Grand Slam
Baseball & Softball Headlines
March 2006
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2006 by Marco Stoovelaar

Index News Archive MARCH 2006

New Executive Board installed. (March 25)

Dutch Baseball
Two exhibition games canceled. (March 1)
Remaining two exhibition games also canceled. (March 2)
Baseball-school to open in southern Netherlands. (March 8)
Most exhibition games canceled again. (March 9)
More exhibitions cancelations announced. (March 10)
Remaining exhibition game also canceled. (March 11)
Orioles show interest in Sidney de Jong. (March 13)
New Head Coach Almere '90. (March 16)
Pioniers-pitcher signs contract. (March 16)
Neptunus adds Czech pitcher. (March 16)
First exhibition games this weekend? (March 16)
Update exhibition games. (March 17)
Jeffrey Verbij to make comeback. (March 17)
Exhibition season finally opened. (March 18)
Two more exhibition games in the books. (March 19)
Fourth try to complete exhibition schedule. (March 23)
Almere acquires Gene Kingsale. (March 24)
Five exhibition games played on Saturday! (March 25)
Four more exhibition games played! (March 26)
Sharnol Adriana starts new season. (March 28)
Balentien, DeCaster send to minors. (March 30)
Marlins release Kenny Berkenbosch. (March 30)
Starters named for upcoming exhibition weekend. (March 30)

Dutch Softball Women
Coming weekend Mastenbroek Tournament. (March 29)

International Baseball
Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett passed away. (March 6)

News Archive 2006

New Executive Board installed

...Jan Rijpstra...

(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - During the annual Council Meeting on Saturday, the four remaining members of the Executive Board of the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association were re-elected and two new members were added, meaning a new Board could be installed.

After three chaotic months, the Dutch Association has a new and complete Board again. Since December, there were internal difficulties and tensions within the Board and with the Head Office, resulting in a loss of confidence and three members to withdraw. Guus van Dee (school sport), Leo Smallegange (secretary) and Charles van der Meijs (player development) all stepped down. Chairman Jan Rijpstra and Gijs Langevoort (baseball and commercial affairs) were critized and the atmosphere within the Board became unworkable. Rijpstra proposed his remaining three colleagues to step down in January and a independent report was written regarding the way of working of both the Board and the Head Office. The four remaining members continued until the regular meeting with a temporarily status.

During a demanded extraordinary meeting last month, the four remaining members of the Board were given an OK to continue with their work. Then, and now, there were critical sounds addressed to both the Board as well as the Head Office. But today, it was advised to re-elect Rijpstra as Chairman. In February, there already an approval for good management. With the re-election of Rijpstra, remaining members Gijs Langevoort, André van Overbeek (softball affairs) and Edwin van den Berk (game officials) also remained in function.
Former Board-member Ruud van Zetten, who already served the last month as Treasurer/Secretary ad interim, was added to the Board and also was named Vice-Chairman. New in the Board is Mrs. Leny Jansen-van der Gevel, former Major of the municipality of Niedorp (1993-2004), who takes over the development-position.
(March 25)

Dutch Baseball
Two exhibition games canceled
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Two scheduled exhibition games for next Saturday and Sunday already have been canceled due to the weather conditions.
As it snowed all day on Wednesday and more bad weather is expected, it was decided that the two games between Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus and Sparta/Feyenoord were canceled.
The two playing sites will not be available, as there was given no permission to use it because of the weather conditions.
As of now, only Amsterdam Pirates will play two games against First Divisionist Alcmaria Victrix. On Saturday at Alkmaar, on Sunday at home in Amsterdam.
(March 1)

Remaining two exhibition games also canceled
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - After the two exhibition games between DOOR Neptunus and Sparta/Feyenoord were already canceled, on Thursday it was confirmed that the two games between Amsterdam Pirates and First Divisionist Alcmaria Victrix also have been removed from the schedule.
The cancelations were done because of the snowy weather conditions of the last few days, bad weather expectations and field conditions.
The next exhibition games are now scheduled to be played on Saturday, March 11.

