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....

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tigers score 5 in the bottom of the ninth...

to tie the game at 7-7 as they play into extra innings. A three run tripe by Chao-Ting Tang was the big blow in the inning. Alexander Nunez singled in Tang to tie the game a 7-7.

**UPDATE: Tigers win 8-7 as CT scores in the bottom of the 11th. Tang singles, stole second and scored the winning run on a throwing error on PJ Polk's sac bunt.
Drew Gagnier throws two innings for the win as the Tigers sweep the Spinners at Dodd and finish the home stand at 4-1.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tigers top Spinners 1-0 tonight...

in a game that took a tidy 2:04 to play. Connecticut Tigers pitchers Luis Sanz (6 IP, 3 hits 6 Ks) and Micheal Torrealba (3 IP, no hits 7 Ks) combine for the shut out. Sanz improves to 3-0 on the season with a 0.56 ERA. Torrealba earns his first save and lowers his ERA to 0.90.
Connecticut scored the only run of the game in the second inning. James Robbins walked and advanced to second on a ground out on a pitch he was running on. Ryan Enos doubled Robbins home as Lowell's CF Bryce Brentz lost the ball in the sun on the angle he took toward the ball.

Misc fan notes: Got to admit I was disappointed in the turnout tonight with just 1200 fans in all with the Red Sox farm team in town...crowd however was into it...

The other note I have is that mascots may come and go but Tater always seems to get a great response for the fans whenever he shows up...part of the collective DNA around here I guess.

Home stand wraps up tomorrow against Lowell as the Tigers go for the sweep.

Pics top to bottom: Torrealba, Sanz, Enos, Les Smith, Matt Perry, and James Robbins

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tigers double up Spinners 6-3...

tonight at a rainy Dodd Stadium. Connecticut jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead after two innings and cruised to the victory behind starting pitcher Clemente Mendoza.
Mendoza (1-2) went 6 IP allowing 5 his, two of them back to back homers accounting for Lowell's three runs in the sixth. Robbie Weinhardt (2 Ip) and Brannan Smith (SV 1) finished wrapped up the pitching for the Tigers.
Tigers 3B Josh Asbenbrenner went 2 for 3 with a triple and a RBI to lead the CT offense.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lake Monsters top Tigers 7-3 this afternoon...

at Dodd. All of the Tiger scoring came on Brett Anderson's three run homer in the sixth. Anderson is the pride of Bristol Eastern High School here in Connecticut. Lance Baxter (0-2) takes the loss for the Tigers as they split the two game series. Connecticut starts a three game home set with the Spinners starting Monday.

Congrats GB and Mrs.GB!!!!

expecting their first little one!!!

For the folks in TN......

P.J. Polk....

Misc fan notes....I have a wedding to attend today, then a birthday party...don't ask... so I'll be updating later on. I'll be at Dodd Tuesday night as my dance card during the first couple of homestands is pretty full. Goal here, as always, is to see every visiting team at least once.
Great seeing my buddy Strat last night!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tigers win 2010 Home Opener 7-1 tonight...

beating the Vermont Lake Monsters before 3120 fans. Tigers starter Josue Carreno (1-1) pitched 5 strong innings allowing 5 hits, 3 walks and getting 7 Ks. Carreno, working quickly, threw over 90 MPH according to the newly working speed gun display. The Tigers bullpen of Drew Gagnnier (2 IP, unearned run) and Keven Hess(2 IP, two hits) finished the game as CT pitching combined for 13Ks in the game. Hess has now appeared in 4 games throwing 5 innings and has a zero ERA.
The Tigers scored four runs in the third on two run RBI singles by James Robbins and Brett Andersen. The Tigers made it 6-0 with a pair of runs in the fourth via a Josh Ashenbrenner sac fly and a Julio Rodriguez double. Rodriquez, a catcher, looks like a player--he had a long Dodd out that would have probably been a homer in other parks. The Tigers added another run in the fifth with Jeff Rowland knocking in a run. The Tiger climb over the .500 mark and are now 5-4.

Misc fan notes: No problem getting into Dodd. Left early and zipped right into the parking lot. Watched a little later on when traffic was heavier and the staff had both entrances to the lot and cars were moving right along into the parking lot. Plenty of staff out there.

In the park the gift shop was doing a brisk business selling new caps and t-shirts. All food stands were opened except for the old Frisco Fry Shack now renamed. For those of you who drink a bunch more beer selection...brands I've never heard of but no Sam Adams??

Cutter and Tater made cameo appearances.

A nice touch sine it was the home opener...the Tiger managers, coaches and players all introduced themselves to the crowd via wireless microphone instead of the PA announcer doing it. I liked it..never saw that done before.

Another nod to Connecticut's sporting past...when the Tigers scored runs the Hartford Whalers "Brass Bonanza" tune played over the PA as when the Whalers would score a goal.

The bottom of the scoreboard is still not working but Budweiser is sponsoring the scoreboard and the side panel displays and top panel display are pretty sharp and greatly enhances the appearance of it.

Between inning stuff was the food race deal (hate it), mascot race around the bases, and pedal car race and t-shirt tosses. Thank you for no dizzy bat race and sumo wrestling (really just those things away).

Great being back at the park and seeing a lot of familar faces in the stands and among the staff (Tom, Bob, Andrew!).

A lot of folks with Navigators stuff on--caps. t-shirts, etc. That stuff just doesn't die. FYI: I worn a Navs hat tonight.

