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....

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Defs drop the nightcap 7-4 as the B-Mets score

five in the top of the seventh off Sergio Romo and Connecticut drops it's fifth straight game as the B-Mets sweep the doubleheader, ouch. Olmo Rosairo singled in TI and Witter in the bottom of the seventh.

Joey Martinez's outing is wasted as Defs..

kick the ball around in the top of the 7th and the B-Mets score three unearned runs for a 3-0 victory in Game 1 of tonight's twinbill. Martinez pitched just great going 6.2 IP allowing 4 hits, 2 BBs and 6 Ks.
The B-Mets opened the top of the 7th by getting the leadoff runner on board via a Dave Maroul error (#13 this season). The runner advanced to second on a Nestor Rojas passed ball. A Simon Klink error at first put runners on the corners with still no outs. The next batter singled to score the first run of the game. Martinez retired the next two batters but a walk to the next B-Met on a real questionable ball 4 call loaded the bases. Next batter singles in two and a third almost scores as Antoan Richardson's throw from center almost went into the B-Mets dugout.
Best chance the Defs had was in the fifth but poor baserunning knocked down the run.
Simon Klink led off with Connecticut's first his a double into right field. Carlos Sosa then hit a long fly that, yes would have been a homer in other parks but was an out here but Klink didn't tag up and remained at second. Nestor Rojas then hit a meduim deep liner to right center and either Klink thought it was in for a hit or forgot how many outs there were but he's doubled up. Connecticut managed only two hits in the 7 inning game as they dropped their fourth game in a row.
In the nightcap the error fest continued as a Olmo Rosairo error lead to a run and the B-Mets jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on starter Dave McKae. The Defs rallied in the bottom half of the second on the inning to tie it on four straight singles by Kyle Haines (I like this kid), Richardson, and RBI singles by TI and Adam Witter. A great defensive play by the B-Mets second baseman on a Sosa liner doubled up TI and nearly could have been a triple play but Witter hadn't strayed far off first.
The rains then came causing delay of about a half hour or so. Play resumed and so then did the rain and the tarp came out again with the scored tied at 2-2 in the third.
I left with the thought the game would be picked up Sunday but I see play has resumed and I'll tune into the game online now.

Misc fan notes: Great seeing lc tonight! Thanks for the ticket and Bud! Turned out Martinez's mom was sitting behind us. Nice lady as we chatted some. Insane Joey Martinez triva; he bats left, throws right and as the tie breaker he plays golf right handed.
Really disappointed with the crowd on hand tonight, despite the annouced number of 2,000+. Plenty of giveaways for folks: free Dunkin' Donuts t-shits and coffee samples, Bud NASCAR glasses with 2 for $5 Bud 16 oz. bottles and Bernie's guaranteed win night.
Pics from top to bottom: Richardson steals, McKae, Martinez

Congrats Brian Horwitz! Made his MLBB debut

last night striking out in a pinch hitting spot. Brian was called up from Fresno as the Giants put Dan Ortmeier on the DL. Good Luck Brian. Looking at last night's Giants/Padres boxscore a ton of ex Navigators/Defenders in the game: Travis Denker, Fred Lewis, Steve Holm, Matt Cain, John Bowker, Billy Sadler, Brian Wilson, Jack Taschner, and Alex Hinshaw (ERA still at zero).
The "other" local newspaper, the New London Day, sent it's sports reporters to cover high school baseball and the WNBA's Connecticut Sun yesterday. No reporters at the game last night. To add insult to injury the Day's recap finishes by noting tonight's game is at 6:35. Of course there's a doubleheader tonight; first pitch at 5:05.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Just when you've thought you have seen everything...

the Defs lose 5-3 tonight in bizzare fashion to the B-Mets. Nursing a 3-2 lead Connecticut reliever Steve (JP) Palazzolo comes on in the top of the 7th and hits the first three batters he faces to load the bases. Next batter up is awarded first base on Adam Witter's catcher's interference (his defense kills us) and the game is tied at 3-3. JP fans he next two batters but Dan Murphy (he kills us too) dumps a single into right field to score two and that's your ballgame.
Connecticut had rallied from a 2-0 down in this game. With two outs in the fifth David Maroul pinch hitting for starter Paul Oseguera doubled down the right field line. Kyle Haines singled Maroul home with Haines going to second on the throw to the plate and Antoan Richardson followed with another RBI single to tie the game. In the bottom of the sixth leading off, TI blasted a solo homer over everything in right field on a 3-0 pitch. It was his 4th HR on the season and the Defs had a brief 3-2 lead as the wheels would soon fall off.
Connecticut suffers it's third loss in a row after winning 4 in a row.

Misc fan notes: Biggest crowd of the year at 5,067; a fairly loud and active lot. The aux. parking lot was used for the first time this season. Best kept secret is Lou's Lounge as I retreated upstairs in the later innings. Great nachos! Give the menu a shot--it does not disappoint. Say hi to Tom on the way up! Tom is another staffer you can always count on to have a smile and a friendly word for you. The support staff at Dodd is just great.
Doubleheader Saturday with Joey Martinez in the opener and Dave McKae going in the nightcap. And it's Bernie's guarantee win Saturday as well so they're rolling the dice twice.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Defs drop rubber game in NB 10-6 tonight..

and drop to a game under .500. Garrett Broshuis get pounded for 11 hits and 7 runs all earned in 5 IP. The bullpen of Josh Sharpless and Ronnie Ray give up three runs as Jason Waddell was the only reliever with a clean line in his two innings of work.
Olmo Rosairo goes 4 for 5 with a pair of doubles and a RBI. TI knocks in a couple of runs with a 1 for 3 night. Adm Witter goes yard, a solo homer #8 on the season. EME gets an OF assist at home and goes 0 for 5 with a RBI.
Connecticut pushed across three runs in the 9th to make the score respectable.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