Oddly enough, the same happened last year on the exact same moment.
On March 5 and 6, a total of five exhibition games were scheduled in the opening weekend then. But just like this time, it started to snow in the first days of March, resulting in the cancelations of all five games.
(March 2)

Baseball-school to open in southern Netherlands
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - After Baseball-schools in Rotterdam and Amsterdam a same kind of project is being presented for the Dutch provinces of Noord-Brabant and Limburg in the southern part of The Netherlands.
The Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB) is working for awhile now to set up and open baseball-schools in several regions of the country.
Like the successful Unicorns (Rotterdam) and the last season opened baseball-school in Amsterdam. The KNBSB now has found a partner in Foundation Bixie Baseball to set up such a school in the region Noord-Brabant/Limburg.

Bixie Baseball is an initiative of Martijn Nijhoff, Wim van den Hurk and Ferenc Jongejan. The first two started the project one-and-a-half year ago.
Bixie Baseball will participate with two teams (cadets and juniors) in the highest division (top league) and educate talented players on a so-called LOOT-school. Besides that clubs from the region that affiliate themselves with the foundation will be supported with coaching clinics and educations, as well as activities for player development. They also want to improve the facilities.

Who are took this initiative?
Martijn Nijhoff is one of the pitchers of Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus, but also played in the highest Dutch league for PSV from Eindhoven.
Ferenc Jongejan also is on the roster of Neptunus as a pitcher, but also played for Twins (Oosterhout) and Konica Minolta Pioniers in the Dutch big league. Besides that, he played professionally in the Chicago Cubs-organization, where he reached the triple-A level. Ferenc also played for the Dutch national team, with whom he participated in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney (Australia) and 2004 Olympic Games in Athens (Greece).
Wim van den Hurk is the father of pitcher Rick van den Hurk, who currently plays professionally in the Florida Marlins-organization and is a candidate for the Dutch national team.

Bixie Baseball works together with the KNBSB try-outs for talented teams in the cadet- and junior-categories from this region. Players aged 11 through 16 can come to these try-outs, where parents will be informed about the plans of Bixie Baseball and the LOOT-schools.
Informatie about Bixie Baseball and the baseballschool-project in Noord-Brabant/Limburg can be obtained by sending an e-mail to Interested to participate in Bixie Baseball? Then send your name, age, positie, playing experience, club and how you're reachable to this preceeding e-mail address.
(March 6)

Most exhibition games canceled again
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The first cancelations for this weekend exhibition schedule has been announced again due to the bad weather at the moment.
Last weekend, all four scheduled exhibition games were canceled because of snow.

Now, it has been announced that both games between ADO and Sparta/Feyenoord are canceled, as well as Sunday's game between Mr. Cocker HCAW and Amsterdam Pirates.
Also scrubbed are the 3-way series on Saturday in Almere and Saturday's game between Corendon Kinheim and Konica Minolta Pioniers.

In the meantine, Amsterdam Pirates announced that when its Saturday-game at home against First Divisionist Alcmaria Victrix can be played, RHP Pim Walsma will be their starting pitcher.
(March 9)

More cancelations announced
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - On Friday, it was confirmed that three more exhibition games, scheduled to be played this weekend, were canceled.
On Saturday, Amsterdam Pirates and Alcmaria Victrix's game will not be played.
Also, Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus saw its two games being canceled due to weather conditions. On Saturday, the Rotterdam-club was to meet Royal Greys from Belgium, while on Sunday First Divisionist and its second team DOOR Tridents was to be the opponent. On Sunday, both teams are now scheduled to conduct a practice.
There is now only one game scheduled for Sunday between Corendon Kinheim and Konica Minolta Pioniers at Hoofddorp. The status of that game will be decided on Saturday.
(March 10)

Remaining exhibiton game also canceled
HOOFDDORP (Neth.) - On Saturday, the last remaining exhibition game of this weekend also was canceled due to bad weather. The game between Konica Minolta Pioniers and Corendon Kinheim was scheduled for Sunday.
This means that all eleven scheduled exhibition games, involving big league-teams, were canceled due to weather conditions.
This is the second consecutive weekend that all games were scrubbed. The first games are now scheduled for next Saturday.
(March 11)

...Sidney de Jong...
(Foto: Marco Stoovelaar)
Orioles interested in Sidney de Jong
SAN JUAN (Puerto Rico) - Dutch National Team player Sidney de Jong has been approached by the Baltimore Orioles, who showed interest in the catcher.
Former Major League-pitcher Denis Martínez approached De Jong after the Dutch team had played against Panama. In that game, rookie pitcher Shairon Martis made his official international debut by pitching a No-Hitter, while De Jong was doing the catching. The Dutch shutout Panama 10-0 in seven innings in its last game of Pool C of the World Baseball Classic, played in San Juan (Puerto Rico).

