The Eastern League’s Hartford Yard Goats — formerly the New Britain Rock Cats — have yet to play a game within city limits during their inaugural season, what with the not-quite-finished Dunkin’ Donuts Park being the subject of a heated dispute between the city and the stadium’s developers, DoNo Hartford LLC and Centerplan. While the Yard Goats have shared a nearby Dodd Stadium with the NY-Penn League’s Connecticut Defenders, locals promised employment by the Rockies AA affiliate are for the time being, seriously fucked, as the Hartford Courant’s Vinny Vella explains :
For 316 Hartford residents, the majority of whom live in the North End within walking distance of the incomplete ball field, minor league baseball’s delayed arrival is more than just an inconvenience.
“Right now, we’re doing horrible,” said Davila, who was counting on the food-service job as her primary source of income. “It’s stressful and depressing. The kids are asking for stuff we can’t give them.”
Tim Restall, the Yard Goats’ general manager, said he understands the employees’ frustrations. He attended the team’s job fair, even interviewed many of the more than 1,000 applicants that afternoon.
“There’s a lot of disappointment. These people are eager and want to get working,” he said. “People see the park and wonder ‘When can we get in it?’ and that’s the tough part. We don’t know.”
The team says its hands are tied, and most of the people they’ve hired understand that — especially, Jashira Gonzalez, who said she doesn’t aim her frustration at being functionally unemployed at the Yard Goats’ front office.
“It’s not the team’s fault. It’s just that the city is messed up,” the Sigourney Street resident said. “I’m looking for a job, but there are no jobs out there for me.”