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, January 31, 2009

I been watching the DVD set of "Sports Night"....

and one show touched on the Bobby Thompson homer. That's Ernie Harwell and Red Barber with Russ Hodges' famous call.

Sal Yvars and 2008's MVP.....

Friday, January 30, 2009

Ryan at bat with Olmo...

on second.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

From the Salem (MA.) News:

"No need to check it out, but Bob Stanley has been inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

That being the case, you'd think the organization would find room for such an esteemed alumnus. At the very least, you'd expect the club would at least grant the former Wenham resident an interview for any potential job openings in coaching.

General Manager Theo Epstein must be too busy pondering another Halloween costume to wear for his next escape from the office. He didn't have time to grant an interview when Stanley was job hunting recently.

The 54-year-old Stanley three times has applied for a position in the Red Sox system — and has had the door slam on him on each occasion.

He's had good results in 12 years as a pitching coach in the minors, six on the Mets' payroll and six more with the Giants.

"Steamer," spent the last five seasons at the Giants' Norwich (Conn.) affiliate in the Double A Eastern League. His Navigators/Connecticut Defenders were top three in ERA the past five seasons and were league runners-up in 2008.

"Did I do something wrong? I don't know," he said from his new home in Stratham, N.H.

After his latest rejection Stanley called the club and didn't get speak to Epstein, but did ask another club official if he had ticked somebody off. He wondered if this was personal.

Not at all, Stanley was told.

"They told Steamer he was overly qualified," one-time Red Sox catcher and color radio analyst Bob Montgomery said.

"Monty" laughed a good laugh. He couldn't hold back. He had already been briefed on Stanley's latest rejection.

"What happened was this," Stanley said. "The Giants are bringing two No. 1 picks (both pitchers) from Augusta and want (former Orioles pitcher) Ross Grimsley in Norwich to be their pitching coach. Augusta's in the Class A Sally (i.e., South Atlantic) League. They wanted Ross and I to flip flop, where I'd go to Augusta.

"That wouldn't have been a great situation for me. I was able to come home on days off from Norwich, and when we played in Manchester, N.H. I could stay home overnight. I was still living in Wenham. Same thing when we played in Portland, where I was born. I'd be able to call home and have dinner on the way."

He was driving on Route 95 when the Giants phoned him and told him about the switch.

"I didn't even tell them I'd think about it," Stanley said. "I said thanks, but no thanks. I had no interest in Augusta."

He then called his beloved Red Sox, who once made him a celebrity when he became their first $1 million contract signee.

"Mike Hazen and Bob Sheridan — Hazen, I think, is the farm director; I don't know what the other guy does — said they had a couple opportunities, but I didn't fit in. Basically, they said I was overqualified," said Stanley.

A footnote here: One other time the former Red Sox bullpen ace had applied for a job with the team and got an an offer from Esptein to watch a game from behind the home plate screen at Fenway.

He had sent a resume this time to see if they were interviewing people, but there was no interview.

"Am I hurt about it?" Stanley repeating a question. "That's the way they go. No big deal. You move on.

"I don't know what their thinking is. I tried to stop figuring out stuff like this a long time ago."

He was a two-time All-Star, twice finishing in the Top 10 in voting for the Cy Young Award (1978, 1982); three times led the major leagues in relief innings pitched (1981-1983) and set an American League record in relief innings (168 1/3 in 1982).

Stanley, a sinkerball specialist, spent his whole 13-year career with the Red Sox, set club records for saves (132) and appearances (637). He was even a starter one year. What's more, he was a huge advocate of the Jimmy Fund.

Right now, he's on the staff at USA Training Centers in Newington, N.H. He'll also be active with the club's many AAU clubs and give private lessons. Stanley also said he'll be joining ex-Red Sox physician Billy Morgan in teaching patients how to throw in rehab surgery."

Bill Kipouras is a staff writer at The Salem News. Contact him at or 978-338-2615.

Nate Bump...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Steve Palazzolo.......

is featured on another snowy day here in CT.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Carlos says....

Monday, January 26, 2009

Reader participation requested in today's bonus pic.....

What's Carlos saying to Olmo and Pablo??? Please keep it clean sports fans...

TI...Giants Opening Day 1B???

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ronnie Ray......

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Steamer update via Foster's Daily Democrat...

dated 1/11/09, a New Hamsphire newspaper:

"NEWINGTON — One can forgive the younger students at the USA Training Center if they don't recognize its newest employee right away. The parents, on the other hand, are the ones that take notice. Sometimes it's even the grandparents.

"The parents, they know me," said Bob Stanley, the former major-league pitcher now mentoring young hurlers at the USA Training Center in Newington. "I just talked to this kid who said 'My grandmother wants an autograph.' I relate to the grandmothers and the parents."

