Another missed article ...

The Edmonton Chrinicle had a nice article about me and my boys from the WBC upsets we pulled off.


Ramdom minors notes...

I had another outing today. Since some pitchers have recently been demoted from major league camp to triple A and were due to pitch today, me and 2 other double A roster pitchers threw for the high A squad at home against the Pirates high A team.

I went the 6th and 7th and was able to face the minimum, with 3 grounders, a strikeout, and 2 fly outs. I think we won, but I don't really know, they don't use the scoreboard for these spring training games. Arm feels good, weather is great and that definetely helps with that.

Several top prospects and triple A guys get to go play with the big league club every day. I did not know they did this before the past couple weeks, but every morning on the 'board' they put about 8-10 names of position players and pitchers who are to attend the major league spring training game. Most position players get into the games and have an at bat or two, but pitchers are sent as backups, and rarely get into the game. No, I haven't seen my name on the board yet, and I don't expect to since I'm just a rookie.

Alright, time to put my 13$ a day meal money to use and get something delicious.

Til' next time.


Belated WBC photo's

Here are some pictures of the World Baseball Classic, albeit a bit delayed. I have to comment my wife on the excellent photography for the first 16 pictures and Christopher Elise (copyrights by the way) for the last 6.


Bert Blyleven and myself pre-USA game

My wife and I about 5 mins after the second and hugest upset...

Sad Papi...

Our two games against them captured in one picture...

Tiny... greatest roommate and teammate a guy could ask for...

Hall of Famer and Mr. Baseball Tommy Lasorda... awesome guy, and gave us a great pre-game speech.

*CE* Win #1....

*CE* Crazy celebration #2
*CE* This pic sounded like this = "Shorty got them apple bottom bottom jeans, boots with the fuuuur, the shole club was looking at her..." ... don't ask.


*CE* This guy
*CE* This guy 3

Typical Tiger Triumph

After 'camp day' here at minor league camp (meaning intersquad) we retired to the hotel around 4ish and were able to get some extra hours of rest and relaxation.
I was able to catch the last 5 holes of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament after the UNC vs. OU game in march madness finished. Tiger Woods was in contention for his first win in 8 months since he had a left knee surgery. As usual he was wearing his Sunday red Nike shirt (which means it's time to step it up for him) and entered the day down 5 strokes to Sean O'hair, but leave it to him to catch up. On the last hole he made a remarkable approach shot tied at 14 under, and with the other players watching, he needed to drain his very long putt for the win. In typical Tiger fashion he made a dramatic shot, sinking the putt and putting himself back in golfs' spotlight with his 66th career PGA win in just over 220 tournaments, that's a 29% win rate.

You can see it in his eyes, I can almost imagine what he's thinking and how focused he has to be to succeed at that level. I am going to try and take what I can visually learn from him on a CBS sportscast, and interpret that into a pitching outing as well as I can. Tiger gets 1,080,000 for the win instead of the second place 648,000, but you can tell it's not about making that extra 432,000 for him, it's the hunger to win, and the focus that is all lifted once he sank that last huge putt. This is about the 10th time I've gotten to see him win a PGA event, it's always special and amazing to watch.

I tip my cap, cheers, prost and give my kudos to the biggest 'gamer' I've ever watched.


Oops, missed one *UPDATED*...

In my previous post I missed this very in depth article by the Globe and Mails' Tom Hawthorn, who also wrote 2 other very intricate articles.

It's a few days later I find this article from the NY times.


Some media from the Dutch team and myself...

The official WBC had a nice departing article of us, depicting how we showed ourselves in this most recent World Baseball Classic.

This is the first interview I did, before the WBC from my little dorm at Pirate city where the dutch team was training for the WBC. Interviewed by a huge baseball fan, and World Baseball Challenge coordinator Jim Swanson, who is also a writer for the Price George Citizen Newspaper.

Couldn't find the original webpage featuring this article by Tom Hawthorn or the Glode and mail in Canada, but managed to scrounge through some site and find it on his blog...

