March 2012

2012 New Items/Improvements for Hadlock Field

The Sea Dogs open up the 2012 season on Thursday, April 5th in Reading, PA against the Phillies.  Portland’s home opener is April 12th against Binghamton.  Below is the press release from the Sea Dogs on New Items/Improvements for this year.

Portland, Maine– The Portland Sea Dogs have unveiled a series of new items and improvements throughout the ballpark for the 2012 season. The Sea Dogs kick-off their 19th season and tenth as a Red Sox affiliate on April 5th in Reading, Pennsylvania. The home opener at Hadlock Field is set for Thursday, April 12th at 6:00 PM against the Binghamton Mets.

Here is a preview of the improvements and additions at Hadlock Field for the 2012 season:

CONCESSIONS: The Sea Dogs introduce some healthy menu options in 2012 including four wraps including; Ham Italian, Turkey Italian, Veggie Wrap, Chicken Caesar Wrap. Additionally, the Sea Dogs will now offer both a Caesar salad and a garden salad.   All of which will be served at the expanded Shipyard Grill on the third base side of the ballpark.

The first base grill shack has been converted to the Hadlock Brewhouse, where 11 local microbrews will be available on tap. New microbrews added this year include Baxter Amber Road, Sebago Fryes Leap IPA, and Sebago Summer Seasonal Hefeweizen (available May 1st).

New Sky Box menu offerings include Baked Ziti Dinner, Fajita Bar, Sluggers BBQ Gourmet Sandwich Wrap Platter, Sweet Chili Tenders, and more.

Mr. Belding (Dennis Haskins) from the hit TV Show "Saved by the Bell" makes his Hadlock Field debut on April 27th.

TICKETS: The Sea Dogs are now offering an “All-You-Can-Eat-Seat”. For just $24.00 you can get your ticket to the game and two hours of all-you-can-eat-food including hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled BBQ chicken, Sea Dogs Biscuits, and fountain beverages. Tickets are located in section 501 in the U.S. Cellular Pavilion and are limited to only 100 per game. The All You Can Eat Seat is available for games Friday, May 25th through the end of the season.

The Sea Dogs have also expanded the “Corporate Corner” group packages. This is the only group package that offers box seats. New menu options now include lobster, steak, and more.

BALLPARK: All the televisions in the concourse have been replaced with new high definition flat screen televisions. Back after a several year hiatus, fireworks will accompany the Hadlock Field lighthouse each time a Sea Dogs player homers and after each Sea Dogs victory. The Birthday Party has been relocated to the first base side of the ballpark along with the speed pitch machine. The relocation has made room on the third base side of the ballpark for the expanded “Corporate Corner” group offerings.

RADIO: 95.5/95.9 FM WPEI will serve as the new flagship radio station for the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network. WPEI is owned by Atlantic Coast radio and is part of the WEEI Radio Network and is the sister station of WJAB Sports Radio. Sea Dogs games can also be heard on WOXO 92.7 SM (South Paris/ Oxford), WTBM 100.7 FM (Rumford/ Bethel), WEZR 1240 AM (Lewiston/ Auburn), WKTQ 1450 AM (South Paris), and WTME 780 AM (Rumford). Additionally, NESN will televise the May 26th game against the New Britain Rock Cats.

UNIFORMS: The Sea Dogs uniform will feature a patch bearing the initials of Sea Dogs founder Dan Burke who passed away in October.

ROSTER: Eastern League rosters will expand from 24 players to 25 players in 2012.

PROMOTIONS: The Sea Dogs 2012 promotional schedule will be the most comprehensive in franchise history. Among the notable additions will be “Flat Screen Friday’s”, presented by David Munster’s TV, where the Sea Dogs will giveaway two 32 inch flat screen televisions at each Friday home game starting on June 29th. Several athletes and celebrities are scheduled to appear at the ballpark including Patriots safety Patrick Chung (May 1), Bruins forward Shawn Thornton (June 30), Dennis Haskins the actor who played “Mr. Belding” in the Saved by the Bell television show (April 27), and WWE wrestler Sergeant Slaughter (July 24).