A native of Portland, Maine, Stanley spent his entire major-league career with the Boston Red Sox from 1977 to 1989, and was a first-round draft pick for the Red Sox in 1974. Primarily a closer for most of his career, Stanley is the club's all-time leader in saves with 132.

Since his playing days ended almost two decades ago, Stanley — known as "The Steamer" to fans — has been involved in baseball mostly as minor-league coach. He spent his last six summers as a pitching coach in the San Francisco Giants' minor-league organization, working with the double-A Connecticut Defenders of the Eastern League.

Now Stanley finds himself at the USA Training Centers after turning down a reassignment within the Giants' organization.

"They wanted me to go to Augusta, Ga., and I nixed that," Stanley said. "A friend of mine introduced me to Dave (Hoyt, the proprietor of USA Training Centers). He asked me if I wanted to do pitching lessons. I've been helping with the AAU team, and hopefully I can do a lot more."

Hoyt — who this week celebrated the two-year anniversary of moving his USATC complex from its old home on Lafayette Road in Portsmouth to its current home in Newington — said that Stanley's experience as a closer is invaluable to the young pitchers who work out at USATC.

"He constantly battled," Hoyt said. "Whenever he came on, there was always someone on first and second, no one out. He got his ground balls."

Stanley will be working with young pitchers on mechanics so they can avoid injury and rehab from the injuries they do suffer. In 1988, Stanley suffered a freak injury to his hand, where several tendons and nerves were damaged as a result of an accident while taking out the trash at his home.

"This is the best time to work with young pitchers," Stanley said. "You try to teach them the proper mechanics so they don't have to see a guy like (former Red Sox team physician) Dr. Bill Morgan."

And while Stanley isn't as recognizable to the young players he mentors as current stars such as Jonathan Papelbon and Josh Beckett would be, Stanley said he's careful to make sure every player is comfortable around him.

"Some of them are a little nervous in the beginning, but then they get to know that I'm a loosey-goosey guy," he said. "Everything worked out well. We have some good arms in this program, so it's fun to work with these kids."

Hoyt also said that it's good for young players in the Seacoast Region to have players like Portsmouth Chris Anderson, now in the Minnesota Twins' organization, Sam Fuld, who played in the big leagues with the Chicago Cubs and is still in their minor-league system, and Stanley to look up to as players from the northeast who have gone on to play professionally.

"We all aspired for a big-league career," said Hoyt, who himself was a minor leaguer in the St. Louis Cardinals' system. "Here's a guy you can touch, feel and see, working out with you."

"The Steamer" is probably best known to Red Sox fans as a member of the 1986 American League Championship team that came tantalizingly close — one strike away — to winning the World Series that year. Leading the New York Mets 3 games to 2 and leading two runs in the top of the 10th inning of Game 6 with two outs and no one on base, the Mets rallied for three runs to win the game and even the Series. Two nights later the Mets again rallied to clinch the title.

Stanley was on the mound in the 10th inning of the fateful Game 6. He was tagged with the wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score, and was on the mound when Mookie Wilson hit a grounder that slipped under the glove of first baseman Bill Buckner, allowing the Mets to win.

"I got amnesia right after that," Stanley said with a laugh. "But playing in the World Series was great. A lot of people don't get the chance to be in the World Series, to be in the position we were in. It was tough to lose. I guess it wasn't meant to be."

Stanley was quick to note that the Red Sox lost that World Series in the same fashion they won their playoff series against the California Angels. Down to their last strike in Game 5, Dave Henderson hit a home run that capped a four-run rally in the ninth inning. The Sox won that game in 11 innings, and swept the next two games at Fenway Park for the pennant.

A few years later, Stanley faced a personal crisis that put the World Series loss, and his entire playing career, into perspective.

"When I retired (in 1989), my son got cancer and beat it," Stanley said. "That was more important than any World Series."

After his son's recovery, Stanley got into coaching. One of his first jobs was, interestingly enough, with the Mets' organization.

"I thought it was a joke when I first got the call," he said.

Though Stanley is a member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame (inducted in 2000), the former hurler said he has little to no relationship with the Red Sox. After six years with various minor-league franchises in the Mets' organization, Stanley tried unsuccessfully to land a job with the Red Sox.

"I'm hurt by it," he said. "I really am. I tried twice to get back in the organization, and things didn't work out. I didn't do anything wrong — I left on my own. Somebody doesn't want me there apparently. But what are you going to do?"

Despite the hurt feelings about not being able to land a position with the Sox, Stanley said his memories of his playing days in Boston are nothing but fond ones.

"There were good times and bad times, but I wouldn't change it for the world," Stanley said. "I'm glad I played there. I grew up in New Jersey, and was in Maine every summer. I was a Red Sox fan all my life and I had a dream of playing with them."

