I was debating whether or not to write a blog about this. But then I thought about it some, and figure since it's such a big part of my life for the time I'm in Asia I figured, why not. Shorty (wife) and I are able to keep in touch daily through a magnificent internet invention, Skype.
Skype is basically a free online telephone. It works anywhere in the world that has internet and all you need is a headset with a microphone. I am very thankful for skype, because without it I would be have to get a loan out here to pay for all the phone cards I'd be buying. Another good aspect of it is that you can use a webcam, that's when I took a couple pics last night. My baby and I.



Just a few pictures from the past days...

Raily Legito (3rd baseman) cooling down yesterday

A few guys waiting for the next available ride back to our hotel after lunch

Same picture as a few posts bacck of the scenery, just with a little pole action

Sidney de Jong (catcher) enjoying a "peukje" (Poke-ye in english, or just smoke)

Heading to lunch in the rain today, we have some interesting expressions that's for sure

Largest wild spider I've ever seen... I got very close, and it was not impressed. Check out the size thread he is putting into that web!

Nice little sun action in the background, heading to dinner

Rooken is doodelijk (smoking is deadly)

Heading to dinner...

Poker night... as usual

Often several hours off in a row results in a poker game. Today was one of those cases. We had no practices, and plenty of free time, so several poker games broke out. This the average poker game here, about 6-7 guys, money, jokes, music, and usually baseball in the background. Sydney is in most of these because he wanted to be... And the last picture is 100,000. That is, 100,000 won (Korean currency), we call them points because 100 is 7.3 euro cents.

Dirk in the background swinging a bat, and the average poker look from these guys...

Sidney just doubled up... can you tell?

Korean points..


Rain Rain go away...

Practice was cancelled today because of monsoon-like rains, booo... we need to train. I'm going to run some stairs, and sit-ups will be my workout today. Go away rain.
Pictures out of my window today... compare it to the picture from the first day out of this window.

Koo-ree-han Che-lah-vii-chon (Korean television)

We had a little shoot a bit ago for a few guys by a Korean tv station. They just asked us all one question, very basic. Mine was "How is Korea different then Holland?". Martijn got "What are the problems you are facing in practice right now?" . Naturally we both had the same answer, and it pertained to the weather, dealing with the heat and humidity and whatnot. Diego was asked about what our goal for the Olympics are, and Tjerk, who are biggest rival was. Diego said gold, and Tjerk said Germany, but it's too bad they don't play baseball, which was funny because they just didn't qualify. Anywho, I popped a couple shots for the hell of it during the interviews.

Tjerk just made the comment about the German team, quite funny... obviously

Chuncheon, Korea

Tiny and I caught a cab after lunch, and walked around the city for a little bit. Trying to find speakers for our computers, turf shoes, and sunglasses for myself since I seemed to have misplaced mine before we took off from Holland. Anywho, came up empty handed on everything, but got a good face burn, and tried a iced cappucino from McDonald's (not recommended). So we walked some, took a couple pictures, then caught a cab home. Right now tiny's passed out and I'm just passing the time waiting for dinner. Here's some Chuncheon pics=

Sidewalk produce, cute little old ladies posed right after I took the shot
Spice and herb store
The average road side sidewalk, old ladies, not men, selling produce
I'm glad I wasn't with Shorty (wife) walking by this place we would have stood there and gone "awww" at these pups for about 18 minutes, They were so freakin tiny
Old school coke truck and bottles, unique.
They had this stuff everywhere, on every sidewalk, produce everywhere
Old withered fella, again, Dean, you would have followed this guy and taken a 100 pics for some reason, just had that feeling
Saw the city with Tiny, roommate (see earlier blog). This was the busy shopping street including a nike store, McDonalds, and MLB store.
Naner salesman

Practice day 2

Today was freaking hot, 33 celcius and very very humid.
To see how our water intake was our trainers took our weight before training, and after. I was 95 before, and 94 after, despite drinking over 3+ liters of water. Some guys lost 2 kilo's, some guys gained some. Anyways, even though it was super hot, and I was able to pop a few pictures throughout the practice, and had a couple taken by team staff. Today was a bullpen day, and tomorrow will be light throwing and lots of running, specially since we have 2 practices, including one in the heat of the day. We are looking good, bunt plays went well today, and the new additions to the pitching staff are looking strong and hopefully can help us in the coming games and of course Olympics.