Unusual giveaways will include a Tombstone on Tax Day (April 17), courtesy of Jones, Rich, and Hutchins and a trip to Graceland, provided by TravelWise, on August 17 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of when Elvis was scheduled to perform at the Cumberland County Civic Center.


Heading out, Cook works 5 innings for Portland.

Aaron Cook ready to speak with the media after his minor league start with Portland on Wednesday afternoon.

I’m leaving for Portland, Maine in a few hours, but wanted to sneak in one more entry before I leave.  I watched 5 1/2 innings of the Sea Dogs game, with Portland leading Montgomery 8-1.  Aaron Cook pitched 5 innings, allowing 5 hits 1 run, 0 walks and 3 strikeouts. He recorded 11 ground ball outs, and threw 68 pitches/47 strikes.

Adalberto Ibarra, a Cuban defector with whom the Red Sox agreed in principle to a deal in April of 2010, had 3 RBI in two at-bats for Portland.   Peter Hissey and Tony Thomas each homered.

I’ll have a final update later tonight.

Some faces in the crowd during today’s action: Ben Cherington, Mike Hazen, Bob McClure and Bobby Valentine


Final Day in Ft. Myers…Minors with a big league feel

Talk about a lucky eyes were closed when I snapped it.

I can’t believe this is my last day in Ft. Myers, but there’s no doubt this has been the best Spring Training that I’ve ever attended.  On April 5th in Reading, I’ll begin my 16th season as a play-by-play broadcaster in minor league baseball, and it seems like I get more excited for the season ever year.  That’s a good thing! Sometimes in life you think maybe if you’re doing something for a long time, that passion will run out – but it hasn’t.  This opportunity every March is an incredible experience.

News of the Day

Amazing statue of Ted Williams, which was brought over from the old place. My dad's favorite player.

  1. Aaron Cook (Portland) and Clay Buchholz (Pawtucket) are scheduled to pitch in the minor league games this afternoon against the Rays’ affiliates.
  2. Vicente Padilla (Portland) and Andrew Bailey (Pawtucket) make relief appearances, and Rich Hill is slated to pitch a simulated-game.
  3. Just a reminder, the Sea Dogs open at Reading on April 5th with a doubleheader…Game time is 4:05 PM and the action begins at 3:45 on the new home of Sea Dogs Baseball 95.5/95.9 WPEI.
  4. Talked with Adrian Gonzalez yesterday, he loved his time in Portland, especially the food.
  5. Kevin Boles, Dave Joppie and Bob Kipper continue to coach the Pawtucket squad, while Arnie Beyeler and his staff are up with the Red Sox…Boston has their last off-day of the Spring.

It was very nice to see Sea Dogs’ beat writer Kevin Thomas at the park on Tuesday.  In addition to covering the ‘Dogs, Kevin often makes it to Fenway Park, and has produced some outstanding articles the past few days.  Here’s a great one on Jose Iglesisas.
I’m heading out to watch Cook and Buchholz pitch, I’ll try to check in before I leave for Maine.
take care,
Mike (

Day 5 in Ft. Myers…Afternoon Report

Final Score just in…Sea Dogs 6-2 over Montgomery (Rays affiliate) in Double-A exhibition action.

Boston Globe legend Dan Shaugnessy

Today was one of those days I’ll be talking about for a while.  After batting practice I was able to chat with Adrian Gonzalez and Bobby Valentine.  Gonzalez recalled his days in Portland and Valentine actually remembered me from interviewing him at the Hot Stove Dinner.  You never know, he’s met so many people.

Bobby Valentine addressing the media. That's not Josh Beckett in the background.

There was plenty of drama before batting practice, as SS Jose Iglesias was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, making Mike Avilies the likely Opening Day starter.  I talked to a few scouts today that said Iglesias is not ready to hit in the Major Leagues, and there’s no reason to hurt his development.  With that being said, maybe we’ll the former Sea Dog down the road.

The great thing about working in professional baseball is the people you meet.  First-Base coach Alex Ochoa spent the first couple of months in Portland during Iglesias’ professional debut.  Both Red Sox Assistant Trainers (Masai Takahashi & Brad Pearson) worked in Portland.

