Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Something about Trenton

Its their pitching staff. That's the only explaination why the Defenders have barely mustered runs against them this.

You can point to inept efforts against New Hampshire and to a lesser extent New Britain, but when you look at the numbers, the Defenders simply can't touch the titans' pitchers.

There have been signs of life for the Defenders' lineup. Carlos Sosa has shown a lot of signs of potential thump to the offense. He hit for average and decent power a year ago, and while Dodd Stadium may prohibit him from exploding, he should do fine in time. Manager Dave Machemer told me that its been high on his to-do list to give Sosa as much of an opportunity to show what he can do as possible.

In eight games, he's hitting .296. He's only driven in two runs, which is teh same number of times he's drawn a walk. He's struck out six timers. Sosa is going to have to learn better plate discipline if he wanst to advance onto Triple-A or the Majors.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ringing the bell

During a pitching change at New Britain Stadium, the hillarious video clip from Saturday Night Live where the cast does its version of "Behind the Music" with Blue Oyster Cult was aired on the big screen.

For those not familiar with the clip, it is where Will Ferrell is playing the cowbell.

It has nothing to do with baseball, but it makes me laugh.


The Rock Cats usually draw very well. Throw in the beautiful weather today after what felt like a solid week of rain, there are less people here approx. 30 minutes before the first pitch than were at either of the two games at Dodd Stadium yesterday.

BAsed on what I see in the stands, my guess is 200 people.

Hello again

The Defenders are in New Britain and will be facing a couple of familiar faces during this four game series. Brian Buscher and Jesse Floyd were taken in the minor league Rule 5 draft over the winter.

Buscher is the DH tonight and Floyd starts Sunday.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


After seeing what David Purcey can do, consider me impressed by the big southpaw. At 6-foot-5, Purcey is an imposing presence on the mound. With 11 Ks against the Defenders over seven innings, needless to say, it shouldn't be too long before Purcey is with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Go away

I say this to the rain. There have been too many postponements and not enough baseball.

The skies here look ready to burst and I don't know if the second game of the double header is going to happen. The first is about to start, so let's keep our fingers crossed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Two days late and a dollar short, but...

I'm going to discuss this topic anyway.

Last night at the office, a few of us were discussing the declining number of black baseball players in the majors. It really amazes me just how the number of African-American players are in the league.

What I found more interesting is that some teams have no black players and some have more Japanese than black. That is a trend far from ending.

Understand that it is not a mandate that x-number of any ethnicity play baseball or any other sport. But with Jackie Robinson having gone through the gauntlet just to have the chance to play, it makes the topic more tragic than anything.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A couple others

Quincy Foster is with Lancaster and James Garcis is with Long Island, both Atlantic League teams.

Where is...

R.D. Spiehs?

A lot of people have been asking about the reliever who spent last season with the Defenders. He's no longer in affiliated ball, but pitching for the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League. His manager with the Patriots is Sparky Lyle.


Derin McMains sustained a knee injury in New Hampshire while diving for a ball and Mark Minicozzi is still nursing a wrist injury from Spring Training. Called up from San Jose is SS Trey Webb.

Neither injury appears to be serious and both players should be back near the end of the month.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Opening Day

Too bad more people aren't at Dodd Stadium tonight, but I can understand not wanting to sit in the cold. It is pretty chilly out there.

The crowd is small and most everyone is huddled together -- by coincidence -- and not for warmth. Although warmth is a secondary advantage.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

No game tonight

The rain has forced tonight's Defenders-Thunder game to be rescheduled. The game will be made up Saturday as part of a doubleheader starting at 2:05 p.m.

Rain, rain go away

The weather forceast for the next 10 days is not one the Connecticut Defenders don't want to see.

Rain is forecast for just about everyday, Saturday being the exception.

I'm looking forward to getting to Dodd Stadium tonight and hope for a game.
Check out this morning's paper. With the home opener scheduled for today -- weather permitting -- there is a special Defenders's section. Included are features on Dave Machemer, Charlie Dowd, Eddy Martinez Esteve, a team preview, capsules of the Eastern League's teams and more.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fan input

I know some of you have strong opinions regarding the Defenders. I would like to discuss these views with you. If you are interested in sharing your views with me, send me an e-mail at jperez@norwichbulletin.com.

Sometimes the voice of fans doesn't seem to hold as much water outside of tickets sold. I'd like to give more volume to your voice.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Four in a row

The Sea Dogs have postponed Sunday's game against the Defenders. The good news for Connecticut is their next stop, New Hampshire, played their first game tonight.

Guess what...

I arrive at Hadlock Field to find today's game has been postponed. Talking to the head groundskeeper at the stadium, he thinks the teams might get in Sunday's game. From what I saw, there's no way the teams play. The warning track is shot. That needs a few more days to dry out.

Check out the videos I post on the Norwich Bulletin website shortly.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Shocker..not really

The Defenders will have to wait another day to play.

While you are passing time, check out my story on hitting coach Gary Davenport.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Go away snow

I went about half way before being called back. From Thompson to Worcester, the conditions deteriorated rapidly. I don't want to know what was ahead of me.

As it stands, I would doubt highly that tomorrow's game will be played either. My guess is they may try to squeeze in two Saturday, but I doubt it since there is more precipitation forecasted.

Dave Machemer told me tonight that he is pretty certain the snow created logistical problems for at least some players. Some of those new to Norwich were going to wait until the team returned from the road trip to Portland and New Hampshire before they cemented housing plans. For now, they are staying at the team hotel.

Four games were given the ubiquitous PPD. It will be interesting to see if anyone gets in more than two games this weekend.

No game tonight

The Defenders' game tonight at Portland has been postponed due to snow. No make up date has been announced.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Well, it is off to Portland for me. The question is more runs or inches of snow. I liked GM Charlie Dowd's comment to me when we discussed the potential weather situation in Portland. He said, "It's not my gate."

Who can blame him after all of the games the Defenders had lost or at least rescheduled because of rain last year.

Check out tomorrow's Bulletin. we have coverage of the series in Portland, Fan Fest and a feature on Chris Begg. Look for more throughout the weekend and a lot more just before the home opener.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The roster is set

Lots of familiar faces at Dodd this season. From the looks of it, most of the Giants quality prospects are everywhere but Norwich. But there are a few guys worth keeping an eye on and a few who need to stay healthy in order to get their careers back on track.

Returning: Begg, Broshuis, Espinelli, Petersen, Matos, Jennings, Ishikawa, McMains, Wald, Horwitz, Requena and Martinez-Esteve.

The team also has just two lefty bats and two switch hitters. There are two southpaws, both coming out of the pen.

The rotation looks like this: Begg, Broshuis, Ben Cox, Nick Pereria and Darren Sack.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A new season is upon us


I can't tell you how much I have been looking forward to this season. I say teh same thing every year, but there are a lot of reasons I say this in 2007.

*This is my first full season cover the team.
*The Defenders are hosting the Eastern League All-Star Game.
*I expect some changes at Dodd Stadium to make a difference in the fan experience
*Most of all, I think this season is going to determine what the team's future holds, be it here or not.

If you are a Defenders fan, drop me a line. I want to talk to you. Not just in the blog forum but over e-mail. I want to hear what you think along the way.