An interview I did directly after the World Baseball Classic...
This is a pretty neat site I found charting some of my movement, and talking about me and a couple other pitchers in the WBC, dad you'll appreciate this.

Another site featuring a graph of my pitches and stuff, even though apparently they think my submarine pitches are changeups.

A week in Dunedin

I've been at the Blue Jays minor league spring training camp for just over a week now. It is somewhat what I was expecting from a spring camp, there are just little things here and there I wasn't to sure about, and am figuring out quickly here in Dunedin, Florida.

I'll try and describe how things go here as well as I can, just to give you an idea of my and any Blue Jays minor leaguers average day. I'm here along with about 130 other minor league players from low A Lansing to Triple A Las Vegas trying to make the highest possible team we can.

We arrive at the complex around 7 am, get changed into workout clothes, and go eat. The breakfasts and lunches are served in the lounge, and most guys are eating or have eaten already by 7:15. Following breakfast the weight room is normally packed out with guys getting a morning workout in. They do have time, and as long as we don't have a morning meeting (scheduled around 8 am every couple days) guys can get a solid hour and a half workout in. We (double and triple A pitching staffs) normally get into our stretching at 9, then throw and get our bodies loose. We break into our team defense after throwing and work on the fundamentals, I'm getting all the bunt plays, first and thirds, pick offs and other Blue Jay basics down. This is normally followed by 10:45 batting practice, then we break for lunch around 11:45. Some guys also get their workouts in over the lunch break since we have about an hour and start our games at 1 pm.
We play at 1, if you aren't scheduled to pitch in that game (usually 3-5 pitchers pitch per game) then you stay and watch the game, chase foul balls, do charts, be the bat boy or ball boy... there's job for everyone. If the team is on the road, the pitchers who aren't in line to pitch that day stay and watch 5 innings of whichever game is played at home that day, then are free to get their workouts in, or take off.
Workouts are not mandatory, but very highly recommended here. We have 5 or 6 strength and conditioning coaches who tend to keep the guys working hard and are always around the weight room for help, new workouts and spots.
The games are not scorekeeped (scorekept?), anyways no one scores the game and it's not very important who wins, the coaches just want the guys to get their work in around this time of the year and have a good look at some guys.
There have been 2 cut days already since I've been here, today being the more significant one. We (double A) had 2 pitchers and a couple position players axed today, and triple A had even more. It's a very tense time of the year for a lot of the guys worrying about being cut. I try to just focus on the pitching, not worry about what I can't handle, and not kiss ass, because if I was a coach I would hate that.
Anyways, so far so good here. I had my first triple A outing today getting a save against the Phillies in Clearwater, and despite having bad stuff I was able to have a scoreless inning and get my outs in about 17 pitches.

For anyone interested, through 4 outings covering 5 innings this is my line.
5 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 4 K's, 1 BB, 0 HBP.
We are in camp until the 5th of April when everyone is assigned to a level, I'm hoping double A New Hampshire, but wouldn't mind staying in the Florida sun for high single A right here in Dunedin, but we will see, I'll just pitch my best and let what happens happen. Time to get some rest to get ready for my typical 6:15 wake up call.


Being a Blue Jay

Almost through one week of spring training camp here in Dunedin, and it's everything I was expecting it would be. Fun, and work. Baseball is a game, but you need to work to be good at it. Luckily I'm one of the guys who loves this game, I am an allround fan, I love watching, playing, meeting big leaguers, everything when it comes to baseball. Over the next few days, weeks and months I'm going to get into that more, as I will have a lot more time then right now to fill you in on my thoughts, vents, ideas and anything else that comes to mind.
Be ready to read.


What a week...

So I guess most of you have heard the big news... but for those who haven't, I signed with the Blue Jays. Yes, the Toronto Blue Jays. They found me at the WBC, and seemed to like how I threw, so the next day after we got eliminated by the USA I got a phone number delivered to me at breakfast on the ripped off corner of a newspaper. It was the number to one of the top scouts in the Jays organization, they liked how I threw and wanted to sign me. I promptly agreed with everything they had to say and my life changed in that moment. Now instead of heading back to Holland for year 3 of my Dutch baseball career, I'm in minor league spring training camp with the Jays here in Dunedin, Florida. Not sure what team I am to be assigned to after spring training, but just to be here is an honor, and I am planning on making the most of all this.