...Denis Martínez...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Martínez is affiliated with the Orioles and knows international baseball well. Before turning professionel, Martínez played for the national team of Nicaragua, with whom he participated in the Haarlem Baseball Week in 1972. Denis Martínez, nicknamed 'El Presidente', played in the Major between 1976 and 1998, including eleven seasons with the Orioles. He also played with the Montreal Expos, Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners and Atlanta Braves.
,,We spoke to each other after the game'', De Jong said. ,,He was with the Orioles and they showed their interest. I gave him my phone number and e-mail address, so I'll see what happens. I just wait and see.''

De Jong played in all three games of the Dutch team on the World Baseball Classic. He caught the first and third game against Puerto Rico and Panama and was the DH in Game Two against Cuba.
Offensively, Sidney can look back to a fine tournament. He was 5-for-11 (.455) in the three games, including a 3-for-4 performance vs. Panama. Against Cuba, he broke up a No-Hitter himself when he singled off Ormari Romero in the fifth inning.

Sidney de Jong, who is a catcher for Dutch big league-club Mr. Cocker HCAW, now has appeared in 66 official international games for the Dutch national team.
(March 13)

New Head Coach Almere '90
ALMERE (Neth.) - Carlos Arrindell will be the new Head Coach for Instant Holland Almere '90 this season. He succeeds Marco Wels, who led the team last season.

Arrindell is an experienced coach, but will make his big league-debut with Almere. He started his baseball career with the Amsterdam-based club AMVJ, then was one of the founders of the Antillian baseball and softball club Little Rock, also in Amsterdam. With Little Rock, Arrindell was both player and coach (baseball and softball), but also was a member of the board. Arrindell, who was a catcher, then played for First Divisionist De Spartaan, with whom he also played in the Dutch big league for one season. The extensive career of Arrindell also included playing and coaching stints with Polmerians, Almere Giants, Double Stars Heiloo, WSB and Vennep Flyers.
Recently, he was a member of the coaching staff of the Dutch National Men Softball Team and was the Manager of the National B-squad Men Softball. Besides that he was involved in a successful project in Arnhem, where difficult youth were stimulated to be active in sports.
This season, he makes his comeback in baseball as the Head Coach with Almere '90.
(March 16)

Pioniers-pitcher signs contract
HOOFDDORP (Neth.) - Konica Minolta Pioniers hoped to add Venezuelan RHP Nelson Santander Olajo to its roster for this season, but the team has to search for a replacement.

Olajo was to be both a starter and a reliever for Pioniers, which is led by new Head Coach Trevors Rooper this season.
However, Olajo signed a professional contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates-organization on Tuesday. He has not yet been assigned to a minor league-team.
In the meantime, Pioniers is in contact with another Venezuelan pitcher, as well as an American pitcher.
The club hopes to announce the name of its new addition soon.
(March 16)

Neptunus adds Czech pitcher
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Reigning Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus has expanded its pitching staf with Czech National Team-pitcher Leoš Kubát. The righthander will be with Neptunus for a trial period, as he will return home to Prague on March 29. It will then be decided if he also will wear the Neptunus-uniform in the regular season.

Last year, the 25-year old Kubát participated with the Czech National Team in the European Championships, which then was held in the Czech Republic.
He started three games vs. Greece, France and Italy. In the last game, he was credited with the loss.
In these three starts, Kubát threw 16 innings, in which he struckout 14 batters, walked five and gave up eight basehits. Three of the seven runs he gave up were earned, resulting in an 1.67 ERA.
He also played three innings in the outfield against Ukraine.
Kubát is scheduled to arrive on Saturday and, weather permitting, will be the starting pitcher in Sunday's exhibition game against Brasschaat Braves from Belgium.
(March 16)

First exhibition games this weekend?
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The situation is unclear for the coming weekend. Will the first exhibition games be played or not? As of Thursday, five games already have been canceled, while five still have a playing status.
But the weather has been unfavorable for the last few days and the predictions for the weekend also are not good (snow?). This means that for the third week in a row the complete exhibition schedule might be canceled due to weather and/or field conditions.
The exhibition season was to open on March 4, but since then up to now 16 games, involving big league-teams, have been canceled.

