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....

Sunday, May 31, 2009

SeaDogs win 6-4 today at Dodd....

sorry for the delay but I wanted as many folks logging on to read Joe's article about the relocation of the team and the shameful actions of the Eastern League's President Joe McEacharn.
Daryl Maday had his worst outing of the season as he couldn't get going in the first inning as the SeaDogs first five batter all reached base for a quick 3-0 lead.
Connectucut tied the game in the bottom of the third on Brett Pill's long (into the trees) three runner. It was Pill's third homer of the season. His hot hitting continued the rest of the game as he went 3 for 4 on the day. Over his last ten games, Pill is batting .371 (13 for 35) with two homers and 15 RBIs. He was the only Defender with a more than one hit.
Maday meanwhile settled down some, but ran in trouble again in the 5th giving up a pair of runs on RBI hits by Lars Anderson and Aaron Bates to make it 5-3.
Connecticut made it 5-4 in the bottom of the 8th on a Tyler LaTorre RBI ground out but Portland came right back in the top of the 9th with two out Jon Still solo homer off Brooks McNiven to close it out at 6-4.
Maday went 4.1 IP giving up 5 runs on 7 hits with three BBs and three Ks. His record fall to 2-2 with a 3.99 ERA.

Misc fan notes: Another nice crowd on hand 4000+ as hondo had the right attendance guess again for a least the third straight game. Check out the Voodo Grill--pretty good tacos.
The RockCats, who play in a city located in central Connecticut, come in for a four game set starting Monday.
Pics are Pill's home run trot and props.


in today's Norwich Bulletin by Joe Perez:

"In the old world, and even still today in some cultures, prearranged marriages are the norm.

Any number of parties could put the bride and groom together, cutting out the courtship all together. Often times, these unions are driven by economic forces. It usually involves a rise to power and/or the bride bringing a substantial fortune to the groom’s family.

As we’ve learned, the pre-arranged marriage between the Connecticut Defenders and Richmond Baseball LC was a joke, one that’s done damage to many layers of a community.

For months, Eastern League President Joe McEacharn said securing the financial means to purchase and run the team was necessary — except that his handpicked bride didn’t include a dowry.

That’s why this “imminent” sale, as he’s called it, went on for months and months. Because he was so desperate to get his way by any means necessary, he’d trample everyone under foot, all while taking significant risk for vouching for an ownership group that has as much business buying a team as a panhandler.

After months of strong-arming Defenders owner Lou DiBella and his partners, the city and every single one of us who call Eastern Connecticut home, the poor power play by McEacharn — and ostensibly, Minor League Baseball (unless we are to believe McEacharn acted alone) — has done irreparable harm to the community.

And for what, a bonus?

This is no longer a pro- or anti-baseball issue. This is an issue of respect and decency.

It’s been a clever rouse, but because McEacharn failed to cover his bases, it is one that he can’t hide from.

He told Norwich Mayor Ben Lathrop that he was taking the team to Richmond. Never mind that it was McEacharn saying this, not the team’s ownership group. The cat got out of the bag and advertisers pulled support of the team, fans determined it’s not worth it to get behind the team, and full- and part-time staff at Dodd wonder where they are going to work next.

Maybe McEacharn didn’t see the trickle-down effect, but it’s time he stands judgment for his reckless abuse of power and trivialization of a community.

At a time when the economy is struggling, he took steps to undermine people with no sense of consequence. People like those Defenders employees who waited for any sort of official word of a sale and were left hanging like a curve ball; like the youth groups who come out in droves on Thursday mornings to hear a message of living drug-free lives; like the 70-year-old season-ticket holder who travels an hour to every game; or the usher who uses his pay to fill the gaps of Social Security; or the family of four who can’t wait for the Friday night fireworks. To us, they are our neighbors. To McEacharn, they were collateral damage.

Everyone thought this was DiBella’s idea — just as McEacharn wanted — figuring the owner was painted into a corner. God forbid this plot crumbled, DiBella would have to sell since he’d be the villain.

Lathrop called McEacharn the “facilitator.” McEacharn can no longer deny this sale doesn’t have his hands all over it.

He can’t.

Until after it was announced Thursday that the original deal was dead, DiBella hadn’t spoken with the bride-to-be in weeks, maybe months. And he hasn’t been allowed to look into moving the team. Why is that?

McEacharn is clearly an interested party, and it would behoove DiBella, his partners and the city of Norwich to challenge baseball’s anti-trust exemption. This is a clear case of collusion among McEacharn, Richmond Baseball — which knew it didn’t have the money — and Minor League Baseball.

This seems about the right time for an apology.

Or at the very least some clear answers. That would be the right thing.

But McEacharn isn’t likely to do the right thing. He hasn’t done it in months, so there’s no reason to anticipate a change now.

He promised support to bring a short-season Single-A team here for next year as a trade-off, but why should anyone believe him? McEacharn already proved a below-average student at doing his homework. Imagine what he might do on an exam.

