Category Archives: Baseball

Old farts can play – Sharks split series

Experience and veteran leadership was the Sharks strategy on Saturday.
It was a winning one, at least for one game.
“We’re not that old, right?”, coach Edgren says.

Mix experienced veterans like Jonny Edgren and Johan Weidolf with young guns like Shervin Shakki and Josef Hussein and you get what?

A winning team.

Göteborg Hajarna (4-4)  went to play at the friendly confines at Limhamnsfältet against Malmö Pilots (2-2) on Saturday with a team full of age difference and enthusiasm. Scarred veterans provided leadership and raw, young guns provided that youthful spark to have the Sharks take a early lead in the first game

The Sharks scored a run in the first inning of the first game and legendary pitcher Hiba Nabi kept the Pilots scoreless in the first frame. This looked like one of those close, low scoring affairs that we’ve seen in Malmö the last couple of seasons.

Not so fast.

Nabi, marked by illness, battled himself more than the Pilots as he let six runs score in the bottom of the second inning to give the Pilots a 6-1 lead. The Sharks came right back to score seven runs in the top of the third, just to have the Pilots add three of their own in the bottom half. After a scoreless fourth, the Sharks scored four in the fifth and one in the sixth to take a 13-12 lead.

As Nabi left the mound after two innings, his brother in arms Josef Hussein came in to pick him up. Hussein did just that, pitching well for five innings, giving up six runs (two earned) on five hits, striking out three and walking one.

Coach Edgren summarizing game one: "Winning is better than losing".

Coach Edgren summarizing game one: “Winning is better than losing”.

Hussein provided stability on the mound. On the diamond, coach Edgren and Johan Weidolf combined for outs from third to first like it was 1999. Weidolf also brought with his feared bat with him, going 4-5 on the day.

“We got the experience, the other guys got that youthful exuberance and the swag, it’s a good mix”, coach Edgren says.

Hussein (1-0) shut down the Pilots in order to earn the win in the seventh as Sharks held on to that 13-12 lead.

“We played well, especially offensively, but we got some work to do on defense. Minimizing the errors and making the basic plays”, coach Edgren says.

Mokhlad Al-Ghamini started the second game and looked sharp through two innings, striking out the side in the second. The Sharks offensive surge continued as they got to Pilots starter Ryo Ujimoto in the second, scoring three runs for an early lead. Al-Ghamini (1-3) lost his command in the third and fourth inning. The Pilots capitalized on that, scoring three runs in the and four in the fourth to take a commanding 7-3 lead. Rookie Al-Ghamini ended up taking the loss, giving up seven runs (three earned) on four hits and four walks while striking ten.

The Sharks then faltered on defense, adding to their error total as ‘Swirvin’ Shervin Shakki took the mound in the fifth. Those errors proved to be decisive as the Pilots added four runs, a lead the Sharks could not counter.

“We have to make the basic plays. It’s as simple as that”, Edgren added at the post game press conference.

Shakki pitched a scoreless fifth before shaky defense and well placed hits allowed the Pilots to load the bases in the sixth. Coach Edgren inserted himself on the mound but to no avail. The Pilots scored eight runs in that sixth inning to end the game 15-5.

Five sharks in their natural habitat for the traditional post game swim in the ocean.

Five sharks in their natural habitat for the traditional post game swim in the ocean.

Notables:

Catcher Toofan Khazal was a difference maker on this day, providing stellar defensive work behind home plate.

Niclas Ekström was back at first base. Shockingly, he was not hit by a single pitch on this day either.

Joel Earnest was back on the coaching staff for this one and still owns that historically high 50 percent winning average as bench coach.

Six brave Sharks swam in the ocean after the game.

 

 

 

 

The Coleman Chronicles: part 1

This is part one of a two-part series on Coleman Lukas’ experiences in Sweden, based on interviews conducted just before Coleman left for home.

First of all, will you continue to follow the organization?

Yes, yes for sure.
I’m very invested. I care about the players. And at the end of the day, I just want the players to get better, to do well. As a coach, you have a relationship with the players, you want them to get as good as possible and develop. And this was why I reached out to the board to try to convince them that the organization should take a step back to the regional level.

