Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Latest on the NYPL

The Norwich City Council meets Monday to iron out the terms of a lease it will present to the New York-Penn League. My understanding is that the lease should appease most, if not all, of the league's concerns.

From what I'm being told, it isn't a lock that Vermont moves — there are four teams in consideration — and the NYPL gets to pick who the lucky team is.

Just a thought: Oneonta has to be in the running, but when the team was sold prior to the 2009 season, a term of the sale was the team stayed in place until its lease expired following the 2010 season. Could it be another year until there's baseball at Dodd Stadium? I think that's unlikely, but I wanted to throw that out there.

Friday, December 18, 2009

If you care...

The Eastern League has realigned with new division names.

The Eastern Division:
New Hampshire
New Britain

The Western Division:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Connecticut Defenders jerseys are being auctioned off starting Thursday at noon. The team’s camoflage jerseys will be the first on the auction block. To bid, go to

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


The city appointed negotiating council met today with members of the NY-Penn League, including president Ben Hayes.

My understanding is that the Eastern League and New Britain have waived any rights to the territory, so unless someone finds a way to botch this, there should be a team in place by month's end and no later than mid Novemeber.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Just a taste

I've received several letters, e-mails and phone calls in the last week, and I want to say THANK YOU! It is with this beat, more than any other, that I hear how you feel, what you think and what you hope. It is appreciated and I hope we can keep this up next year.

It's a good thing I won't need to re-name the blog.

Friday, September 25, 2009

All-time Defenders/Navigators team

Will be released in Sunday's Bulletin.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Statement from Lou DiBella

“On behalf of the Defenders organization we want to thank our friends and fans in the region for their loyal support over the years, especially this past season,” said Team President and Managing Partner Lou DiBella. “It was a fantastic year on and off the field.  I’m going to do everything in my power to facilitate and encourage the return of baseball to Dodd Stadium. I look forward to seeing all my friends in Norwich and the Southeastern Connecticut region at an affiliated game at Dodd Stadium in the near future.”

Go to to read the letter of intent to vacate Dodd Stadium and teh audio file of the press conferemce.

Hanging by a small red thread, or seam

Walking throughout Dodd Stadium, there was plenty of gallows humor. Some people couldn't wait to be done and others wished today would somehow stay a day away.

If there's away for someone to speak at their funeral, this is much of what it felt like. The sense of inevitable, the lack of control in the process. It was all too much.

I sat in my press box seat, maybe for the last time, opened the shades that allow me to look upon the field and imagined the numerous Defenders I saw take their swings or go into the windup on the mound. For once, they all blended together into an amalgamation.

Nervousness, and maybe a dash of hope for a last-minute surprise, were hiding under the surface. Yet the last day of school with a final exam or two to go theme lingered.

There is no crying in baseball, but there is most certainly sadness.

Some details

“It is a bittersweet day leaving Norwich,” McEacharn said. “I generated relationships there. We moved there. We feel an obligation to the community. We don't like to move teams. But the team simply could not withstand the financial pressure. They were losing money, a lot of it, on an annual basis, just to stay open.”

Lou DiBella will remain as team owner after months of attempts by the league to remove both the franchise from Norwich and DiBella from ownership. It was only after a long series of missteps that the league settled on keeping DiBella on board if it meant it being the only way to get the team into Richmond. DiBella will have  co-general partners, Gary Green of Alliance Baseball, LLC and Harvey Ross of Ross Holdings, LLC.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley (Penn.) is a joint venture between the ownerships of Trenton and Reading with team President Chuck Domino becoming the Chief Executive Manager of the Richmond franchise. Also joining Joining Domino are Todd Parnell as the Vice President and COO and Bill Papierniak as the general manager. Also on hand was the parent club San Francisco Giants Director of Player Personnel Bobby Evans.

Connecticut’s lease at Dodd Stadium ran through 2012 with buy-out fees after each remaining season. To terminate the lease, the franchise has to pay the city a $140,000 termination fee. That, combined with other itemized fees, leaves ownership with a total bill of $247,171.19.
That bill is made up of:
n $47,777.56 for 2009 base rent
n $1,502.50 for 2009 attendance surcharge
n $41,510.59 for 2009 utilities reimbursement
n $140,000 for lease termination
n $8,952.97 for 2009 fireworks coverage
n $7427.77 for MV and PP takes and interest

The Richmond team name will be selected with a Name-the-Team contest.

It's over

The 15-year Double-A baseball run at Dodd Stadium has come to an end this morning. It was announced in Richmond, Va., that the Defenders, once the Navigators, are on their way out of town for next season.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Check tommorow for updates on the happenings in Richmond. I will have some audio and video there as well as commentary here on the blog.

I spent 90 minutes at Dodd today with the staffers and it's a weird place to be right now.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The final moment

10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009 at the Diamond in Richmond, Va.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Nothing has really sunk in but here are some pictures

From top to bottom: 90 minutes before game time -- the view from the seat I sat in at my first game at Dodd;The press box gang, from front to back: Rick, Chris, Kat and Ed; Brock Bond fouling off a pitch; Greg and Hondo; The Mascot pedal car race: "Tater's in the green, Cutter's in the feathers."; A picture worth 1,000 words; A ballpark gone silent.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


It's 2:10 a.m., and I just returned from Dodd a little while ago.

I'm confident there will be baseball next season, but who knows who will be there. I just want to thank everyone who made this season and those past fun.

I have some pics but I am too tired to post them now. Maybe in the morning.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Last year....Every batter's first intro was to "Your Love" by the Outfield. By the third batter, the crowd was annoyed. The pressbox was laughing. One of the better jokes.

I'm not going to lie

the emotions are flowing heavy throughout Dodd Stadium. No matter how certain anyone is of a NYP league team moving in, the feeling that this is it for Dodd Stadium and minor league baseball is strong.

It's a nice, lively crowd, too.

What I'd do for one more game.

The announcement will be made...

Next Wednesday, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Woes adding up

How well has Josh Tomlin pitched for Akron? One hit through four and only two balls have left the infield -- a Mike McBryde single and a Brandon Crawford fly out.

Add that to the struggled of Ben Snyder -- 3 2/3 IP, five runs on nine hits, and this game feels a lot further apart than the 5-0 score.

A tight jam

Ben Snyder gave up a double and two hit batters in the first inning, but came away without a run on the board thanks in large part to two strikeouts. He's got his big curveball working tonight.

Bye-bye camo

The Defenders are wearing the traditional home whites.

I know it's late (at least here it is)

Never did I imagine how difficult it would be to cover a winning team. Four years ago when I began on the Defenders beat, this was a franchise that made losing look natural. It found ways -- sometimes in the most uncommon and difficult manner -- to lose.

There was the bases load and no out situation two years ago, only to have the batter ground into a 1-2-3 double play before the next guy struck out.

