And that's a season...

I've suited up for about 180 games in the past 7 months, and pitched in about 65 of them, and finally this season has come to an end. Ironically the only game I started all year was the very last game. I wasn't able to be stretched much more than 60 pitches since I have been pitching out of the bullpen all year, so I could only get 4 innings in, but god it felt good to start.

After the first year of my life as strictly a relief pitcher I realize how much more I am cut out to be a starter rather than a reliever. I'm not saying I won't embrace a relief role as a pitcher, I will do my best with whatever any team I play with would like to use me as, there's no question there. Although for myself, growing up as a starter and going through high school, college and the past 3 years in Europe as a starter, it's just what I was molded to be.

I had a very sub par World Championships to my standards. I carried over my messed up mechanics and a slight lack of confidence from my minor league season into my first couple of outings resulting some shaky, don't know where the ball is going, innings. Finally, with the aid of my personal pitching coach ( my dad ) and some video comparisons of me pitching in the WBC and me pitching a couple weeks ago I realized the changes I needed to make, and that led to 2 runs and 9 k's over my last 7 innings at the WC. Bringing my arm slot back up to where I was before this year, and understanding and accepting that where I was at, and the bad habits I had got into on the mound throughout this season were getting me no where. I haven't thrown for 2 days now, and I already miss it, I miss throwing the ball, and being the go to guy out of the pen or in the rotation...which is why...

I'm really looking forward to getting back to a hardcore training program I will push myself through in the next 5 months, starting upon my return to Vancouver in a couple weeks. I plan on losing 20 pounds, and get as physically, mentally strong as I can be by the time spring training rolls around in late February.

Until that though, I am going to relax for a couple of weeks and enjoy my time here in Portales, New Mexico with Shorty. Forget about baseball (except for the playoffs on TV) but for the most part rest the body and have it ready for action once I get back home.


World Cup

We are 6-0 so far in the Baseball World Cup and taking on the powerhouse Cubans tonight. Tomorrow morning we fly to Italy for the final round where the top 8 countries in the tournament are going to battle for the crown of the world champion.

Follow the tournament standings, schedule and stats here=



World Cup Anticipation

I am pretty excited to head to Europe on Tuesday. Not for the obvious reasons, such as, going to Europe, eating delicious and mostly healthy foods, because that is old news to me, I’ve lived there from 2006-2008; between playing in Belgium and Holland I’ve seen most of and parts of 6 different European countries. I am very excited to play ball at an international level again, and play again with all of my former teammates with the Dutch National team that I have been part of for all the major international tournaments since 2006.

It will be great to see my friends again, and I hope to help out my team in any way possible when I get there. I am prepared for whatever role they have for me. I’ve been used predominantly in a starter role with the national team, but was brought in as a closer in the World Baseball Classic, which I would need to be ready for again. I don’t expect the closing job though since we are getting 7’1” twins farm hand Loek Van Mil. Loek has recently touched 99 MPH, which is ridiculously fast and easy for someone with that kind of wingspan I guess. I am excited to get back into action with the Nederland, and see if we can’t turn a few heads in international baseball again.

First things first, 3 more games in Portland, Maine, then once I arrive in Holland a game in Holland against Italy that night. 2 games to follow in Italy (I think), then back to Holland to host ½ of the second round of the tournament. That puts 8 teams at our place, top 4 moves on to the final round in Italy. Keep up with me on here; I will do my best to keep everyone in the loop for the World Championships, all the happenings, ups, downs and in betweens.


Breaking the mold..

A long season is coming to a close. Many of the guys have been counting down the games, innings and even outs needed until the season is up, but personally I have a very different outlook on this subject.

Yea, 142 games in 6 months can take a toll on the body and mind, but like I was telling some of my bullpen mates the other day, I would gladly play an 11 month season with a 1 month break if I could. I know, I know… sounds kind of crazy (‘loco’ like my Latino team mates would say), but this is the game I love. It would be a lot to ask of a players body to be able and available for nearly 280 games in a season, but if the body can remain strong enough, why not?

Ask my wife, I could be at the field at 1 for my game, play at 7, get home at 11 and if ESPN happens to air it, I would watch another game if it's on TV, until I fall to sleep around 1-2 am. I love this game, I can’t get enough. At a young age, I was given options on what sports to play by my folks, and my dad and I fell in love with baseball around the same time when I was 9-10. We watched almost every Seattle Mariners game that was televised, as well as Toronto Blue Jays games on CBC and Sports net in Canada. This didn’t stop, and never has, even when I visit home for holidays and visits these days my dad and I never pass up a game on TV, that now goes for Canucks hockey too.

Anyways, back to the point, if my arm could handle it, which I think it could since it feels pretty strong these days, I think a long season would definitely be bearable. I’m sure my wife would frown upon this post, but if she were to be able to travel and or be with me season round, I’m sure she would be fine with this idea.

I just don’t see how some guys are so ready to be done with the season, what do we do in the off season? Most of our guys (in double A) make 1600 a month, so do not make enough money during the season to cover them throughout the whole off season, in turn meaning they need off season jobs. My demeaning off season job last year was working as a clerk at a local supermarket. I have a bachelors, I am way to qualified to have to put up with a 20 hours a week, 10 dollars an hour job that consists of corralling carts in from the parking lot and doing price checks.

Either way, the 11 months season will never happen, so this is why many guys are hooking themselves up with teams in Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico right now making decent money from October to January. Baseball can be year round, you just need to find the right places to play.

I have no closing point to this, but saying I am ready to finish strong... and watch out.