AM blues...Defs lose 3-2 to RockCats this...

morning/afternoon to end their 4 game win streak. Defs were winning 2-0, thanks to a RockCat 2 run throwing error, heading into the 7th when the wheels came off for CT. reliever Kelvin Pichardo (1-3) as he gave up three runs on 3 hits and a pair of walks to surrender the lead and game to the home team.
Nate Bump pitched a no hitter thru five innings and Josh Sharpless extended the no-no bid thru the sixth with an inning of hitless ball. Picardo gave up an infield single to the first batter he saw and the flood gates would open. Kinda wish Bien had left Josh in the game looking back on things....
Dave Maroul had a pair of doubles on a 2-4 day. Jake Wald had a pair hits including a double and EME singled to go 1 for 3. The loss drops the Defs back to .500.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

TI and EME pace Defs to a 6-4 win...

on the road over the RockCats in the first meeting between the two clubs this season. Connecticut jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by TI and Adam Witter. In the fifth inning they made it 4-0 with another TI RBI single and EME's RBI double. With the score 4-3 in the 8th, the Defs pushed across a pair of runs on Simon Klink's RBI single and a sac fly by Ben Copeland.
Adam Cowart gets the win improving to 4-2 with a 2.98 ERA. Justin Hedrick threw two no hit innings and Osiris Matos gets his 5th save of the season.
TI goes 4 for 5 with a double and three singles. EME improves his BA to .321 on a 2 for 4 day. And Witter has a 2 for 3 day. It's the 4th win in a row and pushes Connecticut a game over .500 and 7.5 GB first place.

Misc fan notes: God, they're going to HAVE to promote EME at this rate! A 40 minute rain delay enabled me to catch the end of this game on the radio after work. The radio guys are begining to grow on me. 10:35 AM start Wednesday in New Britain.

Lots of comments on McC about Joe's article today. A lot of points made. I think the best one was this by "GiantFan":

"It’s not really surprising, both teams are obviously unhappy with the arrangement & hopefully we’ll both move on next season.
From our point of view, it’s a bad park for development & assessment of players (and it’s not just hitters that are effected) due to it’s extreme nature. And from their point of view, we aren’t as helpful as they’d like, there’s a lot of negative views & we sometimes avoid sending players there. There’s no point in having a slanging match, we just need to move our separate ways & find better partners."

I've already started peeking at the Brewers system and will start one of these days looking at the Cubs and Marlins farm teams with an eye towards next season. It's curiousity I guess.
But hey, until it's over these players, these Giants players, are still my "hometown" team and I'll still root them on.

Check out Joe Perez's article in the Norwich Bulletin..

re: the Giants' stay in Norwich. Joe lays it out there pretty well. Good article and backs up what been said in here: please leave. Norwich Bulletin link is on the right.

Monday, May 26, 2008

TI's RBI double the winner as Defs break a 3-3

tie in the bottom of the 8th with a pair of runs and win 5-3 this afternoon. Harrisburg had tied the game in the top of the 8th with a pair of runs off Steve Palazzolo (3-0). In the bottom of the 8th Carlos Sosa lead off with a single. TI then roped a double down the right field line to score Sosa. It was TI's first hit of the four game series. After Ben Copeland reached on an error moving TI over to third, Adam Witter lined a single to right scoring TI for a 5-3 lead.
In the top of the 9th, Sergio Romo recored three straight fly ball outs for his 9th save of the season and first since moving off the DL.
Starting Connecticut pitcher Joey Martinez had another effective start throwing 7 IP, allowing just three hits and one run with 4 Ks and no walks. He retired 13 in a row at one point and recorded 15 ground ball outs lowering his ERA to 2.58 on the year.

Misc fan notes: Connecticut wins 6 of 8 from Harrisburg on the season and today's loss drops the Senators in second place in the Southern Division. Harrisburg with three errors and a wild pitch today really didn't impress much this long holiday weekend and is lucky to have won Friday night's game to avoid a four game sweep.
Defs worn camo uniform tops this afternoon for this game in honor of Memorial Day.
Pics top to bottom: Osiris Matos, Sergio romo, Joey Martinez, Nestor Rojas at the auto table, Jake Wald, and Brad Boyer

Defs take third straight over Sens 5-3 this ...

afternoon and once again get to the .500 mark. I'll recap the game later tonight with plenty of pics!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Stache and Hawk....

Defs win again 9-3 this afternoon as Brad Boyer

goes 3 for 5 with a pair of RBIs and Olmo Rosairo (1-5) clubs a 2 run homer, his third of the season. EME goes 2-4 and is now batting .316 on the season. Paul Oseguera started going 4 IP allowing two runs in his first start off the DL. He also chipped in with a two run RBI single before he left. Dave McKae gets the win in relief (4-3) with 4 IP of work.

Misc fan notes: Wow, 11 runs scored yesterday and nine today...who says you can't hit/scored at Dodd?
With Oseguera and McKae pitching today I've totally lost track of the starting rotation. Any guess as to who going Monday? I thinking Matinez.

Looking forward to taking a ton of pics Monday with the Defs wearing special camo unis.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Defs romp 11-4 tonight over the Senators...

behind a 15 hit attack. EME goes 3 for 6 (yes, he's batting .311) with a pair of RBIs. Brad Boyer, Carlos Sosa, Adam Witter and Jake Wald (2 run triple) all had two hits apiece. Defs left 14 runners on base so the score could have been bigger. The Senators had a postion player on to pitch in the 8th and mgr. John Sterns got tossed.
Garret Broshuis goes 6 IP to improve to 4-4 with 3.63 ERA and had a RBI single. He retired 15 in a row at one point. His best outing in a while.