Weather permitting, Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus will play its two exhibition games as scheduled at home. On Saturday, the team meets First Divisionist Gryphons. On Sunday, Neptunus plays host to Brasschaat Braves from Belgium.
LHP Jan Naterop, who is slated to be one of the relievers during the regular season, has been named the starter for Saturday's game.
On Sunday, Neptunus will start with RHP Leoš Kubát, who is a player of the Czech National Team, with whom he participated last year in the European Championships. This season, he will defend Neptunus' colors.

As of now, Corendon Kinheim and Sparta/Feyenoord will play against each other on Saturday in Haarlem. RHP Elton Koeiman has been named the starter for Sparta/Feyenoord. Kinheim's starter is not yet known.
The two teams were to meet again on Sunday in Rotterdam, but that game was canceled because of field conditions.

Mr. Cocker HCAW and Konica Minolta Pioniers are scheduled to play a game on Sunday in Bussum. Starters has not yet been been named, but Pioniers probably will go with LHP Richard Orman.
Saturday's game between the two teams has been canceled, due to the field conditions in Hoofddorp. The status for Sunday's game will be determined on Saturday.

The field in Almere has been declared unplayable for Saturday's game between Instant Holland Almere '90 and Amsterdam Pirates. It was proposed to move the game and play it in the morning in Amsterdam, but because of the cold that was denied.
As of now, Sunday's game in Amsterdam is still on the schedule. When the game will be played, Almere's new Head Coach Carlos Arrindell plans to use his rookie and younger pitchers for the first innings, to be followed by more experienced pitchers. As of now, LHP Nick Veltkamp probably will be the starter. RHP Tom Stuifbergen, who was to start Saturday's game, now probably might be the starter for Pirates on Sunday.

ADO saw both of its games canceled. On Saturday, the team would have traveled to Hoboken in Belgium to face the Hoboken Pioneers. This team would have come to The Hague on Sunday. Both games also were canceled due to the field conditions as a result of the bad weather of the last days and weeks.
(March 16)

Update exhibition games
HAARLEM / AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - On Friday, two changes have been announced and confirmed for the exhibition schedule on Saturday.

The game between Corendon Kinheim and Sparta/Feyenoord has officially been canceled, as there was given no permission to use the field on the Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem, due to the weather conditions. Their game scheduled for Sunday already was canceled earlier.

On Saturday, Amsterdam Pirates was to play in Almere vs. Instant Holland Almere '90. That game was canceled, as the field in Almere also was declared unplayable, as mentioned before. It was proposed to play the game in Amsterdam, but the only possibility to do that was at 11:00 AM, as the game between the two First Division-teams of Pirates and Almere was scheduled for 2:00 PM. Because of the current cold temperatures, that proposal was denied. Later, the game between Pirates-2 and Almere-2 also was canceled at the request of Almere because of the weather conditions. Pirates-2 was to conduct a practice session instead. But on Friday-afternoon, it was confirmed that Amsterdam Pirates now will play an extra scheduled game vs. Pirates-2 on Saturday-afternoon. This also means that RHP Tom Stuifbergen, who originally was to start on Saturday vs. Almere, now probably will start vs. Pirates-2. On Sunday, Pirates and Almere will play in Amsterdam, as scheduled.
(March 17)

Jeffrey Verbij to make comeback
HAARLEM (Neth.) - Jeffrey Verbij will come out of retirement and make his comeback this season in the Dutch big league with Corendon Kinheim, where he already participated in the team practices for the last two months.
Ben Thijssen, the club's new Head Coach, on Friday-evening confirmed that Verbij is on the roster and will be a fulltime player.
,,Jeffrey primarily will be used as a relief pitcher'', Thijssen said in an interview with Grand Slam * Stats & News, which will be published on this site this weekend in the season preview of Kinheim.