His career stats with the Red Sox are as follows — a 115-97 career record, 693 strikeouts, a 3.64 earned-run average, 21 complete games, seven shutouts, and 1,707 innings pitched in 637 games, 85 as a starter.

Now Stanley calls Stratham home. While one might think Stanley crazy for passing up a chance to live in Georgia for the snow and cold of New Hampshire, Stanley is happy with his choice to settle in an area he's called home for most of his adult life.

"It was a little too far away," Stanley said of Georgia. "A lot of bus rides, long days, and you only get one or two days off a month if you're lucky. I loved doing it, but this will be my first summer home in 14 years."

Stanley noted that his two favorite stops in the Eastern League were Manchester and Portland — the former because he could sleep in his own bed at night, and both because the stands were full of Red Sox fans who always had a kind word to say.

"People still remember you," he said. "I always enjoyed going to Manchester and Portland. People knew who I was. You go to Altoona, Pa., not too many people know me there."

Stanley also said he's looking forward to spending his time away from pro baseball with his wife and three grown children, all of whom live in the New England area.

So while "The Steamer" will miss the thrill of mentoring professional baseball players and watching them perform every day, he's looking forward to finding out what life outside pro baseball, and summer in New England, is all about.

"This could work out nice for me," he said. "I can spend my summer in New Hampshire. I just hope my wife doesn't mind having me home all the time."

**This is Newington, New Hampshire and not Newington Connecticut.

Jake keeps his eyes on the ball....

leaves on the trees and we're at the 75 day mark.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Justin Hedrick.....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This Ben Copeland bunt was....


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ryan Rohlinger.......

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ben Copeland.....

Monday, January 19, 2009

I hear you AR's last season's..

Opening Day lineup (4/3/08) vs the FisherCats.

In honor of our recent extreme cold and snow....

here in SE CT only one player comes to mind....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Adam Witter.....

takes a lead in NB.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Steamer, Witter, and GB....

head into battle.

Friday, January 16, 2009

G-Rod also invited to O's camp....

as shown in another 2005 picture.
Check out Joe Perez's Norwich Bulletin blog about his take on this year's HOF selections and next year's as well. The link is to the left.

As noted by Hondo.....

in his comments to yesterday's post, all three of these Navs moved yesterday. Hennessey and Chaisson to Baltimore and Aardssam cut by Boston. Brad is pictured from the 2004 season. The pictures of Scott and David are from the 2005 season. Brad wears a "Turn back the clock" Giants uniform and Scott wears the "patriotic" jersey.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dan Ortmeier.......

shown in this 2006 picture has been signed by the Colorado Rockies to a minor league contract. Dan made his MLBB Giants debut in 2005 after being promoted from the Norwich Navigators. Good Luck Dan!

And from today's Norwich Bulletin:

"Norwich, Conn. — Norwich’s baseball stadium authority is going after the bonding agency of a contractor who has abandoned a $170,000 agreement to renovate bathrooms at Dodd Stadium.

Authority Chairman Michael Jewell said Ignac Development Co. of Norwich has been paid $130,000.

“Basically, he’s walked off the job,” Jewell said. Authority member Gary Schnip said he received a letter from company president Ignacy Mierzejewski in December.

“It was postmarked Berlin, Germany,” Schnip said. The letter said Mierzejewski was seeking medical treatment for an undisclosed condition.

The authority has been in contact with the bonding company and has referred the matter to Corporation Counsel Michael Driscoll.

The authority also will seek more than $1,000 from either the Connecticut Defenders, the San Francisco Giants AA team that rents the stadium, or Norwich Technical High School for damage to the park’s sprinkler system.

The Defenders hire students from the tech school each year to drain the system before winter sets in. During the recent draining, a valve was opened that let water into the system, which has broken six valves when the water froze and expanded.

Defenders general manager Charlie Dowd gave the authority a $25,000 down payment on the $300,000 it owes the city in back rent.

“We’ve made a commitment,” Dowd said. “This was a show of good faith.”

The team has agreed to pay the full amount by opening day in April. "

To be fair to the current management, those bathrooms have not been right since the day the place opened in 1995.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Is this a HOFer?

full disclosure here, I'm a Yankee fan and those battles in the 70's between the teams and fans were epic but I don't ever remember saying to myself Jim Rice is a Hall of Fame player. Carlton Fisk yes (and I know there are people who have problems with his selection) but Rice no. A good player with some great seasons for sure. I always thought of him as just having a longer career than Fred Lynn, another good player who had some great seasons. Another example of the HOF being watered down in my book.

Bonus pic today...Joey Martinez....

Daryl Maday..........

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sergio Romo....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ryan Sadowski.....