I stayed back at the Red Sox Minor League complex to take some photos, and interview some former Sea Dogs.  There is so much randomness that happens in life, and today certainly was random.  I had lunch in the media room with Boston Globe legend Dan Shaugnessy and was on the air with Bob Lobel two hours later – very cool.

During the middle innings, I spent some time in the Red Sox control room, watching how they work.  Thanks to Abbey Thelin of Red Sox TV Productions, for making it happen.

State of the art control room at JetBlue Park at Fenway South.

Tomorrow will be my last day in Fort Myers, and I’m hoping to watch some of the Sea Dogs and PawSox at JetBlue Park.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this being here.  It never gets old.  My job is amazing, and I’m so lucky to work for the Sea Dogs.  First class in so many ways.

Have a great night!

Mike (



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Day 5 Morning Report/Valentine quotes

The Portland Sea Dogs and Pawtucket Red Sox travel to Tampa Bay’s minor league facility this afternoon, game time is 1:00 PM.  Portland beat New Britain on Monday, 6-5, and finish their exhibition schedule on Saturday against the Rock Cats. Sunday is a Camp Day for the minor leagues, the last day of Spring Training.

Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine spoke to the media around 10:30, with the main topic, today’s roster moves:  First baseman Lars Anderson and shortstop Jose Iglesias optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.  The club reassigned right-handed pitchers Justin Germano and Doug Mathis and outfielder Josh Kroeger to minor league camp.

Great quote from Valentine on Iglesias  “I don’t stop believing in a player until I see him stop believing in himself. I saw that the other day, I thought.” Jose spoke to a few media members outside the Red Sox weight room, and I wished him the best of luck.  I’m sure we’ll see him in Boston soon.

Bobby Valentine is eight days away from making his "official" managerial debut with the Red Sox.

Additional Bobby V quotes

On Tampa Bay not using any of their main starters against Boston – “Wise to hold starters back in the division.:

On Daniel Bard pitching twice against Blue Jays – “Different situation since he’s trying to make the team.”

Carl Crawford’s status – “He’s been taking swings in the cage, he’s feeling good.  Probably stay in Ft .Myers to work with the medical team.”


I’m getting ready to watch Red Sox batting practice on the field, and hopefully will have an interview with Ryan Kalish.

It was very nice to catch up with former Sea Dog Trainer Brad Pearson.  Brad is a very good friend of mine, and he’s one of two assistant trainers with Boston.

—-More to come from beautiful Ft. Myers—–

Day 4 from the Ft. Myers…Game Recap/Arnie Beyeler

Portland Sea Dogs Game Recap (Game Photos below)

Adalberto Ibarra delivered a run-scoring fielder’s choice, giving the Sea Dogs a 6-5, walk-off win over the New Britain Rock Cats on Monday afternoon.  Heiker Meneses began the rally with a one-out triple down the right-field line, and was safe on a throw to the plate from the first baseman.  Portland had 11 hits off ‘Cats’ pitchers, including a 3-run double from Oscar Tejeda in the first inning.  Bryce Brentz and Reynaldo Rodriguez added run-scoring doubles.  Ryan Pressly tossed four innings, yielding 4 hits on 3 runs.  Ruben Flores worked two scoreless frames and Pete Ruiz gave up two runs over 2 IP.  Michael Olmsted earned the win, working a perfect ninth.  Olmsted was a former 9th round pick by the Mets in 2007.  Boston acquired the righty last May from Chico of the Independent League.

Mini-Box Score
Jeremy Hazelbaker CF      1-for-2, BB, Bunt-1B
Matt Johnson CF             0-for-2
Derek Gibson SS                   2-for-4, 2B, 1B, RS
Kolbrin Vitek 3B                  0-for-1, BB
Nick Natoli 3B                   0-for-2
Bryce Brentz RF                   1-for-2, 1B, RS
Drew Hedman RF            1-for-2, RBI, 2B
Kevin Youkilis – batted in the first 2 innings, 2 BB
Oscar Tejeda LF                    2-for-4, 3 RBI, 2B, 1B, RS, SB
Christian Vazquez C            0-for-2, BB
Leonel Escobar C              0-for-1
Reynaldo Rodriguez 1B      1-for-4, RBI, 2B
Heiker Meneses 2B              2-for-4, 3B, 1B, RS
Adalberto Ibarra                  0-for-4, RBI

Ryan Pressley                        4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Ruben Flores                          2 IP, H, SO
Pete Ruiz                                   2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, SO
Michael Olmsted                   IP, SO

Faces taking in the Minor League games: GM Ben Cherington, Alfredo Aceves, Brandon Duckworth, Bill James, Tony Pena SR (watching his son pitch for Pawtucket), Bill Masse (Former Thunder Manager)…The second voice of the PawSox Steve Hyder spent his first day watching Pawtucket beat Rochester 6-2.