Jeffrey Verbij made his big league-debut in 1993 when he was with Amsterdam Pirates, but then played for Kinheim the next season.
After the 1999 season, Verbij went to play for Hoofddorp Pioniers, but finished his career with Kinheim, where he retired after the 2003 season.
He went to Australia to live there, but now in back in the Netherlands and picks up his baseball career.
In 2003, his last big league-season, he hit .295 with 19 RBI's and two homeruns. He also appeared as a relief pitcher in six games, but wasn't successful then, as he walked 17 batters in only four innings, but gave up only one basehit.
(March 17)

Exhibition season finally opened
ROTTERDAM / AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - While the temperatures were close to freezing, the baseball exhibition season finally opened with two games on Saturday-afternoon. Four scheduled games for Saturday were canceled.
On Saturday-evening, it was confirmed that Sunday's game between Mr. Cocker HCAW and Konica Minolta Pioniers was the latest game to be canceled. Two other games are still on playing-status.
Since March 4, a total of 22 exhibition games has now been canceled due to weather and field conditions.

On Saturday-afternoon, with temperatures varying from one to four degrees Celsius and a cold wind, DOOR Neptunus and Amsterdam Pirates became the first two big league-teams to play an exhibition game. Both games lasted two innings.
At Rotterdam, Neptunus hosted First Divisionist Gryphons and came from behind to win 5-3.
At Amsterdam, Pirates played against its First Division-team Amsterdam Pirates-2 and won 5-2.
(March 18)

Game Recaps & Line Scores

Two more exhibition games in the books
AMSTERDAM / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - On Sunday, again two exhibition games could be played, but three others were canceled, as previously announced.
The weather conditions were a little better than on Saturday, but it is still not favorable. But coming Tuesday, Sping officially will begin. Maybe it will also be the beginning of better (baseball) weather. In 26 days from now, it will be Opening Day. Before that, three weekends of exhibition plays remains.

At Amsterdam, Instant Holland Almere '90 opened its exhibition season with a 7-4 win vs. Amsterdam Pirates.
At Rotterdam, DOOR Neptunus was beaten 4-1 by Brasschaat Braves from Belgium.
(March 19)

Game Recaps & Line Scores

Fourth try to complete exhibition schedule
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - This coming weekend, the eight Dutch big league-teams will get a fourth try to complete an exhibition schedule. So far, bad weather and field conditions, resulted in cancelations of 22 games, while only four could be played.
Next Saturday, six games are scheduled involving big league-teams. On Sunday, four games are planned. But again, the weather is not favorable, as rain is predicted.

With the unfavorable weather in mind, pitchers will not throw much and the coaches will use all available pitchers in these games. Because of the weather and field conditions and the fact that this will be the first outdoor-activity for some teams, the games probably will last seven innings. Therefore, not all starting pitchers have been announced yet or assignments may change on game days.

DOOR Neptunus, which has two games on its schedule vs. Corendon Kinheim, will announce its starters on Saturday-morning.
Kinheim's Head Coach Ben Thijssen plans to start with LHP Patrick Beljaards and RHP David Bergman.
Amsterdam Pirates and Konica Minolta Pioniers also will meet twice. Pirates sends RHP Robbert van der Pol to the mound on Saturday, while Sunday's starter has yet to be decided.
Pioniers probably will go with RHP Roger Kops and LHP Richard Orman.
Neptunus and Pirates are the only two teams who were able to play two seven-inning games last weekend.

ADO and Sparta/Feyenoord will play a game on Sunday. Sparta/Feyenoord, which conducted its first outdoor practice on Thursday-evening, will start with RHP Elton Koeiman. ADO's starter has not been announced yet.
Mr. Cocker HCAW will play two games in Antwerp (Belgium), meeting Antwerp Eagles, which finished in fourth place last season in the Belgian league. Head Coach Maurice DeConge probably will start with RHP Patrick de Lange and RHP Nick Stuifbergen.
Instant Holland Almere '90 is participating in a 3-team series on Saturday in Apeldoorn. There, they will meet First Division-teams Gryphons and Robbers Robur '58. Almere's probable starters are RHP Forstin Coenraad and RHP Martin Kuipers.
(March 23)

Almere acquires Gene Kingsale

...Gene Kingsale...
(Photo: Bowie BaySox)
ALMERE (Neth.) - Former Major Leaguer and current Dutch national team-player Gene Kingsale will play this season for Dutch big league-team Instant Holland Almere '90. The rumors were there already for a while, but now the club officially confirmed his coming on Friday. Kingsale probably will arrive next Thursday.
The 29-year old outfielder hoped to obtain a professional contract for the Mexican League, but when that didn't happen, Kingsale decided to join Almere. There he will be rejoined with Ivanon Coffie, with whom he played together professionally in the Baltimore Orioles-organization and the last few years in the Dutch National Team.

