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  • #31
    Final roster of the Dutch

    Manager Robert Eenhoorn has presented the final roster for the WBC.
    Unfortunately, Wladimir Balentien (Seattle Mariners) had to give up because of an injury.

    Pitchers (13):
    David Bergman (Kinheim), Kenny Berkenbosch (Jamestown Jammers), Rob Cordemans (ADO), Robin van Doornspeek (ADO), Dave Draijer (Pioniers), Gregory Gustina (Neptunus), Jair Jurrjens (West Michigan Whitecaps), Michiel van Kampen (Kinheim), Calvin Maduro (Neptunus), Diegomar Markwell (Neptunus), Shairon Martis (Arizona League Giants), Alexander Smit (Elizabethton Twins) and Nick Stuifbergen (HCAW).

    Catchers (4):
    Johnny Balentina (Neptunus), Maikel Benner (ADO), Chairon Isenia (Tampa Bay Devil Rays) and Sidney de Jong (HCAW).

    Infielders (8):
    Sharnol Adriana (San Luis Potosi), Shurendell de Caster (Pittsburgh Pirates), Ivanon Coffie (Almere), Michael Duursma (Pioniers), Percy Isenia (ADO), Raily Legito (Neptunus), Randall Simon and Hainley Statia (Orem Owls).

    Outfielders (5):
    Andruw Jones (Atlanta Braves), Eugene Kingsale, Dirk van 't Klooster (Kinheim), Harvey Monte (ADO) and Danny Rombley (Kinheim).

    Coaches (6):
    Robert Eenhoorn (manager), Brian Farley, Jack Hubbard, Hensley Meulens, Ben Thijssen and Bob Welch


    • #32
      'Forgotten man' Simon could be Dutch key
      Ex-Major Leaguer gives Netherlands another proven bat
      By Robert Falkoff /

      ORLANDO -- It's not necessarily Andruw Jones or bust for The Netherlands on offense. Look to the man who's targeted to be the first lieutenant to Jones in the lineup and you'll see a proven professional hitter who put up a .283 lifetime average in seven Major League seasons.
      Anybody remember Randall Simon?

      In 2005, Simon was an out-of-sight, out-of-mind curiosity case. Sure, he suffered through an injury-marred 2004 season when he hit just .188 in 69 games before being released by Tampa Bay in September. But it wasn't as though Father Time was tapping him on the shoulder.

      "Hey, I'm only 30," Simon said. "I can still hit. I haven't lost it."

      Born in Curacao, Simon saw the World Baseball Classic as a two-pronged golden opportunity. He has a chance to play for the pride of The Netherlands and also possibly rejuvenate his career.

      "I've kept myself in shape and ready to play," Simon said. "A lot of people who haven't seen me for a year will be watching. They'll see I'm still the same person that I used to be. I'm still a good player and I've got to prove that again."

      Netherlands manager Robert Eenhoorn likes what he has seen of Simon in practice sessions.

      "In the intra-squad game that we played [Thursday], he looked great," Eenhoorn said. "He's going to be very important to us."

      Exactly why Simon fell off the Major League map after 2004 is unclear. But Simon is confident he could be a special comeback story.

      "I had a tough year in 2004," Simon said. "My mom passed away and I had a lot of things going on. It was very tough for me. I couldn't focus. Sometimes, because of situations, maybe it looked like I couldn't hit anymore. Fortunately, I have a wonderful wife who kept supporting me and encouraging me and that has helped me maintain my confidence."

      Eenhoorn is counting on Jones and Simon to provide some thunder in the middle of the lineup. If Jones and Simon come out hot during Pool C play in Puerto Rico next week, it will take a lot of pressure off the other Dutch hitters.

      "We don't have as many well-known players as some other teams and that means we're not the favorites," Simon said. "But I like our team. Just being around these guys, I know we'll have the mentality that we're going out there to win the game, no matter who we're up against."

      Simon still lives in Curacao and senses the excitement that fans of his team have about the upcoming Classic.

      "A lot of people are going to Puerto Rico," Simon said. "My wife was telling me that a lot of friends are making flags to take. It'll be great to have them there cheering us on."

      Wherever he goes, Simon is still associated with the incident in Milwaukee a couple of years back when his bat made contact with a young woman in an Italian sausage costume during a between-innings race at Miller Park, sending her sprawling to the ground. Simon said that what was meant as a playful tap resulted in an unfortunate episode.

      "I was just trying to have fun at the ballpark, like everybody else," Simon said. "I would never try to hurt anybody and I always treat everyone with respect. She was great about it and I think that helped everybody move on."

      Simon has moved on this week to a Netherlands training camp at the posh Disney complex. On Sunday, he'll face a Braves' split-squad team in a tuneup for the first game of the Classic next Wednesday against Puerto Rico.

      Jones or bust for The Netherlands? That may not be the case if Simon turns back the clock to his hard-hitting days in the big leagues.

      Robert Falkoff is a reporter for


      • #33
        Dutch hang tough in loss to Braves
        Netherlands shut out in low-scoring affair
        By Robert Falkoff /

        ORLANDO, Fla. -- The jitters showed up early, but Team Netherlands settled down Sunday against the Atlanta Braves and wound up giving themselves a dose of confidence that they will be able to use in the World Baseball Classic.
        A couple of Netherlands errors on potential double-play balls in the first inning and a two-run homer by David Kelton in the third proved the difference as the Braves' split-squad unit came away with a 4-0 exhibition victory at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex. After the shaky first, the Netherlands matched Atlanta pitch-for-pitch in a brisk-moving game that took only two hours, four minutes.