Pics top to bottom: manager Howard Bushong, GM Andrew Weber, NYPL President Ben Hays, Kevan Hess gets the final out, Alexander Nunez, Julio Rodriquez, starter Josue Carreno, (his 19th birthday today) and Jeff Rowland.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tigers win 8-7 with three runs in the ninth...

and win the rubber game of the three game series. Connecticut jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on RBI singles by Josh Ashenbrenner and Matt Perry. But in the bottom half of the frame the first six Spinners would reach base and score off Connecticut starter Rayni Guichard (1-1) as Guichard failed to record a single out. The Connecticut bullpen of Brennan Smith (3IP, 2 hits), Mike Torrealba (3IP no hits 3 Ks), Kevan Hess(1IP) and Robbie Wanhardt ( 1-0, 1IP, 1 run) basically shut down Lowell the rest of the way.
In the top of the ninth trailing 7-5, pitch hitter Matt Mansilla lead off with a walk and went to second on a Londell Taylor single. Both runners moved up on a Jeff Rowland sac bunt. Alexander Nunez then singled to score Mansilla and make it 7-6 Spinners. Ashenbrenner walked to load the bases. Ryan Enos singed knocking in Taylor and Nunez to put the Tigers ahead 8-7.
Tiger reliever Matt Little came in to close the door on the Spinners to earn his first save and the first in franchise history.
The Tigers offense was lead by Ryan Enos who knocked in 5 runs, two on his first homer of the season and two on the game winning single in the ninth and Matt Perry who went 3 for 4 with a double and RBI.
Connecticut wins its second game in a row and gets back pull to the .500 mark at 4-4. The team took two of three from Tri-City and Lowell on the long season opening road trip with that two game sweep by the VT Lake Monsters being the only blemish.

Misc fan notes: Home Opener tomorrow!! Getting camera batteries recharged as I type. Wondering about which cap to wear...Navs...Defs..or spring for a new Tigers one??? Anyway for the local folks, get in your car early and soak up some pregame stuff before the 7:05PM start.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tigers slam Spinners 13-1 in Lowell tonight....

as in Alexander Nunez's grand slam in the fourth inning to blow open tonight's game. Nunez's first homer of the season made it 8-0 and Connecticut coasted to an easy victory to even up the three game series. Tigers catcher Julio Rodriguez went 3 for 5 with a double. Connecticut first baseman James Robbins knocked in a pair of runs.Lead off man Jeff Rowland scored three times.
Pitcher Luis Sanz improves to 2-0. He threw 5 IP allowing 6 hits and the Spinners lone run. Connecticut snaps a three game losing streak heading into tomorrow's rubber game against Lowell.

Misc fan notes. Check out Joe Perez's blog for some Tigers updates. Only 2000 tickets sold so far for Saturday's opener???? Come on local folks!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tigers drop third straight 6-1 to the Spinners...

in Lowell, MA tonight. Things started off well for the Tigers as Jeff Rowland (3 for 4) lead off with a double and came in on Matt Mansilla sac fly for a quick 1-0 lead. It was Mansilla's fifth RBI of the season but that was the only offense for the Tigers as they managed just 5 hits total in the game.
Lowell scored single runs in the second and fourth to take the lead and iced the game with two runs in the sixth. Lowell's two runs in the sixth were aided by two Spinners HBP and an error. Clemente Menoza (0-2) started and went 5.2 IP giving up 7 hits and 4 runs, two earned along with 6 Ks.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tigers lose 6-2 tonight as the....

Vermont Lake Mosters sweep Connecticut in two game series in Burlington. Vermont lead 4-0 after three innings. Lance Baxter started for the Tigers and took the loss. He allowed 4 runs on six hits.
LF Matt Mansilla was the hitting star for Connecticut going 3 for 4 and knocking in both runs. DH Alex Nunez scored both runs and was 1 for 4 with a double. 3B Josh Ashenbrenner went 2 for 3 for the Tigers.
The offensive woes overall continued for the Tigers was they stuck out 12 times and went 2 for 11 with RISP.
Connecticut pitching notched 13 Ks in the game as they fall to 2-3 overall on the season.
CT travels to Lowell, MA to take on the Spinners (Red Sox) in a three game set before opening at home against the Vermont on Saturday June 26.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lake Monsters 5 Tigers 3 in Burlington...

tonight. Vermont scored all 5 of their runs in the fourth inning aid by an error, a wild pitch scoring a run and two bases loaded walks. Tigers pitcher Josue Carreno (0-1) goes just 3+ innings and takes the loss. The Tigers offense could manage just 5 hits, one a Matt Mansilla solo homer his second in as many games. Tigers batters stuck out 12 times in the game, a very apparent trend so far this young season. Connecticut falls to 2-2 on the season.

Next stop for the Tigers.....

Centennial Field, Burlington, VT. These pics were taken back in the summer of 2002 when the team was known as the Vermont Expos.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tigers take the rubber game 5-3 over..

the ValleyCats and improve to 2-1 on the season. Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first with two runs coming on Matt Mansilla (2 for 5) two run homer and never looked back. Lefty starter Ryani Guichardo (1-0) threw 7 Ip for the Tigers allowing just 4 hits and one run. Matt Perry went 2 for 3 for Connecticut.

Brooklyn pulled in 9,888 fans...

in their season opener last night, a 9-6 victory, as part of a home and home series with the Staten Island Yankees. On the other hand Jamestown pulled in 845 fans for the low water mark league attendance-wise last night.
Connecticut Tiger lefty Rayni Guichardo takes the mound late this afternoon in the rubber games against the ValleyCats. I really don't understand a Sunday 5PM start. The Tigers then travel to Vermont to take on the Lake Monsters in a two game set at historic Centennial Field on the grounds of the University of Vermont (UVM). Two words for the visiting Tigers: Al's Fries.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Connecticut Tigers win their first game.....

tonight 7-3 over the Tri-City ValleyCats and even their record to 1-1. Luis Sanz throws 5 IP allowing just a single unearned run to earn the victory. James Robbins' (2 for 5) two run single in a three run third inning put the Tigers ahead 3-1. PJ Polk (2 for 5, 2 runs scored) hit the Tigers first homer in the fifth inning, a solo shot to make it 4-1. Eric Roof and Ryan Enos each had a RBI. Alexander Nunez went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored. Tiger reliever Kevan Hess, the third relief pitcher used by Connecticut, stuck out the side in the ninth to end the game.