Sure, a move to Richmond is ultimately about money. No one can fault that reasoning. But while other Eastern League team owners would benefit from increased revenues in Richmond, they should also be thinking, “What if that were me?” Take our word for it: He’ll take advantage of you, too, if given the chance.

He’s already begun that process in Richmond, and it doesn’t even have a team yet. McEacharn endorsed a new stadium plan that essentially required the city and its taxpayers to pay the bill while ownership had minimal risk if the venture failed. The good people of Virginia’s capital are already on to his shtick.

This was McEacharn’s deal from the start, which I’m sure began long before anyone had any business discussing a sale of the team because of tampering concerns. He handpicked the buyer, failed to do his due diligence and, as a result, has two months to come up with a plan to save face — and possibly his job.

These checks he keeps writing will continue to bounce. Sooner or later, they’ll end up at the door of Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Connor, who will want to wash his hands of McEacharn and his mess.

Being able to do the same will be the one positive if the Defenders do leave town."

In the words of Howard Cosell--that's telling it the way it is. Great job Joe!

Lou is holding cards now--he has what they want, the team, and he has the league president with his hands in the cookie jar.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Defs flirt with disaster but win 4-3 tonight...

at Dodd over the SeaDogs. Jesse English gave CT five solid innings giving up just one run on two hits--one a homer that hugged the left field line for a homer. English stuck out five in the game.
Connecticut scored a run in the first thanks to a SeaDogs error as Brock Bond lead off with a single and took second on a fielding error by the left fielder. He would come in on a two out single by Brett Pill. In the second Sharlon Schoop lead off with a double and was thrown out at third trying for a triple, the first of several CT baserunners tossed out on the base paths tonight. doubled
In the third the Defs scored twice as Bond lead off with a single and went to second on a groundout. EME then grounded to short and Bond ran himself into the out at third. With EME at first Pill delivered again with two outs this time with a double as EME chugged all the way home from first to make it 2-0 CT. Bobby Felmy then doubled in Pill for a 3-0 score.

English gave way to Ben Snyder in the sixth and Ben pitched in and out of trouble in his 2.2 IP. In the sixth Bond saved Snyder abase runner with a nice play at second getting Bubba Bell at first. Lars Anderson would double with two outs and come home on a RBI single to make in 3-2.

CT got a big insurance run in the bottom of the sixth as another SeaDog error figured in the scoring. Schoop lead off getting on base on a shortstop error. He advanced to second of Mike McBryde's sac bunt and went to third on a fly ball to left. Jackson Williams went down in the count 0-2 before getting the count full before knocking in Schoop with a single to left. Williams was then picked off for the final out of the inning.

In the top of the 7th Snyder issued a lead off walk, the next batter hit a ground rule double to dead center to put runners at second and third with no outs. CT caught a big break with the ground rule double--if the ball stayed in the park the runner from first scores easily. Snyder pitched out of the jam striking out the two next batters and getting Bell to pop up for the final out to keep the score 4-2 CT.
Portland knocked on the door again in the 8th against Snyder as a walk, a single and a wild pitch pout runner on second and third with one out. A hard hit sac fly to center ended Ben's night as Geivy Garcia came in and got the final out on a backwards K.

Joe Paterson came on in the 9th to record his 5th save and CT goes for the sweep Sunday.

Misc fan notes: Hey, timely hitting--all runs were knocked in with two outs and error free fielding did the trick tonight. English improves to 3-3 with a 4.02 ERA.

Another big crowd at Dodd, great weather, great to see.

Mr. Tim and Mrs. Karen--pics on the way!! Enjoy!!

Pics top to bottom: Williams and Paterson, Synder, Bond, and Engish.

(may 08 = 2698)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday night...a long line of cars on Wisconsin Ave...

...June just around the corner with the weather changing...the SeaDogs (RedSox) in town....fireworks after the game...a hot prospect on the mound... bunch of scouts behind home with radar guns...a big crowd (5400+)....plenty of hits and runs with a big long ball homer..and the Defs win 10-3. Now that's minor league baseball and if you live in southeastern Connecticut get here because this team is in first place and playing pretty good ball.

Mike McBryde was the star tonight going 3 for 5, with 4 runs scored, a double and his first homer of the season a three run shot to give him 4 RBIs in the game.