Misc fan notes: Paul Oseguera goes Sunday; his first start coming off the DL.

Old friends Darren Sack and Mike Vento...

are with the Camden RiverSharks of the indy Atlantic League. Sack (pictured) pitched here in Connecticut last season before being sent to SJ and then released in the off season. Mike Vento was a Norwich Navigator (Yankees, outfielder) in 2002 and made it to the bigs with both the Yanks and Nationals (pictured scoring at home with the Nats).
Interesting blog, "The Deep End," on the RiverSharks web where the front office folks will be posting thru out the season--give it a look, the link is on the right.
Have to work tonight and Sunday, weather is better, so come on out! NASCAR glasses!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Senators score 3 in 10th to win 5-2 tonight...

as Sergio Romo had nothing in the 10th and Connecticut losses the opener of a four game set against the leading team in the Southern Division of the EL. The Defs were headed towards a 2-0 shutout loss until the 7th when Adam Witter singled to left with one out and Jake Wald crushed one off the batter's eye in center for his second homer of the season and second in as many days.
The Defs wasted a chance in the bottom of the ninth to win it. With one out Witter singled off the first baseman (E-3 all the way) and Wald singled to put runners on first and second. Earlier in the season Bien would pinch run alot, I remember him putting catcher Dayton Buller in to pinch run and he scored the game winner in one contest. Why doesn't he pinch run Witter when Witter gets on board at first? Antoan Richardson was on the bench available to run and Nestor Rojas could have caught, as Witter is a defensive liability and it's the late innings. With Wald at bat, he has Brad Boyer (he's back) swinging a bat in the on deck circle to pinch hit in the pitcher's spot. Wald singles, Witter goes station to station. Does Richardson go in to run now? Nope. Boyer sits and Richardson hits instead. Antoan lines one into left center, caught by the center fielder who easily doubles off Witter at second. And we head into extra innings.
I get to to leave, and run into someone up on the first base concourse where I usually exit from. I start watching from that side. Romo comes in and the first batter he faces singles into center. Next batter trying to sac bunt, messes up Witter for a passed ball ( #8 on the season) and the runner moves up to second, no outs. Romo strikes out that batter and then issues an IBB to put runners on first and second. Then he walks the next guy to load the bases. Next batter hits a fly to Carlos Sosa whose throw is a little bit up the first base side and Witter just can't get the sweep tag down in time for a 3-2 Senators' lead. Both runners tag and move up. Next batter singles a little flare over Olmo Rosairo that he should have backed up a little on and caught but instead now it's 5-2 and I'm in the car listening to the bottom of the 10th in the car.

Misc fan notes: Some of the staff were wearing the jerseys that the team will wear on Memorial Day and an Armed Forces salute day in June. Camouflage style; these will not be auctioned. Will be taking plenty of pics on Monday! Also free admission to active and retired military with ID on Monday, very nice.
Lots of people in the house due to some fund raising--good to see.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Power surge! Defs win 7-4 behind 3 homers...

this morning/afternoon and snap a 5 game losing streak beating the B-Mets. Connecticut scored in the first as Kyle Haines (2-4, double, 2 runs scored) batting leadoff doubled off the first baseman's glove and came in on a TI sac fly for a quick 1-0 lead. In the fourth down 2-1 Connecticut tied the game with a two single by Carlos Sosa and a RBI double by Simon Klink. The Defenders broke in open in the as Jake Wald blasted a homer to lead off the inning, his first this season for Connecticut. With one out, Haines singled and Antoan Richardson laid down a bunt single to set the stage for Ben Copeland's first Dodd homer and third of the season for a 6-3 Connecticut lead. The ball off Copeland's bat just got over the first row of billboards causing some discission between the Mets manager and umpires. Adam Witter provided some insurance with his seventh homer and fifth at Dodd, a solo shot in the 8th.
Adam Cowart gets the win (3-2, 2.82 REA) with an ugly line: 5.1 IP 9 his, 2 BBs ( 1 IBB), a WP, 4 runs all earned with 2 Ks) Josh Sharpless goes 1.1 IP allowing one hit that scored a run charged to Cowart and recording a K. Steve Palazzolo gets his first Defenders save throwing 2 IP getting 3 Ks while walking two.

Misc fan notes: Love these AM games, should have more! Even with the kids on hand (announced attendance 4,495) was able to retreat upstairs to Lou's (Thanks Tom!) for coffee and watch the game with hondo and the visiting "BruteSentiment" of Happy to see Kevin was able to watch a couple of games here after last year's All-Star fog out.
Given my feeling toward the SF org. these days I went with a Navigators (Yankees) alternate uniform top today as a streak buster that was worn by Jorge DePaula in the 2002 CHAMPIONSHIP season. I'm keeping in the rotation for awhile now.
"Take me out to the ballgame" was played today.

Defs manager Bien F. had his players in a circle for about five minutes today during warmups. Would have loved to been a fly on the wall for that. Brad Boyer is with the team in "red shirt" status.
Pics top to bottom: Jake, TI & Boyer, a clean shaven Steve, Copeland, Steve and Witter

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Defs drop another 2-1 to B-Mets...

and it turns out I'm lucky to have been working tonight and missed it. Defs muster up just 4 hits. A pitch hit Kyle Haines plated Nestor Rojas for the only run. Jake Wald was thrown out at the plate trying to score on the hit.
Joey Martinez goes 5 IP giving up both runs. His record falls to 2-4 with a 2.78 ERA.

Misc fan notes: 21 days into May and I've been to just TWO games so this month. I got rained out twice. Will be there Thursday morning however but the forecast is so-so.

