Sunday, March 27, 2011

International Baseball March 20-March 27

Really not much has happened this week. Japan's regular season schedule is still uncertain, but other than that, no news. Luckily i got my first full length interview from one of my favorite player's, Ludwig Glaser.
I thought it would be appropriate to have a German player because just last they had won federation of the year.
Ludwig Glaser:

1. What is your proudest baseball moment
Off the field: 
When I signed the contract with the L.A. Angels of Anaheim. I really worked hard to get there because I never had the tools scouts are interested in, so I had to deserve my way to the pros by proofing the scouts I can play baseball.
On the field:
I always feel proud, when I play for the German National team. So it was a special moment for me to play in front of 10.000 people(that are actually rooting for your team) in Regensburg vs. the USA team in the 2009 World Cup. 

2. Tell us about your time with the Anaheim Angels
I had a really exciting time with the Angels. They are a really good organization with good coaches.
I started in extended spring training in Tempe,Az in 2008. I remember it was really tough for me to adjust to the conditions in Arizona. The weather was really tuff for me. On the day I left Germany it was still snow on the ground and when I arrived in AZ it was about 90-100 degrees. It took me a while to adjust to the level of play as well. The whole game was faster then I was used to. The pitcher threw harder, the runners ran faster and the hitters were making hard contact.
I started kind of slow but after a while I felt comfortable in the batters box again and I actually did really well hitting over .300(can´t remember exactly. I thing actually over .330) with extra bases and a home run. One day we were playing an intrasquad game and the pitcher I faced missed with a 91mph fastball and hit me right in the face. I suffered a broken cheek bone and a broken nose and I had to undergo plastic surgery. I still have a metal plate in my face from that incident. I had to rehab for a month and missed the chance to make the starting lineup for Rookie ball. I jumped right into the season and played just once a week, wearing a face guard attached to my helmet. I was feeling really nervous facing live pitching again and couldn´t really hit the way I used to that season. I finished with a .222 avg, which wasn´t enough and I got released in the offseason.
I learned a lot about baseball and life that year and it was a good experience to see what baseball is all about.

3. I've interviewed a few other people, and it seems as there big tournament was The 2009 WBC (for at least The Netherlands), but it seemed that the one that put you guys on the map was the 2009 World Cup, and then a strong performance followed in the 2010 european championships. Tell us about these tournaments.

The WBC was really big for European baseball and the Netherlands made a tremendous job of representing Europe. Germany hasn´t qualified yet for the classics but there are rumors about extending the tournament, which would be in favor of the German team.
The Worldcup in Regensburg 2009 was really big and showed the world that there is actually good baseball and great facilities in Germany. Even I didn´t know by that time that there was such an interest about baseball in Germany that 10.000 people would come and watch a baseball game. 
The European championship was really important for German baseball because we proofed that we are playing on the same level like Italy and the Netherlands and that Germany belongs in the next WBC.

4. In 2009, the game against US was televised here in the states, did you know that
We heard that it was going to be televised in the US but I first realized how cool it was when a friend of mine from the states wrote me on facebook that he just saw me making a good play at first base.

5. Tell us about your individual career
I startet baseball at age 11 with the Bad Homburg Hornets. At age 14, I moved to Regensburg to a baseball academy to get the best training and coaching possible. The academy facilitated combining playing baseball on a high level and succeeding in school.
I attended the MLB baseball academy in Terrinia, Italy 2006 and 2007, where I got signed. The academy is held annually and you get instruction from former major leaguers and scouts watch you train and play every day, which is a great opportunity for the players.
At age 15 I made my first start in the 1. Bundesliga, which is the highest league in Germany. From that time on I got a starting spot and won the championship 2008 and 2010.
I have been playing with the mens National team since 2007 and played on 2 Worldcups, 1 Olympicqualifier and 1 Europeen championship and some other international competitions like the World baseball challenge in BC, Canada.
I would have loved to make it back to pro baseball and I had some good tournaments, where scouts watched me play but they weren´t really interested in signing me again. So I made my choice to get a university diploma in civil engineering and that´s what I am working on right now. It is really tough to be back in school and not standing on the baseball field all day when the sun is out but everyone, who loves baseball, knows that feeling especially, when spring training starts.

6. Who are a few of your favorite players on the national team
Can´t really answer that. We are a team with a lot of different characters but all of them share the same passion, when they are standing on the baseball field. Either if I want to laugh or have a serious conversation I´ll find someone on the team to talk to, which is pretty cool. We´ve all played together for a long time. I know some players from when I was 11 years old.

7. What is your ultimate career goal
My ultimate career goal was playing professional baseball, which I did, unfortunately not as long as I´ve hoped to.
For the future I just want to help to represent German and European baseball internationally, so that baseball is getting more attention over here. Maybe one day there will be a big European league with good salaries and good competition, so that players have a better chance going pro and succeeding in the USA.

8. Tell us what to expect from Team Germany in 2011.
Team Germany will participate in the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands and in the World Cup in Panama this year. The goal is to do well in those tournaments, to show major league baseball that Team Germany is ready for the WBC in 2013.

Notice he didn't mention the 2011 World Baseball Challenge, which they are supposed to be in.

See, when I was interviewing Johnny Gregorius, one of the things I was saying was, you got a lot of talent ... It's a little tough to see you not playing for a Dutch or Italian team again
But with Luda, I would like to see try Pro-Ball again. He is reminds me of Sidney De Jong, where he is the bat in the line-up that is the most feared.

Well I guess that's it. Next week will be MLB week. Predictions and such.
Thanks for reading and to Ludwig Glaser.

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