        If the Netherlands gets the same kind of pitching against Puerto Rico on Wednesday that it showcased against the Braves, manager Robert Eenhoorn will be happy.

        "Our pitchers did a good job today," Eenhoorn said. "If we make those double plays, we're looking at a 2-0 game. And we had one chance ourselves to do something with the bases loaded. We made some plays in the field as the game went on that helped our pitchers hold them down. Overall, even though we didn't score, there were a lot of things that were encouraging."

        Veteran starter Calvin Maduro got high marks from Eenhoorn for not letting the game get out of hand in the first. After Michael Ryan's leadoff single, Edgar Renteria smacked a double-play ball to the right of shortstop Railey Legito, who misplayed it. Instead of two outs and nobody on, it was two on with nobody out.

        Brian Jordan singled to load the bases before Brian McCann hit another double-play ball that handcuffed second baseman Michael Duursma. Two runs scored on the play and a subsequent walk to James Jurries loaded the bases again. But just when it looked as though the Netherlands was going to be buried early, Maduro retired Kelton, Eddie Perez and Cesar Crespo to minimize the damage.

        The only other scoring came when Netherlands lefty Diegomar Markwell and Kelton -- a couple of former Minor League competitors -- crossed paths in the third.

        Markwell said he left a pitch up that Kelton deposited beyond the 385-foot sign in left field with a man on.

        "I played against him in 2002 in the Minors and I know he has good power," Markwell said. "I tried to go in on him, but the ball caught a little too much of the plate."

        The Netherlands didn't manage a hit off Braves starter John Smoltz, although third baseman Ivanon Coffie narrowly missed a homer off Smoltz down the right-field line. Coffie's drive went foul by a few feet.

        It looked as though the Netherlands might break through in the fifth when Coffie and Dirk van Klooster delivered one-out singles and Chairon Isenia walked to load the bases against non-roster invite Kevin Barry. But Legito and pinch-hitter Hainley Statia fanned to end the Netherlands' only threat.

        "We swung at a couple of high pitches after getting the bases loaded with one out," Eenhoorn said.

        Although the Netherlands managed only two hits, team members believe it will be a different story offensively in Puerto Rico. Andruw Jones and Randall Simon, expected to be offensive headliners, were a combined 0-for-4.

        "This was our first game with everybody being together," Coffie said. "It was good to get a game like this under our belts. We've got hitters who could get hot in a hurry. Hopefully, that will happen for us as we get into the Classic."

        Robert Falkoff is a reporter for


        • #34
          I didn't expect the Netherlands to compete in this tournament. But when I woke up this morning, I thought:"The days that they are slaughtered by the Cubans are over... So maybe they can surprise them."
          But they were butchered 11-2. h Are they really this bad or is it just the nerves? The guys that made the errors against Puerto Rico are all playing in the Dutch league. Maybe they were too impressed by the whole athmosphere.
          Anyway it is a good way to learn. Every error will be punished by the MLB players.


          • #35
            Yeah I didn't see the Netherlands game but I do think the higher competition will help all these teams and players.

            I will say that I've always loved Randall Simon and hope he makes his way back to the majors.


            • #36
              Dutch hope to close out with a win
              By Mark Feinsand /

              SAN JUAN -- The Netherlands won't be advancing to the second round of the World Baseball Classic, but the team will attempt to close out the tournament on a positive note, as it takes on Panama to close out its Pool C schedule.
              Both teams enter the game 0-2, having each lost to Puerto Rico and Cuba. The Netherlands dropped an 8-3 decision to Puerto Rico on Wednesday and were routed by Cuba, 11-2, on Thursday.

              "It's a great tournament, and it was a great experience for the whole team," said catcher/DH Sidney de Jong. "It's too bad that we couldn't bring our best game into it. Hopefully we'll show what we're made of on Friday."

              Taking the mound for the Netherlands will be Shairon Martis, a right-hander who will turn 19 later this month.

              Martis, who signed with the Giants organization last year as a non-drafted free agent, pitched for the Arizona Giants in the Rookie League in 2005, going 2-1 with a 1.85 ERA in 11 games. He struck out 50 batters in 34 innings, walking just nine.

              "He's a very young, good pitcher who I believe will have a long career," said Netherlands manager Robert Eenhoorn.. "He's an exciting kid."

              In the first two games of the tournament, the Netherlands has a paltry .156 batting average, the second-lowest mark among the 16 countries competing in the event. The team has been outscored, 19-5, posting a 9.00 ERA, also 15th among the 16 teams.

              "It's disappointing, but if you look at the last two days and the way we played, it's early in the season -- and it showed," Eenhoorn said. "Cuba is in the middle of their season, they've played a lot, and we have a lot of guys that didn't play up to their potential. That's why we're not going to the next round."

              Win or lose, de Jong will leave Hiram Bithorn Stadium having experienced something he will never forget.

              "This is an opportunity that most guys in Holland don't get," he said. "To play with guys at the Major League level, it's a good experience for us."

              Still, the Netherlands hopes to leave San Juan with a victory, trying to avoid a last-place finish.

              "It's not going to be us rolling over, play nine innings so we can get it over with," Eenhoorn said. "We'll try everything we can to finish on a good note and leave with good memories."

              "I want to win this game," de Jong said. "I want to win every game, no matter what it means or doesn't mean. I want to win for our fans back home, for everybody, I want to show that we can play baseball and win here."


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