Gene Kingsale, who is from Aruba, has an impressive professional career which brought him to the Major League. In 1996, he made his big league-debut with the Baltimore Orioles. He also played for the O's between 1998 and 2001. In 2001, Kingsale was traded to the Seattle Mariners, with whom he also played in the Majors in 2001 and 2002. He finished that season with the San Diego Padres and was a player for the Detroit Tigers in 2003. Between 1996 and 2003, Kingsale played in 211 Major League-games with the Orioles, Mariners, Padres and Tigers. In those games, Kingsale hit .251 with 134 basehits, including three homeruns. He last played in the Majors in 2003, when he appeared in 39 games with the Tigers. In the last two seasons, Kingsale played in the minor leagues with the Tigers, before being released halfway last season. In 2003, the switch-hitter received a Royal Decoration for his achievements in Aruban baseball.

In 2003, Kingsale made his debut in the Dutch National Team, participating the World Championships in Cuba. In 2004, he played with the Dutch team in the Pre-Olympic Tournament in Italy and the Olympic Games in Athens (Greece). On the Olympics, he was named Best European Player. Last year, he participated with the Dutch squad in the World Cup, then held in the Netherlands. Earlier this month, Kingsale was one of the players on the Dutch team that played in the World Baseball Classic in Puerto Rico. He appeared in 34 official games with the Dutch team.
With the addition of Kingsale, Almere immediately becomes a contender for one of the four Play-Off spots.
(March 24)

Five exhibition games played on Saturday!
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Finally, the weather conditions were acceptable, there was some sunshine, at some moments a cloudless sky and no rain (what happened to the rain, weathermen?).
For the first time, a complete exhibition schedule could be played. After 22 games were canceled due to bad weather since March 4, today five games, involving big league-teams, could be played as scheduled.

At Rotterdam, Corendon Kinheim opened with a big 17-8 win vs. DOOR Neptunus.
At Amsterdam, Konica Minolta Pioniers registered its first victory, a 6-2 win vs. Amsterdam Pirates.
At Apeldoorn, Instant Holland Almere '90 defeated First Divisionists Gryphons, 9-0, and Robbers Robur '58, 9-2.
In Antwerp (Belgium), Mr. Cocker HCAW played its first game and won 10-1 vs. Antwerp Eagles.
(March 25)

Game Recaps & Line Scores

Four more exhibition games played!
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - For the first time this season, a complete exhibition weekend could be played as scheduled. On Sunday, four more games, involving big league-teams, were played.

At Haarlem, Corendon Kinheim led 4-0 vs. DOOR Neptunus after eight innings, but the game ended in a 4-4 tie.
At Hoofddorp, Amsterdam Pirates had only three hits, but shutout Konica Minolta Pioniers, 5-0.
At The Hague, ADO and Sparta/Feyenoord played their first game of the season. ADO won 7-4.
At Antwerp (Belgium), Mr. Cocker HCAW had 18 basehits, including four homeruns to win 17-2 vs. Antwerp Eagles.
(March 26)

Game Recaps & Line Scores

Sharnol Adriana starts new season
SAN LUIS, San Luis Potosi (Mexico) - Sharnol Adriana, player of the Ducth National Baseball Team has started a new professional season in Mexico and has a teammate, who is also very wellknown in some parts of the Netherlands.

...Sharnol Adriana...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The 35-year old Adriana is playing first base with the Tuneros de San Luis Potosi in the Mexican League (which has a triple-A status), the same team where he also played last year. The team has played five games so far in the new season and won its first four games, putting them in second place currently.
Since 2000, Sharnol is a member of the Dutch National Team, with whom he participated in the Olympic Games of 2000 (Sydney) and 2004 (Athens), as well as the World Cup in 2001 (Chinese Taipei), 2003 (Cuba) and 2005 (The Netherlands) and the Intercontinental Cup in 2002 (Cuba). Earlier this month, he participated with the Dutch squad in the World Baseball Classic in Puerto Rico and registered his 75th official game for the national team.
After five games, Adriana, who is the lead-off hitter for the Tuneros, hits 4-for-20 (.200) with two RBI's and four runs scored.