That's what Connecticut Defenders baseball was, in a nutshell.

In a few hours the team will play in the first game of the Eastern League Championship -- amazing. For the baseball fan in Eastern Connecticut, these are the last two days of at least Double-A ball that will ever be played at Dodd Stadium. For those around when the team arrived, do you remember that excitement? This is no time for bitterness. No, this is the time to cherish everything that's left.

I for one, will take a walk around the stadium; have a few more conversations with players, staff and fans. I'll go into the little nooks that few know about and sit in the seat I sat in the first time at the park. After one more BP from on the field, I'll take a deep breathe and go to work.

What's important is that we -- the baseball fan, Defenders or otherwise, make sure we get our last respects in just in case.

Dodd Stadium may not be a mega-million dollar facility, but it is a place that many of us silently called home. Be it the familiar faces or the comfort baseball provides or the escape from everything else, we know there's an end in sight.

For once, the baseball gods didn't cancel September. We might as well enjoy these last two nights.

Roster move

Shane Kaufman gone, Craig Whitaker here.

Looks like Bumgarner is moving to...the Giants bullpen.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pitching match ups for Eastern League Finals

Game 1: RHP- Josh Tomlin vs. LHP- Ben Snyder
Game 2: RHP- Jeanmar Gomez  vs. RHP- Daryl Maday
Game 3: LHP- Eric Berger  vs. LHP- Craig Clark
Game 4: RHP- Scott Barnes vs. LHP-Ari Ronick
Game 5: RHP Josh Tomlin vs. TBA

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Don't get too excited

Provided that 1) the Defenders advance to the Eastern League championship by winning the state championship, and B) Tim Lincecum is OK to pitch Monday, don't be too surprised if the Giants send Madison Bumgarner down to pitch, oddly in time for Game 1 on Tuesday.

That's just an idea thrown out by Baseball America. I've heard crazier things.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Ramon castro was hit on the hand -- left, I think -- in the ninth inning. The ball deflected off his hand and hit his face. He is getting an X-ray done to see if he broke his hand or not. Expect Brad Boyer to play third tomorrow.

Also, Akron advanced to finals.

Odd call?

Whit Robbins crushed a first-pitch offering from Wilim Rodriguez that hit off a billboard in right field. The ruling by first base umpire Jason Arends was a three-run home run despite the field rules dictating any ball hit off that sign or the identical one in left is in play.

Brett Pill hit a ball off of the sign in left field earlier this season and that was ruled in play. Decker said he will look into the ruling.

There's a game 4

Defenders fall, 6-1. Game 4 Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at New Britain. Brian Dinkelman hits two homers, drives in three and scores three for the Rock Cats.

Defenders third baseman Ramon Castro was hit in the face in the ninth inning. His condition is unknown at the moment.

Makes you say, "Hmmmm."

The Eastern League isn’t admitting the Connecticut Defenders are relocating to Richmond, Va., after this season, but the New Britain Rock Cats are.

In a 2010 schedule included as part of a press packet for the playoff series with the Defenders, New Britain has itself traveling to play the Defenders in April following a series at Bowie (Md.) and again in June before heading to Altoona (Penn.). The logistics of going between Norwich and either Bowie or Altoona are prohibitive.

Brought to the attention of Rock Cats management, all remaining packets were removed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Before I forget...

Joe McEacharn strongly suggested the Eastern League would realign following this season, likely to three four-team divisions.

Here's my guess at how it will look in 2010:

East or North Division
New Hampshire
New Britain

North or West Division

South Division

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Boyer goes deep

Brad Boyer goes yard for a 7-5 Defenders lead.

EME power

For the second straight night, Eddy Martinez-Esteve's bat came to life. Tonight, after New Britain hit a two-out, three-run homer to take the lead in the top of the third, EME hit one of his own for a 5-4 lead after three innings.

Star-studded event

We have some big names in the house tonight. Senator Christopher Dodd anfm cough-cough, EL President Joe McEachern.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

My take

I am disappointed the Giants chose to promote Madison Bumgarner. All the talk of he's not ready or he's not mature enough was clearly garbage. They ahev to be thinking of him being in the rotation next year. They could have called up anyone from AAA if they weren't.

Neither Lou DiBella, Charlie Dowd nor anyone else in the front office/ownership knew about this. Why do I know this? Because they have zero say in baseball operations.

To blame people not involved makes no sense.

Bumgarner got the call Monday -- not a bad Labor Day surprise. He won't be back this series against New Britain, and he won't be back for the league championship.

Let's separate emotion from reason here: You here Steve Decker say this all the time, the minors are about player development first. Winning comes second. If you are able to kill two birds with one stone, great. But the needs, both short- and long-term of the San Francisco Giants matters most.

Does losing Bumgarner cost the Defenders the first round? No. It means the series goes four, maybe the full five games. They still win. The lineup is intact and if you hadn't noticed, the Rock Cats were decimated by players taken for the World Cup.

Does losing Bumgarner cost the Defenders the league title? It could. There is no room for error on the part of the starters against either Akron or Reading. If it makes you feel better, Kyle Drabek has been shut down for the rest of the year by the Phillies, so both teams are down an ace.

This is where I am disappointed most -- for the Defenders fans.

Since the Yankees left in 2002, the fans here have been craving a winner. Last year, the team had the makings of something special. Several of the guys from that team said this year that when the Giants promoted Pablo Sandoval and Ryan Rohlinger at the start of a four-game series at Portland (which was up 2 games on Connecticut), it took the wind out of the team's sails.

Everyone knew Pablo was ready. Rollie sat on the bench -- so why promote him? He would have made a difference.

This year, the fans got a taste -- making the playoffs, winning the division title by a wide margin. Now, the feeling si with Bumgarner gone, it's been taken away.

Folks, he's just one guy. And one guy who played every six days. There is a lot of talent on this team and they can win the league championship. If this is the end, don't abandon ship now.

Don't turn your backs on Brandon Crawford or Ben Snyder or Joe Paterson or Craig Whitaker or Tyler LaTorre or Mitch Lively or Bobby Felmy or Mike Mooney or Jackson Williams or Geivy Garcia or Brock Bond or Garrett Broshius or Daryl Maday or Shane Kaufman or Brad Boyer or Mike McBryde or Eddy Martinez-Esteve or Matt Yourkin or Josh Phelps (who is on the roster) or Ramon Castro or Steve Calicutt or Alex Hinshaw (who is back) or Bryan Millikan or Brett Pill or Wilmin Rodriguez or Craig Clark or Dan Griffin.

The point of my listing these names is that you cheered for them for five months and now, because one guy is gone, it's doom and gloom. As much as I appreciate what Bumgarner can do, he's not babe Ruth. Don't forget there are other guys on the field.

There are no less than two games left at Dodd Stadium. At the most, five. Make them the most memorable games ever.