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dayton Buller signs with the Rockies...

the catcher did two tours of duty with the Defs in '07 and '08 and ended up shuffling between four levels last season with the Giants hitting a combined 9 HRS and 66 RBIs. Really hope the change does him good and he can get into a stable situation to showcase himself. Dayton, like my fav Navigator player and another catcher, Chris Curry, is one of those guys who always shakes your hand and looks you in the eye when he talks to you. Good Luck Dayton!

Pitchers and catchers Feb 14. and Jake lives!

from the Giants website:

"SAN FRANCISCO -- Officially declaring what had been assumed all along, the Giants announced Friday that catcher Buster Posey, perhaps their most highly regarded prospect, will be among 16 non-roster invitees to big league Spring Training camp.
Posey's presence at Scottsdale, Ariz., will reflect not only the Giants' high estimation of him, but also the widespread belief that the 21-year-old from Florida State University is close to Major League ready.

"This is a nice progression for a player who we consider to be on the fast track," said Bobby Evans, the Giants' director of player personnel.

Although Posey is virtually certain to begin the regular season in the Minors, Evans pointed out that he can benefit from a few weeks of exposure to roving catching instructor Brian Harper, Major League bullpen catcher Bill Hayes and manager Bruce Bochy, a former catcher, before going to Minor League camp.

Posey, winner of last year's Golden Spikes Award as the nation's top college player, hit .351 in 10 games between the rookie-level Giants and short-season Salem-Keizer last season after the Giants signed him to a $6.2 million bonus. He then batted .338 in 19 regular-season games for Waikiki in the Hawaii Winter Baseball league.

Another intriguing invitee is third baseman Jesus Guzman, who spent last year in Oakland's Minor League system and hit .349 with 17 home runs and 88 RBIs in 100 games for the A's rookie-level, Double-A and Triple-A clubs. Guzman continued hitting for Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League, breaking a 35-year-old record by amassing 67 RBIs while hitting .349 with 13 homers in 61 games.

Right-hander Kevin Pucetas, who has an outside chance to secure the No. 5 starter's spot, will participate in his first Major League camp. Pucetas, 24, finished 10-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 24 starts for Class A San Jose last year, improving his three-year professional record to 32-7 with a 2.35 ERA.

Two of the most familiar faces among the invitees are infielders Scott McClain and Ivan Ochoa, who spent time with the Giants last season. McClain batted .273 in 14 games and provided one of the year's most stirring moments at Colorado on Sept. 3 when he hit his first Major League home run after 19 professional seasons. The slick-fielding Ochoa hit .200 in 47 games, including 31 starts (26 at shortstop, five at second base).

Other invitees with Major League experience are right-handers Francis Beltran, Brandon Medders and Justin Miller, catcher Eli Whiteside, first baseman-outfielder Josh Phelps and outfielder Andres Torres.

Veteran Minor League catcher Todd Jennings will make his fourth appearance in camp. Infielder Jake Wald will participate in his third camp and catcher Jackson Williams will report to his second in a row.

Right-hander Ronnie Ray and infielder Matt Downs will appear in their first big league camp.

Giants pitchers and catchers are due to report to Scottsdale on Feb. 14, with the first workout set for the following day. Position players must report on Feb. 17, preceding the initial full-squad workout Feb. 18."

Where does Buster start in the minors this season? Do they follow the Pablo map from last year and keep him warm in SJ before moving him to CT?
And he's good seeing Jake is still in the mix!!

Defs bullpen in NB....

From left to right: Kelvin, Simon Klink (pulling bullpen catching since both Pablo and Adam were in the game), Justin, Josh, Jason and Ronnie Ray who the Giants resigned yesterday.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Paul Oseguera...

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Wednesday, January 07, 2009


and here's our pic of the day!

I'm here but "Blogger" can't

upload pics. Will try later.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Mr. Alou....

who took in three games this summer at Dodd in his job with the Giants.

Monday, January 05, 2009

OK totally off topic, but I was getting a haircut

today and picked up some sort of sports magazine that floated the idea of the NHL returning to some cities where the league used to play like Hartford, Quebec City, and Winnipeg, once a year for it's "Winter Classic" game and spreading out the annual and the wildly popular outdoor game to every fourth year or so. Any thoughts? And for us folks in CT, if it were the Rangers vs Bruins at the Hartforld Civic Center (yes, I know--XL Center) would you go?

A very rare pic today....Marc Minicozzi in

uniform for the Defs in early April '08. He never played a game and was never on the roster. He soon disappeared to "extended Spring training" in AZ never to return.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Osiris Matos.......

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Josh Sharpless.......

Friday, January 02, 2009

Trey Webb....

will he be back here as a reliever?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Brooks McNiven......

Blog hits for Dec. '08 were 1545 vs. Dec. '07's 390. Thanks for stopping by!