Misc fan notes: Tigers reliever Shawn Teufel was the first reliever out of the Tigers bullpen tonight. Does anyone know if he's related to former Mets infielder Tim Teufel?

4400+ at the "Joe" tonight.

Opening Day attendance figures yesterday...

Staten Island--7171 (vs Brooklyn) Yankees vs Mets just like on the big stage!

Any guesses out there for Connecticut's home opener next Saturday???

Coverage! As both the Bulletin and Day had reporters..

at last nights inaugural Tigers game in Troy, NY. Check out links for both newspapers on the right. Can't rember the last time that's happened.....
Former Navigators pitcher Boof Bonser was released by the Red Sox yesterday. The blog "Waiting on Boof Bonser" was a forerunner of sorts to the McCovey's Chronicles.
Check out Geno's comments under yesterday's last post for some great updates on former Defs now playing in indy leagues.

Friday, June 18, 2010

ValleyCats win 4-3 with a run in the bottom...

of the 9th...

Tigers, ValleyCats tied after 7 innings 3-3

meanwhile Yankees can't buy a run against the Mets.....

Ryan Enos doubles in the first two Connecticut runs..

for a 2-1 CT lead after two innings.

James Robbins with the first Connecticut Tigers hit...

leading off the second. A solid single..

Internet radio on the CT side not working......

the ValleyCat feed is working...Tigers are three up and three down all on K's in the top of the first....
Solo homer by ValleyCats, 1-0 after one


at last. The Tigers open on the road tonight at 7PM. Looks like you can listen to the game on line as well. Last season Brian was "taking calls" via AOL IM during the game...wondering if the same deal holds true this season.

Got the weekly EL press release the other day and the league will be disclosing the site of the 20102 EL All-Star Game soon. I'm still hoping the Tigers front office puts in a bid for the 2012 NYPL All-Star game to show off Dodd. For those of you who read this blog it's something I've called for before. It would be the 10th anniversary of the first time Dodd hosted an All-Star, the last true Double A All-Star Game that featured players from all three Double A leagues. It would also be the fifth anniversary of the infamous fogged out 2007 EL All-Star Game What do you say guys I'm? Go for it!!
Check out stories by Marc Allard and Joe Perez in today's Norwich Bulletin. Joe gives us a good idea of what the Tigers starters by postion will be.

Too bad about the Celtics last night....enjoyed World Cup action this morning in downtown Mystic at the Harp and Hound Pub just down the sidewalk from where I used to live some 30 years ago. Great atomosphere with a nice bunch of folks drinking way too early in the morning--just coffee (striaght) for me. USA needs to stop playing this come from behind stuff...instant replay on that third (disallowed) USA goal? Oh man.....Is it to late for the Tigers to throw together a little World Cup promo deal??
Subway Series round two starts tonight....Fantasy baseball teams doing well... US Open is's a great time!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Connecticut Tigers Media Day: Team gets to know new digs - Norwich, CT - Norwich Bulletin

Connecticut Tigers Media Day: Team gets to know new digs - Norwich, CT - Norwich Bulletin

Great piece by Joe Perez; give it a read. I like the BP uniforms with what appears to be a tip of the hat to Norwich, the Rose City with the shoulder patch. I'm wondering if the road and away uniforms will have that patch. The Tigers roster is still taking shape.
Picture taken by Khoi Ton of the Norwich Bulletin that accmpanies Joe's article.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Well, I still have no idea what the "official"....

roster looks like. There will be an open practice at 7PM to the public tonighr. I'm working tonight so hopefully Joe Perez and/or Steve Hamel will be there for on site reporting. Check out Joe's Tiger Beat blog and Steve's Connecticut Tiger Den blog (links on the right) for updates as well as the Tigers webpage. Another source is It has what appears to be an unofficial roster up now.

A rare mistake by the RockCats using the RFS logo in a tv ad for tonight's DH. NB is hosting another EL team tonight and not our beloved ex-Defs.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Need info......

2010 roster, open practice, player meet and greet from the Connecticut Tigers on their website.....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Baseball: Sudbury's Perry signs with Tigers - Milford, MA - The Milford Daily News

Baseball: Sudbury's Perry signs with Tigers - Milford, MA - The Milford Daily News

Sunday, June 13, 2010

EME goes 1 for 5...

batting cleanup in his High Desert Mavericks debut last night. Looking at the ages of his team mates on the roster I'm sure he's being called "Pops" or "Papi" or something along those lines.
I expect Connecticut Tigers roster news will be coming at us fast and furious Monday.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I wonder what happened to that plaque? That's the "Giants" repainted version of Tater pictured. The orginal statue refected the purple and green colors of the "Yankees" Tater.
I agree with Geno...that statue deserves better.....

Relics of past franchises...the Tater statue deserves better.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Baseball star recalled lovingly as man of grace - Norwich, CT - Norwich Bulletin

Baseball star recalled lovingly as man of grace - Norwich, CT - Norwich Bulletin


Tigers open on the road in 7 short days against the Tri-City ValleyCats, a Houston Astros farm team. The ValleyCats, like the Tigers and I suspect most teams now, have a Facebook presence. It makes for some interesting reading especially from a short season point of view. The ValleyCats make a big deal out of the MLB player draft since one can assume that's where a lot of ValleyCats players will initially come from.
The MLB draft is also something that appears to becoming a bigger and bigger "event" every year. The MLB network has ever expanding coverage and SI had a big piece recently detailing player picks and player bios. It's a made for internet type event.
Maybe the draft is something the Connecticut team can build around in the seasons to come. Draft days upstairs in the Yard! Free hot dogs and popcorn! WiFi for live blogging! I'd look to hook Steve Hamel of the Connecticut Tiger Den blog into the mix somehow for expert insight. Catch on the field between picks!