**Just saw that "Brute" of was in town for tonight's game! Cold enough?
Retreat upstairs to Lou's Lounge. See you Thursday AM.

Congrats Travis Denker! As the first Defender from ...

this year's class of 2008 is called up to the Giants. Eugenio Velez was sent down to Frenso from SF. Travis started the season here playing in 25 games batting .184 (14 for 76) with 6 RBIs. In Fresno he was batting .303 (10 for 33) in 11 games with 3 RBIs.
While I'm happy for Travis getting there, I really don't understand this move. Some folks on McC suggest it's a 40 man roster type of situation and others are just happy Velez is out of SF for now.
Now, against the backdrop of Bien's comments about Dodd, how many of today's Connecticut hitters are thinking, "get me out of here to Fresno so I can have a couple of good weeks at the plate and maybe get to the bigs" and then factor in the GM not wanting to send Pablo here it makes for a potential mess the balance of the season.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rain out tonight and ....

it will result in a DH on Saturday May 31st. Interesting comments made by Defs manager Bien F. in today's Norwich Bulletin. Thanks to hondo for picking up on it; his comments, the article by Marc Allard and my comments are listed under yesterday's game recap. Check it out when you get a chance.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Another football score between the Defs and B-Mets..

9-0 in favor of the visting Mets tonight. This one was over in a hurry as the Mets pushed across 6 runs in the second and another in the third for a 7-0 lead. Dave McKae takes the loss going 4.1 IP giving up 8 runs, all earned, with 10 hits and a pair of walks. His record on the season stands at 3-3 with a 6.29 ERA. Key play in the second with the bases loaded, no score and one out; the #8 batter hits a slow runner to Connecticut 2B Kyles Haines who tried for the force at home and didn't get it. Instead of taking the sure out at first for the second out of the inning with the pitcher batting next, the bases remained loaded and the pitcher hits a sac fly instead of flying out for the third out. The inning totally falls apart after that.
The Defs collect just six hits most of them late. Dave Maroul was the only Defender with two hits.

Misc fan notes: The free rosters set out on the table as you come in didn't list Brad Boyer on the team. Perhaps he was sent down to make room for Sergio Romo? doesn't have him anywhere.
Unseasonable weather would be an understatement; 50 degrees on May 19th and I'm wearing gloves. More people in the stands than I would have thought however.
First chance seeing Jake Wald and Josh Sharpless this season. Josh gave up a run in two innings and struck out three.
Reserve stand tickets cost just $4.00 as that's the price of a gallon of gas today. Defs will be running that promo every Monday; the price of a gallon of gas = the ticket price of a reserve ticket. Good to see the front office trying different things!
Got to wonder when the team arrived home from Bowie as the start of Sunday's game was delayed 2 hours and how much rest they had before tonight's game.
Tonight's loss was the fourth in row and drops Connecticut into fifth place, seven games out of first and 2 games under .500.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

BaySox complete the sweep with a 7-2 win..

today after a 2 hour rain delay at the start of the game. GB, Steve (JP) Palazzolo, and Justin Hedrick all get roughed up as GB falls to a 3-4 record with a 3.72 ERA. Osiris Matos throws a scoreless inning.
EME was the only bright spot getting three of Connecticut's seven hits along with a RBI. The loss dropped Connecticut to a game under .500.
In three games at Bowie Connecticut scored 6 runs and had 17 hits. I guess Prince George's Stadium is another one of those pitcher's parks.
Anyway it'll be great to be back at Dodd Monday; seems like it's been forever.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

BaySox bump Nate 7-1 in Bowie tonight...

as the BaySox use a 5 run fourth to wipe out a 1-0 CT. lead. Nate Bump started going 3.1 IP and charged with 4 runs, all earned. Josh Sharpless came on in relief of Bump in the 5 run fourth and gave up an unearned run in his 1.2 IP. Ronnie Ray gives up a pair of runs in his two innings. Jason Waddell throws a scoreless inning.
TI goes 2 for 4 and collects the only Defenders RBI as Connecticut had only 7 hits in the game. As Hondo commented, Paul Oseguera might still be sidelined with Bump getting the start.
Big crowd in Bowie--9,148!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ugly loss in Bowie as the Defs fall 4-3....

as the BaySox score a pair of runs off Sergio Romo in his first appearance off the DL. Connecticut was lucky even to be in a position to win having scored 3 runs on just 4 hits. Carlos Sosa had a pair of sac fly balls and Kyle Haines had a RBI single scoring Sosa who had doubled.
Adam Cowart went 6 IP giving up both runs and allowing 6 hits. Kelvin Pichardo threw two innings. The BaySox left 11 on base in the game.
Wonder what the roster move, it any, happened with Romo coming off the DL?

Please leave.....

Sabean on Pablo Sandoval

Sabes was on KNBR yesterday and said it’s highly unlikely he ever sees Connecticut. More than likely, they’re going to move him directly to Fresno later in the season. Goal is to have him finish the year in Fresno.

