Monday, April 26, 2010

Another close call....

courtesy of

Almere Magpies need 10 innings to beat ADO in The Hague in rubber game of series

Game report ADO vs. Almere Magpies

Almere Magpies scored 2 runs on a homerun by catcher Giovanni Samboe in the top of the ninth to even the score at 2. In the tenth 2 more runs scored. ADO manufactured only one run in the bottom of the 10th inning.

ADO manager Leo Voogd left starter Jurrian Koks too long in the game. During eight innings Koks dominated the Almere batters. He scattered 5 hits. In the top the 9th, Mitchell Graham singled. The next batter, Giovanni Samboe, hit the ball over the to right centerfield wall. After Ferd van Stekelenburg doubled, Jurandy Girigori replaced Koks. He got Joey Berkenbosch to hit into a double play to end the inning.

In the 10th Girigorie ran into trouble. After recording 2 outs, Wesley Bernardus walked; stole second and scored the go ahead run on Sytse Visbeen’s single to left. Mitchell Graham doubled Visbeen home to give Almere Magpies a 4-2 lead.

ADO scored one run a wild pitch by winning pitcher Scott Ronnenbergh, who recently signed for the Seattle Mariners, but it was not enough. Ewout Bos recorded his first save.

All three games of the series were decided in the last inning. ADO had a walk off win Thursday night on an error. Saturday night Almere Magpies scored the winning run in the 10th inning on a fielder’s choice.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

First Head Class start on Thursday

Programma / Schedule

Donderdag 22 april
Corendon KinheimRHP David Bergman (1-0)vs.Sparta-FeyenoordLHP José Ventura (0-1)19:45Haarlem
L&D Amsterdam PiratesRHP Frank van Heijst (1-0)vs.Konica Minolta PionoiersRHP Jurjen van Zijl (1-1)19:45Amsterdam
DOOR NeptunusRHP Dushan Ruzic (1-0)vs.Mr. Cocker HCAWRHP Kevin Roovers (1-0)19:45Rotterdam
ADORHP Ludwin Obispo (0-2)vs.Almere MagpiesLHP Justin Prinstein (1-0)19:45Den Haag

Live Play-by-Play

Zaterdag 24 april
Sparta-FeyenoordLHP Gregory Gustina (0-1)vs.Corendon KinheimRHP Duko Jansen (1-0)14:00Rotterdam
Konica Minolta PioniersRHP Eddie Aucoin (0-1)vs.L&D Amsterdam PiratesRHP Jos de Jong (1-0)14:00Hoofddorp
Mr. Cocker HCAW(nog niet bekend)vs.DOOR Neptunus(nog niet bekend)14:00Bussum
Almere MagpiesRHP Sten vd Bedem (0-2)vs.ADO(nog niet bekend)19:00Almere

Zondag 25 april
Corendon Kinheim(nog niet bekend)vs.Sparta-FeyenoordRHP Tim Roodenburg (1-1)14:00Den Haag
L&D Amsterdam PiratesRHP Ben Grover (0-1)vs.Konica Minolta PioniersRHP Shane Gnade (0-0)14:00Haarlem
DOOR Neptunus(nog niet bekend)vs.Mr. Cocker HCAW(nog niet bekend)14:00Amsterdam
ADO(nog niet bekend)vs.Almere MagpiesRHP Dennis Burgersdijk (0-0)14:00Rotterdam

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Email Update - Year 4

Hello family, friends, fans, and Mom,

It's Springtime... That means a return to the baseball blogging with yours truly.
The JMP Baseball website was too much maintenance and complex for a simplistic internet user like myself so I will be returning to the and will hopefully be un-cluttering your email unless there are important updates. As most of you are aware I spent the Northern Hemisphere winter playing ball in Perth, Western Australia (and to the desires of my Law school Dean and Professors, as well as my grandparents, I was also able to complete 6 international law credits during January and February).
After an interesting 6 months down under, which you can read about at, and an eventful 6 days catching up with everyone I could in Detroit, I have settled back in Almere, The Netherlands (aka Holland) where I am in my second season with last year's Dutch First Division champion and recently promoted to the top league in Europe, Almere Magpies. In years past, I have played in countries where it hasn't always been easy to follow games and stats online, however, for all you real true baseball fans I have provided some pretty easy links below, many of which cover the Dutch Major League in English.