Anyway, a little bit about the ValleyCats from the site:

"Joseph L. Bruno Stadium and the Tri-City ValleyCats are together entering their ninth season of Minor League Baseball. Nicknamed "The Joe", this stadium was built in 2002 and since then has become the premier baseball complex in the Capital Region of New York. Named after the New York State Senate Majority Leader who helped secure the funds for the ballpark, Joseph L. Bruno Stadium has served as the home of the ValleyCats ever since their inception. Members of the prestigious fourteen team New York-Penn League; the ValleyCats have opened the eyes of many fans in the area during their early years of existence and are striving to enhance that every season.

The stadium is located on the Hudson Valley Community College campus in Troy, NY. About a 5 minute drive from the state's capital, the facility includes 4,500 seats, 10 luxury suites, a new picnic pavilion, the Top of the Hill Bar & Grill a private party area called "The Porch" and a grass seating berm behind the right field fence. "The Joe" has an open air concourse designed to give every seat a great view of the field and an intimate ballpark feel. All seats at The Joe are extra wide with seat backs, containing extra leg room and cup holders in premium and reserved box sections. This state-of-the-art ballpark also includes a major-league quality video/scoreboard, extensive concessions menu, and inflatable play area for kids. In addition to all the other great amenities, there is free, ample parking here at "The Joe" making this fan-friendly stadium great for a very affordable summer experience.
In 2009, the ValleyCats set a new single-season attendance record of 145,976 fans for an average of 4,293 per game. This is the sixth consecutive year that a new attendance milestone has been reached. The record was bolstered by 12 sellout crowds, including the single-game attendance record of 6,838, set on the Fourth of July.

The ValleyCats, who just completed its eighth season in the Capital Region, have set attendance records in 2004 (110,497), 2005 (116,674), 2006 (129,126), 2007 (136,809), 2008 (140,631) and yet again in 2009. The 'Cats have totaled over 100,000 fans to Joseph L. Bruno Stadium every season since their inception and will draw its one-millionth fan in early 2010.

Joseph L. Bruno Stadium and the ValleyCats offer a spectacular venue for professional baseball and great family entertainment. With affordable prices, whacky promotions, and tons of giveaways, it's not just a night out; but an experience that may last a lifetime. "

Poll finds Connecticut fans split over Sox, Yankees - Norwich, CT - Norwich Bulletin

Poll finds Connecticut fans split over Sox, Yankees - Norwich, CT - Norwich Bulletin

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Baseball: Connecticut Tigers say they're set for home opener - Norwich, CT - Norwich Bulletin

Baseball: Connecticut Tigers say they're set for home opener - Norwich, CT - Norwich Bulletin

Open practice perhaps next Wednesday!

The Day - Traffic woes greet new Dodd tenants | News from southeastern Connecticut

The Day - Traffic woes greet new Dodd tenants | News from southeastern Connecticut

A lot of the ideas/solutions proposed by the team appeared here in this modest space.....

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Connecticut Tigers and NY Penn League...

openers sneaking up fast. Rosters should start taking shape pretty soon. Check out Steve Hamel's blog Connecticut Tiger Den (link on the right) for draft info on likely Connecticut Tiger players.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Stephen Strasburg with 14 Ks....

in 7IP in his MLB debut tonight.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Detroit Tigers draft picks so far....

the 44th pick in the draft, Nick Castellanos, Archbishop McCarthy H.S., Davie, FL 1B-3B

the 48th pick in the draft, Chance Ruffin, RHP relief pitcher University of Texas Longhorns. He is the son of former MLBB pitcher Bruce Ruffin.

MLB draft starts today....

and some of these folks will be playing at Dodd in the next couple of months. This from today's New York Times:

June 6, 2010, 6:28 pm MLB Network Expands Coverage of Draft


"A year ago, the MLB Network carried its first amateur draft, in which Stephen Strasburg was the No. 1 overall pick by the Washington Nationals. For its second go-round with the draft Monday, the network has made a few changes.

An hourlong pregame show will start at 6 p.m. Eastern, followed by the draft at 7, with the first pick at 7:15. The Nationals are expected to take Bryce Harper, a 17-year-old catcher from the College of Southern Nevada, with that pick.

Also, in addition to the first round, the compensation round has been added to the broadcast.

Tony Petitti, the network’s president, said the draft was a distinctive event even if the N.F.L. and N.B.A. drafts were bigger attractions. Those drafts are aided by the renown of college players benefiting from major television exposure.

Petitti added that the amateur draft was what a network devoted full-time to a single sport should be showing. “We’re trying to be a wraparound network and bring fans a little something different,” he said.

Coverage of the draft, which will be carried from Studio 42 at the network’s headquarters in Secaucus, N.J., will include greater use of the team executives and former players than it did last year. Some draftees are expected to be in the studio. Cameras will provide remote coverage of 22 teams’ war rooms, Petitti said.

In the first round, Commissioner Bud Selig will announce the picks, but team representatives will announce the selections in the compensation round. Those team representatives are expected to include Jim Rice for the Red Sox, Billy Williams for the Chicago Cubs, Roy White for the Yankees and Roberto Alomar for the Blue Jays.

The network will follow Monday’s draft with Strasburg’s first major league start Tuesday night against Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. Nationals Park. Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and John Smoltz will call the game."

I suspect Steve Hamel of the Connecticut Tigers Den will have some insight into the draft this week also.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

the intersection of logic and stupidity

Something you hardly see at Dodd but plenty of it the last three days--tail gating

All time UCONN home run leader Mike Olt

UCONN starter Matt Barnes

Nick Ahmed singles

Rain delay in the top of the 9th....

