Thoughts and pictures of my local minor league baseball team the New York Penn League Connecticut Tigers; a Detriot farm team. We'll still be looking at former Navigators/Defenders players along the way....

Friday, April 30, 2010

The second town hall meeting is....

set for tomorrow......

More RFS pics....

From top to bottom: Darren Ford (with the ink representing his homestate of NJ), Tony Pena Jr., Dan Turpen, and Andy Sisco.

Weather suppose to be pretty good this weekend...Anyone going to the CT Tigers deal in Mystic Sat.?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Old friends....

from top to bottom: Jackson Williams, Clay Timpner, Tyler LaTorre and Williams on base

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I came very close to wearing....

my heavy winter coat today. Opted out for the LL Bean jacket instead. Also which cap to wear became a dilemma as well. Navigators? Defenders? Something neutral like UCONN or the Yankees cap? I went with a Defenders home cap I had never worn before. Insane choices to make at 9 AM....

Pics top to bottom: Crawford, Noonan, Ford, Kieschnick and Gillaspie. More pics in the days to follow...

Go NutZ!! RFS rally for a 5-3 win at....

cold, windswept New Britain Stadium this morning/afternoon. But first off, it was great seeing LC after a long baseball hiatus; missed him. Took plenty of pics so I have plenty to post.
Richmond jumped out to a quick 2-0 in the second inning. 3B Conor Gillaspie singled leading off and former Defender Andy D'Alessio followed with a walk. Another ex-Def Jackson Williams laid down a great sac bunt to put runners on second and third with one out. 2B Nick Noonan (insert Caddyshack jokes now) put the FS up 1-0 with a RBI groundout to second. Yet another ex-Def, and briefly a SF Giant Clay Timpner hit a popup off the RockCats shortstop's glove in shallow left to plate D'Aleesio to make it 2-0. Timpner was out trying to stretch it out at second.
In the bottom of the third the RockCats tied it up thanks in large part to a brain freeze by Conor Gillaspie. With one out, ex-Defender pitcher Craig Clark gave up a pop double to center. The wind was playing havoc with anything in the air today. Clark got the next batter to ground back to him on the mound and he threw to third to get the lead runner. The ball got to Gillaspie in plenty of time but for some reason he thought it was a force play so now Clark had runners on first and seconf with one out. Of course the next batter hits a hard grounder down the left field line and both runners scored.
The RockCats then took a 3-2 lead with former Defender Craig Whitaker on in relief of Clark as the FS allowed a vintage Defenders type run. A single, followed by a stolen base, then followed by a wild pitch, followed by a passed ball to score the runner. I'm a little homesick for Dodd right now...
The score stayed 3-2 until the top of the ninth. With one out Noonan walked and with two outs Darren Ford singled and old friend Brandon Crawford walked to load the bases. With a 2-2 count Thomas Neal ripped a hard grounder down the third base line to clean the bases for a 5-3 Richmond lead.
The FS kept ot interesting in the bottom of the 9th as Tony Pena Jr. had to pitch out of bases loaded one out situation to preserve the 5-3 lead and give Richmond a three game sweep of the RockCats.
Daniel Turpen, the fourth pitcher used by Richmond, gets the win to improve to 1-1. Pena earns his second save. Outfielder Roger Kieschnick had three of Richmond's eight hits.

Misc fan notes: About a dozen or so folks in the crowd sporting Defender gear; some I recognized from Dodd. The usual 100 or so school buses in the parking lot as the upper bowl of General Admission seats were sold out thanks to all the kids in the house.
Richmond wearing traditional road greys with red caps; hope to see them in August again with better weather. Felt good to be at a park!

Pictures top to bottom: Thomas Neal. Pena and Williams after the last out.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Daryl Maday goes to 3-0 as the RFS win...

Game 1 of tonight's DH 3-1 over the RockCats in NB. Old friend Brandon Crawford's two run homer, his second of the season, was the big hit in the ball game. Maday went 5.2 IP allowing all three RockCats hits in the game. Rafael Cova picked up his sixth save of the season.
In Game 2 Richmond completes the sweep winning 2-0 behind David Mixon's 3 hit complete game shutout. Thomas Neal and Crawford had the RBIs for the RFS.