One of Adriana's teammates is American Darryl Brinkley, who is the DH and bats fourth. Brinkley is hitting 8-for-20 (.400) in five games with two doubles and a homerun. He scored four runs and also has four RBI's. Brinkley, who turned 37 in December, hit his homerun in the second game of the season against the Rieleros de Aguascalientes.
Darryl also has a history with Dutch baseball. In 1991, when he was 22 years old, he came to the Netherlands to play for Kinheim and returned the next year. The outfielder had two productive seasons with the Haarlem-club, as he batted .399 with 36 RBI's, 12 HRs, 45 Runs and 22 Stolen Bases in 1991 and .366 with 50 RBI's, 12 HRs, 43 Runs and a league-leading 30 Stolen Bases in 1992 when he was named Most Valuable Player. In november of that year, he briefly came back to The Netherlands to receive his MVP-Award during a ceremony in Utrecht. One of Brinkley's teammates in his two years with Kinheim was René Rijst, who this season will play for Instant Holland Almere '90.
Last year, Brinkley won his third Mexican title when he batted .376 in 99 games with 13 HRs and 79 RBI's in the Liga Mexicana de Verano.
(March 28)

Balentien, DeCaster send to minors
PEORIA, Arizona / BRADENTON, Florida (USA) - Dutch National Team-players Wladimir Balentien and Yurendell DeCaster have been assigned to Minor League-teams. Both Balentien and DeCaster were on the 40-man Major League-rosters of their respective club. DeCaster was mentioned as a serious candidate to make the final 25-man roster.

The Seattle Mariners assigned Outfielder Wladimir Balentien to its double-A team in San Antonio.
Balentien also played for the San Antonio Missions last season. Earlier this month, Balentien was on the preliminary roster for the Dutch National Team for the World Baseball Classic, but had to withdraw because of an injury. In 2004, he participated with the Dutch team in the Olympic Games in Athens (Greece). In Spring Training this month, Balentien played in two games, going 1-for-1 with a walk.

The Pittsburgh Pirates assigned Yurendell DeCaster to its triple-A team in Indianapolis.
Last season, DeCaster played in 122 for the Indianapolis Indians and had 116 basehits, including 11 homeruns for a .280 batting average. DeCaster participated with the Dutch Team in the World Baseball Classic. DeCaster played in seven Spring Training-games this season at first base and went 2-for-12 with a homerun and three RBI's.
(March 30)

Marlins release Kenny Berkenbosch
JUPITER, Florida (USA) / BUSSUM (Neth.) - Righthanded Pitcher Kenny Berkenbosch was released by the Florida Marlins on Monday and returned home to the Netherlands. There, he joined the team of Mr. Cocker HCAW and might pitch for them already coming weekend on the Jan van de Vegte Memorial Tournament in Nijmegen.

Berkenbosch, who turned 21 two weeks ago, was in Florida for Minor League Spring Training, but his contract was not renewed for this season. Last season, the righthanded pitcher appeared in 17 games as a reliever for the Jamestown Jammers, the Single-A short season team of the Marlins in the New York-Penn League. He finished the season with an 1-0 record and one save. His lone victory came in the last game of the season against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the Cleveland Indians. In 33 2/3 inning, Berkenbosch struckout 30 batters, walked 15 and gave up 29 basehits. His ERA was 4.81. Offensively, he batted in 12 games. He went 7-for-39 (.179) with a triple, scored five runs and had five RBI's.
Kenny had played professionaly for the Marlins-organization since the 2002 season. After completion of his seasons in 2002, 2003 and 2004, he played some games for Instant Holland Almere '90, but didn't play for the team last season. After the 2005 season, he transfered to Mr. Cocker HCAW, making him eligible to play for the Bussum-team this season.
(March 30)

Starters named for upcoming exhibition weekend
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Seven of the eight Dutch big league-teams have named their probable starting pitchers for coming weekend, the second to last exhibition weekend before the regular season opens on April 15.
Eleven games are scheduled (five on Saturday, six on Sunday), involving big league-teams.