UCONN down 4-2 with a runner on and no outs. Game is playing like Friday's game with Oregon small ball and timely hitting and pitching prevailing and the Huskies unable again to come up with a key hit or two with runners on. I'll be posting pics later on....

UPDATE: UCONN loses 4-3....

The New London Day's Mike DiMaurio on the traffic mess Friday:

greg's blog says:
The other lane on Wisconsin Ave is totally empty, make it two lanes from New Park Ave up to Stott Ave and from Stott Ave to Dodd! They did it 15 years ago after the Opening Day mess in 1995 and they continued doing it for about 5 years after that especially for Yankee rehabs and Friday night fireworks. And have cars use all three entrances into Dodd off Stott Ave (yes that means the aux. parking lot being used).

The Day - They haven't learned from their mistakes at Dodd - still | News from southeastern Connecticut

My response (edited) to him in the reader comments of his column:

"For those of us with long memories, the Navigators did learn from their mistakes and when some future "big" events" did occur at Dodd i.e. the David Cone and Irabu rehabs, shuttle buses from Computer Sciences Corp. on the corner of New Park Ave and Wisconsin were used and also a two lane approach on Wisconsin Ave and Stoot Ave was used going in an and leaving.
Friday fireworks nights and Saturday/Sunday games always had that two lane approach when the Navs were really pulling them in also back in the day; same with the Double A All-Star Game in 2002.
Mike, I think you're missing a player here in your piece and that's the role of the Norwich Stadium Authority--where were they in this mess Friday night? It's NOT up to the Norwich Police Department to solve the traffic mess if they are not alerted and called out.
I'd also rip up whatever "deal" there is with those folks on Plain Hill Road--15 years is long enough for something that happens once or twice a year!"

Re: the Connecticut Tigers. The traffic woes did come up at the Mystic meeting the team had with fans based partly off a pictured posted here on the blog and I did make some of the above points re: shuttle buses and the two lane approach to Dodd to them. The traffic deal was something GM Andrew Weber and I touched on briefly yesterday. Dates I'd circle on the Tigers schedule would be the home opener, all weekend games and the fireworks deal on 7/3/10.
As I said posted earlier last week it front of Friday's game--plan on leaving early for those dates and you won't have a problem.
I left my place at 5:45, ticket in hand, and spent maybe 10 minutes on Wisconsin and Stott from 6:10-6:20.

Another note for the Tigers, that I saw being done yesterday by the NCAA: set up a couple of tables between the admin offices and the ticket windows for just cash sales for those "big" dates when heavy walk ups are expected. Take the pressure off the windows when God forbid a terminal goes down or someone calls out sick or you are just flat out out numbered. Navigators did something similar as well and this was a point made at the Mystic fan meeting. One of DiMaurio's readers commetted on that re: Friday's first game. The NCAA event at Dodd is providing the CT Tigers folks with a great shakedown for their upcoming season.
Yet another point for the Tigers re: parking. Since you are charging for parking consider free season parking passes for those fans who also purchase 10 game flex passes to move the line of cars a lot quicker to theoir parking spots.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

UConn Defeats Central Connecticut 25-5 In NCAA Baseball Tournament -

UConn Defeats Central Connecticut 25-5 In NCAA Baseball Tournament -

I mean really....a Husky "ping" parade of runs...

George Springer hits a two run homer early on.

I left after 5 innings and by the time I got to the bottom of the hill onto RT 32 it was 24-5 UCONN. UCONN are the visitors today. Central Connecticut are the Defenders. It has taken 3 hours to play 5 innings. Mike Olt has hit two homers so far, one down the left field line and another that the WHUS radio announcers thought was about 425 feet. He's knocked in 8 runs in the game already. Both Florida State and Oregon teams showed up and are currently listening to iPods and texting home.
BTW the WHUS (UCONN) radio announcers are very funny.
About 2000 or so fans in and under the stands at Dodd on a very hot, humid day on top of the hill.
Had a nice chat with Connecticut Tigers GM Andrew Weber as well. The NCAA are proving to be a very good shakedown for the new regime. No issues with parking, etc today. Plenty of Norwich Police traffic control today.

FINAL: UCONN 25 Blue Devils 5

Oregon Defeats UConn 5-3 In NCAA Baseball Regional -

Oregon Defeats UConn 5-3 In NCAA Baseball Regional -

Friday, June 04, 2010

Duck! Oregon wins 5-3 tonight.....

at Dodd. UCONN had plenty of chances but couldn't come up with that one big hit to break it open. Huskies scored on a solo homer by Mike Nemeth off the right field foul pole in the second and on an error in the third for a 2-0 lead early but UCONN starter Greg Nappa (pictured) made one mistake giving up a two run homer in the sixth as the Ducks tied it up at 2-2.
Oregon then pushed across three runs in the top of the 9th thanks to some sloppy UCONN fielding to break the game open. CT pushed across a run in the bottom half of the inning but UCONN star George Springer stuck out with a runner on to end the game. Springer had 4 Ks on the night in addition to a HBP.

Misc fan notes: I told you to leave early. Traffic delays all the way out to RT 2 according to one late arriving fan who made it in around the third inning. Folks still coming in during the top of the 5th! Cars parked all over the place but hey, Dodd was jammed! Announced crowd was 5700 but it sure looked a lot more than that. Have to believe owner E. Miles Prentice was happy upstairs.

Great seeing Hondo and Tom after too long of a winter and spring!

Pocket schedule is out. Team has a bunch of different sponsors on the pocket skeds than previous seasons. Nice job there. Promo schedule is familar and light given the time frame the team had to work with. No logo type giveaways (t-shirts, caps, ball, bats, etc) which is to be expected given the likely name change for 2011.

Florida State 11 Central Connecticut 3.....

in the first game.