Giants fans will hate me, but Madison Bumgarner is pretty hittable. And as my seat mate, the Hondohurricane, pointed out tonight he fell behind on a lot of hitters tonight. Hit final line was 5 IP with 5 hits, two walks, 3Ks, a runnner picked off and a earned run. His record improves to 4-0 with a 0.78 ERA so hey it's not all bad. Sneaking a peek at the scouts's radar guns he was hitting 88-95 MPH.
Defs trailed in this game 1-0 but took the lead for good in the second on Bobby Felmy's single, Mike McBryde's RBI double and a Brock Bond RBI single for a 2-1 lead.
CT added another run in the fourth as McBryde singled and scored on Sharlon Schoop's RBI double to make it 3-1 Defenders. A word here about Schoop--he's been red hot the month of May batting .375 (21 for 56) with 7 doubles and 11 RBIs. His line tonight was 2 for 5 with a pair of RBIs.
Defenders broke it open in the fifth scoring five times. A walk to Bond, a bloop double to right by EME and a sac fly by Brett Pill (nice catch of a shallow fly ball that almost dropped in right field) made it 4-1 CT. Felmy walked and Schoop hit a hard single to plate EME to increase the lead to 5-1. McBryde then homered over everything in left to make it 8-1 CT.
Dan Griffin (two solid innings) Brooks McNiven, (making his first appearance in a couple of week) who gave up a couple of scratch runs ad Waldis Joaquin finished up the pitching for the Defenders.
Connecticut scored single runs in the 7th on a Jackson Williams RBI single and in the 8th on Schoop's second RBI single of the game to completed the 10-3 score.
Mike Mooney and Bobby Felmy each had a pair of hits tonight. Jackson Williams got charged with his 10th PB of the season on what should have been scored a WP.

Misc fan notes: Great to finally meet AR fan and his family tonight at the game. As always, thanks for the kind words about the blog.
Great to have a big crowd on hand, with various companies and non-profits having tables set up on the concourse, a buzz in the crowd, plenty of young people etc. and lots of folks wearing Red Sox gear.
Pics top to bottom: McBryde's 3 run HR, hot BoSox prospect 1B Lars Anderson, MadBum, BoSox pitching prospect Junichi Tazawa, and a traffic jam on Wisconsin Ave.

So with a 100 days left to the last......

regularly scheduled game at Dodd in the 2009 season, the failure of the Bostic group to buy and move the Defenders was realized yesterday. Another group headed up by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan is on deck.

The Eastern League WANTS Richmond and getting the name value of Mr. Ryan with a couple of Richmond minority owners sprinkled in for local flavor is a much better "deal" for the league than a group headed by Robert Preston..I mean Mr. Bostic.

The EL dislikes Norwich and Lou. It dislikes Norwich because it's a small market with no juice once the Yankees left for Trenton. It dislikes Norwich because the Giants have stocked the team with last place teams since 2003. The Giants dislike Norwich for not moving the fences in. The Giants hate the Northeast weather. The league dislikes that San Francisco and Norwich don't get along and that has translated into prospects not being sent to Norwich or just dropping in for a cup of coffee. The only time the SF GM has ever seen his Double A team play in CT. in the seven years the Giants have been here was in New Britain.

The EL dislikes Lou because I'm told he can rub people the wrong way (not a big surprise there with a Type-A personality) and he's not in their minds a "baseball" guy. Disclaimer--that's what I've heard and it's not from anyone from the current front office staff, league office staff or current local media staffs but I've heard it from people who were in positions of knowing. The EL dislikes Lou because they thought as a big time boxing promoter that those skills would translate into fannies in the seats at Dodd--it didn't and some of that was because Lou and the town didn't see eye to eye on various issues.
The name change fron "Norwich" to "Connecticut" totally upset the New Britain franchise and to this day you don't see the words "Connecticut Defenders" anywhere at that ballpark. The EL loves New Britain. Most local people disliked the name change as well. The EL is now treating Lou as an after thought in this whole process. They want his signature on the bill of sale and nothing more. Oddly though, he owns what the league wants, and the league still treats him like crap.

The EL is now willing to hold it's nose for a couple of seasons and play in the aluminum bowl off the highway that's called the Diamond in the hopes of getting a new park. It sounds like the Ryans do a nice job building those so I'm sure the league can extend it's current position of two seasons in the Diamond to maybe three or four while wanting for the economy to turn around in the hopes of getting a new ballpark. Another plus could be an affiliation swap between Harrisburg, whose parent club is the Nationals, and Richmond down the road. Harrisburg just renovated it's ball park in the off season which would appeal to the Giants and it's still close enough to Augusta, the Giant's low level single A team.

The fan experience at Dodd is suffering. The bottom half of the score board still doesn't work. The road sign marquee doesn't work. The speed pitch sign doesn't work. The water fountains behind the press box don't work. Note: the clock on top of the scoreboard never worked. But the restrooms were fixed in the off season--they were in need of repair since day one. The team also built an indoor batting cage several years ago. There are not as many advertisers at the park. Whether it's the economy or not, the perceived lame duck status may have been the tipping point for some companies.


The team is in first place today. It's playing great on the road and if it can play .500 at home or better, we will have a playoff team sans call-ups, injuries, etc. I hope the local fans respond to a winning team and come out to Dodd this summer. Minor league ball is a great value in these harsh economic times.