Instant Holland Almere '90, which has won all of its three games so far, is playing twice vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers. On Saturday, RHP Erik Remmerswaal is making his first appearance for Almere. Pioniers is going with the same two starters as last weekend.
Sparta/Feyenoord is meeting Amsterdam Pirates twice and assigned RHP Daan Baecke and Arthur McDonald to their first start. Pirates only announced a starter for Saturday, as the team plays two games on Sunday. Besides meeting Sparta/Feyenoord, the team also meets Montigny Les Cougars from France on Sunday-morning. The starters for these two games, depend on who are needed on Saturday.

Corendon Kinheim, Mr. Cocker HCAW and ADO also will play three games in the weekend, as they all participate in the annual Jan van de Vegte Memorial Tournament in Nijmegen, hosted by Second Divisionist De Hazenkamp.
Kinheim will use its two starters of last weekend, but also named rookie LHP Jean-Paul Gulinck to a start for Saturday.
HCAW also comes back with its starters of last weekend and added RHP Kevin Roovers for the third game. Besides that, the team added RHP Kenny Berkenbosch, who was released earlier in the week by the Florida Marlins.
ADO, which played its first game of the season last weekend, named RHP Jurriaan Koks and RHP Tjibbe van Dijk to their first start, while last weeks starter RHP Rob Cordemans will pitch on Sunday-afternoon in the third game.

DOOR Neptunus has no games scheduled and will conduct a 2-day training session on Saturday and Sunday on its home field in Rotterdam.
(March 30)

Dutch Softball Women
Coming weekend Mastenbroek Tournament
ENSCHEDE (Neth.) - Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers will organize the 24th edition of its annual J.C.J. Mastenbroek Tournament coming weekend with the participation of ten women softball-teams and six baseball-teams op its complex in Enschede.

In the women event, six big league-teams are represented, including last years winner A4 Terrasvogels and last year Dutch champion New York Pizza Sparks Haarlem.
They will be joined by Twins, Van der Peijl DSC '74, Euro Stars and host Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers.
Also participating are Joudrs Praha from the Czech Republic, Russian national champion Caroussel, the German National Team and the Dutch National Junior Team.
In January, Terrasvogels and Praha faced each other in the annual Indoor Cup Tournament in Schiedam, which was won by Terrasvogels.
The tournament opens on Friday-evening, March 31 and will end with the final on Sunday, April 2.

In the baseball-tournament four of the six participating teams play in the First Division: Alcmaria Vicxtric, Storks, Jeka and Sparta/Feyenoord-2.
Also playing in the event are TIW-Survivors and host Tex Town Tigers.
(March 29)

International Baseball


...Kirby Puckett...
(1961 - 2006)

Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett passed away
PHOENIX, Arizona (USA) - Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, the legendary outfielder and fan favorite of the Minnesota Twins, passed away on Monday-afternoon due to complications resulting from a massive stroke. Kirby Puckett was eight days shy of his 45th birthday.
After suffering the stroke on Sunday-morning at his home in Scottsdale (Arizona), Puckett was transported to a hospital and underwent neurosurgery. He was then transported to a hospital in Phoenix, but on Monday his condition unfortunately became critical.

Kirby Puckett led the Twins to two World Series-championships in 1987 and 1991. He will be remembered for his hustle, infectious personality and his smile that became his trademark. For his commitment to the community, Puckett was given the Roberto Clemente Man of the Year Award in 1996.
Kirby also will be remembered for his part in the 1991 World Series against the Atlanta Braves. In Game Six, he went 3-for-4 and made a spectacular leaping catch, robbing Ron Gant of an extra basehit, but also ended the game with a homerun in the eleventh inning to force a seventh game. The Twins won the series the next day. Your Grand Slam-webmaster had the honor of being the color commentator for that exciting World Series for the then-existing sports channel Screensport.

In 1996, Puckett's career came to a sudden end when he got a blurred vision due to glaucoma. In July of that year, he announced his retirement due to irreversable damage to the retina of his right eye.
Kirby Puckett was drafted in 1982 by the Twins and made his debut in Major League two years later and became the ninth player in history to hit four basehits in his first big league-game. Puckett played in ten All Star Games. He was elected in the Hall of Fame in his first eligible year in 2001. Puckett is the All-Time Twins Leader with 2304 basehits and played in 12 seasons for Minnesota.
,,This is a sad day for the Minnesota Twins, Major League Baseball and baseball fans everywhere'', Twins OWner Carl Pohlad said in a press release.
(March 6)

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Last Update: April 13, 2006
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