Getting the camera ready for tomorrow!

Monday, April 26, 2010

RockCats and FS rained out tonight.. play two....

tomorrow..was hoping for the double dip on Wednesday but oh well...

Brett Pill, Nike McBryde AND MadBum...

all go yard yesterday in Fresno's 4-2 win. MadBum evens his record at 1-1. Personally I think they all looked better in Defenders caps.

Richmond Times-Dispatch has old friend...

Daryl Maday (2-0, 0.96 ERA) starting tonight against the RockCats in NB....

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Richmond coming to NB this week...

Monday and Tuesday nights and Wednesday morning. Curious as to how the Courant/Bulletin/Day covers the return of the former team to CT.
They were one-hit today in Reading...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Harrisburg is at NB but looking at...

the box scores from this week I don't think highly touted prospect Stephen Strasburg will be getting a pitching start.

Friday, April 23, 2010

RFS beat the R-Phillies on the road 5-2

behind Thomas Neal's 2 home runs and 5 RBI night...

Keep an eye on the Yanks-Angels series over the weekend; things might get ugly. Tex just ran over the Angles catcher after Texiera was HBP by Ervin Santana.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I saw it live today, the Yankees turn their first triple play...

since 1968 against the A's today. It was the round the horn infield type with A-Rod stepping on third for the first out, throwing to Cano at second for the second out and then cano throwing to Tex to complete the triple killing.
The one in '68 was against the Twins with catcher John Roseboro lining back to the pitcher the immortal Dooley Womack who threw over to third baseman Bobby Cox to double up the runner off third. Cox then threw over to Mickey Mantle, playing at first, for the third out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Joe from CT Tigers left me a message today....

the gist being that season tickets and voucher paks were on sale. Did anyone else hear from the Tigers ticketing folks recently?
A question I have out there is: do folks who buy voucher paks get free parking? This was the Defenders practice the last couple of seasons with folks who bought 6's a nice perk.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dealing with EL (Eastern League) ...


Usually by now I've seen six or seven games, taken a bunch of pics, gotten caught up with Hondo and LC and wondered aloud about a dozen times about whether this latest edition of Navigators/Defenders had any chance of playing in September (i.e. playoffs).
But it's a brave new world I enter in 2010 and baseball at Dodd is still the better part of two months away.
I've found myself watching a ton of MLBB; mostly Yankees, on TV. But really I'll watch most anything right now. I mean White Sox vs Royals? Sure, why not! Catching glimpses of ex-Navigators/Defenders is always fun. Remember Randy Ruiz?
I'm also spending way too much time checking the status of my two fantasy baseball teams; like first thing in the morning at 5:45. I've always played fantasy baseball but this season, well I'm too wrapped up.
Missed the CT Tigers town hall deal Saturday; hope to get out to the one in Mystic next Saturday May 1st. If you have any questions you'd like me to ask, post them here..

I'm coming around to the idea that the team should be called simply the Norwich Tigers.

For those of us who were at the January press conference the first question owner Miles Prentice took was what the team name was going to be. He answered well I guess we'll be the Connecticut Tigers but the answer seemed off the cuff and not thought out, at least to me. It was as if he had "Connecticut Defenders" stuck in his head when he said Connecticut Tigers. I think he could have easily said Norwich Tigers and maybe that would have been that.
The only NY-Penn League team to have a state in it's name is the Vermont lake Monsters, once the Vermont Expos. Everyone else basically uses their community name. The team plays in Norwich, it should be "Norwich". As for "Tigers", well in comparison to "Lake Monsters" or worse, "Flying Squirrels" I like the simplicity of it. There isn't anything in southeast CT. that stands out to me in terms of a nickname unless you want to acknowledge the two casinos in some way and I prefer not to. Any alternative ideas out there for a team name?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Richmond draws 35,278 fans for their....

first four games at the Diamond and take three of four from the R-Phils...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

From today's Norwich Bulletin...