Nice day in Southeastern Connecticut.....

so if you're out and about and can swing by Dodd, pick up some tickets for this afternoon and tonight. If you can't, a big walk up is expected and the weather is great so the sooner you can head up Wisconsin Ave. tonight the better off you are!
Gates open at 6PM (just confirmed)!! Great day for baseball.....

Other points of view on Dodd:

By Aaron Fentress, The Oregonian
June 03, 2010, 10:51PM
NORWICH, Conn. -- Oregon coach George Horton's first order of business upon learning his team had reached the postseason was to look up the dimensions of Dodd Memorial Stadium, site of the Norwich Regional of the NCAA Tournament.

The number that jumped out at him: 309 feet down the lines.

Horton's reaction: "Uh oh!"

The small-ball Ducks (38-22) hit 30 home runs this season and employ a strategy best described by sophomore second baseman Danny Pulfer: "Get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in."

Meanwhile, Oregon's opponent in the first round today, No.17 Connecticut (47-15), belted 78 homers.

So it was with much trepidation that the Ducks ventured into Dodd Stadium for their workout Thursday. What they discovered, however, brought smiles.

The stadium, home to the Connecticut Tigers, the Class-A short-season affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, is anything but a hitter's ballpark. With its slow grass, vast power alleys and high fences, it seems suited to the style of play the Ducks have used to reach the tournament in their second season since the sport returned to campus in Eugene.

"I think that's good for us because we're a pitching and defense ball club, and execution ball club," Horton said.

Still, Oregon will need more than a user-friendly park to overcome a balanced Huskies team that Horton said he voted into the top 25 of his ballot for the coaches poll.

"It's not going to be an easy challenge," he said.

Horton says he has elected not to overload his team with scouting reports on the Huskies.

"I think sometimes you can get overwhelmed with information," Horton said.

Instead, Oregon will concentrate more on playing its game. And the circumstances might help them do just that.

The dimensions, it turned out, are deceiving. The foul poles stand at 309 feet but the fence stretches to 401 feet in center. The fences reach about 12 feet with two rows of signage in left field and are 18 feet high with three rows of signage in right field.

"I think we might have hit one home run in batting practice," Horton said.

But the Ducks did hit plenty of line drives to the gaps. They said their speed in the outfield could allow them to track down fly balls and that their speed on the base paths will allow them to take extra bases on hits.

The Ducks said the slow infield grass will help them bunt (UO's 73 sacrifice bunts this season were tied for second in the nation) and could assist a pitching staff that ranked fifth in the nation in ERA (3.28) and 27th in strikeouts per nine innings (8.2).

"We have quick infielders so we can get to a lot of balls," sophomore shortstop K.C. Serna said.

Even with all the positives, there is one major obstacle facing Oregon: Connecticut is pretty good.

The Huskies boast an accomplished pitching staff that ranked 19th in ERA (3.91) while the offense ranked 34th in runs per game (8.4) compared to 228th for Oregon (6.0).

And for all of Oregon's small-ball prowess, Connecticut stole 2.66 bases per game (fourth), compared to Oregon's 1.15 (152nd).

Oregon will start senior right-hander Zack Thornton, 9-0 with a 3.54 ERA.

Horton said that of his starters, Thornton could bounce back the best and be ready if needed in Monday's championship.

Should Oregon win and face top seed Florida State, sophomore Tyler Anderson (7-4, 2.76) would get the start.

Horton said that if he had a choice of fields, he would have chosen to play in Texas, which has an all-turf field like Oregon's. But he said he's happy with the opponent, because No.14 Florida State, the No. 1 seed, is not the host team. A top team playing in front of its crowd is tough to beat.

"It's not going to be easy," Horton said. "But if you asked me which one I would want to go to, this is the one I would probably pick."

-- Aaron Fentress

Baseball: FSU faces challenges with larger ballpark
June 03, 2010 09:40:00 PM
By JIM LAMAR | Tallahassee Democrat
NORWICH, Conn. — The pings were plentiful Thursday afternoon.

The pop? Well, not so much.

As the Florida State baseball team took batting practice at Dodd Memorial Stadium on Thursday afternoon, one thing became obvious: Home runs may be few and far between during the four-team regional in this eastern Connecticut town.

"It reminds me of 1982 when we went to Texas for a regional," FSU coach Mike Martin said. "I think we had two balls go out in BP out there — and we hit 135 home runs that year. This park reminds me of that. It’s definitely the Grand Canyon."

Dodd Stadium isn’t exactly one of the seven wonders of baseball, but the field certainly appears big enough to hold most hitters who will attack it this weekend.

The dimensions aren’t outrageous — 309 feet down the lines, 380 feet in the gaps and 401 feet to straight centerfield. But the locals say a fairly consistent wind blowing in from the south — typically from left-center field toward home plate — tends to help pitchers in this park that now plays home to a Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers organization FSU left-fielder Mike McGee, also the team’s closer, said the size of the field and the wind could impact the Seminoles’ defense this weekend.

"We can play a little shallower, maybe try to take away some base hits," McGee said. "Now if we come out here on game day and the ball is carrying like crazy, then obviously we can’t do that. But assuming it’s like it (was Thursday), we would be playing a little shallower and taking away base hits. Maybe get a little extra so we can throw a guy out."

McGee and the rest of FSU’s outfielders spent time trying to get a feel for how balls bounce off the wooden fence surrounding the field. The fence is about 20 feet high at the foul poles and shortens to 8-10 feet around the rest of the outfield.

"It’s kind of weird with the angles on the corners, especially in left field," McGee said. "A lot of those balls down the line rattle around pretty hard. We had one go all the way out (to centerfield) because they hit it so hard. It’s good we had a day like today to get used to it."

The field has played host to just one game this year — a high school game last weekend. The Connecticut Tigers play a short season in the New York-Penn League, and their season-opener is June 26. So at this point in the early summer, the grass is plenty thick.