Pitching matchups

Game 1: RHP- Deolis Guerra vs. LHP- Ben Snyder
Game 2: RHP- Matt Fox vs. RHP- Daryl Maday
Game 3: LHP- Ryan Mullins vs. LHP- Craig Clark
Game 4: RHP- Mike McCardell vs. TBA
My guess is Garrett Broshuis starts Game 4


Madison Bumgarner has been called up to San Francisco. No word on who starts tomorrow.

More awards

The Eastern League Baseball Writers Association released its award winners Monday, and I won't waster any more of your time:

ALL-STAR TEAM IS IN CAPS/BOLD. Others receiving votes follow.

Catcher: CARLOS SANTANA, Akron (13 votes) ... Josh Thole, Binghamton (2); Alex Avila, Erie (1).

First baseman: BRETT PILL, Connecticut (11) ... Brian Dopirak, New Hampshire (3); Brandon Snyder, Bowie (1); Ike Davis, Binghamton (1).

Second baseman: BROCK BOND, Connecticut (14) ... Brian Dinkelman, New Britain (2).

Third baseman: NEIL SELLERS, Reading (12) ... Pedro Alvarez, Altoona (4).

Shortstop: EDUARDO NUNEZ, Trenton (16) ... only unanimous selection.

Outfielders: BRENNAN BOESCH, Erie (15); MICHAEL TAYLOR, Reading (14); QUINTIN BERRY, Reading (4) ... Rene Tosoni, New Britain (3); Jose Constanza, Akron (2); Eddy Martinez-Esteve, Connecticut (2); Ryan Strieby, Erie (2); Josh Reddick, Portland (1); Miguel Abreu, Bowie (1); Brandon Roberts, New Britain (1); Kevin Mahar, Reading (1); Brian Dinkelman, New Britain (1); Brian Dopirak, New Hampshire (1).

Designated hitter: BRIAN DOPIRAK, New Hampshire (4 total votes at two positions, plus one nod for Player of the Year).

Utility player: BRIAN DINKELMAN, New Britain (3 total votes at various positions).

Starting pitchers: ZACH McALLISTER, Trenton (11); MADISON BUMGARNER, Connecticut (11); JEANMAR GOMEZ, Akron (10) ... Joe Savery, Reading (3); Brian Matusz, Bowie (3); Yoslan Herrera, Altoona (3); Josh Tomlin, Akron (2); Thad Weber, Erie (1); Felix Doubront, Portland (1); Hector Rondon, Akron (1); Brad Lincoln, Altoona (1); Henry Sosa, Connecticut (1).

Relief pitcher: ANTHONY SLAMA, New Britain (12) ... Dan Otero, Connecticut (2); Vinnie Pestano, Akron (1); Josh Schmidt, Trenton (1).

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: CARLOS SANTANA, Akron (8) ... Brett Pill, Connecticut (3); Michael Taylor, Reading (2); Brian Dopirak, New Hampshire (1); Brock Bond, Connecticut (1).

CO-MANAGERS OF THE YEAR: MIKE SARBAUGH, Akron (6); STEVE DECKER, Connecticut (6) ... John Stearns, Harrisburg (2); Steve Roadcap, Reading (1); Brad Komminsk, Bowie (1).

Sunday, September 06, 2009

No-hitter gone

Madison Bumagrner, Mitch Lively and Joe Paterson combined for six innings of no-hit ball, but Shane Kaufman went jut 1/3 of an inning before it vanished. He allowed five straight hits and eventually six runs.

Listen, if you can

I'll be on WICH 1410 AM in the third inning today discussing the Defenders, playoffs and awards.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Jeanmar Gonzalez of...Akron...was named the EL's pitcher of the year. Compared to Madison Bumgarner, it's not even close who should have won.

Gonzalez: 10-4
Bumgarner: 9-1
Advantage: Bumgarner

Gonzalez: 3.38 ERA in 117.1 IP
Bumgarner: 1.91 ERA 106 IP
Advantage: Bumgarner

Gonzalez: 105 Ks
Bumgarner: 69 Ks
Advantage: Gonzalez

Gonzalez: .247 Avg against
Bumgarner: .201 avg. against.
Advantage: Bumgarner.

Gonzalez 110 hits allowed
Bumgarner: 80 hits allowed
Advantage: Bumgarner

Gonzalez: 36 walks
Bumgarner: 30 walks
Advantage: Even, considering innings pitched

I dare anyone to justify Gonzalez being named the best pitcher in the league when he's clearly not. The strikeouts aren't close, but neither is ERA, avg. or hits allowed. Understand that if Bumgarner were to pitch the number of innings (11.1) to draw even with Gonzalez, he would have to allow, on average, 2.6 hits per inning to even that stat. Think about that -- 2.6 hits per inning!!! That's not good. So, how, if Bumgarer basically has to be a bad pitcher for 11-plus innings just to be on par with Gonzalez in hits allowed, is the Akron pitcher better?

Bumgarner would also have to give up nearly two runs in each of those innings for their ERAs to match. Would you want a pitcher who allows essential 18 runs per nine innings? Didn't think so. But that's what Bumgarner would have to do to raise his ERA to that of Gonzalez. Gonzalez had two more games than Bumgarner, so in essence, those two games were ones that Gonzalez had the snot beat out of him which somehow makes him better.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Another snub or two

Read my column on

Monday, August 31, 2009

Playoff tickets...

go on sale 9:30 tomorrow morning at Dodd Stadium.

The Northern Division champion Defenders will host Games 1 and 2 next Wednesday and Thursday nights. If a Game 5 is necessary, it will be played a week from Sunday. 


That one hurt. At least Josh Phelps showed he could make contact. He was closing in on the team record for strikeouts in a season, or so it seemed.

Anyway, now we wait to see who, if anyone, gets a promotion tomorrow.

Bumgarner named POW

The Defenders' release...
PORTLAND, ME- Madison Bumgarner, a left-handed starting pitcher for the Connecticut Defenders, is the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending August 30th. The 20-year old made one start for the Defenders last week and was 1-0 with two strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA in seven innings pitched. Bumgarner, who is a native of Hickory, North Carolina, made his only appearance of the week on Wednesday night at New Britain and pitched seven shutout innings in a 3-0 victory over the Rock Cats. He struck out two batters in the game while allowing just one walk and scattering four hits. With the win he improved his record to 9-1 on the season while lowering his ERA to 1.91 and his WHIP to 1.06, both of which would lead the league if he had pitched enough innings this season to qualify. The 6’4”, 215 lb. southpaw has not allowed an earned run in six of his 18 appearances with the Defenders since being promoted from Class-A San Jose in early May, and he has allowed two earned runs or less in 15 of those 18 games. Madison, who won the Minor League Baseball Most Spectacular Pitcher Award last season after going 15-3 with a 1.46 ERA with Class-A Augusta, was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the first round of the 2007 draft as the 10th overall selection.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Big night

Defenders win 5-3 to clinch Northern Division title. Brett Pill drives in three runs, tying the franchise record of 100 set by Donny Leon in 1999.

