Saturday, June 30, 2007

Roster questions...and answers

Just to respond to a previous question, Alex Requena is not on the DL. He is just fine.

Catcher Todd Jennings was called up to AAA Fresno, not because his numbers were so fantastic, but because there was an injury to the back up there and they needed an extra body. The Giants don't want to take at-bats away from Steve Holm since he's possibly the best offensive catcher in the system.

Replacing Jennings for the time being is right handed catcher Dayton Buller.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Welcome back

Tyler Von Schell rejoins the Defenders today. Don't expect him in the lineup at Portland tonight but he should be at first tomorrow at Dodd Stadium.

Writers' all-stars

The Eastern League Baseball Writers Association has announced its mid-season All-Star team.

C – Robinzon Diaz, New Hampshire
1B – Jordan Brown, Akron
2B – Eugenio Velez, Connecticut
3B – Neil Walker, Altoona
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera, Akron
OF – Greg Jacobs, Reading; Brian Barton, Akron; Caleb Stewart, Binghamton; Aaron Mathews, New Hampshire (three-way tie for last two spots)
DH – Jackson Melian, Erie
Utility – Jesus Merchan, Reading
Right-handed Starter – Clay Buchholz, Portland
Left-handed Starter – Geno Espineli, Connecticut
Reliever – Matt Peterson, Altoona

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


After Monday's game there was an alleged altercation involving the visting clubhouse attendant and two members of the media; one from New Britain and the other from Hartford.

What I was told was that after speaking with Rock Cats manager Ricardo Ingram, the two men apraoched the New Britain starting pitcher for the game, who was eating his post-game meal.

Now this is not uncommon. The players respect that you are on deadline and have a job to do and in return, you make the questioning go as quickly as possible.

As the pitcher, Ryan Mullins agreed and began answering questions, the attendant -- who is an employee of the Defenders -- told the scribes that they were not allowed to talk to Mullins. Supposedly, the attendant got in the face of one writer and may have pushed him.

After the two writers left, supposedly the attendant followed them out onto the concourse, yelling at them and got in front of the same writer who may or may not have been pushed in an attempt to prevent him from going back to the press box. That writer allegedly pushed the attendant out of his way. As a result, the attendant claimed he was assaulted and is going to press charges.

How much of the above is accurate, I don't know. I do know the writers have recordings of part of the altercation and that they, as well as the attendant, have spoken to the police.

More than once in the course of when I returned from the Defenders' clubhouse that people tried to get one of the writers to stop working on hie stories and to talk with the police. The writer refused because he was on deadline and his livlihood is at stake if he misses deadline. he said once hsi work was sent, he would talk.

Some of the people who came to get the writer handled the situation professionally, while others did not.

I have an opinion on this, but reserve the right to voice it until I can hear more details.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Injury news

First baseman Travis Ishikawa’s day as a Defenders have likely reached their end. The first baseman, on the disabled list since June 16 after cutting open his right knee making a sliding catch, has been sent to Single-A San Jose to continue his rehabilitation. Once activated, Ishikawa will likely be assigned to Triple-A Fresno, according to Defenders skipper Dave Machemer.
“When his rehab is done he’s going to get a shot to go to Fresno and play some there,” Machemer said. “A change of scenery.”
Pitcher Alex Hinshaw also still on the disabled list and is making progress.
“He’s getting a little better,” Machemer said. “I don’t know the time frame, but he is showing improvement and light tossing.”
Two players who were sent to extended spring training in Scottsdale, Az., Derin McMains and Eddy Martinez-Esteve, are on different paths. McMains’ season is over as the infielder after undergoing shoulder surgery. Machemer said the oft-injured Martinez-Esteve is “day-to-day.”

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Eugenio Velez is starting in center field and not second base tonight. This is his first game as a professional in the outfield.


I pulled into the Dodd Stadium parking lot two hours before the game and had much less variety in the parking spots to choose from. Why? Because there are so many people here for the salute to veterans that the lot was more than half full.

It's great to see so many people at the game -- and early!

Big crowds

If the Defenders draw over 5,000 fans for Saturday's game against New Britain, it will be the first time since August of 2000 that the franchise has done so for three consecutive games. Maybe the fans of the team are coming around after all!

Friday, June 22, 2007

See ya Sosa

Carlos Sosa smacked his first home run of the year Thursday, putting the Defenders up for good against Portland. The ball easily cleared the Foxwoods sign in right and I don't even want to guess at how much further it went before hitting the ground.

It was a good win; the guys were as loose as they have been in a couple of weeks.