"It looks like the grass is the same as in Omaha," FSU pitcher John Gast said. "It’s kind of thick, kind of slow. It gave us a little trouble today, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out."

McGee said the park’s dimensions — assuming the wind is blowing in — will help on the pitching mound.

"If you get behind in the count, you’re going to pound the zone," McGee said. "You don’t need to worry about a ball getting cranked out to center field or left-center. That’s probably not going to happen unless they really, really crush it. So it may be a little easier on your mind to throw strikes."

I think this is the first time I've seen a number assigned to the gaps--380 feet.

Great news as Dayton Buller's stay in indy ball....

was short and sweet. Dayton signed with the Brwers and reports to Double A Huntsville today. Good Luck Dayton!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

"Ping" at Dodd is just not a sound......

I'm used too.

Pictured left to right are UCONN stars Mike Olt and George Springer. Thanks Steve!

Misc fan notes: Looks like the water fountain repairs are well underway and perhaps the speed gun display will be working as well.
Gift store has a few College World Series t-shirt, polos and hats ready for sale. Left over Defenders caps are also in there.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

"Instant relay".....will be the two words

you'll be hearing/reading on every sports talk show, blog, column, etc in the wake of umpire Jim Joyce's (never good when you know an ump's name) blown call costing Tigers pitcher Armando Galaragga a perfect game on what should have been the final play of the game in the next couple of days.
Tiger nation going nuts already in cyberspace; idea being floated that the official scorer reverse the play to an error on the pitcher and that way the kid still gets credit for at least for a no-hitter. There is a 24 hour window for this. Way too inside baseball for me BTW.
Ken Griffey Jr.'s retirement lost a little in the shuffle here.

Pic is by Kirthman F. Dozier/DFP

From "Hardball Talk" by Craig Calcaterra:

"That's the question a dozen people have asked me so far. People are tweeting about it. Even my wife -- who knows nothing about any of this aside from the fact that I'm banging out copy about it at 10:00PM about -- asked "why can't they just fix the call?" Let's unpack:

Can Bud reverse the call?: Sure, why not? I've seen some people mention Bud Selig's powers to act "in the best interests of baseball," but I think that's got it wrong. Those powers -- which are specified in Article II, Section 3of the league's Constitution -- tend to be reserved for discipline and control of teams and employees. Business matters among the franchises, really, not on-the-field activities.

On-the-field, the Commissioner of Baseball would appear to have plenary power. He can deem an All-Star Game a tie. He has total control to grant or deny protests. He can make up stuff on the fly, just like he did with replay on boundary calls. Technically speaking, there is no reason why Bud Selig can't overturn the call, void anything that happened after it and grant Galarraga his perfect game.

Should Bud Selig reverse the call? This is a toughie -- and I'll accept argument to the contrary, but my gut instinct is to say no.

What is accomplished by doing such a thing? Galarraga doesn't get to go back onto the field and have his teammates mob him. The 17,738 people in Comerica Park for the game don't get to come back together and cheer. No highlight, no collective memory and no euphoria would be gained. All that would be changed is a notation in a record book.

And doing so risks an awful lot. Why retroactively overturn this call and not others? Bad calls happen all the time. Should Bud Selig be in the business of changing the outcomes of games in which outs were called on trapped balls? Should he demand that a game be started over from the top of the sixth inning when the umpires missed a balk? It's an overused phrase, but it's overused for a reason: where do you draw the line?

The funny thing here is that by keeping the call as-is -- however unfair it might be -- we may just be able to prevent just such a can of worms from ever being opened. Why? Because if this game stands as a travesty -- if Armando Galarraga remains a martyr, as it were -- action may finally be spurred to implement instant replay. And if that happens the right calls will be made almost every time and Bud Selig will never have to concern himself with this kind of thing again.

Another overused, but still-apt phrase springs to mind: you can't un-ring a bell. What happened tonight happened. Baseball has to deal with it. No act of God or Bud can and should erase it. All baseball can do from it is to learn and, hopefully, improve."

AR with some home town ink.....

From todays Nassau, Bahames newspaper


Sports Reporter

THE long, winding road towards a professional baseball contract is back on track for one long-standing Bahamian minor league player.

Antoan Richardson was signed as a free agent last week to the Mississippi Braves, the AA subsidiary of Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves.

Richardson spent his previous year with the Schaumburg Flyers of the Northern League, an independent league in the Northern US not affiliated with MLB.

The Flyers removed outfielder Lynden Poole from the disabled list and placed him on the active roster which prompted the club to part ways with Richardson.

They then sold his contract to the Atlanta Braves organisation and gave Richardson a coveted return to the minor leagues.

Since signing with the Braves, Richardson has seen immediate playing time and has appeared in a pair of games thus far with productive results.

In his first outing with the team against the Mobile BayBears, Richardson was immediately inserted into the starting lineup and went 3-5 with one stolen base.

Richardson loaded the bases late in the ninth inning when he put a ground ball in play to second and all runners reached safely.

He set the stage for Willie Cabrera who singled to right field and scored Juan Gonzalez, however the comeback attempt ended there in the Braves' 8-4 loss.

In his second game, Richardson went 2-4, highlighted with his first RBI and first run scored.

Again with late inning heroics, Richardson hit a fly ball to left-center field and was safe at second on a fielding error and a pair of runners scored to tie the game at six.

Cabrera, who lengthened his hit streak to 10 games, doubled to score Richardson.

In his previous stint in the AA minors, Richardson spent two years with the Connecticut Defenders.

In his first season with the Defenders in 2008, Richardson hit .241 with five home runs, 63 runs, 31 RBIs and 33 stolen bases in 123 games.

In 2009, he hit just .207 with six RBI and six stolen bases and was released by the Defenders in July.

The Mississippi Braves boast several major league alumni to its credit, most notably, Jeff Francoueur, who won a Gold Glove Award in 2007.