I hope Lou can sell the team before August 1st and get at least what the Bostic group was offering. I hope he is indeed successful at getting a short season team into Dodd for 2010. No matter how you feel about him, the fact that he wants to do right by Norwich and leave them with a pro baseball team is on face value admirable. Given the shabby treatment he's gotten from the EL, Milb owes him that. And like I wrote above he owns want they want. A fresh start is needed up on the hill and getting the sale done is the first step.

Open Lou, the league, the town or the Giants to me at and I'll post provided I can validate the sender(s).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Defs win 8-7 this afternoon in NY....

to go 4-2 on the road trip. Henry Sosa gets the win and improves to 4-0. Sosa threw 6 innings pitched giving up 5 hits and 4 runs. CT's offense was lead by EME, going 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs. Brett Pill went 1 for 3, a double and two RBIs.
Defs return to Dodd Friday with Madison Bumgarner on the mound. I'll be happy to be doing some real updates!

Goodbye Bostic...hello Nolan Ryan....

From the Norwich Bulletin by Joe Perez:

"Norwich, Conn. — The long-awaited sale of the Connecticut Defenders to a group of Richmond, Va.-based group isn’t going to happen.

At a press conference in Richmond on Thursday a spokesman for Richmond Baseball LC, Pete Boisseau, confirmed that the deal “did not mature,” but said the economy was the primary factor. Boisseau said that despite the failure of the initial proposal the possibility exists for a group of Richmond-based investors to purchase the team with the help of outside help.

The press conference coincided with the arrival of Reece and Reid Ryan, sons of baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, in Richmond. As chief executive officers of Ryan-Sanders Baseball LC, which owns two teams in Texas, the brothers are exploring the viability of the market.
The Ryans were unavailable for comment.

Eastern League President Joe McEacharn said that the drop-dead date to get a deal done is Aug. 1, which is when the league needs begin preparing for the 2010 season.

Connecticut owner Lou DiBella said he was forbidden from attending the press conference.
“I was never asked to go to Richmond,” he said. “I was never invited to go to Richmond. In fact, I was told I couldn’t go to Richmond. I can’t go down there to meet the mayor (because) I would be fined for tampering by Minor League Baseball.”

The intention to sell and relocate the team became public in February, after McEacharn approached the city of Norwich and informed it that the area could no longer support the Defenders.

With a willing buyer in Bryan Bostic and Richmond Baseball LC already in place, the repercussions were felt immediately as advertisers in an already stretched thin economy pulled their support.

“There were people who said their participation was going to be limited or eliminated because of the possibility of the team leaving,” Defenders General Manager Charlie Dowd said.

Now that the months-long sale process which frequently was called “imminent” has collapsed on Richmond Baseball’s lack of funding, the future of the team is in doubt.

Norwich Mayor Ben Lathrop doesn’t believe the deal is dead because McEacharn, whom he calls “the facilitator,” made his intentions clear. As a result, a city business – and the community – was negatively affected by Bostic’s inability to buy the team.

“I don’t think it’s relevant to what we’re dealing with here,” Lathrop said. “Either way you look at it, the Eastern League President wanted to move the team to Richmond, whether it’s Bostic or Nolan Ryan. I think it’s inevitable. I don’t think Bostic could get his money. It’s all about business, that’s all.”"

The EL really really wants to be in Richmond and has spent a lot of time hitching it's wagon to the wrong horse with Bostic. They don't see the existing stadium as the long solution either and the folks in Richmond clearly don't want to raise capital funds for a new ballpark if it means increased taxes. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Otero's luck runs out..B-Mets, Defs in extra innings...

tied at five each. Otero gave up three straight two out singles in the bottom of the 9th that gave the B-Mets the 5-5 tie. Mike McBryde has knocked in a couple of runs for CT. Tim Alderson started and gave up 7 hits and one run in his 5 IP.
Early day for me Thursday...I'm pulling the plug...maybe one of the West Coast floks can wrap this one up for me.
***NEVER MIND...they lose 6-5 in the bottom of the 11th on Dan Griffin's (2-4) throwing error..ugly....

Nolan Ryan to the rescue???

From today's Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan's Texas-based baseball business is sending representatives to Richmond this week to investigate possible ownership of the Eastern League franchise that is to move here next season.

Also, more than one Double-A Eastern League franchise wants to relocate to Richmond, sources recently confirmed.

Ryan-Sanders Baseball owns and operates two Texas franchises, Triple-A Round Rock (near Austin) and Double-A Corpus Christi; both are affiliated with the Houston Astros. Ryan is president of the Texas Rangers.

Ryan, his son Reid Ryan and Houston businessman Don Sanders established Ryan-Sanders Baseball, which includes several former professional players as minority shareholders.

"We're going to come over and take a look at the market and just kind of get a feel for what's happening in Richmond," Reid Ryan said yesterday.

"We have two clubs right now. We've been doing this since 1998, and during that time, we've looked at deals from California all the way to the East Coast, and we've only done two.

"Whenever there's a situation where there maybe is a change of ownership, or there's a possibility of a new team coming in, or a team moving around, we always try to at least get a meeting with the players and kind of see what's going on in the market, see if there somehow would be a fit for us."