Interview with current PawSox Manager Arnie Beyeler

Oscar Tejeda's follow through on a bases-clearing double


Former Sea Dog Kevin Youkilis had 6 at-bats between Portland and Pawtucket on Monday, going 3-for-4 with 2 walks.

Former Red Sox Catcher Tony Pena watching his son pitch for Pawtucket.

In the Bens we trust. Ben Crockett, Director of Player Development (LEFT) and GM Ben Cherington

Day 4 Morning Report/Audio Interviews

Catching up with Aaron Bates after Rochester's 6-2 win over Pawtucket on Saturday. (Aaron Goldsmith/Pawtucket Red Sox)

I wanted to thank Shoe & Joe from the Morning Jab for having me on this morning.  The Sea Dogs new home for baseball this season is 95.5/95.9 FM in Portland, Maine, the same radio group that owns the Big Jab 96.3 FM.

I’ll be checking back in later today, with a final game recap of Portland’s exhibition game against New Britain.  Before the game, I’ll be watching Arnie Beyeler throw batting practice and hit fungos to the Red Sox players who will not travel for today’s game.  Kevin Youkilis will get some at-bats during the minor league games.

My interviews if you missed them

Michael Bowden

Rich Gedman

Aaron Bates

Report from the Fort – Day 3 (Bates, Bowden and Gedman Interview)

The first three days of Spring Training has been so much fun, and I’m still in awe of the JetBlue Park facility.  During the past few days,  I’ve covered the Sea Dogs, PawSox and Red Sox, with Pawtucket broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith.  Yesterday I interviewed former Sea Dog Aaron Bates after Pawtucket’s 6-2 loss to Rochester. Tomorrow, the Twins minor leaguers play at the Red Sox complex, and I’m hoping to interview former Sea Dog Ray Chang.

Brandon Duckworth getting some work in during Sunday's workout

When I woke up this morning and heard rain, I was worried that Camp Day would be cancelled.  So what is Camp Day?  It’s where teams play intra-squad games, and hitters get to face their own pitchers.  Since it rained in the morning, a few pitchers threw to a hitter with no one on the field.  There was a catcher, umpire and a few players chasing down fly balls.  It was nice to have a great view behind home plate.

Interview with former Red Sox Catcher Rich Gedman.  Great insight on the 1986 team

With the Red Sox playing on the road today, a few starters stayed behind and took batting practice.  Former Sea Dogs Manager Arnie Beyeler threw BP (baseball slang word for batting practice), and chatted with me after their workout.  On Monday, I’m going to watch Arnie work with some of the Red Sox players during their pre-game routine in the morning.  Looking forward to getting some great photos.  I can’t say enough about how great the Sea Dogs’ coaches have been since my time in Portland.

Carl Crawford talking to Red Sox report Maureen Mullen of

During my morning travels, I had a long conversation with former Sea Dogs’ trainer Masai Takahashi.  Masai is one of two assistant trainers (Brad Pearson) that worked in Portland.  Jon Jochim, the PawSox trainer, was driving around in a golf cart, but he was very busy.   I also had a quick minute to check-in with Dustin Pedroia.  He said it was as honor that I read his book.  Actually I made that part up.

A Class Act on and off the field.  Former Sea Dog Michael Bowden

Up close shot of the Green Monster at JetBlue Park

Morales and Padilla showing off some dance moves. Not really, just stretching.

Have a great Sunday, and I’ll check in with you on Monday.  Reach me at  Full photo gallery at

Day 2 in the Fort: Game Recap/Aaron Bates AUDIO/Morning Update

The Portland Sea Dogs Facebook Page has photos from my Spring Training trip.