Why do they do this stuff? Don’t teams have AA teams for a reason?

by Evan on May 16, 2008 2:21 PM EDT up reply actions 0 recs

Beats me.

by KCE on May 16, 2008 2:25 PM EDT up reply actions 0 recs

there is AA and then there is Dodd Stadium

by wilriv21 on May 16, 2008 2:32 PM EDT up reply actions 0 recs

I’m Dodd has something to do with it. Some people have success there, but there’s not much sense in crushing the spirit one of your “hottest” hitting youngsters at a notoriously poor park for hitters. Haven’t the Giants been pushing them to reconfigure the stadium, even threatening to pull their affiliation?

by sfgfan on May 16, 2008 4:14 PM EDT up reply actions 0 recs

***This exchange is from today's "minor lines 5/15/08" fanpost on McC. I can't wait for the Giants to leave Norwich.

A couple of new blog links added on the right side..

both are Eastern League teams. Paul, recently posted a comment here, and he writes the "Bowie BaySox Blog." That site lead me to another blogger, Will, who does "Senators Fans Unite." Some nice pictures on that site. I like those pink vests! Take a look at them both.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Congrats Alex Hinshaw! MLBB debut today...

as he was just called up today and pitched to two batters striking out the first and giving up a single to the second. Alex pitched last season for Connecticut appearing in 17 games, starting five, He was 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA in 41.1 IP; 50 ks and 19 BBs.
This season in Fresno he's been totally lights out, picking up 7 saves in 13 games to the tune of a 0.57 ERA in 15.2 IP.

Double up, Double down Defs win 7-3 with

6 of their 12 hits being doubles and add a Carlos Sosa solo homer to that as well. Infact Sosa had a pretty busy night going 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles plus his fifth HR of the season plus a couple on walks and scored twice.
Connecticut was down 3-0 early but rallied with four runs in the seventh. The big hits was a bases loaded double by Antoan Richardson. Simon Klink went 3 for 4 with one of those doubles. Olmo Rosairo and David Maroul had RBIs in the game.
Justin Hedrick (2-2) wins in relief of Joey Martinez who went 5 IP giving up all three FisherCats runs. Hedrick threw two innings of no hit ball and got 3 Ks. Osiris Matos (when is Romo back?) gets a 2 inning save, his fourth on the year, striking out three.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Defs lose 9-6 tonight in N.H. despite...

a 16 hit attack. Ben Copeland, Antoan Richardson, TI (2 RBI) and Jake Wald all had two hits apiece and Olmo Rosairo goes 4 for 5. And they steal 4 bases out of 5 attempts, with TI and EME pulling a double steal for at least the second time this season. AND they pull off 4 DPs, but leave 10 LOB.
Dave McKae had a tough outing ( seems like it's a good start, then a bad start) giving up 7 runs, 6 earned in 3.2 IP. His record is now 3-2 with a whopping 5.18 ERA. Josh Sharpless gave up run scoring singles to the first two batters he saw in his 2008 Connecticut debut; the runs charged to McKae. Steve (JP) Palazzolo had his usual good outing throwing two scoreless frames. Jason Waddell gives up a pair of FisherCat insurance runs in his inning.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Six in the sixth! Defs win 7-2 over the FisherCats..

in N.H. tonight. David Maroul started the scoring in the 6th with a solo homer and ended the Connecticut scoring in the 9th with another solo blast (numbers 4 & 5 on the season). In between those homers the Defs used a pair of triples, one from Simon Klink (2 RBIs) and one from Adam Witter (RBI)to go along with RBIs in the sixth from Ben Copeland, EME (God, his BA is .304 now with tonight's 2 for 3)to make the score 6-2.
Garrett Broshuis improves to 3-3 (3.46 ERA) with 6 IP: just 4 hits, 2 unearned runs and 4 Ks. Pichardo, Hedrick, and Ray all throw a scoreless innings each.
And as Hondo pointed out some strange stuff going on in the Defs outfield.

From yesterday's Waterbury Republican-American..

Minor league baseball teams not feeling economic pinch, yet

By Ed Daigneault
The calls weren't answered with quite the same enthusiasm during the long, bleak winter. It was largely because the long, bleak winter mirrored the economy.

When Bill Dowling, owner of the New Britain Rock Cats, and Charlie Dowd, general manager of the Connecticut Defenders, began making calls to their usual advertisers during the offseason, the response wasn't what it normally is. That was the first sign that the economy might have an effect on each man's business.

“A lot more phone calls had to be made,” Dowd said. “A lot more TLC had to be put into it.”

Dowd, in his second season with the Defenders after a long stint in the same job with the independent Bridgeport Bluefish, successfully lured the key sponsors back. Enough so, in fact, that he said the Defenders have eclipsed last year's advertising numbers.

In New Britain, the Rock Cats experienced some defections among smaller sponsors, Dowling said. But the team hasn't felt any impact on the fan side of things. The Rock Cats set an April record for the franchise with 57,000 fans turning out for the 12 games played last month.

“Some of the smaller companies are coming back, but in smaller numbers,” Dowling said. “That was the first indication that something was going on. The big sponsors are back at the same dollars. Fans have been turning out in droves. We're lucky.”

Dowd is somewhat lucky, too. The Defenders had experienced dwindling attendance numbers for years. While they're still near the bottom among Eastern League franchises, Dowd reported a 14 percent attendance increase from this point last year.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Nate Bump's CT debut....

thanks to lc for the pic!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

B-Mets edge Defs 2-1 this afternoon.....

as Connecticut could muster only a couple of hits. That's two hits each in the last two games. An Antoan Richardson walk, SB (one of three on the day for him), a groundout and a TI sac fly was the only offensive.
Adam Cowart takes the "L" and is now 2-2. Nate Bump makes his Connectict debut getting three outs in another quick one at Dodd.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Defs 1 B-Mets 0 as CT. wins 4th in a row...

as a Ben Copeland triple and an Olmo Rosairo groundout produced the only run of the game. Connecticut would only get two hits in the game the other being a Rosairo single. Joey Martinez, Steve Palazzolo and Osiris Matos combine on a six hit shutout. Martinez improves to 2-3 and Matos gets save #3 in a game that lasted just over 2 hours.

Misc fan notes: Hondo reports that Sergio Romo (knee sprain) and Paul Oseguera (fingernail) are both on the DL but expected back soon. lc reports that pitchers Nate Bump and Josh Sharpless are both with the team. Thanks for the info!

