Passport face off, Netherlands vs. Canada

Today was the 6th game of our 7 game tournament here in the Olympic games in Beijing. We didn't play well, again, and lost 4-0 to Canada. They have a solid team, and had 4 hard luck 1 run losses in pool play to keep them from the medal rounds. We are also out of contention for the medal round. It's too bad, but we definetely did not play well enough to deserve a shot, we've been shutout 4 of our 6 games.

Tomorrow we get undefeated and 1st seed in the medal bracket, Korea. They are hot right now, especially after knocking off previously undefeated Cuba this morning 7-4. I am most likely done for pitching in the Olympics. If we had a chance to move on, I may have pitched tomorrow, but circumstances have changed. Overall I had 2 appearances including one start, going 6 2/3 innings, giving up 6 hits, striking out 6, hitting a batter, and walking one.

Tiny and I are planning on heading to the Great Wall of China in a couple days, should be pretty neat, even though we have to meet at a hotel out of the village at 7 am to meet up with a tour group. Also, I've requested (as many other players have) tickets to some events like Beach Volleyball and a seat in the Bird's Nest to watch some track events.

Here's some of today's action...

Signing bats and baseballs are part of the job. For signing all this stuff today we all received one Olympic ball, a pearl. I'm planning on making it the center piece of my now massive baseball collection

As before every game, we exchange pins with the other team. We usually get pins in return like today, but we were given pens from Chinese Taipei, banners from the cubans, and stamps(??) from the Americans

First pitch of the game. Shy (Shairon Martis (the guy who threw the no-hitter in the WBC)) throwing to Stubby Clapp (yeah, that's his name) a Canadian team veteran and captain. He came out of retiremet to play in the Olympics, and has done quite well

The coaching staff. L -> R Robert Eenhoorn (Manager), Brian Farley (Pitching coach), Win Martinus (BP thrower/1st base coach), and Jack Hubbard (3rd base coach/funniest philadelphian I've ever met). They were trying to figure out where the hell the strike zone was today in this picture, the Cuban umpire was all over the place

A picture from the bullpen of us playing on field two at Wukesong baseball complex in Beijing.

This is Canada's left fielder from today Brett Lawrie. He's quite the player (despite not getting a hit in 3 games against us). He was drafted with the 16th pick overall in the MLB draft in June, and signed a reported 1.6 million dollar contract with the Brewers, at the age of 18. His siter is also in the Olympics as a pitcher for the Canadian softball team. He is a resident of Langley, about 15 minutes away from White Rock where I was raised.

Netherlands team in the dugout, waiting for action that never transpired.

Shy facing a Canadian lineup of 8 lefties and one righty. This is rare considering about 60-70% of batters tend to be righties. In Canada though, because of the popularity of youth hockey, and hockey being a left hand dominated game, many of the young baseball players start out hitting lefthanded. The Swedish team is the same.

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