Tim Alderson update......

Tim is with Altoona and has started 10 games posting a 4-2 record. He's thrown 51 Ip allowing 61 hits with a 4.75 ERA. Batters are hitting .298 against him.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Previewing the Norwich Regional

Great info presented here by Steve Hamel who blogs the Connecticut Tiger Den (link on the right) and will be covering the regionals for
Steve is just totally into college baseball and the New York Penn League and is really required reading for me. His blog has a wealth of info on it; please check it out.

Previewing the Norwich Regional

Just back from Dodd......

after picking up a ticket for Friday night. Section 11 is sold out but section 10 is still in play.
New Tigers signage is up on the Stott Ave sign as well as the ticket windows. In the park from what I could see are (I think) new seating section signs on the concourse and new signage on the wall behind the press box. Defenders signage still on the centerfield scoreboard. Might be going to the UCONN open practice Thursday so I'll be able to see more then.

More on the Dodd selection from Adam Giardino who writes for the Bleacher Report. This is from 5/31/10:

"With the 2010 NCAA Baseball Tournament bracket being released, one thing is clear: The NCAA made a mistake and the Florida State Seminoles are the ones who received the brunt of the injustice.

Florida State (42-17, 18-12 ACC), one of the sixteen 1-seeds in the tournament field, has to travel some 1,200 miles to play at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn. at a region hosted by the No. 2 seeded University of Connecticut Huskies. In making this decision, the NCAA and the NCAA Tournament selection committee has invalidated the season-long journey embarked on by teams towards the end goal of being a regional host.

All off this was done in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

Hosting a region should be a privilege reserved for the top 16 teams in the country and the University of Connecticut should have been in the last-hour discussions assigning the final hosting spots. The merits of hosting a region should be based on a team that has earned the right to play in front of their home fans and to avoid the added strain of travelling upwards of thousands of miles to the regional location.

With a 47-14 record, the No. 24 RPI in the country, and a No. 19 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Top-25 Poll, the UConn Huskies were among the two dozen teams who had a legitimate claim at one of the 16 host spots. However, with their No. 2 seeding, it was made very clear by the selection committee that they were ultimately not one of the 16 best teams in the country.

Tim Weisner, the NCAA Baseball Committee Chairman, defended the committee’s decision to award UConn a region despite being a No. 2 seed during the selection show live on ESPN.

“If we have an opportunity – without sacrificing the competitive integrity of the tournament–to put a regional site in a location that historically hasn’t had one, I think that’s good for college baseball,” he said.

“Frankly the difference between Connecticut and some of the other teams that were competing for (the regional site) were very small.”

In the interview, Weisner also alluded to the fact that this practice of placing a top seed at a different site is not untested. The most recent example of the selection committee doing this is the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Michigan was granted a region in Ann Arbor, forcing No. 1 seed Arizona to travel the 2,000 miles from Tuscon to Ann Arbor to play in a region where they were the top seed. In that instance, Arizona survived to advance to the Super Regionals and any major controversy surrounding the decision was avoided.

The NCAA has done this with other sports in other postseason tournaments, and the results were beneficial for the NCAA’s bottom line, but more disastrous for the teams involved. The women’s basketball NCAA Tournament has a similar alignment with 16 teams hosting sub-regionals but, unlike the baseball tournament, these sites are determined well in advance of the season starting. As a result, the school whose site is hosting might not have a team that is among the top 16 teams in the country.

However, this did not stop the NCAA selection committee from awarding home-court advantage for the sake of ticket sales in 2009. The women’s NCAA Tournament had an East Lansing region and the Michigan State Spartans were placed by the selection committee as one of the four teams in the region. Michigan State was the 9-seed and after winning their first round game, they upset the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils to advance to the Sweet 16 fueled by a raucous home crowd. Duke was upset at having to play a road game in the second round of the tournament despite being chosen as one of the top four teams in the country after the regular season.

Will all sixteen No. 1-seeds win their region to advance to the Super Regionals? No. Regardless of where the games are being played, college baseball is a game that allows for the unpredictable (See: Fresno State’s winning the 2008 national championship) and it is just as likely, in fact, that all 16 No. 1 seeds don’t advance to the Super Regionals. However, if UConn is to advance out of the Norwich Region with wins over Florida State, it is entirely reasonable for anyone affiliated with the Seminoles to have a bone to pick with the NCAA.

Financially, does it make sense for the NCAA to have an opening round site in Norwich, Conn. with their plan to expand college baseball to a more national audience? Absolutely.

Of the 16 opening round sites, the rural Connecticut site of Norwich offers a unique site that the other 15 sites cannot offer. The Norwich Regional is approximately 300 miles further north than the second northern most site, hosted by the University of Louisville. It is entirely understandable how the striped suits in the NCAA must have watched with quelled excitement as UConn baseball quickly turned into one of the best stories in college baseball this season.

With dollar signs flashing before their eyes, an order from above was sent down to the selection committee to award Connecticut a region despite falling just outside being one of the nation’s top 16 teams. Florida State earned the right for themselves and their fans to be hosting a regional at Dick Howser Stadium, but instead they will make the trip north to try and extend their season in Connecticut.

Unfortunately for the Seminoles players, coaches and fans the message is clear: A season worth of work means nothing when put up against the NCAA’s vision to further increase revenue."

I have to admit to being very curious as to how attendance will run especially Friday and Saturday and if it's a hit what the concessions, etc will be like and how the Tigers can leverage this event. It's a great dry run of sorts for the team heading into their first season.

Dayton Buller update....

Dayton was recently released by the Rockies and is now playing with the Camden RiverSharks of the indy Atlantic league. The former Defender catcher joins ex-Connecticut infielder Kyles Haines on the team. Another former Def infielder Mark Minicozzi was also on the Camden team earlier in the season.