No excuses

You could say I was tired, had jetlag, was sick, or unfocssed, it could be all of them, it could me none of them, either way, I threw like crap last night, and lost. Just like I don't like to blame umpires for my mistakes or bad calls, I am not going to blame a garbage performace on anything or anyone but mysef. I went 4 +, gave up a to many hits soft and hard, a few walks, a hit by pitch or two and just an overall disgusting outing.


This line signifies the change, and me making this something I'm going to put in the past quickly. I don't like to dwell on failure, but instead use it as a learning experience, realize what wasn't working, how to build on the things that did, and come back strong next week.

Time to run today...


THEE Holland Heineken House

We were able to hit up the Holland Heineken House a couple of the last nights after our tournament was done, and before we left. This is a place that follows the Dutch Olympic team. Every Olympics the Netherlands are in there is a Heineken House for the fans and athletes. The Holland Heineken House (HHH) comes to the Olympics a couple years before it's due to happen, finds a place to buy, rent, or build and makes the HHH. This one had the main hall which normally had up to 6000 people and 3 bars in it. An outside lounge with a big screen showing sports and a snack bar area as well. Also, in the back, about a 5-10 minute walk from the HHH's entrance you find the VIP lounge for athletes and athletics' staff.

It was off limit for the baseball players until we were done playing, for obvious reasons, because it can easily lead to a long night out, and that's not ideal with all the morning games we had to play. It was a nice place to hang out with fellow athletes and unwind after a somewhat stressful and dissapointing game for the baseball team.

Here's some photo's from those nights...

The cabs in China have some kind of weak deviders. I really couldn't see how this thing would protect the driver if some crazy chinaman wanted to do bad...

L -> R Tiny, Me, and our trainer Martijn heading into the Holland Heineken House

Mike Duursma (short stop) and Pim Walsma (pitcher) about to enter the Holland Heineken House. That's a sprite in Mikey's hand, don't worry about it

Typical dutch symbols, in this case leading you to the bathrooms

The Heineken House hall, it was holding about 5000 fans, family, and athletes. The music was pumping all night every night until 3 when they closed. I think the hall was orginally a museum of some sort because this place was huge, and looked museumish

The fans watching a live band getting after it on stage

At the HHH, if a single athlete or team wins a medal, they are recognized that evening on stage. This night the water polo team beat USA for the gold, and it was their turn to dance some and get their applause

Danny Rombley (left fielder) with a couple of the water polo gold medalists. The one with the short blonde hair is the top goalie in the world.

Crazy Dutch and thier crazy outfits, they'll wear anything, as long as it's orange

This is me with Tjerk Smeets' (catcher) fiance. She is on the Olympic champion field hockey team that beat China in the final. The medals are amazing, really heavy, and the patterns are beautiful... someday

Edith Bosch and myself. Edith has so much energy and a crazy personality, making her a bronze medal Judo fighter this olympics. We work out with the same trainer, and often at the same time. Her boyfriend is an olympic cyclist as well, they're going to have some athletic offspring someday, that's for sure

Tiny found the big bottle. A little Black Label wisky... we didn't touch it that night, but it's an impressive bottle

They got some baseball and softball players up on stage the last night I went, and it was a bit crazy, about 5000 Dutch fans going crazy in this massive hall, and they were pumping the music

Happy Birthday Dad

My dad had his 40th birthday yesterday..... actually he may be a little older than that but who's counting anyways. For those of you who don't know my father, he's the reason I'm at where I'm today in baseball and as a man.

He took me out nearly every day from ages 8-17 to play catch, go to practices or games. He was my coach growing up, and still gives me hints, and ideas about pitching and strategy.

He's done so much in his life from somewhat the same path I've taken, playing a professional sport in Holland (ice hockey) for a few years where he met my mom. He is now a Doctor of Biology, and is back playing hockey a few times a week, rumor has it he's faster the Gretzky these days.

Happy Birthday dad.

Couple shots of Sean/dad/pops/father and I on Jeana and my wedding day in march...


Closing ceremony

Here's a few pictures from the AMAZING closing ceremonies. We hadn't gotten to see the main parts of the Opening ceremony, so it was nice to see the whole thing. For those of you who didnt get to see the closing, there was lots going on including a huge tower in the middle of the stadium. The man power and choreography necessary make this run as well, and smoothly as it did are incredible. Just have a look at some of the pictures..

Pro-Athletes / Celebrities I've seen

Over the past month I've seen a few big names in sports very close up. These are some people I've been quite close to...

Roger Federrer - Walked the flag out right by our dutch team in the opener
Dirk Novitski - Also a flag bearer
Novak Djokovic - Top 5 men's Tennis player in the world
Jelena Jancovic - #1 Ladies tennis player in the world
Kobe Bryant - Who doesn't know him... is more popular in china than USA
Lebron James - Next Micheal Jordan walked right by us with the other
Yao Ming - 7'6" Chinese super-hero
Jennie Finch - Top pitcher on Team USA softball
Jason Kidd - Top NBA star, Dream team point guard
Carmello Anthony - Another Dream team starter


Slowly back to earth... but not without a bang

This morning bright and early at 7 am Beijing time we had to say good bye to the Olympic Village. We got up around 6:45 to hand in our keys, then headed out to eat our last meal in the dining hall. 8:30 we finally were on the way to catch our all Netherlands team flight, filled with all the athletes, coaches and a couple media members. A better than normal flight meal, and I passed out for about 4 hours... which was much needed.

We landed in Amsterdam around 3:30 local time, and had a big league welcome, walking down stairs off the plane, straight onto the tarmac, and onto our busses bound for the Olympic team welcoming. About 1 hour later we arrived at the stadium, and enjoyed a very very warm welcome by thousands of Dutch fans.