Less time and travel will be involved in regional play, and with the elite players bringing their experience to the regional level, a program can be built from the bottom up.

How do you see the team developing in the immediate future?

Having guys like Joe and Erik come back and play would be your dream come true. They can be your number 3 and 4 hitters, play up the middle. Joe was a major contributor this season, and he would add like .200 to his average playing at the regional level. And with Erik, you would have the best player in the league. They know the program and can lead this club.

Coach Coleman Lukas instructing players at Shark park.

Coach Coleman Lukas instructing players at Shark park.

Jonny is also back from Japan and I think he’ll be ready to contribute, take that corner infield spot. Close out games.

Trolle is a bright spot in the future of the Gothenburg organization and he’s got a career ahead of him. The kid’s got the X-factor, he loves the game and he’s got the drive. He understands what it takes to play at a high level.

Shervin… he showed he can come in and pitch 3–4 innings and his bat is coming along too. There is a high upside for him.

Joakim… extreme improvement this season. I mean, him coming on to the hill with a guy like Youssef, that’d be good.

Youssef is someone you need on the team. He can eat innings and has a high upside. Good competitor, knows what he is doing. He is a resource, and a guy like that is essential.

If Hiba and Josef show up more, with them, Joakim, Sherwin and Ted you have a solid, young pitching staff that will get you through 14 innings of baseball.

Guys that have passion. That’s the kind of players this organization needs more of. Guys that come in young, show up and have passion for the game. And who understand what it takes. Guys who want to be there. Working hard in the off season, that’s important too.

The club has to get a new mindset, a new attitude. You got to have some flare, you got to have some pride and confidence. Especially when you go up against a guy like Stockholm’s Jakob Claesson. I hit a double off him to the right-center gap on the first pitch. I give the shark fin at second even though we’re in last in the standings – that sends a message.

How did coaching in Sweden differ from coaching in the US?

Obviously the conditions are different. When I’m at a high school practice, I’m talking to thirty Trolles. Talking to kids who want to play college ball. Going out to the field in the US there’re assumptions you have about players, about the day-to-day stuff in baseball that I couldn’t assume here in Sweden.

I think the reverse engineering aspect in my coaching has been the biggest positive for me here. Gaining that ability to move backwards and take it all apart and put it all back together again is an incredibly valuable skill that I will take with me. In the States, kids in Little League are just copying big league swings. Here it’s a lot different. Much more of a challenge, getting people to make the adjustments.

And the guys made the adjustments, and they bought in. That’s something I’m really grateful for. They wanted to get better, and did get better. And you guys who were out there, you did it! The regional team batting average jumped .80 points and we were winning games. That was really amazing to see. And that’s the best kind of experience for me as a coach.

The thing of the year for me: Joel Earnest showing up every day. Bullpen practice, regular practice. Every game. Dude hit .322. He’s 67. The guy hit fucking .322. Like everybody can do it. Joel is talented but he had the most grit in the organization. Surpassing me and Jason. He had a goal, he set it, he bought in, was enthusiastic and that to me is one of the best memories of the year.

If you ask yourself when you go off the field after practice, if you’re a better player than when you stepped on the field and the answer is yes, that is a good thing.

What would you like to see in the 2016 season?

More participation. Baseball is a game that isn’t limited at all to just guys. I played against girls up through high school and would really like to see players from the softball team join us on the baseball team, they would do fine. The organization should definitely try and implement that next season. Look, whoever is willing should be given the opportunity.

Colemans post game talks were always positive.

Colemans post game talks were always positive.

Personally reaching out to veteran players who are on the fringe with “hey, you are a huge asset, we understand that you can’t practice and are probably uncomfortable with taking playing time, but we need you and you can really help this organization.”

There are enough core players on the regional team right now with the ability to compete with Karlskoga and Tranås, as we showed this year. Next year if we optimize our talent and work ethic, we can beat both those teams. And with enough veteran elite players returning, we’re talking playoffs.

What are your thoughts on recruiting and developing youth players?

The biggest problem for the Sharks is that the field is so far away. A kid that comes from Frölunda has got an hour on the tram at least. That’s a long haul. And that’s why our organization should try and get a field closer to the city center, both for visibility and for access. Baseball is exotic in Sweden, and you should take advantage of that.