How did the uniforms look?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Another look at the new road uniforms as

modeled by Brad Boyer in a shot featured in The Patriot News. Like to get some shots of those. Looking at the schedule the Defs go on the road twice against NB May 27-29 and July 4-7. Wednesday May 28 is at 10:35AM so there will be a million kids there but that's still tempting. The other option is New Hampshire June 17-19 or August 1-3.

Pet Peeve 101: I wish (a) the Defs web site would list the projected pitching matchups for a given series in advance of it and (b) at least post today's on gameday. I think Joey Martinez is scheduled but he seems to have disappeared off Connecticut's roster on and player listing. As usual my computer refuses to pull up the Defs roster off their homepage. Any help?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

If you get a chance, check out Garrett Broshuis'

latest blog post (link on right). It's a good one about off-field life in the minors but sent me back instantly to memories of my two (very different) college roommates.

Defs win third in a row this afternoon 9-5....

beating the Senators. Dave McKae improves to 3-1 on the year going 6 IP allowing 7 hits and two runs. Connecticut banged out 16 hits including a 4 for 5 performance from EME (double, 2 RBIs). Carlos Sosa (three for four) blasted his fourth homer of the season accounting for three of his four game RBIs. TI chipped in his third home run, a solo shot as part of his 2 for five day. Antoan Richardson had a busy line line going 2 for 3 with a triple, scoring 4 runs and stealing two bases. Nestor Rojas and Kyle Haines both went 2 for 5 with Rojas getting his first Double A RBI.

Misc fan notes: Team is back for a quick three game set against the B-Mets. Rain in the forecast for Friday and of course I have to work Sat. and Sunday.............

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

David Maroul's homer in the 9th wins it 3-2...

for Connecticut as the Defs rallied from 2-1 going into the 7th. Kyle Haines pitch hit RBI ground out tied it after 7 innings. TI went 2 for 4 with a RBI double that scored Ben Copeland who had tripled in the fourth. Copeland also had a outfield assist at first on the Senators catcher. Antoan Richardson went 2 for 4 with a triple. Jake Wald returned to the lineup going one for four.
Garrett Broshuis went 6 IP giving up 9 hits, both Harrisburg runs, one earned and was helped out by two of the three CT. DPs and Adam Witter threw out a runner stealing. Kelvin Pichardo pitched two shutout innings to get the win and Osiris Matos gets his second save in as many games (where's Romo?).

Attendance woes in Harrisburg from their...

newspaper 5/4/08 the Patriot-News:

Acouple of things quickly become obvious if you've spent any time watching the Harrisburg Senators at Commerce Bank Park this year.

First, fan attendance is dismal. Over the first 12 home dates, the average crowd at the City Island ballpark ranks significantly lower than any of the previous 21 seasons after the Class AA baseball team returned to the Eastern League in 1987.

Second, first-year general manager Randy Whitaker relentlessly walks a path around the stadium, chatting up fans and employees, desperately seeking answers for the questions about low attendance figures.

Disgruntled fans, many of whom have been attending Senators games for 15 to 20 years, are emerging. But they're not spending their dough at the Aluminum & Concrete Fantasyland.

The club's new front office, including majority owner Michael Reinsdorf, vice president Bill Davidson and Whitaker, all of whom are in their first seasons with the Senators, collectively decided on taking the franchise in a new direction and boast a decidedly different approach than their predecessors.

The city of Harrisburg previously owned the team, selling it to Reinsdorf's group for $13.25 million after the 2007 season. Reinsdorf quickly added Davidson as a consultant, and, soon after, longtime general manager Todd Vander Woude and assistant Mark Mattern were out in favor of Whitaker, a former TV executive with no prior experience in minor league management.

That's not to say this new regime was doomed from the beginning, nor does it mean attendance won't grow exponentially in the coming weeks and months, making these early woes all but forgotten.

But both sides -- fans and management -- need to join forces soon if the South Division-leading Senators want to play home games in front of respectable audiences.

As of now, they're miles apart.

"The perception is that the new management is all fluff with nothing behind them, no experience in baseball," said Carl Fritz, a season-ticket holder for more than 15 years.

If the [general manager] change was a financial issue, it is understandable. Ownership has the right to do what they want. But they lost 25 years of personnel contacts."

Fans like Fritz and Norm Bilodeau, a season-ticket holder since 1988, as well as numerous others who remain anonymous, point to a number of reasons for the weak attendance.

Among them:

Higher food prices but lower quality that accompanied the addition of Sports Service as the concessions leaders;

Fewer amenities for season-ticket holders, who no longer utilize their own entrance and no longer receive promotional giveaways if they're not among the first in line;

More frustrated employees who, fans speculate, are upset over a loss of "employee food discounts," bitter about the forced or voluntary removal of previous employees, or both.

Said one fan: "I took a stroll around the stadium and noticed the friendliness that exists between staff and fans is gone.

"The fact that good, quality baseball is being played in [independent-league cities] Lancaster and York, Harrisburg must make it possible to catch the attention of the fans and attract them back to City Island, or it will be a desolate place."

Fritz was particularly critical of the food and Sports Service, which the Senators utilized years ago before dropping the company and running solo under the direction of now-departed Steve Leininger through 2007.

"Sports Service was a disaster when they were at the park before," Fritz said. "Supposedly food quality was upgraded? Give me a break. How do you upgrade a hot dog?

If I want a gourmet meal, I will eat before the game. Ballpark food is intended to be affordable to those in attendance. We do not get many doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs to these games.

"And you do not change what was working as a moneymaker with something you are not going to sell. If you want to sell 10 super dogs instead of 100 hot dogs, go ahead."

