (what a great name) and the Defs are wearing the black away tops.

Monday, May 07, 2007

3 in a row as Defs beat FisherCats 7-4

with three runs in the top of the ninth keyed by a two out three run double RBI double by Carlos Sosa. Sosa went 2 for 5 on the game. Simon Klink goes 3 for 4, John Bowker continues his hot hitting with a double and a triple and Jake wald chips in with a pair RBIs. Steve Holm got the catching start and blasted his second homer of the season.

Sosa's base clearing double made closer Brian Anderson the winner, his first EL victory. Ben Cox started and gave up 3 ERs and 8 hits in in 4.1 IP.

I don't have word on EME injury--any help?

Lance if you read this were they wearing the blue or black away jersey tops?

Defs wrap out 16 hits in 12-4 rout of Phillies to

take the rubber game of a three game set with Reading. Defs wrap out 16 hits, 15 of them singles off of 6 different pitchers in the victory. Nick Perira gets his first EL victory throwing 7 shutout innings giving up just two hits. He also went 2 for 3 at the plate with 2 RBIs.
Pat Dobson in the leadoff spot got his second 4 hit game going 4 for 6 with the Defs only extra base hit, a double. He also had 2 RBIs. Brian Horwitz, (3 RBIs), Mark Minicozzi, Travis Ishikawa (2 RBIs) and Simon Klink all had two hits apiece. Trey Webb got his first EL hit in the game.

****This is not my orginal post on the game. Computer problem--sorry.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Defenders beat Phillies 4-3. John Bowker was

the hitting star going 3 for 4 with a double, triple, a run scored and 2 RBIs. He's raised his average to .326. Mark Mincozzi and Carlos Sosa got the other RBIs. Connecticut scatched out only 7 hits in the game one by starter Geno Espineli.

Geno pitched well going 4 IP allowing just 2 hits, one earned run and notched 4Ks. Brook McNiven got the win and Brian Anderson earned his 4th save.

With EME out, the Defs put Sosa in LF, Pat Dobson in CF and Bowker in RF (no Horwitz?).
TI went 0-4 with 2Ks dropping his average to .127. He's in free fall.

Another big crowd in Reading, nearly 9,000.

Congrats Chris Begg! Chris wins his first Grizzlies start

of the season as Fresno beat Las Vegas at home 7-1. Chris went 6 IP giving up 5 hits, one earned run, walking 2 ang getting 5 Ks.

Print coverage of the Defs on the road in Reeading can be found at:

Friday, May 04, 2007

Reading downs Connecticut 7-1 on the road tonight.

Brian Horwitz hit his first HR for the only Defs run. It was one of only 5 hits for the Defenders. Simon Klink went 2-4. Garrett Broshuis went 4.2 IP giving up 8 hits 5 runs only one earned and saw his record go to 0-4.
Big crowd at Reading of 9,011.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Chris Begg promoted to Fresno...reports Joe Perez

in his Norwich Bulletin blog tonight. On the major league level the Giants placed starter Russ Ortiz on the DL and called up hot Triple A pitching prospect Tim Linceum from Fresno opening up the spot for Chris. I suspect Geno Espineli will take Begg's spot for the time being. Good Luck Chris!

Defs win in 11th on Pat Dobson's two out double...

scoring Carlos Sosa from first. Sosa had walked after falling behind 0-2 in the count. Dobson followed with his third double of the game to the left center field wall. Dobson went 4-6 with 3 RBIs and a run scored. He also played first for the first time this season. The victory avoided a three game sweep by Altoona.

Darren Sack started and gave up two runs in the first. Connecticut would come back to take a 3-2 lead in the second. EME would single, TJ walked, Jake Wald forced Jennings at second. Sack reached out and singled in EME. Dobson hit his first double knocking in Wald and Sack.

In the fourth the Curve tied up the game on a double with the runner advancing to third on Horwitz fielding error. A passed ball scored the runner for a 3-3 tie.

It stayed tied unti the 10th. Sack left after 5 innings pitched. Alex Hinshaw came on to pitch three innings. Justin Hedrick in his second inning of work gave up a one out walk to Adam Boeve. Hendrick caught Boeve leaning off first but Connecticut botched the run down. It proved costly as Neal Walker, one of those hot Pirates propects, homered to straight away center for a 5-3 lead. Hendrick slamed his glove in the dugout after the third out

The Defs rallied in the bottom half to get him off the hook. Dobson hit his second double of the game, John Bowker walked and Mark Mincozzi (2-5) singled to load the bases. Travis Ishikawa drew a pitch hit walk to make it 5-4 and Bowker then scored on a wild pitch to tie it up. With runners on second and third and one out, EME stuck out and Tj would ground out to end the rally.

Jeff Petersen came on to shut the door on the Curve in the 11th to set the stage for Dobson's game winning hit.