Here's some pictures from practice today.
Cordemans, Van Kampen, and Bergman, catching their breath.

Quite the mountain range in this areaVery nice stadium, but piece of crap feild surface, Dragonflies and Bee's everywherePre-practicePosition players getting their conditioning in.Weigh insNew pitcher Sulbaran, and me, just finished my sit-upsJack Hubbard (former MLB head coach (our 3rd base coach), and our head coach Robert Eenhoorn)Bunt playsBanner on the hotel


Today= super sweaty practice, wilderness walk, Olympic outlook

Hi everyone. Well, today was our first complete day in Korea, first practice, first lunch, first team meeting. I did not realize what kind of extreme humidity we were in for today, but holy crap... this place is a freakin sauna, all day.

Tomorrow, we practice an hour later into the day to get a little more accustommed to the heat, and be punished a bit more, and lose 3 more pounds in water. After that we are planning on heading into the city of Chuncheon, it has some stores and stuff to see I guess.

We also had a long meeting tonight about all the going ons and whatnot of the olympics, what to expect, tell press, doping controls, the village, emergencies, all this stuff, very informative, and I can't wait to arrive.

Just a couple pictures from today...

Nature walk, heading up the stairs (already sweating my ass off) with the whole team in our olympic shwag
Couple guys popping pictures at a lookout point, pretty nice, but dirty looking coastlines with garbage all over
Poor Koreans. I mean, poor Korean ladies.
A little scenery across the water from our hotel
I don't really know why, but I figured my sister would like this one, again Dean, I don't know what I was thinking that when I saw these.


First travel day, Amsterdam -> Korea

We made it. Long journey, but I've been through longer. It was about a 10 and a half hour flight, then we had to wait a good hour for everyone to make it through customs and gather their bags, then on the bus for another 2 hours to Chuncheon. The bus trip included some poker, a crappy driver, and a little napski. Good news is I came second in the poker tourny - doubled up, I didn't puke even though I was car sick for the first time in a looong time, and the nap was a satisfying power nap that's keeping me going right now.

So far what I know about Korea is that this place is friggin muggy, they don't speak chinese, and we have to walk about 10 minutes to get food at a better hotel (every meal while were here except for breakfasts). I am ready to play some baseball. Tomorrow is most likely a bullpen day since we practice our first 4 days here. They are getting us going early too, 10 am practices...whew.

My current dilemma is that my roommate tiny has the only key we get to this crappy room, and you need to plug the key into the wall to get lights and TV in the room. I need a shower, I've taken cold showers before, but never a dark one, I think I might in a minute.

Anywho, it's going to be shower, then off to bed for night one on this wonderful Korean brick bed. Until tomorrow.
Some pics in chronological order=

Everyone saying goodbye and recieving good luck from our families and loved ones
Loek and David pre-flight, giddy as little girlsThis is once we arrived, Percy Isenia (1st base) and 8 of the 9 guys who were on our bus played a little poker tourny the first couple hours on the bus.Our tableMichiel Van Kampen (crazy closer), having a dip, asian style, suprisingly it worked out quite well for himRoel took a shot me passed out, I managed about 6 hours, better then mostView from our hotel window, definetely by far the best part of the hotel, bar none.Waiting to go eat, (L->R Pitching coach Brian Farley, catcher Tjerk Smeets, 7'1" pitcher Loek Van Mil, catcher Sydney de Jong). All wearing different Olympic shirtsSameCouple Neptunus boys, (L->R Eugene Kingsale( centerfield), SS Jeroes Sluijter, Lefty Diego Markwell). Neptunus is my club team in HollandOn the trek to the other hotel to eat, don't mind the dome at the bottom of the pic, I thought I sropped it out, but am too lazy right now to go back and fix itDinner. Our team and staff, and the ladies rowing, and men's cycling were eating also.