Ryan called the trip "a preliminary look," but he also said that "we wouldn't be coming over and taking a look if we didn't feel Richmond was a great baseball town."

Ryan-Sanders Baseball, if it enters the Richmond market, could become the majority owner of the Eastern League franchise headed to Richmond, with Richmond Baseball Club LC serving as minority/operating partner.

Bryan Bostic, chairman of RBC, could not be reached for comment. RBC has been trying to purchase the Connecticut Defenders of the Eastern League, but two sources said the potential local ownership group hasn't met the sale price of $15.4 million.

The Erie, Pa., franchise of the Eastern League also may be an option for relocation to Richmond, according to sources, who declined to be named because of the sensitive nature of the negotiations.

The Eastern League and Minor League Baseball have assured Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones that one of the league's 12 franchises will be in Richmond next season. The team is to play at The Diamond until Richmond finds a long-term ballpark solution.

No Eastern League franchise has been identified formally for relocation.

"Richmond has had a great history of baseball over the years and has always been talked about as a superb market," Reid Ryan said. "I have some friends, some people who played there, and everybody I've talked to says great things about the city and says great things about the baseball fans in the area."

Good bye Bostic......

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Defs, B-Mets rained out tonight but..

RockCats and FisherCats both lose, so CT gains a half game on those two teams and sees it's first place lead grow to three games in the division.
Watched Don Larsen's perfect game on the MLB network the other day. One thing I noticed was after a ground ball infield out at first, the catcher (Yogi and Campy) following the play up the first baseline would be involved in tossing the ball around the infield usually getting the ball from the first baseman. Kind of liked that...

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's amazing to me that Dan Otero's ERA....

remains at zero, he has 11 saves and teams are batting over .300 against him. Save number 11 came today in Portland as CT rallied twice won 9-8. Defs take three games out of four from the SeaDogs this holiday weekend.
Big hits in the game came off the bats of Sharlon Schoop and Brett Pill. Schoop hit a three run double in the fourth to tie the game at 4-4. In the fifth, Pill's second homer of the season, a three run job, put CT in front for good 7-6 after Portland had rallied to regain the lead in the bottom of the fourth. CT added two big runs in the 7th on Pills's sac fly and Bobby Felmy's RBI single. Joe Paterson shut the door on the SeaDogs in the bottom half of the seventh as Portland scored twice off fellow relievers Ben Sndyer and Geivy Garcia.
Otero came on in the ninth and gave up a pair of singles and with runners on the corners and one out, CT center fielder Mike McBryde threw out the runner from third trying to score on a sac fly to end the game. It's the second time this season the Defs won a game in that manner.
Dan Griffin (2-3) gets the win today. Daryl Maday had his worst outing of the season going 4IP giving up 6 runs and 9 hits.
Brandon Crawford (BA. now .333) and Jackson Williams (his first multi-hit game in a while) both had three hits for CT. CT had 13 hits on the day, five of them doubles.
FisherCats lose, so CT is back up 2.5 games over NH.

Thanks to all who have served.........

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Defs lose in Portland today 8-3....

as Jesse English (2-3) takes the loss. Waldis Joaquin, Matt Yourkin and Mike Musgrave all came on in relief and gave up runs. Defs managed just four hits in the game; two from EME and Jackson Williams hit his first HR of the season, a solo homer. Bobby Felmy and Sharlon Schoop knocked in runs with bases loaded walks.
New Hampshire wins so the CT's lead in the Northern Division stands at 1.5 games.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A CFL type score today in

the Defs win 12-1 behind Madison Bumgarner's 6 innings of shut out baseball allowing just 2 hits and notching 10Ks. He improves to 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA. He also picked off a runner.
Plenty of hitting stars; so let's start with Dave Maroul who wasn't even in today's starting lineup. Maroul came into the game replacing an injured Brad Boyer (2 for 2 today, injured hamstring) in the DH spot. Maroul went 3 for 4 with a two run homer, his first this season, and a pair of RBI singles. Sharon Schoop, who has a quiet 10 game hitting streak, went 3 for 4 with three runs scored, a double and a RBI. Brock Bonnd went 2 for 4 with three runs scored, a double and two RBIs. Brett Pill went 2 for 4 with a RBI.
Old friend Justin Hedrick got knocked around by his old team giving up 5 runs, four of them earned.
FisherCats lose, so CT increases it's first place lead to 2.5 games over NH!

Smoltz Red Sox rehab next Sunday???.....

from today's Courant.

"BOSTON - — John Smoltz's road back to the major leagues could run through Connecticut. The Red Sox plan to send Smoltz, working his way back from shoulder surgery, to Double A Portland, where he would start against the Connecticut Defenders in Norwich on May 31.

Smoltz pitched three scoreless innings for Class A Greenville Thursday. Staying on a five-day rotation, he would pitch for Portland at Manchester Tuesday, and a week from Sunday at Dodd Stadium.

