It will come as no surprise to people who follow the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system to hear that the Blue Jays and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats have agreed to extend their Player Development Contract until 2016.
As was announced in a media release earlier today, the Fisher Cats announced that they’re pleased to keep their relationship with the Blue Jays lasting at least until Bar-Mitzvah age: 2016 will be the 13th consecutive season that New Hampshire is affiliated with Toronto.
The Fisher Cats have been the Blue Jays’ Double-A affiliate since arriving in Manchester New Hampshire in 2004 and have won two Eastern League titles as well as seeing some top, major league talent come through Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
I’m also pleased to see the PDC between the Blue Jays and the Fisher Cats extended. I made a trip out to New Hampshire and can tell you that Manchester is a very nice New England town and the stadium is a great place to watch a ball game. With an open concourse, excellent views and well maintained facilities, Northeast Delta Dental Stadium makes the experience of going to a baseball game very enjoyable. I have to admit that I’m biased towards the minor league baseball experience (as opposed to the major league one) and, while the stadium in Manchester isn’t the newest or fanciest I’ve been to (Dow Diamond in Midland, Michigan is pretty darn nice), the overall in-game experience is great with plenty of friendly folks.
Unfortunately, Manchester, New Hampshire is right in the middle of Red Sox country. I attended games that were part of a series against the Portland Sea Dogs, the Boston Red Sox’ Double-A affiliate, and Red Sox Nation was out in full force, “polluting” the Blue Jays’ affiliate’s ballpark. That said, even the Sox fans were great sports and weren’t nearly as aggressive or partisan as they would be if you were in Fenway Park.
Current Toronto Blue Jays who have played for the Fisher Cats include Dustin McGowan, Adam Lind, Casey Janssen, Ricky Romero, Brett Cecil, J.P. Arencibia and Sergio Santos, Moises Sierra, Anthony Gose, Aaron Loup, Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek.
Former Fisher Cats who have reached the major leagues who are now with other organizations include Henderson Alvarez, Yan Gomes, Aaron Hill, Adeiny Hechevarria, Eric Thames, David Cooper, Mark Rzepczynski, Travis Snider, Shawn Marcum and Brandon League.