Congratulations on both accounts.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Getting it right...sort of

Voting is in for the Eastern League's All-Star team and two Defenders made the team. I'm curious to one omission though.

First, let's congratulate 1B Brett Pill and 2B Brock Bond for making the team, as they should. They are, in my mind, candidates 1 and 1A for MVP, although I am certain that Akron's Carlos Santana will get it.

I thought Eddy Martinez-Esteve deserved to make the team as either an OF or DH. Other than being 30 runs behind Quintin Berry, EME has significantly better numbers.

My bigger bone of contention is the LH starer spot going to Joe Savery over Madison Bumgarner.
Savery: 12-4, 4.41, 112.1 IP, 111 h, 77 K
Bumgarner: 9-1, 1.91, 99 IP, 76 h, 68 K.

There just isn't an argument that Savery is better.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Everything in its right place

It's hard not to look at tonight's win, and more significantly the playoff berth, without mentioning two players: Garrett Broshuis and Eddy Martinez-Esteve.

Both of the guys played on Defenders teams that could be considered the worst in franchise history. Both fought hard to be in position to contribute, and it's only fitting that they played big roles in the clincher.

GB has had some bumps in the road, but when it mattered he stepped up. EME, what can you say? The guy has been playing like an All-Star and deserves to make the All-Eastern League Team, which had its voting completed yesterday. He got my vote.


'Nuff said.

Is tonight the night?

One win -- that's all it takes.

(Or a Trenton loss)

and your Connecticut Defenders return to the postseason for the first time since their 2002 championship season as the Norwich Navigators.

How many of you are going? How many of you are bringing an extra friend or two to try and fill Dodd Stadium so that when the final out is recorded someone else can catch some of the playoff fever?

Once the playoffs begin, what sort of theme or gimmick would you like to see at the stadium? More cowbell? Fake mustaches? Tell me what would enhance September for you.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Some thngs to ponder

A curious reader wanted to know if Madison Bumgarner has been on pitch count or innings limit. Manager Steve Decker told me that Bum has the same restrictions as anyone on the staff, which is 100 pitches. He said that despite the lefty's age, he is the most physically capable of handling more than 100 pitches.


There's a new addition to the team, as OF/1B Josh Phelps joins the Defenders. He shouldn't be active for Monday's game, but will likely play against the Rock Cats. This could be a big bat off the bench or for the DH slot.


Brett Pill has looked bad against the Mets. He's 0-for-8 with nine runners left on base. I asked Decker if Pill (or anyone else) is getting tired. His response is that no one is tired and that baseball is not a physically tiring sport. He then said that Pill will probably sit Monday's finale against the Mets.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My points of contention

I had two of these with Sunday's 6-5 loss.

First, I have to disagree with Steve Decker on the ruling of the ball hit off Mike McBryde's glove as a hit. It was scored justly and I don't think it's fair to use the he got there so it's an error logic. McBryde had a long way to go to catch up with the ball and it shouldn't excuse the poor job by Kaufman, who allowed a single, double and a hit batter with two outs before the play in question. McBryde should never have had to make that catch.

My second point is with a runner on third and one out, even though the guy at the plate already hit a three-run double, you walk him to set up the double play. It would bring up the No. 8 hitter who is batting .230 , followed by the No. 9 hitter (.270). Sure the guy, De Leon, only had 25 RBIs at that point with just over 200 at-bats. That projects to being just less productive than EME. The logic of pitching to him with Mitch Lively looked good with an 0-2 count, but Lively through a fastball over the plate for an RBI single, which happened to be the eventual winning run.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Can't ask for more

In the four years I've covered the Defenders, I have never seen a more exciting conclusion that the one witnessed tonight.

The Defenders rally from 4-1 down to take a 5-4 lead in the sixth. Erie ties it in the eighth and a couple of near misses send the game to extra innings.

In the 10th, Brock Bond lines a triple to left-centerfield and runs through Steve Decker's stop sign at third. The throw is slightly off line, which allows Bond to get in safely. With Brett Pill and his 90 RBIs on deck, it's hard to argue with Deck's logic. Erie intentionally walks Pill to set up a double play should it need it, and brings Mike Mooney to the plate. Mooney hits a chopper to second and the throw home is right on the money. However, Boyer goes in head first and knocks away Jeff Kunkel's glove, sending the ball to the backstop. Boyer gets up and tags home for the win.

Let's not forget Mike McBryde's diving catch in the first to save a run -- or two, maybe. Or the McBryde-Boyer-Jackson Williams play at the plat to gun down an Erie runner. Or Bobby Felmy's home run-saving catch in the third when he reached up over the first wall.

The magic number is 16. Should everyone else keep pace, the clincher comes on the road...likely Aug. 31. But who knows? It may come sooner.

Escaping danger

Great catch by Bobby Felmy, robbing Casper Wells of a home run in the third inning!

So I hear...

that an owner of another minor league team was in town Wednesday night. I'm told it was a coincidence as he supposedly has family in the area. If you believe that, well...

Just check out Friday's Norwich Bulletin.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just to get it out there

Folks, there is no announcement imminent, says two sources close to the situation. There was a rumor started yesterday that the team had been sold. It had not been sold.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I want your input

The season is almost done -- with a few more weeks plus playoffs, that is -- and I am gathering photos from the team's history. If you have any you would like to submit for consideration, e-mail me.

Also, I am putting together an all-time Navs/Defs team. Who do you think belongs? Why?
Put it here and in a few weeks I will release the team members in the paper.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


That is all...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Monday, August 03, 2009

The odds

Someone told me Sunday that the Defenders are nowhere near a likely playoff team. In case anyone is of similar thought:

* The Defenders own the largest lead over a second-place team of ANY team in ALL of Minor League Baseball

* If the Defenders play .500 (17-17) from here out, New Britain would have to play 27-7 or .794 baseball just to tie. The Rock Cats would have to go 28-6, or .824, to win the division.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Why the Giants don't win

Brian Sabean, the Giants GM, makes the worst trades/decisions and has horrible timing.

OK, I know that San Fran trumps Norwich. The Tim Alderson trade for Freddy Sanchez had nothing to do with the Defenders. But it was a bad deal to send one of your best prospects, whether he will ever be good or not, for a borderline all-star on the downside of his career. Could the Giants have though so little of Alderson?

Now the Defenders' pitching staff is a mess that required several position players to take the mound. What a joke! Is it worth injuring these guys over poor planning?