Smoltz, 42, was clocked at 90-91 mph Thursday. "He can pitch in the major leagues at 90-91 and win," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Smoltz, who won 210 games and saved 154 with Atlanta. "He could probably pitch at 84 and win.""

Friday, May 22, 2009

Defs rally and beat the SeaDogs in Portland...

tonight 3-2. Down 2-0 going into the top of the 7th, CT scored three times on a Tyler LaTorre RBI single, a Brock Bond RBI groundout and Brad Boyer's game winning RBI double. Boyer who went 4 for 5 yesterday continued his hot hitting going 3 for 5 with a pair of doubles. CT had been shut out by Portland starter Junichi Tazawa who was making his 4th start against the Defenders this season. Tazawa went 6 IP giving up three hits and getting 5 Ks.
Ben Snyder gets the win in relief of starter Jesse Foppert. Snyder improves to 3-1 with a 1.15 ERA. Joe Paterson gets his third save of the season.

Misc notes: Need to play LaTorre over Jackson Williams.

Another "deadline" coming up re: the sale....

and relocation of the Defenders. The date is May 31, 2009 as reported by Joe Perez in his blog. This would be the deadline of the "deal" between Bostic and Lou. It's anyone's guess as to what's happening with this. Reading the comment section of various articles posted on the Richmond Times-Dispatch website there is a lot of opposition for a new stadium in "the Bottom," which is the centerpiece of Bostic's deal.

Here's more on the situation as reported by John O'Connor in the Richmond paper on 5/19/09:

"If the Connecticut Defenders are going to relocate to Richmond for next season, a proposed deal needs to close by the end of the month.

It's still probable that the Connecticut franchise is headed here, but there have been delays in the sale process, uncertainty where once there seemed near-certainty.

Lou DiBella, Connecticut's president/managing partner, said in early April that a deal involving his franchise and Richmond Baseball Club LC appeared "imminent," the same word used last Tuesday by Bryan Bostic, chairman of Richmond Baseball Club LC, when speaking of a deal time frame. Eastern League President Joe McEacharn early last week also used "imminent" to describe the deal's likelihood.

But there is no deal yet, and the proposal expires May 31.

DiBella chose not to comment yesterday. Speaking of Richmond Baseball Club LC, he told the Norwich Bulletin last week, "If they didn't have some obstacles, if they weren't encountering some difficulty, this deal should have been closed over a month ago."

Bostic could not be reached for comment yesterday. The deal is for $15.4 million.

Mayor Dwight C. Jones didn't specify which franchise would relocate to Richmond next season but yesterday said that he has received assurances from the Eastern League that one of its 12 franchises would play at The Diamond. The Defenders are affiliated with the San Francisco Giants and will be through next season, after which the affiliation could change.

Franchises commonly switch affiliations every two years. Player Development Contracts bind them to major-league organizations. The Eastern League needs to know by Aug. 1 which one of its franchises will be in Richmond so the league can begin planning next year's schedule.

Jones noted yesterday that the Eastern League's commitment to Richmond, even without a long-term ballpark solution, will allow the city to thoroughly explore the proposal for the $318 million Shockoe Center and its $60 million ballpark. Previously, Minor League Baseball representatives suggested they wanted to see a firm ballpark plan before a relocation application would receive approval.

"We will have baseball in Richmond," Jones said yesterday, referring to next season. "That's something that at first seemed to be a pressure point that's no longer a pressure point."

He called the modified position of Minor League Baseball and the Eastern League "a key element."

McEacharn and Minor League Baseball officials have emphasized that The Diamond is a short-term solution. It's possible that the franchise could move again if Richmond doesn't make plans for a new ballpark, but McEacharn said the Eastern League wouldn't set a deadline by which a ballpark plan needs to be completed.

"It's just not appropriate to force this," McEacharn said."

Hey, we're in first place!

Graphic is from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More pics from today...

Pics from top to bottom are: Jackson and Otero high five the final out, Otero, Schoop, and Crawford

Defs take the rubber game 7-3 behind Henry Sosa..

and a 15 hit attack lead by Brad Boyer's 4 for 5 (2 doubles, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored).
Defs got single runs in the third, fourth and the fifth for a 3-0 lead after 5 innings. Boyer had a RBI double in the fourth down the third base line for the first run--should have been two runs in but Sosa couldn't lay down a successful sac to put runners on second and third for CT's first run. In the fourth Jackson Williams doubled in a run to make it 2-0. Brandon Crawford singled in Boyer in the fifth to make it 3-0.
The B-Mets scored an unearned run (Williams PB #9) in the sixth to make the score 3-1.
CT then broke the game open in the sixth scoring four times. The big hit was Brett Pill's pitch hit 2 run double that just missed going out. Brad Boyer and EME added RBI singles to close out the scoring and CT was up 6-1.
The B-Mets knocked in a couple of runs off reliever Matt Yourkin in the 8th to make it 7-3 but Dan Otero finished up in the 9th to preserve the win.
Sosa went 6 IP with 5 hits and 3 Ks. He improves to 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA.