By Patriot-News count, the price increased by 25 cents to a dollar for at least 12 different food items.

Whitaker and Davidson are certainly aware of the lackluster attendance, but they're confident the numbers will change.

"We believe that at the end of the season, more people will visit Commerce Bank Park than last year," Davidson said. "We have a very strong promotional lineup with very heavy media promotion behind our events."

Davidson added that announced attendance figures are deceiving, saying previous years' statistics were bumped by a large number of free tickets provided to sponsors, a practice the new regime does not support.

"I anticipate we'll have more people actually in the park in 2008, but announce a lower attendance figure than 2007 because of our approach to free tickets," he said.

An issue important to both sides is promotional giveaways. In years past, the Senators supplied fans with upwards of 40-45 giveaways. This year, that number is in the high teens.

"I just received some research that showed giveaways have among the least marginal affect on game attendance compared to other game features across the country," Whitaker said. "And the giveaways we have are higher quality -- fewer of better instead of a lot of lesser."

Regardless, it's a work in progress for both sides.

"This year is a building process," Whitaker said. "I don't believe we're in any worse position now than the team was in previous seasons. Our ticket redemption rates are markedly up this year over last. That means that people who purchased are actually coming at a higher rate.

"That will only get better as the weather progresses, schools let out and our significantly increased marketing efforts continue to spread the word."

Whatever the reasons, the on-field product is, so far, better than it's been in years. The onus rests with those in charge to find a way to get folks in the stands to support the efforts of the team.

GEOFF MORROW: 255-8250 or

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Defs on this winning side of tonight's 5-2 score...

as Adam Cowart (2-1) tosses 5 IP giving up 5 hits and both earned runs. Cowart helped himself with a pair of pickoffs. Jason Waddell throws three no hit innings and Osiris Matos gets his first save this season.
TI goes 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs and Carlos Sosa blasts his third homer of 2008, a solo shot. No sign of Jake? Dugout must be pretty crowded especially with all these games against NL teams and the pitchers batting. Bowyer, Wald, Haines, Rosairo...

Misc fans notes: Check out Mike Ashmore's blog (link on the right) as A-Rod may be rehabbing with Trenton next week. Another reason I so miss the Yankees being in Norwich; those rehab appearances...Cone, Clemens, Stawberry, etc. Really juiced the place up (no 'roids pun intended).

Monday, May 05, 2008

Defs fall 5-2 in Harrisburg as Paul Oseguera goes

just 3 innings giving up three runs, two earned, to fall to 0-1 after two starts. Olmo Rossario had the line of the game for Connecticut going three for five with a pair of doubles, a RBI, run scored and a stolen base. Adam Witter knocked in the other run with a sac fly. Jake Wald didn't play in this game. David Maroul committed his 10th error of the season at third.
Cory VanAllen gets the win in his Double A pitching debut.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Break up the Defs! 14-3 victory over the B-Mets..

today. Carlos Sosa ( 2-4, double) and EME (2-5, second HR this season) both drive in four runs. Ben Copeland stays red hot going 3 for 4 with his second homer of the season and this series knocking in a pair and scoring 4 times. David Maroul keeps improving 2 for 5 with a double and 2 RBIs. Connecticut has scored 33 runs in two games, all earned.
Joey Martinez gets his first win of the season going 5 IP allowing 6 hits and three earned runs. Osiris Matos and Justin Hedrick throw 2 scoreless inning each.

Misc fan notes: As noted by lc fan favorie Jake Wald is back from Fresno. Jake went 1 for 2 scoring a run, was HBP and thrown out at the plate. Olmo Rossairo came in for him in the fifth at shortstop. Brad Boyer started today and Kyle Haines has been playing well so I'm curious if there was a roster move.

Pic is Jake Wald on May 12, 2007, a R-Phillies 2-1 win.

Misery loves company? Attendance woes in Altoona..

as reported in today's Altoona Mirror newspaper:

"The Curve won a thrilling game in comeback fashion on a beautiful Friday night, but general manager Todd Parnell had a miserable evening because of lackluster attendance at Blair County Ballpark.

‘‘I feel like tonight is just a punch in the gut,’’ Parnell said in a candid interview during the game.

The Curve beat Erie, 10-9, to snap a six-game losing streak. (See Covering the Bases on Page B3 for details.)

The game drew 3,729 fans to Blair County Ballpark, and the franchise expected a much bigger turnout on a sunny, 71-degree night.

The root of the problem was a poor walk-up crowd of 518, less than half the Curve’s projected figure of about 1,100. The bulk of a game’s attendance is from presold tickets, and the weather heavily affects the walk-up crowd.

When fans aren’t turning out on a beautiful night, it sends up a red flag.

Parnell, so discouraged he even teared up at one point during the interview, wants to make sure the fans of Altoona and the region know the importance of continuing to support the franchise.

‘‘I’m speaking from the heart,’’ said Parnell, in his seventh season at GM. ‘‘I’m very disappointed tonight. ... It’s one of the more disappointing turnouts that we’ve had here.’’

The Curve have seen their attendance average dip 10.9 percent the past two years. It’s become a given that games in April and May won’t draw particularly well because of bad weather, and Parnell understands that. The franchise is averaging 4,075 fans per game, ahead of last year’s pace of 3,895 at this point.

Something about Friday’s turnout, though, sparked Parnell’s emotions. The GM is known for working 16-hour days and putting everything he has into the franchise, so it devastates him to see disappointing crowds.

Tears built up in his eyes when he talked about how living the job prevents him from spending time with his wife and two daughters.

‘‘When you come home nine nights in a row and your whole family’s asleep, you know that it’s worth it when the [ballpark] is packed and people are making lifetime memories,’’ Parnell said. ‘‘But when you do all the things that we’re doing and it’s not [packed], and the walk-up’s half of what it was this time last year, as a human being, how can you not wonder.’’