"Connecticut Tigers general manager Andrew Weber started Saturday’s town hall-style forum by declaring that “this is home” for both him and the franchise for — at least — the next 10 years.

Whether it’s “home sweet home” is still up in the air.

The short-season Single-A franchise of the Detroit Tigers is still trying to get acclimated to its new digs at Dodd Stadium and new home in Eastern Connecticut.

One of the ways to do that is talk to those who hopefully will fill the stadium come June 26 when the Tigers play host to the Vermont Lake Monsters in their home opener. They have to hope that more people will be interested then than the dozen who showed up Saturday at the Holiday Inn in Norwich.

“Would I have loved a hundred? Absolutely, but we announced (the forum) a little later than we had hoped,” Weber said. “It was a case of securing dates and getting one that worked. These are the things that we’re learning how to do.”

The club didn’t know if it wanted to spend money to advertise the forum, but expect it to for the next one at the Old Mystic Village Arts Cinema on May 1.

Long process

The Tigers are taking things as they come.

The Connecticut Defenders left Dodd Stadium in September, but minor league baseball didn’t announce until January that the New York-Penn League team would be coming to Norwich. And it wasn’t until late March that the move was officially approved, allowing the Tigers to finally move in April 1.

“It’s not easy for all the staff — this isn’t a 9-5 job right now,” Weber said. “Minor league baseball never is, which is what I love about it, but there really aren’t enough hours in a day. I spend my time in the 9-5 period with those businesses that are open then, and afterwards is when I get a chance to sit down with (my staff).”

That’s when he finds out about the other things that have gone on.

Those who came out Saturday, however, were more concerned with the Tigers’ plan is once the games begin.

The first question to the staff on hand: Will there be fireworks?

That was an easy ‘yes.’ Fireworks will go off on Friday nights and opening night, which is a Saturday.

There also will be another mascot. A yet-to-be-named tiger will join Cutter (an eagle) and Tater (an alligator) at the 37 Tiger home games.

Weber was also asked if there would be any major league rehab assignments in Norwich. Those are unlikely, though, with the existence of the Tigers’ Double-A (Erie, PA.) and Triple-A (Toledo, Ohio) affiliates so close to Detroit.

Business dealings

Season ticket-holder concerns, concessions and merchandise were also on the minds of those who attended.

“It’s a new team. I just wanted to see what it’s all about and what it has to offer,” Voluntown’s Nancy Smullen said.

Smullen said she’s attended games since minor league baseball arrived in Norwich 15 years ago. She was on hand for another reason, too, Saturday — to see what the Tigers could offer the business she works for, Consumers Interstate Corp., which has had a skybox at Dodd Stadium the last 15 years as well. It’s up in the air if that will continue.

“I’m hoping, but I’m not the decision-maker for that,” Smullen said.

Hearing that a business is not sure what it wants to do with the Tigers this season is not new to Weber.

“The sponsor work has been great, but some sponsors have said to us that they didn’t know if there would be a team or not and they allocated money to different places,” Weber said. “We’re trying to keep everybody that’s been a part (of the previous club) — whether that be sponsors or season ticket-holders — involved. If they have to do so at a lesser level this year, (that’s) fine. We want people to be a part of it this year, so that they can see what we have to offer.”

One thing the Tigers may not change is the name of the franchise.

Originally the team had announced it would hold a name-the-team contest, but officials are re-thinking that idea.

“We’ve put the brakes on things. I’m not saying it won’t still happen, but people are saying it’s great, it gives us an identity and connects us to the major league team,” Weber said of the ‘Tigers’ name. “Almost everything we do, we have to digest before we finalize.”

Good to go"

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Two more ex-Defenders sign on with...

the indy Bridgeport BlueFish; outfielder and ex big leaguer Josh Phelps who a played in a handful of games last season and catcher Todd Jennings who played back in 2006 and 2007. They joined former Defefender starter Paul Oseguera on the team. Charlie Dowd doing a little GM work?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fantasyland - Watch the Documentary Film for Free | Watch Free Documentaries Online | SnagFilms

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If you're into fantasy baseball, like me, and have a little time on your hands, 90 minutes or so, this is pretty good.