Misc notes: The win moves CT into a tie with the FisherCats for the moment but the 'Cats just went ahead of the SeaDogs late in their game today with a 3 run homer.
**UPDATE: SeaDogs rally to beat the FisherCats and Defs move into first by a half game!
Big DARE crowd today; announced gate was 5300+. Good to see the Bulletin's Joe Perez back at the park!
Big news in Trenton today as Akron's Jeanmar Gomez threw a perfect game against the Thunder. He struck out 8 batters in a game that took just 2:12 to play before 6300+. I don't think Mike Ashmore was there as there is nothing on his blog. Check out for the celebration picture and game story.
Pics top to bottom are: Sosa, Tyler LaTorre's first appearance playing first and Boyer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Defs double up B-Mets at Dodd tonight 6-3...

as CT had it's first home game with multiple home runs and it's biggest run producing inning (5) this season. Brandon Crawford got the Defenders going in the first with a two out solo homer to the opposite field. It was Crawford's first EL homer. Crawford finished the game 2 for 4 and is now hitting .366 (15 for 41) since coming up the Double A.
The Defenders then put up a 5 spot in the third despite trying to run themselves out of the inning. Brock Bond started the inning with a walk and advanced to third on Brad Boyer's double. Boyer nearly ran himself into an out at second. With one out EME singled just past the Mets shortstop to score Bond and Boyer to a make it 3-0. On Brett Pill's grounder EME ran himself into an out at third for the second out. Bobby Felmy then tripled over the center fielder scoring Pill from first to make it 4-0 Connecticut. Tyler LaTorre then connected for his first homer of the the season a two run shot over everything in left to close out CT's scoring for a 6-0 lead.

Tim Alderson, started tonight for the Defenders and ran out of gas in the top of the 7th when he gave up three straight hits with all three B-Mets eventually scoring. Alderson line for the night was 6.1 IP, 9 hits 6Ks and no walks. He's hittable and he's 2-0.
Jesse English and Dan Otero finished up with Otero getting his 10th save and maintaining his perfect ERA of zero.

Misc Notes: Great seeing LC for the first time this season! We've missed you!
FisherCats lose tonight so CT is just a half game out of first place. Henry Sosa takes the hill tomorrow morning for the rubber game of the three game set.

Someone help me out with this from last night's game. Joe Paterson's perfect zero ERA was broken in the 9th in the B-Mets 4-2 win. In's box score it shows Paterson giving up two earned runs. I think that's wrong; it should be one earned run.
The inning went as follows: Coronado doubled and Thole was then HBP. CT catcher Williams tried to pick off Coronado at second. Shortstop Crawford fielded the ball and his throwing error to third allowed Coronado to score with Coronado getting credit for a steal of third. Bowman then got an IBB and Wabick walked to load the bases with one out. Tejada then hit a sac fly that turned into a double play with Bowman out at third trying to advance on the throw home. To me that's just one earned run. Any thoughts?

Pics from top to bottom: Victory line--Otero is #51, LaTorre's HR, Alderson and Crawford's HR


Justin Hedrick is 1-1 with a save. Pitching to a 5.59 ERA in 19.1 IP in Portland..
Dave McKae is 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA in six starts with the Salem Red Sox.
Travis Denker is hitting .221 (21-95) in Pawtucket with a HR and 4 RBIs.
Garrett Broshuis is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA in 7 outings, one a start, in 19.2 IP
Jake Wald is hitting .215 (14-65) with a homer and 9 RBIs.
Adam Witter, who has been limited to PH lately, is hitting .275 (14-75) with 3 HR and 13 RBIs.

CT's team BA this season is. 244, third from the bottom
CT's team ERA is 3.20 3nd best
CT has 14 HRs in 38 games, that projects to about 53 HRs over a 142 game schedule. Franchise low is 77 HRs set in 2006.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Defs fail Base running 101 tonight in a sloppy...

sloppy game that they could have actually won anyway with a timely hit or two. Pitching and fielding were pretty sloppy tonight as well; maybe the off day yesterday had something to do with it. The B-Mets take game one of the three game set 4-2 scoring two runs in the top the ninth off reliever Joe Paterson (1-1).
Defs in the game had one runner (Crawford) over slide third base for an out. Two runners were picked off; new comer Mike McBryde (welcome aboard) and Brock Bond. Jackson Williams who lead off the seventh with a double (CT's only extra base hit of their 11 hits tonight), strayed too far off second base on a ground ball to shortstop and ended up being tagged out, short to second. And the cherry on the base blunders cake to end the game, CT loads the bases with no outs and ends the game with what appears to be a one out sac fly but Mike Mooney leaves third to soon and the B-Mets who probably saw Ryan Church called out a 100 times on ESPN in the last 24 hours appeal at third and Mooney is punched for the final out of the game.