And what of Connecticut's rotation? Bumgarner, Maday, Broshuis, English and then who? Henry Sosa might be done for the year, Alderson is gone. Could use Scott Barnes but he, too, was traded. The Giants need to bring up Craig Clark from San Jose.

Unintentionally, the Giants find ways to put the screws to this team every year it seems.

Monday, July 27, 2009


As you might have read in the Bulletin today, Dan Otero left Sunday's game with a "twinge" in his throwing elbow. He won't pitch for a week as he's been placed on the DL -- and the team is need of a couple of arms ASAP (Can Brooks McNiven turn his plane around?). Geivy Garcia is starting tonight.

Also, Steve Decker called Brock Bond and Brad Boyer the Killer B's. They need a better name since Killer B's belongs to Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and, to a lesser extent, Lance Berkman.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Injury updates

Henry Sosa threw on the side Saturday, and manager Steve Decker said the starter won't be in a game any time soon. The same can be said for Brad Boyer, who injured a hamstring Saturday night and is on the DL. He won't be playing for a while, too.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What else goes wrong?

Let's run the list here:

1. The National Anthem, both in talent and in memory
2. Cutter beating the kids in the race around the bases
3. Brandon Crawford getting hit by Jackson Williams' line drive while running to second base.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

If you were curious

as to why Madison Bumgarner threw just four innings in the opener of the doubleheader against New Britain, the answer I was given from a reliable source was that Bum was on a pitch limit with the MLB All-Star Futures Game on Sunday in St. Louis. Steve Decker gave him 60 pitches and Bum used 59.

Monday, July 06, 2009


Back from the Bronx and red from the Sun...

Griffin, English and Richardson are all assigned to Extended Spring Training. This means one of several options:

1. They really could be in Arizona getting work
2. The Giants aren't sure where to send them
3. They are inactive for the time being.

No. 3 seems most likely for English as this move happened after his last start and making this "move" gave the Defenders Maday on the active roster.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Comings and goings

There have been some roster moves. Off of the roster as of late Saturday are: Jesse English and Henry Sosa (probably inactive), Dan Griffin (my guess is released) and Antoan Richardson (also, I think he's been released).

The additions: Daryl Maday (that's why English is inactive - he was the last starter), Mike Musgrave, Brad Boyer and old friend Garrett Broshius.

Hopefully I'll have some clarifications Sunday.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Where do we go from here?

The Eastern League doesn't want the verdict of Wednesday's meeting getting out, so I assume there is a gag order in place with a substantial fine attached for good measure. All indications are that the Defenders are gone after this season.

While it's not official in the press conference sense, don't hold out for anything different. It'll be a tougher pill to swallow even after everything that has gone on here.

On the flip side, I like the chances of a NYP team moving in. The Nationals' affiliate in Vermont is an outside contender, but the Jamestown Jammers (Marlins) are the front runners.

It isn't a lock, though. My understanding is that if attendance suffers at Dodd here on out, there won't be a team. That means when you go to a game, bring a friend.

Anyhow, I suspect that the EL will make some sort of announcement before month's end.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


To former Defender Ryan Sadowski, who will make his big league debut Sunday against Milwaukee.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Futures team

Congrats to Defender Madison Bumgarner. he was selected as one of two Giants prospects for the upcoming Futures Game in St. Louis. The other is Angel Villalona.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So much info my head is going to explode

Let's start with Tuesday's game. I'm glad I spoke with Steve Decker before the game because he was in a closed-door meeting much too long afterward for me to speak with him then.

The conversation was foreshadowing. He told me that he thinks guys press too much at Dodd Stadium opposed to on the road. He added the one thing they don't have at home is the three-run homer. As it turned out, Portland did.

Joe Paterson gave up a bomb that broke 5-5 tie in the ninth for an 8-5 Sea Dogs win. Jon Still, who hit the homer, was 6-for-65 heading into the game.

Mike McBryde left the game in the second inning with a strained groin. It's considered mild and day-to-day.

Off the field...

Yes, the Defenders are going to pay back the rent they owe the city -- over $222,000. I saw the checks with my own eyes. The debt will be paid today.

It's kind of funny that the money gained as a penalty from the failed purchase attempt by Richmond Baseball LC made this possible. After all, they did agree to pay the bill.

Also, the Shockoe Bottom development that included an expensive stadium for a team -- believed to be the Defenders -- was 86'd Tuesday by not the city, but the developers. They claimed they never wanted to use city-backed bonds to finance the project, but that's not true. If it were true, when the city's report came out over a month ago, the developers, Highwoods Properties, would have said so then. Instead, they pushed their agenda.

Where does this leave the Defenders? Right where they were before the news. Nothing's changed.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Now what?

First let me start by saying it's nice to hear large crowds made their way to Dodd Stadium this weekend. The weather was nice, and mixed with some good promotions and a first-place team, it's hard to justify not going.

Thanks to everyone who e-mailed or commented on my column in Sunday's paper. It had to get out there and people had to know the conditions in which their team is being taken from them.

Despite over 14,00 fans this weekend, the fans are still the primary reason this is happening. There has to be more support. Not just for three days, but for five months. This was a good start.

My gut feeling is that Lou DiBella sells the team soon to a group comprised of Richmond Baseball and any one of the other groups looking into the situation. I think Ripken Baseball makes the most sense, but we'll see.

Will Norwich see pro ball again? I'd like to think so. I'd like to think some of the struggling Penn League teams will think Dodd is a better place than where they are at now. It may take until 2011 to happen. I also think that MiLB knows this whole process is such a disaster because of Joe McEacharn's mismanagement that getting a team here -- even by the same tactics in which it's trying to remove the current one -- may be the closest way to make amends. Will it? Not entirely. Understand that were this a Penn League team at Dodd, the season hasn't begun yet. That's a lot of baseball to have missed. so it's a tradeoff: shorter season or no season.

For now, enjoy what you have.

Friday, May 29, 2009


The second link also contains the audio of the press conference in Richmond.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What a mess!

Yes, the sale of the team to Bryan Bostic's group as originally planned is dead. But this is far from over.

EL presidente Joe McEacharn held a press conference in Richmond, Va. today proclaiming the new attempt to bring local and non-local parties together. There's no guarantee that a sale will happen, something McEacharn acknowledged today. He also tried blowing smoke you-know-where by saying people need to look at the teams not being mentioned. Right. Because the Rock Cats are leaving.

Could the Ryan-Sanders group do this? Yes. They have deep pockets and can move quickly. The spokesman for Richmond Baseball LC -- which has bumbled everything -- said the plan is to pair with other parties to make this happen by Aug. 1. He also said he was the head of the group, not Bostic. He also told others that money was the reason, but denied comment to me. Whatever. Richmond Baseball's handling of this entire process speaks volumes.