Now, I'm back home again in Rotterdam for the first time in about a month, and I can't wait to shower and head to bed, so you'd better appreciate me posting this!! I'm just kiding, but here check out some pics from today...

The last picture I took in the village. Bright and early this morning (now almost 24 hours ago, which means I've been semi-up for almost 24 hours.....). The Dutch team all checked out and prepping to catch busses to the airport about 30 minutes down the road, a lot quicker since we can take the olympics lane through traffic hour though

Flying into Holland off the European west coast...

The medal winners needed to exit the plane first to get on a different bus, so I popped this shot of 2 of the main players from the women's water polo tea, the blonde one being the best goalie in the world. Then and their gold medals. I have one of me holding a gold medal, I'll post that in the next couple days with the Heineken house post

A picture of the nice welcome we received at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. I was just heading down the stairs to a huge KLM and airport staff welcoming us, putting us straight on the Busses. We didn't have to go through any security checks, or passport crap for the first time in my life

The Dutch team exiting the KLM flight we took.

Our escort from the airport on the about 20 minute drive to the reception, we had 2 apache helicopters, about 8 police, and closed roads. At several points large groups groups of people were waving at the 8 busses in a row and 5 trucks filled with our suitcases

The Fans off the left side of the walkway... tons of low fives required here

Myself and tiny walking down the fittingly orange walkway into the Amsterdam areana where the 1928 Olympics where held. We were greeted by about 6-8 thousand fans family and media in an event that was way bigger then I thought it would be

The medal winners from the dutch team were specially honored after all us 'non-medal winner' olympians were done walking through. They all completely deserve their medals, and some even more then what they got. I am very proud to know, and work out at the gym with some of these people. The Netherlands finished 12th in medals with 16 which is pretty good for a country of 17 million, compared to China's 100 medals having 1 billion people. Quick side note, Canada had 3 golds, and Netherlands... 7

My cousins Jess and Dan. They are awesome, and were kind enough to drop me off on the way to the Olympics, and pick me up upon return. My wife Jeana would have had some part in the pick up and drop off, but she is at home in the USA for 2 more days, and left 2 days before I departed for Korea. They are aparently checking out one of the medal winner to the left. Thanks again you two!!!

Finally everyone gets to see their families in the special zone that was only for permitted family (Jess and Dan had passes). It was pretty neat to see all the Olympians back and reconnecting with their loved ones, from significant others, to parents to children to dogs even. This didn't last long, most of the athletes were pretty tired from the almost 10 hour flight, we just wanted to get our suitcases and go home


Last day

So they cut our internet off today.

I'm in the international zone which is right next to the athletes village just to get a few minuntes of connection before we head out to the closing ceremonies. Not sure what is in store in the ceremonies tonight, but I am looking forward to it, and heading out tomorrow morning.

I will be keeping up the blog with a few posts from thelast couple days here that I haven't had a cchance to post like: The Holland Heineken House (party house for dutch people, I've got some good pics from there), closing ceremonies, more pics and travel... Also in the next month we are rolling in to the end of the dutch season, and playoffs. Should be good somegood baseball to report, stay tuned...


Final flares

I'm getting to see some baseball (semi-finals yesterday, and todays finals) and doing some things before we take off in 2 days. Tomorrow is our closing ceremony, and we have some part in it, which I don't know anything about at this point. I slept in nice and long the past couple mornings making up for the 7 - 9 am breakfast times we've had to endure the past 4 weeks.

I've been downloading pictures, and skyping all day so I've had enough of this computer for now. I don't feel like posting a picture blog since it will take another hour or something, so I'm hoping to get that done tomorrow, or later on tonight.

Time to shower and head to Wukesong to see Cuba take on Korea for the baseball gold medal. Speaking of gold medals, I got to hold my first one yesterday, and damn they're nice... maybe someday.


The Great Wall

Yesterday morning 4 of us got up bright and early to head to the Great Wall off China. A 5000 km long wall built in the Ming Dynasty. It was breathtaking to see it and imagine how much work went into building this juggernaut structure. Unfortunately we went on a horrible weather day, it was pooring all morning and rained steadily all day long, inclusing some fog up at the wall.

It was about a 45 minute drive there, and we stayed at the wall for about an hour and a half, walking up it a ways, thenback down to enjoy a cappucino, and checking out the gift shop (bargaining shop pretty much).

It was a wet day, but definetely very worth it, check out some of the pictures...

Our first day off after competition, and we got up at 7 am to go, and woke up to monsoon rains. I was very close to shutting down the idea, and going the next day. It may have been a good idea since today (the next day) it's nice and sunny. Either way, I went, and my shoes were soaked and so was I before we even got on the bus to head there

The opening of the mountain where we got off the bus. This arc was the first thing we saw. Welcoming all the athletes to the great wall area

The first sight of the wall I had to pop a picture. Also the "One World One Dream" super-massive slogan on the hill for the Olympics was a neat addition to the experience

Walking the wall. This is Tiny, also David Bergman, and his father Frans Bergman went along, the umbrella's were very necessary...

Getting my Great Wall picture in. You can see the fog and limited visibility in the background. It was a bit of a hinderance in seeing the long distances, but we got a few breaks from the fog and tried to pop some pictures whenever that happened

The wall on the mountain across the way

The stairs (when there are stairs) are all over the place in distances between the two. A lot of the steep parts don't even have stairs, it's like walking up a very inclined hill (I'd compare it to Oxford in White Rock for those Vancouverites reading this)

Had to do it... this is me in one of the semi-dry-but-still misting moments