Joe Paterson, who had nothing tonight, walking 4 and hitting a batter, sees his record even up at 1-1 and the perfect zero ERA is no more. Waldis Joaquin is an adventure very time out. Daryl Maday scattered 8 hits and gave up two runs in six innings. He wasn't sharp but kept CT in the game.

Fielding was shaky too as the winning run scored on a Brandon Crawford throwing error in the ninth and Jackson Williams was charged with his 8th PB of the season.

Crwaford did make a nice play in the hole for a put out at first and went 4 for 4 in the game. Brett Pill (RBI) and McBryde both had two singles. Mike Mooney had his first RBI in last ten games with a sac fly. Mooney has batted just .091 over that ten game span. The good news for Mike is the team heads up to Portland (AGAIN) this weekend.

Misc notes: When is this team going to score some runs at Dodd? Good to see the newcomers McBryde and Crawford get 6 of the Defs 11 hits tonight but Mooney and Jackson Williams have been killing them with the bat and Boyer is 2 for 12 on this homestand (I'm counting the game winning homer for the susp. April game against NH here). The lack of production just puts too much pressure on the pitchers and the relief corp is not as good as previous editions this season.

And when is it going to get warm? It felt like 40 out there tonight with the wind whipping around. Hondo's right--it's the coldest park around.

Good news is that the new scoreboard graphics are a lot easier to read.

Pic is Mike McBryde, who gets down the first base line pretty fast. Mike was batting .224 (13 for 58) in 15 games at Fresno with one RBI.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Adam Cowart released by San Jose...

today. I think he was our Opening Day pitcher last year. He was in SJ's bullpen this season and was 2-2 with a 7.56 ERA in 16.2 innings of work.

Sunday game day pics...

From top to bottom: Dan Otero, Game 1 victory, Mike Musgrave, Bobby Felmy (2pics) and Jackson Williams

Scheduled day off today...

here's some pics from yesterday:

From top to bottom: Brad Boyer, Mike Mooney, Brett Pill, and Brock Bond safe at first.
I'll post more pics late tonight.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bumgarner throws a six inning one hitter with...

9Ks and Joe Paterson and Dan Othero maintain their zero ERAs as CT won yesterday's suspended game 1-0 to briefly put the Defenders in first place today. Bumgarner was sharp, working quickly and getting ahead in the counts winning his second game in as many appearances. He ended allowing that one hit, a hard double, to the first batter he saw and issuing 3 walks. He also picked off one runner. Bumgarner also threw a lot of fly ball outs as NH batters had some nice cuts on the day as well. I'd like to think he was "using" Dodd.
Joe Paterson pitched the 8th inning and recorded the first out of the 9th before giving way to closer Dan Otero who gave up a two out double before closing the door on the FisherCats for his 9th save.
So EME's fog shrouded RBI double from yesterdays held up, as the game winning hit. Brock Bond and Tyler Latorre both had two hit games
In Game two CT was forced to go with a spot start from Dan Griffin (1-3). Dan didn't make it out the the first inning getting just one out and allowing five runs to come in on 5 hits and a pair of walks. Mike Musgrave put out the fire in the first but gave up three runs of his own as the FisherCats were up 8-0 after a inning and a half. Brock Bond (another two hit game, now batting .326) and Brett Pill (king of the doubles) drove in both of CT's runs for the final score of 8-2 FisherCats. CT is a half game out of first place.

Notes: Special thanks to Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting Brian Irizarry for the photo pass today. Took a ton of great pics and it was a fun experience shooting from the dugout photo wells.

Games notes a little later now...

we were in first place for about 25 minutes earlier today........

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Shades of the '07 All-Star Game as the fog....

rolled into Dodd tonight. The FisherCats and Defs were able to finish the suspended game with CT winning on Brad Boyer's walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th. Boyer hits the first pitch he saw for his first homer of the season. The home run made a winner out of Ben Snyder who pitched four innings of one hit ball to even his record at 1-1. I walked into Dodd just as Boyer went yard.
In game two Tim Alderson gave up a pair of two singles before getting his second K of the inning. With the fog rolling in Brandon Crawford single and was forced at second by Brett Pill. EME then hit one into the right center gap that neither outfielder was able to pick up and Pill came in to score as EME ended up at second. After Bobby Felmy was retired for the third out the umps called a delay that turned into the game being suspended after 45 minutes or so with the fog getting worse and worse. Really, it was foggy up on the concourse looking down from one end to another.
So we pick up this game Sunday at 12:05 with the full 9 innings being played and then the teams play a 7 innings game.

Misc notes: Madison Bumgarner will finish game one and who knows who for game two. There is a scheduled day off on Monday. Stinks that Alderson is wasted tonight.
When is better weather coming? Hope it's Sunday.
Pics: Game 1 final, former manager Shane Turner in the house and Alderson pics.