More than that, the EL's inability to do this the right way: from forcing Lou DiBella out against his will (read tomorrow's Bulletin) to plotting this entire move and damaging not just the team but the market shows how ruthless the league is when it wants its way.

Check out the audio of the press conference on Thanks to my friend Wes McElroy at 910 AM in Richmond for providing and allowing the use of that file.

In the end, this deal has to get done because of all the damage done. I know that DiBella is disappointed that more people aren't supporting the team. All I can tell those who don't want to lose this team is go to games; rally other fans. Consider this a second-chance to try and change the outcome. Maybe Erie goes if attendance surges here.

McEacharn wants to get rid of DiBella and Norwich. He's willing to play dirty if he has to -- and he has. He's also played ignorant as he failed to see that Bostic had money. He didn't care. He hitched his wagon to a pipe dream on the mere hope of getting the team out of here and into Richmond.

Right now, he's left holding the pipe and scrambling to make this happen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The latest

It appears Bostic added Ryan-Sanders Baseball as a partner to get around the territorial position issue. What this means is if Ryan was going this road alone he would have needed to speak to Lou DiBella. He hasn't. So he becomes a partner and Ryan-Sanders only has to be satisfied with what they hear from Richmond tomorrow. That's right -- Reid and Reece Ryan are en route to Richmond -- to meet with the Mayor, EL president Joe McEacharn and tour The Diamond, among other things on the schedule.

Expect the sale of the Defenders to come through next week.

Radio again

I'll be on Richmond's 910AM at 4:10 today discussing the Defenders. Hopefully their streaming audio works today.

On the Express?

Thanks to Bryan Bostic's empty pockets, minor league baseball needed to find another suitor for the Defenders (or the Sea Wolves) to bring it to Richmond, Va. It's found a possible fit with Nolan Ryan.

Ryan-Sanders Baseball, which owns two teams in Texas, is going to explore the Richmond market and talk to the folks involved down there.

This is funny because no one has spoken to Lou DiBella. And for Ryan-Sanders to speak to anyone in Richmond either they've been granted rights to explore a territory or Minor League Baseball/Eastern League is ignoring the rules.

Expect Ryan-Sanders to form a partnership with Bostic's Richmond Baseball LC and serve as majority owners.

the sense is MiLB and the EL are panicking.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Just a quick note

John Smoltz will pitch for Portland against the Defenders at Dodd Stadium a week from Sunday.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Holy C%@$

The police K-9 dog left a gift in right field before the game. Supposedly it couldn't be removed. I hate to be the right fielder.

D.A.R.E Day

It's a nice day at Dodd Stadium with great weather and roughly 4,000 fans -- mostly kids as part of D.A.R.E. Day.

The team heads into play 1/2 game out of first. A win against the B-Mets Eric Brown (who went to the same college as me) and a win by Portland will thrust the Defenders into first place. There were there briefly on Saturday, but here's a chance to get an extended stay.

Nothing new on the relocation situation for now. I am sure there will be more soon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


For those who will be at the game tomorrow morning -- see you there. I am sure we'll have plenty to discuss.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Into the blog mailbag...

Mdeep04 asks: If this deal doesn't go through does this mean.
A- AA baseball again next year
B- They attempt to do this deal again next year
C- Lou Dibella still not continue next year but that means that Giants AA has no place to go.

A. It doesn't mean necessarily that there's AA ball here next year. It means that Bryan Bostic won't own the team. Lou DiBella could move the team and take on Richmond-area partners, he could form a partnership with Bostic/others, another ownership group (there were a few Minor League Baseball ignored) could step up and make this happen quickly, Erie could be relocated (easily because its ownership has teams throughout the country) or there are no teams moving.

B. Could this be re-tried next year? Yes. But the circumstances will have to change. However, I don't see that happening. All of the sale talk may have done irreparable harm to the city-team relationship and the Defenders and or DiBella may have to go. The problem with it being just DiBella and not the team is there has been essentially no outcry to keep the team.

If people demonstrated a desire to keep THIS team in town, things could change. But people are going to want to see sustained support -- something that hasn't happened in a decade.

C. One way or another, the team will have a home in 2010.

Greg asks: What's the vibe in Richmond?

The people are split between wanting and team and not. Those who don't think it might be worth waiting a few years for a better situation, i.e. building a new stadium. The others don't want the plan Bostic is pushing. It's the same as me asking all of you to build me a house. Then I'm going to charge you to come in and sit. I'll charge you again if you want food. Meanwhile, he makes all the money.

A funny side note. Bostic was supposed to come on the radio after me today on Richmond's 910 AM. He canceled saying he had a funeral to attend. Sounds like he knows his deal is dead.

Listen in

I will be on Fox Sports Radio's Richmond affiliate 910 AM at 3:25 p.m. to discuss the Defenders-Richmond drama.

I've been hearing that the media player on their site isn't working too well, so folks may not be able to hear any of this.

Survey says...

May 31. That is the drop-dead date by which this deal, as presently proposed, needs to be completed or it's not happening.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Trouble in Richmond?

Richmond, Va. Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced the findings of a study Monday to explore the feasibility of a development that includes an 8,500-seat baseball stadium to house the Connecticut Defenders should the sale and relocation of the team be completed.

In the study performed by Davenport and Co., it was determined that project financing is “highly unlikely” unless the city provides credit support. Because of the city’s credit rating, the amount financed would decrease by an estimated $20 million to $60 million. But that is something Jones is unwilling to give a thumbs up to at the present.

Without the financial backing of the city, the project which was to rely heavily upon a sales tax increase is in serious doubt. With the city’s backing, the hike would be 2.1 percent.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Before I forget

Oakland returned Ben Copeland to San Francisco. It remains to be seen where he will be assigned.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Study hard

I've been told there will be significant movement early next week as a city commissioned a study to investigate the potential impact of a new stadium in Richmond.

What I'm hearing is that it's not good news if you are Bryan Bostic.

Where does that leave the Defenders? My guess is probably still gone but to a different ownership group. Likely, it will be one of the groups MiLB didn't want to look at/consider the first time through this process.

Joe McEacharn has said everything needs to be done by Aug. 1 in order to get the 2010 season logistics squared away. That leaves very little time.

The big question is...

Does this sale take place. It's look less and less likely by the day. It may be that Bryan Bostic and Richmond Baseball LC have been able to clear everything between them and the Defenders except for dollars. And without those dollars -- bye bye deal.

That's not even mentioning the battles that still have to be waged in city and state government. A call for a referendum has been made in Richmond, but it's token. It has no influence on what happens. If the Mayor says it's good to go and there's a team that's it.

Bostic's group gave Richmond until Aug. 1 to the Mayor's office OK the development plan that includes the new stadium they want. But his group received a deadline that same day to have the team purchased and approved to relocate, which is really a non issue once the purchase is done.

However, this has been dragging on for months with a whole lot of "we're close" talk coming from Richmond.