On a side note, the attendance was over 5,000 and I would say every head was accounted for. With fireworks Friday and the rescheduled salute to vets, we may see three consecutive 5,000-plus crowds.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More on Tuesday's controversy

Following Tuesday's game, Defenders manager Dave Machemer saw video of Eugenio Velez's at-bat in which he was ruled to have stepped out of the batters box. The home plate umpire saw a cleat mark in front of the box, determined it was Velez's and ruled him out. John Bowker doubled on the next pitch, which likely would have scored Velez with the tying run.

According to Machemer, the video shows only part of Velez's foot out of the box, which is not illegal, thus the call incorrect.

The actual rule, taken from

A batter is out for illegal action when --
(a) He hits a ball with one or both feet on the ground entirely outside the batter’s box.
Rule 6.06(a) Comment: If a batter hits a ball fair or foul while out of the batter’s box, he shall be called out. Umpires should pay particular attention to the position of the batter’s feet if he attempts to hit the ball while he is being intentionally passed. A batter cannot jump or step out of the batter’s box and hit the ball.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


The Defenders have released pitcher Jeff Petersen and righty Taylor Wilding has been assigned from Single-A San Jose.

Monday, June 18, 2007


to John Bowker as he was named the Eastern League's Player of the Week.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Coming home

Nice to see the Defenders coming home after a fairly successful series at Altoona. The Curve are tough and now we get to see what a good past 10 days to 2 weeks doesalong with nice weather for the crowds.

Tuesday's Juneteenth celebration should be fantastic, as should the fireworks on Friday and Saturday's televised and re-scheduled salute to veterans. Let's see a new record for attendance for a homestand come about by next week.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

familiar faces

I'm in Boston catching up with some familiar and not-so familiar faces. Check out tomorrow's paper and see what some of Norwich's former players have to say about life after Dodd.

Friday, June 15, 2007


With the All-Star Game three weeks away, I'd like your thoughts as who should represent the Defenders. I'm going to not include Eugenio Velez because he hasn't been with the team a much more than a month.

My picks:
The definites...
John Bowker
Geno Espineli
The possibles...
Carlose Sosa
Garret Broshuis
The dark horse...
Jake Wald

Your thoughts, picks?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Running into a wall

Trenton's pitching staff is far and away the best in the minors -- and the numbers show it, too. So when the Defenders began their series with the Thunder Tuesday, no matter how hot the bats are, Trenton can cool them off quickly.

It will be interesting to see if the Defenders can break out even in one game against Trenton because the Thunder have had the Defenders' number.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The McKae explaination

This is what Dave Machemer -- and Dave McKae -- told me about McKae being pulled after eight VERY impressive innings.

Mac said that pitchers aren't supposed to go over 90 pitches, give or take a few for a final batter. He said it is an organization decision that he needs to follow because "I like my job."

McKae said he knew he wasn't coming back out because of his pitch count. He was disappointed with the outcome, but said he trusts that wouldn't happen much.

My thing is: Even if McKae came out for one more batter, I doubt it would've hurt him or the Giants. Next is, if Anderson shows he isn't getting the job done -- and I think home run, single, single shows this much, why not pull him? Someone else was warming up. Part of the problem is Anderson and for that matter, Matos, haven't pitched in a week. With all of the blow outs lately, where was the work for these guys?

What's important ow is the team try to take the last game and start another win streak heading to Trenton.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

New look

Despite the tribute to veterans being postponed and rescheduled for June 23, the Defenders still sported special jerseys that, in my opinion, look better than the normal uniforms.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Official transaction

Simon Klink is off the DL and Alex Requena is now "disabled." Jake Wald has yet to make the move to the DL. The team appears to want to give Wald a couple days to see how his hammy responds.

nice evening for baseball

The crowd is slowly trickling in and with it being Friday it can only mean one thing: FIREWORKS! What does that mean? At least 3,000 fans at Dodd Stadium.

It's just a good overall night here and the hope is the rain stays away until well after the game.

Tomorrow will be even better. There should be a sellout here.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Just in case you missed it

In today's Norwich Bulletin, I reported that both Jake Wald and Alex Requena are expected to go on the disabled list today with Simon Klink being activated and available to pinch run or hit. No word on who fills the open spot.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Minus one

Victor Torres, the San Francisco Giants' roving hitting instructor who had been with the team since it left Arizona, has returned to Scottsdale. Torres was assigned to the team to help ease the work load of hitting instructor Gary Davenport, who was coming off of multiple knee operations during the offseason.