You make the game accessible and instead of saying, hey we’re having youth practice. You say, hey, we´re starting a youth TEAM. We want twenty kids from Gothenburg who want to play baseball and play on a baseball team. Kids want to be a part of something. They want to look up to older players. And don’t limit yourself to just boys. We want twenty KIDS.

You need the numbers out there so that the kids can actually play games, be in real baseball situations. And to do that, there has to be more opportunities to play baseball at more accessible locations. A kid is not going to hit the ball super far. So you can still use a hard ball on a makeshift field closer to downtown without hurting anyone. Why not Slottsskogen?

With the schools, I have been in the trenches of recruiting baseball players in Sweden. I have talked to nine year olds and 16-17 year olds. Showing them a bat and a ball for the first time. At every school, there is always one or two kids that are attracted to it. Getting them out there is another story. The interest is there, capitalizing on that is where the challenge lies for Swedish baseball. We did like thirty different schools in Gothenburg with twenty kids a session on average. In total about 500–600 kids, and three showed up at the field. Getting kids out there is hard and we don’t need to make it harder.

Another thing that is important in recruiting youths is having a Swedish recruiter out there. Just having English speakers doesn’t work. Even though there is a certain coolness factor with having a guy from the US there, when I’m explaining stuff to nine year olds in English, they’re having a hard time out there. And needing to teach a teacher and then having them translate it… it’s tough. Having a Swedish speaker out there would be bueno, very helpful.

Anything else you’d like to mention?

Heidi… she has been amazing for the organization. I have the highest respect for Heidi in terms of hearing the coaching staff out, being sensitive to player issues, fundraising and helping out with schools. A real MVP!

Part two of the series will cover Coleman’s take on Swedish baseball and Sweden in general.

Welcome to the 2015 season!

So the Schedule for the 2015 season is official. The first game of the season is away vs Botkyrka on the 2:nd of May. Gothenburg Sharks won the last series of the season, the series to stay in the Elitserien vs Botkyrka. It so happened that Karlskoga Bats decided to leave the Elitseries and reboot in the second division. Bokyrka took Karlskogas spot. This season starts how the last one ended, versus Botkyrka.

Join our events on the hajarna.se on facebook to make sure you get updates and get a notification when the we’re closer to gameday.

The home opener will be a week later, the 9th of May vs Leksand Lumberjacks. Leksand lost the championship to Stockholm in the 5th and final game of the final series.

The history repeats itself

The Gothenburg Sharks will have to face Karlskoga Bats once again the upcoming weekend. The teams met at Shark Park just more than a week ago in a double header where Karlskoga Bats won both games. Even though the numbers were greatly in favor of Karlskoga the games were closer than the numbers were. Gothenburg will travel to Karlskoga for the three game series to directly stay in the Elitseries the upcoming weekend! Two games on Saturday and possibly a third and directly deciding game on Sunday.

Karlskoga played in the other end of the series just last year and lost the cup in the fourth game vs Stockholm. In 2012, Karlskoga went all the way and won the cup in the fourth game of the five game series vs Leksand.

The loser of the series will have to face the winner of the second division play offs in a three game series. The winner will play in the Eliteseries 2015.

The Karlskoga Bats are of course favorites to win the first series. Stockholm was also the favorite to win vs Sölvesborg to go into the final the past weekend. Stockholm was down 6-5 starting bottom ninth in the third and directly decisive game and managed to turn it around to win! Sölvesborg was just inches from giving Stockholm two losses on the same weekend. That was almost twice as many as Stockholm lost in the entire season! The Stockholm Monarchs showed good morale and turned the game around and earned a very well deserved spot in the final vs Leksand after only one loss in the regular season.

The Gothenburg Sharks played Alby Stars in the playdown last year to stay in the series. Those games were away at Seagull Park where the Sharks almost killed the series in the second of the games. The second game went into extra innings and then the darkness took over and had to be taken up again prior to a possible game three. The game two of the series was taken up again the day after but the Sharks failed to capitalize on the extra nights sleep losing the game in the twelfth inning. That was just pure fuel to the Sharks bats which caught fire. The Alby Stars had to resign after eight innings losing the game 5-18. The Alby Stars eventually lost to Sölvesborg who took over the Alby Stars spot in the Elitseries.