What I think we're seeing is EL President Joe McEacharn going to Virginia this week to help drum up more support (dollars) but making it look like his baseball's herald there as an all-is-good sign. But it clearly isn't.

Minor League Baseball and the Eastern League forced this sale process to happen and it may blow up in their faces. If so, someone besides Bostic takes the fall. That's McEacharn. It rolls down hill, if you know what I mean, and McEacharn is standing at the foot of the hill.

So what happens if this does come apart in the next week, which is when Lou DiBella says this will be settled one way or another? Does the team stay and Bostic or someone else try to buy and move the Erie SeaWolves? Maybe. The more likely scenario is another Richmond ownership group emerges, probably one that the taxpayers of Richmond take to more kindly than Bostic and co. If not, DiBella may have to remain as owner and move the team to Richmond. I can't imagine MiLB would say no provided Richmond-area partners came on board.

It's just hard to imagine the team staying after everything its been through in recent months, with the proposed sale being out there for several months. Plus, with attendance being what it's been -- despite increases the last two years -- and a loss of advertising, the team may never recover if it stayed.

If I'm a proponent of the Defenders staying, then I go to as many games as possible and bring a friend to every game I attend.

Who's to say right now? What we do know is McEacharn and Bostic are still saying the deal is almost done. DiBella says it isn't.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

This that and the other

Raise your hand if you thought the Defenders would be 1/2 game out of first on May 14.

That's what I thought.

But they are because they are getting timely hitting to go with the always strong pitching. But you know Steve Decker is nowhere near happy.

Check out the front page of tomorrow's Bulletin. Some interesting stuff regarding the sale of the team. We'll discuss more in this blog sometime around midday. Maybe sooner. Sorry, but a man's gotta sleep :)

Here's something I came across on Twitter and think is hilarious and one of the better MLB-related team ads.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Alderson fantastic

Six 2/3 of no-hit, 10-K baseball. That's what Tim Alderson did in his Double-A debut Sunday against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. I don't care who you ask, that exceeded everyone's expectations.

There was a lot in his favor, such as facing new batters he had never seen and just being generally a good pitcher. But the 'Cats have some decent bats and he made them look bad.

If he stays here the whole season -- which we learned last year is asking A LOT -- Defenders fans could be in for a treat. Now, Madison Bumgarner, who is widely considered to be better than Alderson, takes the hill tomorrow at New Britain.

What are the odds the bats come to life soon? Now, that would make for an interesting summer at Dodd Stadium.

Friday, May 08, 2009


Garrett Broshuis is out of extended Spring Training in in San Jose.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Odds and ends

We can start with Greg's questions in my last post. No, nothing new with the sale. As much as I believe it will happen, I also believe that each day longer this takes that the odds of a collapse increases. What kind of odds do I give it? 90 percent of going through.

For those who are holding out hope that the Defenders/AA ball stays here, if the sale falls apart, the team ain't going anywhere any time soon. My sources tell me that Eastern League President Joe McEachern as well as some higher ups in Minor League Baseball are the driving forces behind the sale. So much so that there might have been a blind eye or two turned away from some tampering months ago. Needless to say, this all comes down to money and Richmond would make more than Norwich. Should this sale not happen, don't be surprised if there are changes on the executive level around the minor league baseball community.

However...don't count on this falling apart. Pieces are still moving slowly such as Richmond ownership getting a two-year lease to play at the Diamond until a new stadium is built.

Regarding a short-season A team coming in, Lou DiBella has told me he wants nothing to do with making any sort of inquiries that might be seen as tampering or put the chances of a team relocating at risk.

DiBella has been pretty upset -- and I believe genuinely so -- over the way everything has played out. At the end of the day, he feels the fans are going to get the shaft because MiLB won't guarantee a team relocates should the Defenders leave.

What else do I have for you...

Simon Klink is back in school at Purdue, where he played college ball.

I don't want to say this is for certain, but after just a few games that I've covered I don't feel as if the clubhouse has meshed as well as it had in years past. Maybe, considering the past results, this is a good thing.

Nothing new pitchers arriving. Steve Decker said the Giants told him nothing as of yesterday afternoon. "Deck" is a lot more forthcoming than his predecessors, so my guess is this is a waiting game. However, pitching isn't the team's big concern. They need to hit, which is as slow developing as the Earth's plates shifting into the next expected land formation (200 million years from now, give or take a century or five).

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Guess where I am...

Dodd Stadium!

I can't tell you how great it feels to be back here even with 34 people in the stands.

It's a chilly night and the threat of rain is defintely keeping folks away. Not to mention the typical early season drought.

Let's see how this game goes.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Check me out on Twitter: joeperez23.

I'll give updates there and here, on the blog, during Defenders games.

Decker means business

Any night where there are fireworks at Dodd Stadium, the Defenders like to escape the parking lot before the fans do.

Not any more. And not under Steve Decker.

Upset at how his team hit in the home opener Thursday, Decker called all the hitters together for a meeting at the indoor batting cage. Whenever someone misses a sign or fails to do their job at the plate, on the mound or in the field, they have a postgame meeting with Decker.

Thursday, he wanted players to understand their job. Tyler Graham bunted with two strikes because that is what he was supposed to do. What Graham was also supposed to do was to give up his at-bat for the good of the team. He didn't, fouling off the pitch and making the at-bat twice as wasteful.

It's not the "Giants Way," as Decker said.

I like this guy.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sounding fuzzy

For those at the game, you know what I'm talking about here. The speakers sounded funny, almost bsted. Supposedly, one of the speakers was not connected properly and as a result we hear a poor quality sound. Expect that to be fixed for Friday's game.

Let's get started

It's Day One of the home portion of the schedule, and I'm excited. It never feels like the season has really started until there's been a home game.

The crowd hasn't been allowed in, but there's already a nice gathering outside of Dodd Stadium for what is the team's final home opener.

I like what I've seen and heard so far from new skiper Steve Decker. He's no nonsense and that should show on the field. We'll see.

Plus, there are fireworks tonight.

Monday, April 06, 2009

2009 Roster

I'm a bit disappointed. I figured after last year's success with Sandoval, etc. that we would see some Giants love with the likes of Posey and Alderson. Guess again.

Plus, EVERYONE'S favorite is back. Yep, EME.