Shorty (my wonderful wife) is here with me for another 5 days, and then flying back to her home in Oklahoma to get the car, and meet up with me where ever I am going to be assigned.

Life's moving very fast now, and has changed drastically. I will continue to blog (more often once I am here by myself) and add some pictures here and there. I do apologize for the lack of recent blogs but, like I said I've been quite busy with getting settled in here, and the craziness of the Netherlands team making it to the second round.

Anyways, time for a new chapter to begin...


A great game, despite a sad fan display

Not ours... Our fans are great.

Venezuela has a good baseball team, but some terrible fans. Compared to the Puerto Rican fans (which were polite, courteous and said nothing negative) the Venezuelan fans were an embarrassment to the country they are representing. For example, my wife tells me after the games in Puerto Rico almost every PR fan that passed the Dutch fans congratulated the dutch on how well they had played, and how good a fans they were; the exact opposite happened today. The Venezuelan fans were extremely rude, booing any dutch cheers out of the 100 dutch fans we had (compared to over 10,000 they had). These fans managed to bring politics into the game by booing their own players and manager for some reason involving their political leaders. They were a disgrace to fans, their team, their country and baseball. If they treat some of their own players with harsh boo's, just think how they treat the people in orange.

It was sad to see this all unfold, especially when they managed to squeak out a 3-1 victory from us. We played very well, doubled their hits and played a great game. I'm proud of our team and our fans for cheering right until the last out.

Tomorrow we take on the loser of USA vs. PR. 8 pm, ESPN.

Here are some pictures Shorty took at the game today.

Shorty took this one when pulling into the stadium

The whole stadium...almost

Our fans unloading off the guest bus

Bert Blyleven and myself before they announced the lineups for both teams

Both teams during pre-game lineup announcements

A small sign of respect for us, I think. They brought in K-Rod in the eigth....not the ninth.
A small view of the stadium



My folks, my wife and I are on the verge of heading downstairs here in the hotel for a team mingling gala. We experienced the same fancy buffet/open bar deal in Puerto Rico, it was very nice, especially for us players who aren't used to treatment like that.

We'll be hanging out with some of the biggest baseball players in the world this gala. Team USA, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and us with no current 25 man major league roster players. We have our first curfew of the tournament since we have to be on the bus bright and early tomorrow for our 1 pm game at Dolphin Stadium... which by the way is spectacular. I've never practiced or played on a big league field, but it is pretty damn sweet. I had a nice long look at the mound and chatted with the mound crew guy after practice. I like to consider some of the mounds I've build and given facelifts good, but this hill is absolutely beautiful.

Time to go mingle, then play another international powerhouse tomorrow.

Wish us luck!


DR game pics... game 1

My wife Shorty has the chance to be along with me on this amazing ride, and has two cameras and time to pop a lot of pictures. Here's just a few of the over 700 she's taken in the 4 amazing games we've played so far.

For the record, I am excited as ever about this tourney and us advancing to round 2, and now being in Miami. We're so looking forward to trying to matchuo against the Venezuelans on Saturday. Hope every's cheering for us!! Time to sleep and get ready for our last practice tomorrow.

Some pics of the huge game one 3-2 upset...

Pre-game bench sitters are announced...

Pre-game Drominican Republic

Lining up pregame

My childhood idol (look a few posts back about this) Pedro Martinez... he shut us down, 1 hit over 6 innings of relief in 2 games
Pedro again...
I know... lekker chon'je (some kind of dutch saying nice butt)....

In for a save against the Dominicans
Throwing in the 9th
ESPN post game interview with Pedro Gomez
I'm a big a big deal in Puerto Rico
Awesome post Dominican win moment...
Groundout.... Popi.
We owned Popi... 1 hit in 2 games