Monday, April 14, 2008

first start

Facing an old nemesis of mine from Australia, in our first game of the season, Locky Elldridge, the lefty from Glenelg, who I think I was 0-4 lifetime with 2 strikeouts already, continued his dominance against me as I went 0-3 with a walk and a run scored (as DH), as we got smashed by DSS in game 1 of the season... 12-3

Check out all the scores throughout the season and from around the league including news from baseball all over the Netherlands... here:

I started the away game on Sunday in Haarlem at a really nice stadium... and as usual had a little rough start in the 1st inning, compounded by a few errors.
I pitched well, although, going away from my fastball on the still frigid afternoon, and throwing more and more sliders so I could get more strikeouts and less groundballs, since we were missing 2 regulars from our lineup. When I started going to the slider in the 3rd inning, I recorded 6 strikeouts in the ensuing 3 innings... I left the game in the 6th inning as we were trailing by by 6 runs. My final line looked like this:
6 innings, 1 earned run, 6 runs, 6 strikeouts, 4 walks, 4 hits

The summary from the game was simple... we can't give a team 4 outs every inning (every inning we committed an error except in the 2nd, a 1-2-3 inning) ... botched double plays hurt us a lot, and if you cut half those errors in half it's suddenly a 3-1 or 2-1 game...

I think we have a solid ball club, there's a lot of young talent but not a ton of leadership. We can definitely be competitive in the First Division against some good competition but it's going to always be a battle and we're going to have to cut down on our own mistakes and mental lapses if we want to win games against tougher ball clubs...

Friday, April 4, 2008

and we are underway, in the Netherlands

Justin Prinstein signs with Tex Town Tigers of Holland's First Division:
from the team website:
from the local paper:

So my 2nd season of pro ball overseas has begun and this time there are some big differences...
1. speaking (not really)/learning (trying to)/hearing - Dutch as opposed to Flemish, Hebrew or Aussie
2. living in a house with 2 other teammates - no family (Australia), no General Manager (Belgium), not in the same miniature room with 2 players from opposing teams (Israel)
3. being second fiddle to softball - a very interesting dynamic to the season is that our team which appears to be solid with some decent talent although we are lacking in depth, is not the best team or most important team even playing with TTT on the front of the uniforms. The softball team is one of the top teams in all of the Netherlands and has national team players from Sweden, New Zealand, Germany, and another standout American pitcher so that's something that I'm definitely not used to
4. the food - lots of cheese (i don't eat), bread with everything, and pint-size portions
5. the town - a very pleasant small city by u.s. standards can literally be biked through in about 5 minutes
6. biking in town - i don't know anyone who rides a bike in the u.s. except for the guys on the side of the road who just got done reading lance armstrong's autobio and then go out and purchase the skin tight clothing and water bottle. here it's the only way to get around. no cars, no public transportation. so i had to teach myself how to ride again, which has had it's share of ups and downs (1 hand is difficult, sitting on the back of a bike even more difficult while someone else rides, pedestrians have right away but cars don't so you have to stop for people walking which is difficult especially when they are old and when you see a car coming just keep on going, they'll stop for you... hopefully, oh and having a working-functioning-not broken bike would be helpful too - i'm 0 for 3 in that respect)...

i will be playing in the Netherlands far eastern part of the country, right on the German border. But I won't be alone here, as I will be joined by my mate, Adam Crabb, my roommate from the Israel Baseball League and teammate on the Southern District Hawks, who is going to be playing for the Haagse Storks... with my catcher, Sam Faeder, from Netanya Tigers (also of IBL lore) playing nearby in Brussels (in the same Belgium league I played in last season before Israel) and a few other guys I know dispersed across Europe, it should be an interesting season.... with Crabb's signing that makes our entire room in Israel, probably the most productive baseball room to come out of the IBL, with Jason Rees moving on to play pro ball with the Yankees and Crabby and I going onto play pro ball in Holland (arguably the best baseball in Europe)...

In my wildest dreams growing up playing little league baseball in Southfield, Michigan never did I envision playing professional baseball in Belgium (for Hoboken Pioneers of the Belgium First Division) in Israel (for the Netanya Tigers in the now defunct Israel Baseball League "IBL") in Australia (for the Southern District Hawks of the South Australian Baseball League) and now in the Netherlands (for the Tex Town Tigers of the Dutch First Division) ... so if you're counting at home - that's: 4 teams, 4 countries, 4 leagues in just 12 months while I still found time to live in Washington, DC, work for a law firm, take the LSAT, apply to law school, and move (in a way) to Detroit after 4 years of living in D.C.

I'll try to update a bit more frequently about how are games go and the other tidbits I find in European and Dutch culture....