Game Recap: Sea Dogs defeated the New Britain Rock Cats 5-3 on Saturday afternoon at the Twins’ Complex.  Pawtucket lost to Rochester 6-2.  Portland had 13 hits, receiving homers from Bryce Brentz (1-for-3) and Jeremy Hazelbaker (3-for-5).  Brentz clubbed a two-run homer in the third inning and Hazelbaker’s solo-shot led off the ninth. Bryce Brentz receiving congratulations from potential teammates in Portland this year – Reynaldo Rodriguez and Oscar Tejeda.

Bryce Brentz receiving congratulations from potential teammates in Portland this year - Reynaldo Rodriguez and Oscar Tejeda.

Oscar Tejeda drove in two runs, clocking a first inning double down the left-field line.  Heiker Meneses had three hits, and scored twice.  Anthony Ranaudo faced two batters, but apparently left the game with a non-arm injury.  I saw him walking around the complex, and he looked fine.  Marco Duarte and Jeremiah Bayer (Greenfield, Mass) finished out the game in relief.  The minor league teams have a Camp Day on Sunday.

Interview with former Sea Dog Aaron Bates…one of the best guys you’ll ever meet More about my morning….

What an amazing second day in Ft. Myers.  My weekly talk show, the Saturday Morning Jab (96.3 FM in Portland, Maine), took place live from JetBlue Park.  The Red Sox Media Relations’ Department set me up in one of the auxiliary broadcast booths, giving me a gorgeous view of the inaugural park. It was not surprising to see people lining up a 9:00 AM, looking for tickets for today’s game against the Phillies.  That’s Red Sox Nation.  It’s incredible.

View from the Monster Seats at JetBlue Park

Once again, I can’t say enough about how great the Red Sox media has been to me every time I’m in Ft. Myers.  Brian McPherson of the

A very cool feature at Jet Blue Park

Providence Journal and Jon Rish (Red Sox Radio Network) were nice enough to join me on the show.  The feeling of being on the air at 8 AM, looking out to a cathedral is hard to describe (and I talk for a living).  During Red Sox batting practice, former Sea Dogs’ Manager Arnie Beyeler threw to Group 1, which included: Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis.  The Red Sox had a tough afternoon against the Phillies, including a rough start from Alfredo Aceves.  This will make for some great sports talk radio on Monday.

Former Red Sox Catcher Rich Gedman chatting with long-time Twins' Manager Tom Kelly.


First Report 7:45 AM

In about 35 minutes, my weekly talk show begins live from JetBlue Park at Fenway South.  I’m very thankful to the Big Jab and the Red Sox for help making this possible.  I can’t put into words how amazing this is.  I’m sitting two booths down from the Red Sox radio booth.  Show is live online at or 96.3 FM in Portland, Maine.  I’m hoping to land a few members of the Boston media as they trickle in this morning.  Later today, I’ll be heading over to the Minnesota Twins complex with PawSox broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith, taking in the Double-A and Triple-A games.  My interview goal today is former Sea Dogs’ Aaron Bates and Ray Chang.

Inside the Clubhouse with Mike Antonellis

The Portland Sea Dogs Facebook Page has photos from my Spring Training trip.

Game Recap: Sea Dogs defeated the New Britain Rock Cats 5-3 on Saturday afternoon at the Twins’ Complex.  Pawtucket lost to Rochester 6-2.  Portland had 13 hits, receiving homers from Bryce Brentz (1-for-3) and Jeremy Hazelbaker (3-for-5).  Brentz clubbed a two-run homer in the third inning and Hazelbaker’s solo-shot led off the ninth.

Oscar Tejeda drove in two runs, clocking a first inning double down the left-field line.  Heiker Meneses had three hits, and scored twice.  Anthony Ranaudo faced two batters, but apparently left the game with a non-arm injury.  I saw him walking around the complex, and he looked fine.  Marco Duarte and Jeremiah Bayer (Greenfield, Mass) finished out the game in relief.  The minor league teams have a Camp Day on Sunday.

Interview with former Sea Dog Aaron Bates…one of the best guys you’ll…

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