Wonder about? Parnell wouldn’t expound on that, but he may have been discussing his future role with the franchise if attendance continues to slide.

‘‘This is definitely not Parney saying show up or else,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s not me saying that. It’s saying we’re bride and groom with the fans, we’re married with the fans and we’ve got to keep doing whatever we can to make the marriage better every single year.’’

He stopped short of challenging the fans to show up.

‘‘We’re all in,’’ he said of the franchise’s commitment. ‘‘We need [the fans] to continue to be all in, too.’’

The reality of today is that gas prices are soaring, and the Curve typically have drawn a large number of fans from relatively far distances. That and the state of the economy might be making it tough on peoples’ pocketbooks.

This also is the Curve’s 10th season, so there may be a lot of ‘‘been there, done that’’ attitude.

The franchise has high expectations for attendance, but it may be up against some tough obstacles.

It’s also early in the season, and historically, attendance has picked up substantially as summer approaches. Parnell believes that will be the case this year, too, but that didn’t stop him from being discouraged Friday.

‘‘I’m very disappointed in tonight,’’ he said. ‘‘I know we can all do better.’’

From the EL website attendance figures season to date:

Team Yesterday Total Openings Average
Reading 46,109 9 5123
Portland 65,254 13 5019
Trenton 6,045 62,898 13 4838
New Britain 4,694 63,460 14 4532
Altoona 69,279 17 4075
New Hampshire 55,003 14 3928
Bowie 7,881 46,525 15 3101
Akron 39,544 13 3041
Binghamton 1,871 41,148 18 2286
Erie 19,829 10 1982
Harrisburg 2,837 23,172 14 1655
Connecticut 25,633 16 1602

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Defs slam B-Mets twice, win by a pair of TDs 19-5

as they score a couple of weeks worth of runs this afternoon. David Maroul (5 RBIs in the game) and Olmo Rossario both hit grand slams in the game, two of four homers hit by Connecticut today. TI (3-5 double, 3 RBIs) hit a two run job and Ben Copeland ( 4-6 2 doubles 3 RBIs) also went deep. Ti's second of the season and Copeland's first this season. Maroul's slam was his secomd homer in as many games.
Brad Boyer went 3 for 6, EME had a pair of doubles and Nestor Rojas gets his first Defs hit in his first EL start.
Dave MaKae (2-1) goes 5 IP for win giving up 7 hits ( 2 HRs) two runs and recording 4 stikeouts.
I wonder if the franchise has hit two grand slams in one game before?

Misc fan notes: I'm hearing from an informed source that Barry Gunther, who has been on the DL with Connecticut season long, will go to Fresno in light of the Todd Jennings injury in last night's Fresno game.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Joe Perez's Norwich Bulletin blog is back....

on the Bulletin's on-line "front page" after yesterday's post in this humble blog (see below). Thanks to those of you who emailed the Bulletin and thanks to the Bulletin for taking quick corrective action.
Joe has a new title for his blog, "Connecticut Defenders Home Base" please "find" it again, read, and post comments as the season progress.

Thanks again,


Connecticut drops road opener to B-Mets 5-3

tonight. Garrett Broshuis (2-3) goes 6 IP giving up 8 hits and four runs, three earned. Jason Waddell gives up a solo homer in his two innings of work striking out four.
The offensive had six hits. Ben Copeland goes 2 for 3 with a RBI. David Maroul's solo homer is his first of the season. TI had a RBI groundout. Brad Boyer goes 1 for 4 in his first EL start.

Welcome 2B Brad Boyer from San Jose and

goodbye to 2B Travis Denker who goes to Fresno. Thanks to Hondo for the heads up. Something must have happened in Fresno with an injury. See more detailed notes in the comments section of last night's game recap.
Tom, can you help out with impressions of Boyer?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Defs take the rubber game 5-4 behind Carlos Sosa's

four RBI night. Sosa goes 3 for 4 with a double and homer as the Defs beat Trenton and pitching prospect Dan McCutchen. Sosa's homer was his second of the season as only Adam Witter had more than one dinger for Connecticut on the season to date.
Ben Copeland had a double and triple scoring a pair of runs. Antoan Richardson had a RBI single.
Adam Cowart goes 6 IP allowing 3 hits, 3 runs (only one earned as the Defs commit 5 errors in the game!). Steve Palazzolo (JP) gets the win in relief to improve to 2-0. Sergio Romo gets save #8 with a scoreless 9th.

Free Joe Perez's Norwich Bulletin blog!!! (Day 1)

Well folks today is Thursday May 1, 2008. Four weeks ago the Connecticut Defenders'
2008 baseball started. Joe Perez is the Norwich Bulletin's beat writer (print and blog) for the team. Joe was wrapping up his coverage (print and blog) of our beloved UCONN's women's basketball team when the Defs season started.
Click on the Bulletin's on line site today 4 weeks into the baseball season and try to find Joe's Defenders blog anywhere. You won't (the UCONN womens & mens basketball blogs are still up) and yet this is the team's "hometown" newspaper?
It is just unbelievable to me that this is allowed to happen. The only sane conclusion I can muster up is that the paper just doesn't care about the team.
And I know if I was in charge of something like this in my current business life and messed up this badly I'd have plenty of time to catch baseball games (got to work tonight folks) and sell stuff on eBay.

Here's some email address to use if you share this point of view and want to make it known:

Ellen Lind, President and Publisher
Cathleen Cline, Audience Development Director
James Konrad, Ex. Editor
Michael White, Director of Operations
Karen Norman, On line editor

I've already emailed this morning.


Greg Fogg