RFS beat R-Phils again 2-1 in front of...

7700 at the Diamond tonight,,,,

Richmond Times-Dispatch stuff.....

Maday throws the first pitch last night...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In front of 9,560 fans the RFS win...

their home opener 3-0 over the R-Phils. Jackson Williams homers and Daryl Maday gets the win....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

RFS (1-6) drop 5th straight 4-2....

Brandon Crawford goes 2 for 4 with a solo HR and Tyler LaTorre is 2 for 2. Big day in Richmond tomorrow for the home opener against Reading.
Reading was the first home opponent against the Norwich Navigators in 1995 and the last regular season visitor also against the Defenders last year.
RockCats are still looking for their first win as they lost their 7th straight before 7,000+ in NB tonight.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

RFS fall again, 1-0 in 14 innings tonight...

to the Curve managing just 4 hits...kind of reminds me of some Defenders game/results/offensive outputs.

I'm proclaiming RFS the official greg's blog acronym for the Richmond Flying Squirrels--really I can't stand typing that all out, especially the Flying Squirrels part.

I see EME is getting his first Triple A start tonight (he's 1 for 1!) and fan fave Brett Pill has his BA up to .294 after a slow first week.

Also check out Steve's blog--Connecticut Tiger Den (link on right) he's doing great work over there with player proflies and updates.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Richmond falls 4-1...

as the Flying Squirrels manage just 5 hits (one each by Jackson Williams and Brandon Crawford) against the Altoona Curve. Starter Craig Clark takes the loss.
NB is still looking for their first win losing to the SeaDogs 8-2 tonight at home.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Brad Boyer and Brock Bond knock in...

three runs each as Fresno dumps Reno 14-2 today. Boyer has a .357 BA so far and Bond is hitting .286 Jackson Williams(.556) goes 2 for 3 in Richmond's (1-3) 4-1 loss to Bowie today. Brandon Crawford (.357) went 1 for 4 and has hit safely in each of Richmond's 4 games.

Check out the "Connecticut Tiger Den" blog...

by Steve Hamel!

Steve has been a frequent visitor here and obviously a very knowledgeable Detroit Tigers fan. The link to his blog is on the right.
Seems like out new team is going to be well covered....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Richmond falls 5-4....

Fresno up 5-0 after five innings. Daryl Maday gets a no decision in his first start of the season. Maday threw 5IP allowing 4 hits 2 runs, both earned, 3 BBs and 5 Ks.

MadBum with an ugly Tripe A debut...

last night--11 hits in 3 IP.

Tyler LaTorre with a pair of doubles in Richmond's first ever win last night.

More later tonight.....

Friday, April 09, 2010

CT Tigers roster updates....

this from the Western Michigan University website (hey, Pat Misch is also a former Bronco!):

"Kevan Hess will begin his second pro season with the Connecticut Tigers (formerly Oneonta Tigers) of the New York Penn League. A 14th round pick of the Detroit Tigers last year, Hess won two games while striking out 35 in 44 innings with Oneonta in 2009. Hess was primarily a catcher in his three seasons with the Broncos (2007-09), before moving into a closer role in his final season."

And from Elk Grove (CA) Citizen newspaper:

"Former Sheldon High School pitcher Cory Hamilton, drafted last summer out of UC Irvine, will throw in Class-A of the Detroit Tigers organization.

Hamilton, the first-ever Sheldon player drafted, is playing for the Connecticut Tigers of the New York-Penn League."

Got to get use to this New York Penn League stuff...

Fresno, NB lose....

Richmond tries again today after their game in Bowie was suspended in the 5th with the BaySox up 1-0.