Opening day was last weekend and we split with one of the best teams in all of Europe, Kinheim, winning with a walk-off double in the bottom of the 9th with two outs by our SS Mitch Graham, who I found in Perth Australia to help solidify our squad for what will be a difficult season in the top league. (video highlights here: ) I begin the year as the team's closer, similar to last season, and was able to hawk my first Head Class victory by coming in the 9th for the second straight day ( read the game recaps and box scores here: ). This weekend we take on HCAW, a team that had me on their radar to sign the past few years but decided I didn't have enough MLB experience to warrant the highly-sought international player roster spot. I am really looking forward to this series. You can continue to follow the season on websites such as: (The Dutch Baseball Federation Official Page in English) (probably the best recaps of the games in English) (the top English website for everything baseball in Europe) (the Almere Baseball website, in Dutch) (my personal player page) (All Dutch Head Class baseball stats) (the Schedule and Results for all of our games)


Enjoy the 4th pro season of your favorite international baseball vagabond

Friday, April 2, 2010

Back in Enschede

It’s always strange to come back here to this small town on the Dutch-German border, 2 hours east of Almere. I played here in 2008, and really was the starting point for my Dutch experience for the last few years. Pitched a ton of innings as the starter, got to DH and led the league in batting average as well. Had some pretty bad injuries to my shoulder and rotator cuff. Learned a lot of Dutch. Had a serious Dutch girlfriend. And pitched so well against the competition, namely Almere, that I was brought back to Holland by them. Last year we played in Enschede twice, for the annual tournament one week before the season begins and again in June in the regular competition. This year we are back in Enschede for the Tex Town Tigers Mastoenbroek tournament as Almere comes every year but because of our promotion to the Head Class we won’t be facing them in the regular season. This is positive. Things didn’t end well particularly with TTT. At first, they asked me, practically begged me to come back for the 2009 season and also take on a more leadership-coaching position (I was pitching coach in 2008). Then after a month of being back in Detroit at law school, they cut-off communication and right before the end of the transfer period they wrote to me that they could get a better import. I wanted to come back, aside from having a girl there, most of the folks at TTT were great people, very open and much like a family. I enjoyed the guys on the team, we had success, and I really enjoyed training the youth players. Almere found out I was available and got in touch with me. When I went to transfer the management at TTT really bad mouthed me. Almere took me anyways, and much to the chagrin of TTT when their import coach and players didn’t end up turning up in February. They made one last ditch attempt to get me back then, but I was already signed, sealed delivered with Almere, so they asked my father, - an old school, American baseball coach to come over and help. His time there was short and not pleasant. The team was not ready to be be coached in a serious-disciplined manner and his demeanor is old-school and did not sit well with a lot of guys. They really didn’t take care of him well either… He has diabetes and he was not fed properly and they put a 55 year old man with two student age kids in a terrible house. I wasn’t happy about it. Last year everything was still fresh, and it was not going well when I came to town for the tournament. They ended up letting my dad go the day before and I really didn’t want to see or talk to anyone there. When we played them, I wanted to shove it up their --- yeah, that… I really was not happy with them and I took out my anger on the field both times I pitched. We won the pre-season tourney and swept the season series. I got a win against them, we promoted to the head class, I put a lot of that stuff behind me as a person and a player. Being back here, with the animosity sometimes still lingering it’s a bit strange no doubt. The field is small, the tournament is small, the town is small, everything is close together…everybody knows or has seen everybody here and it’s hard to avoid things-people-the past in Enschede. Mostly I can’t wait for this weekend to end. I hate exhibition games. I understand their necessity, but at 26, playing baseball all year ‘round, I’ve had enough game experience to not want to waste any more pitches on something that doesn’t count for anything. I understand the philosophy of practice like you play, but I think at a certain age you reach a point where you’ve practice enough to know what to expect. That doesn’t mean you stop learning new things in baseball or getting better, but in terms of how often you practice and the repetitions incurred, is not going to have some great effect. The way you get better at this age is mostly through mental and then if there needs to be a mechanical adjustment it’s just understanding how to implement it. Baseball is a game of adjustments, and the players that adjust the best and the quickest are the most successful. Now that this rant is almost over, it should be said we beat UVV, our nemesis from last year who finished in 2nd, I started and went 3 innings, threw 60 pitches, and only gave up an earned or two. My off speed was good and my fastball was located, I also hit a batter in the head with a slider who ducked into the strike zone. We won 11-5 or something to that effect. The second game we played TTT, it was good I didn’t pitch because I would have overextended myself, and with nothing left to prove to them, it’s not important. We started all our reserves pretty much and played a tough game against their import American pitcher. In the 2nd to last inning we gave up a 2-spot on a misjudged fly ball that was hit to the fence in center (which maybe stands a mere 340 feet away from home plate?) and 2 runs scored. TTT held on to the lead 4-2. Somewhere in the middle innings it seemed like our philosophy changed from just getting some guys different reps and looks to actually trying to go for the win. I think in these games you either go with one philosophy or the other, otherwise guys aren’t really sure… guys can get hurt or lose confidence depending on how they’re judged or treated. You play hard no matter what, but there’s a little extra in the tank that you hold off until it means something. Maybe that’s the wrong way to approach things, especially with younger teammates but I would rather be a 7:00 PM hitter than a 5:00 O’Clock.

Strange Dutch Experience of the Day:
While it was raining after the completion of the first day of games, the organizers of the tournament dropped a cow on the softball field and let it wander around the grass until it pooped on a piece of paper. The papers were bought throughout the day as a raffle, in which you wrote your name on it. You don’t see these kind of things everyday.