Misc fan notes: Got to love those mid-week afternoon games on asunny game. Where was everyone--missed a great game.

Stupid stat: After wearing Chris Curry's game worn Gator's home jersey (eBay) and going 2-3 over the last five games, I switched, successfully as it turns out, to Oscar Montero's Defender's away jersey (team auction) as a streak buster.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Whenever the cadets or sailors show up it's a great

night at the park regardless of the score.

If you're a Pirates Fan you got to be happy with

your hitting prospects. Last night Randy Ruiz and Neal Walker were on display and tonight Steve Pearce in his first Double A start hits a home run and a double. Pearce leads all minor league baseball in dingers with now 12 HRs--11 in Lynchburg and now one with the Curve. Walker followed Pearce's homer with one of his own as the Curve jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second on their way to a 5-4 victory over the Defenders.
Connecticut starter Ben Cox took the loss going 5 inning and giving up 4 runs all earned along with 6Ks and two walks. Brook McNiven and Gino Espineli pitched well in relief holding the Curve to a unearned but decisive run over the last four innings. Mark Minicozzi's throwing error turn out to be big later as the Defs rally fell a run short.

John Bowker had another good game leading off going 2 for 5 with a double and two RBIs. Jake Wald, RBI groundout and Steve Holm with a double down the line in a three run Connecticut 7th inning had the other Defs RBIs.

The Defs wasted a bases loaded no outs situation in the 5th but a Jake Wald grounded into a pitcher to catcher to first DP and PH Carlos Sosa stuck out to end the inning. Again the bats were quiet tonight as the Defs managed only 5 hits.

Misc fan notes: About 100 or so Coast Guard cadets in the crowd of 500 or so. Always great to have them or sailors for the sub base on hand. They're always loud, funny, polite and just great to be around and they keep the food stands busy. I hope the front office finds a way to get them up more often.

A late shout out to ticket manager Andy Pappas. I asked Andy Sunday about why the bottom half of the scoreboard hasn't been working all season. He went into the office to find out and reported back that the orginal computer from 1995 died and a replacement was being sought. Thanks for the info Andy. I should have asked about the pitch speed board as well.

After opening the Fry Shack last night for the first time in a year it was closed today.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mark Minicozzi made his EL debut tonight

and just missed an infield hit in his second at bat in the fourth.

Curve take opener 6-2 as walks and errors combine

to hurt the Defenders tonight. In the first Connecticut starter Nick Pereira gave up a lead off walk to Jason Bowers. Bowers then stole second and continued to third as catcher Todd Jennings' throw went into the outfield. Bowker then came around on a RBI groundout to first. In the fourth a lead off single and back to back doubles by Randy Ruiz (a blast, he's a stud hitter) and Neil Walker put the Curve up 3-0. Pereira walked the next batter but got a 6-4-3 DP with Jake Wald turning a nice pivot throw to help Nick settle down and get out of the inning.
The Defenders would answer back in the bottom half of the inning as John Bowker homered to right leading off. Bowker had just missed a dinger the pitch before he went yard. In the bottom of the fifth the Defenders would get closer as TJ got a 2 out walk and Jake Wald sliced a double into the Defenders bullpen bench area scattering the relievers as Jennings came around to score.
Ryan Sadowski would relieve Pereira and Ryan would continue to pitch to a zero ERA on the season with two innings of scoreless baseball. That closed the book on Pereira as he threw 5 innings gave up 3 hits (all in a row in the fourth) 3 runs, two earned 3 BBs and 3 Ks.
In the top of the eighth Osiris Matos came on and got the first two outs, but a walk and a catcher's interference put runners on first and second. On the next pitch after the catcher interference call ex-Navigator (2002) David Parrish hit a three run homer just inside the left field foul pole making it 6-2 and icing the victory for the Curve.

Misc fan notes: Mark Minicozzi made his EL debut at shortstop going 0-4. Jake Wald played second tonight and batted eight after leading off the last two games. Bowker batted lead off went 2-4 with the solo HR.

Frequent contributor and blog reader Lance was at the ball game tonight. Thanks again for the spare tix! Lance is on a baseball holiday up and down the East Coast and I'm green fron envy. Good meeting him!

Former Navigator manger Shane Turner was in the house tonight as well in his role as a roving Giant coach.

David Parrish was part of the EL championship Navigator team of 2002. He is a catcher as was his father Lance Parrish, a ML All-Star catcher with the Tigers. The story there is that Lance caught Roger Clemens in a All-Star game and years later when Roger did his rehab game with the Navigators David caught him here.

And after being closed for a solid year the Frisco Fry Shack reopened on the left field concourse. Note to the front office: I know Monday is $1 hot dog night but back in the day it also was $1 garlic fries too!