No. Pitchers Bats Throws HT WT Born Resides Last Year
9 Steven Edlefsen B R 6'2 180 6/27/1985 Bloomington, MN San Jose
14 Jesse English* L L 6'3 220 9/13/1984 Vista, CA San Jose
40 Jesse Foppert R R 6'6 215 7/10/1980 San Franciso, CA Fresno
45 Dan Griffin R R 6'7 245 9/29/1984 Schenectady, NY SJ/Fresno
49 Waldis Joaquin* R R 6'2 235 12/25/1986 Villa Tapia, DR Aug/San Jose
54 Daryl Maday R R 6'2 220 8/12/1985 Bristol, WI Aug/SJ/Conn
19 Brooks McNiven R R 6'5 180 6/19/1981 Vernon, BC, Canada Connecticut
39 Mike Musgrave R R 6'2 199 4/10/1984 Ocala, FL San Jose
51 Daniel Otero R R 6'3 205 2/19/1985 Coral Gables, FL Aug/San Jose
18 Joe Paterson R L 6'1 210 5/19/1986 McMinnville, OR Aug/ San Jose
22 Nick Pereira R R 6'0 190 9/22/1982 Cupertino, CA Fresno/San Jose
31 Henry Sosa* R R 6'2 195 7/28/1985 El Seybo, DR SJ/Augusta
No. Catchers Bats Throws HT WT Born Resides Last Year
28 Tyler LaTorre (DL) L R 6'0 219 4/22/1983 Santa Cruz, CA San Jose
35 Jackson Williams R R 5'11 200 5/14/1986 Tulsa, OK Aug/San Jose
17 Adam Witter L R 6'1 229 2/17/1983 Greenville, NC Connecticut
No. Infielders Bats Throws HT WT Born Resides Last Year
10 Brian Bocock* R R 5'11 185 3/9/1985 Dayton, VA Fresno
5 Brock Bond (DL) B R 5'10 195 9/11/1985 St. Louis, MO Augusta/SJ
7 Brad Boyer L R 6'0 185 10/4/1983 Camarillo, CA SJ/Connecticut
41 Andrew D'Alessio L R 6'4 227 9/23/1984 Naples, FL San Jose
8 David Maroul R R 6'2 210 2/15/1983 Benbrook, TX Connecticut
48 Brett Pill R R 6'4 211 9/9/1984 Covina, CA San Jose
15 Sharlon Schoop R R 6'2 191 4/15/1987 Willemstad, Curacao San Jose
No. Outfielders Bats Throws HT WT Born Resides Last Year
20 Bobby Felmy III L L 5'10 194 4/29/1984 Sunbury, PA San Jose
21 Tyler Graham (DL) R R 6'0 180 1/25/1984 Great Falls, MT San Jose
12 Eddy Martinez‐Esteve R R 6'2 215 4/14/1983 Miami, FL Connecticut
34 Mike Mooney R R 6'1 205 6/8/1983 Hillsborough, CA SJ/Fresno/Conn
6 Antoan Richardson B R 5'8 165 10/8/1983 Nassau, Bahamas Connecticut

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pichardo suspended

He has to sit 50 games after violating the MLB banned substance policy. No word on what he took, but he'll be out until late May.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Looking back and forward

Needless to say, Friday was not the day baseball fans in this region wanted to see. I've heard from those who are glad the Defenders are leaving -- some wishing no team replaces them, and others who are saddened.

I'm still hearing from people who believe bringing in a Red Sox or Yankees affiliate is possible or at least, should happen. To those people, please understand the situation. It's can't and won't happen. In the cases of both Double-A squads, they are right where the big league team wants them The Short-season teams are in Lowell, Mass. and Staten Island, N.Y. Neither is moving, especially when they draw so well. If that makes you say good riddance to a team in Norwich, I have to call you selfish and short sighted.

Reality is the deal to Richmond will happen. One way or another the Defenders, as we know them, will be gone after September. If owner Lou DiBella's plan is successful, there will be affiliated baseball at Dodd Stadium next year.

With so many moving parts, could that element colapse and no team come here? Yes. But I think that a team from the NYP league will move. So many averaged less than 80,000 fans last year. My rough estimate would project a team to drawing in the 120,000 to 150,000 range here. Considering some of those teams drew under 40,000 and one didn't sell beer, that ownership could see a spike in revenue that wasn't imaginable before.

Leaving smaller markets and upgrading to bigger communities is the name of the minor league baseball game these days.

Should a NYP team move in, I suspect DiBella will not serve as owner, rather as an investor. I've gotten the feeling he wants to stay involved in baseball, but not to the extent he has been.

Also, I hope these events - no matter how they play out -- reminds the citizens of Eastern Connecticut that minor league baseball is not a God-given right. Should no one replace the Defenders, don't act as if you are owed something. A big reason the team is being sold isn't because of market size, although that hurts, is because "fans" decided to stay away even after the stadium and the game expereince have improved in recenty years. My sources tell me had the team stayed in the 215,000 to 230,000 range, this discussion would have never taken place.

Blame DiBella all you want; blame the city. You can blame the location and you can blame the economy. But at the end of the day, those who decided this team wasn't worth having shoulders the blame.

It's hard for many people, many of whom still see the Defenders as the Navigators. Truth is they still are, even if the final destination is on another coast.

There's one more season of Defenders, Double-A baseball. Take it in. Smell the grass, taste the popcorn, listen to the crack of the bat. Even if its one more time, remember how sweet it is.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Latest news

There's MUCH more to come, so keep checking back throughout the day as well as Saturday's Norwich Bulletin.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Richmond info

So one is saying much about the Richmond report saying an ownership group there applied to purchase "specific" minor league team on the Double-A level. The people I've spoken to have all said, anonymously, that Harrisburg is the target, not Connecticut.

We'll see. I'm not ready to believe that just yet.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

HOF thoughts

The election of Rickey Henderson into the baseball Hall of Fame was a no-brainer. He is the all-time leader in steals and runs and with his mix of speed and power he changed the way the game he played in materialized.

I enjoyed seeing Henderson play in New York with the Yankees and few things were as exciting as seeing him stand on first base. It was always a guessing game of when he would run -- not if -- and if he;d steal one base or two.

Why he received only 94 percent of the vote makes no sense. I don't believe, like some writers do, that only a very select few deserve a first-ballot induction. If the guy's a Hall of Famer, he's a Hall of Famer. Just vote him in. The player's numbers don't change. Maybe how they stack up historically changces, but that would take most of a player's 15 years of eligibility and something like a steroid scandal to do so.

Speaking of 15 years of eligibility, Jim Rice needed every one to get in.

To be frank, I'm not totally sold on him. I also can't make a strong enough argument against him. I never saw him in his prime, just his last few years. The things I heard were, "You don't want to face Jim Rice with runners on base" or "Jim Rice has always hurt the (insert team)." That should really tell you something.

He was feared and he produced. Are there guys with better numbers? Yes. And almost every one is Cooperstown.

Good for Rice, and I think it's good for baseball. It took a while, but the voters got it right eventually.

Now if they could only get Andre Dawson elected.

Next year's ballot includes Barry Larkin (not getting in), Roberto Alomar (eventually will get in), Fred McGriff (not getting in) and Edgar Martinez (eventually will get in as the first-ever DH in the Hall).