Fresno lost 5-4 in 12 innings at Reno, NV. Joe Paterson lost it in relief in his Triple debut. Other Defenders making their Triple A debut yesterday were:

Brock Bond 2 for 5
Brett Pill 1 for 6, Kelly gets a shout out from the Fresno radio guys!
Brad Boyer 2 for 4 double RBI
EME 0-1 as a PH
Henry Sosa 2 IP 1 hit no runs

Mike McBryde who started in Fresno last season and then spent the rest of the season in CT went 0 for 3

Attendance in Reno was 9.143!

RockCats fell to NH in front of 6007 fans in NB thanks in part to some great April weather as the Courant reported about 2000 in walk up sales last night.

Richmond opened on the road in Bowie with the game susp. after 5 innings. Old friends Jackson Williams (0-1 and pictured above in action last night tagging out a BaySox runner at home), Brandon Crawford (0-2) and Tyler Graham (0-1) started for the Flying Squirrels.

In word news ump Joe West complained in press about the obscene amount of time it takes the Red Sox and Yankees to play a 9 inning game against one another, something Hondo and I have been complaining about for years. Really, you can watch the start of a Yanks/Sox game then go out and do all your shopping, come back and maybe just miss a couple of innings.

And in another example of quality control gone bad and noted yesterday in this space, check out former Defender great Eugenio Velez and current San Francisco Giants away uniform. It's the second time in the past two seasons the uniform maker, Majestic, as in majestic failure, has misspelled a uniform. Last season the Washington Nationals became the Washington "Natinals."

Speaking of uniforms I finally picked up a Norwich Navigator vest style uniform last night on eBay ($49 + $10 S&H). It's been a gapping hole in my Navigator/Defender uniform colection. The only hole now is the Defenders 2008-2009 away uniform.

The above is the start of what the blog "looks like" going forward. There will be a day off or two thrown in (Tom had a point) but I'll be here most days. The name will change to "Greg's Connecticut Tigers blog" come NYPL Opening Day but perhaps sooner as the rhymn of the new season picks up.
In the meantime if anyone has content suggestions please make them known!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

the long and winding road....

will bring me back to Dodd in late June. Thanks for all the suggestions as to this space's a habit for us both...I'll keep it going with a mix of this and that until the Tigers season starts...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Play Ball!!......

in Richmond tomorrow and with it the last page in the Defender chapter is reached.....and I'm at the crossroads blog wise as how to continue here...any suggestions??

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


hits the bright city lights of Fresno....

Monday, April 05, 2010

Jackson Williams, Tyler LaTorre....

Sharon Schoop, Brandon Crawford, Andy D'Alessio, Tyler Graham, Daryl Maday and Craig Clark from last season's CT Defenders team report to Richmond for the 2010 season. Former Defenders Ronnie Ray and Clay Timpner are also on the team.
Haven't seen official SJ and Fresno rosters yet...

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Mike McBryde...

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Waldis Joaquin....

EL season opener Thursday as the constant RockCats TV commericals remind me...kinda of wish there was a game up there today. I'm hoping to hit the Richmond day game in NB on April 28th....
Got to love the RockCats as they have a total of 11 weekday day games on their schedule with four coming in April. Richmond returns to NB in August for a three game set. Giants are trading better weather in the early EL season (April and May) for much warmer weather later in Richmond and much longer bus trips all season long.
Joe Perez mentioned that I should check out the Richmond web site. I hadn't for a while; check out the store, it's stocked--still hate the mascot.

Friday, April 02, 2010

More press conf. pics...

From top to bottom: New York Penn League President Ben Hays, team owner E. Miles Prentice, team VP/Ops C.J. Knudsen, and team GM Andrew Weber...
Check out Joe's blog (see link on left) for his additional thoughts.
Is it me or is not the web site up?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Press conference pics...

from earlier today.
Standard issue home whites and road grays, and a predictable logo. Given that the "Connecticut Tigers" name is likely a one year deal this was to be expected.
Website is suppose to be up but I can't locate it yet. Season tickets only are on sale now with prior season ticket holders getting first crack at their old seats. Single game tickets will go on dale mid-May or so.
7:05PM start times Monday-Saturday for the most part with 1:05PM for Sundays..