The Sharks have been into a playdown before. They came out on top. Will the history repeat itself once again? The odds are against, the players are for! Go Sharks!

Partial success against Sölvesborg

The Sharks managed to win one game but had to give up one in the double header played the past weekend. They will bring that with them on the road versus Leksand Lumberjacks the upcoming weekend.

Sölvesborg Firehawks brought the former Gothenburg Sharks players Brian Strawn and Evan Porter and a lot of faces shined up saying hello to their formed teammates and friends.

Game one was close to nothing but hungry Sharks. They made it hard for Sölvesborg to get on base and they really hit the ball well. Pitching worked, batting worked and defense worked. It looked really easy to play ball out there for the Sharks. The Sharks wasn’t satisfied with just hits, several extra base hits were noticed. Spencer Kreissberg pitched and gave up 4 hits, 2 walks and 7 strike outs. Laffin, which struggled a bit with his bat this year was two for four with one run and two runs batted in. Even though Joe went 0 for 2 he walked twice and scored once. He is .222 for the season but his on base percentage is .359. Weidolf had a very good game at bat and went 2 for 3 and walked once. Patrick Carlson joined the team for the first time this season and left the day with a .333 batting average with two extra base hits. José Muñoz is .400 for the season after Saturdays games. Norderum produced as usual at bat was 2 for 3 with one walk. The game was cut early when the Sharks scored their 10th run in the seventh.

The Sharks went into the second game full with confidence after the win. Norderum started on the mound. Something was troubling Jason. He started with a 1-2-3 inning and everything looked fine. He had a really tough time commanding his pitches and set a record high hit by pitch and walked three in the game. He had several guys at two strikes but put them on base due to walks to hit by pitch a few times. He was taken out of the game in the fourth and hopefully there was nothing serious troubling him. Despite this, the standing was 1-1 entering the fourth with even though the Firehawks was commanding the game until that point. Jason was responsible for the two Firehawks on base with no outs and Hiba entered the mound. For some reason the Sharks totally lost it at the time. Errors happened and the defense totally broke down. Sölvesborg scored no less than eight times of which Hiba was responsible for one and Jason two. The Sharks did failed to recover after that devastating fourth inning. The game ended 1-12 in the seventh.

It is hard to tell what really happened in that second game. Perhaps the team just ran out of fuel after the first really successful game which they dominated?

We wish the Sharks best of luck on the road versus Leksand Lumberjacks and welcome them back 26th of July when Stockholm is visiting Shark Park!

The Sharks are coming back home!

It’s been a slow month for the fans situated in Gothenburg. The team has been playing two double headers away but they will squeeze in a double header home before the month is over. The newcomers Sölvesborg Firehawks will visit Shark Park Saturday 28th of June! Sölvesborg had a terrible start of the season but managed to catch some wins. They are six for fourteen, same as Karlskoga Bats.

The Gothenburg Sharks had a terrible set of games on the road versus Karlskoga and Sundbyberg. Lets hope that they can just forget about the games in Karlskoga and bring the offense back home from the Sundbyberg into the important double headers versus Sölvesborg on Saturday and get back into the series before it is far too late.

Karlskoga away (June 1)

Karlskoga has had some really good seasons the past years. Runner up in 2013 (lost the final vs Stockholm) and winner 2012. They were knocked out by the Gothenburg Sharks in the semi final 2011. Things have gone a bit slow this season though. Six wins after 14 games. Two of them versus the Sharks the first of June. The Sharks lost game one 10-0 after the Karlskoga, at times phenomenal, pitcher Paul Waterman shut down the Sharks completely. He allowed no hits, two walks and was noted for 8 strike outs. Kim Berglind started game one for the Sharks. He’s normally found in Uppsala but reinforced the Sharks. He allowed five hits and two runs in five full innings. Kristoffer Örjelund took over the mound in the sixth giving up three hits and seven walks in two and two thirds innings. Wilhelm Sundin took the Sharks and pitched a third of a inning but failed to prevent the tenth run (Kristoffer was responsible) and the game was ended premature in the eight.

Game two was pitched by the Karlskoga import Parker Talbert the first six innings allowing only one hit and Simon Andersson finished the Sharks off with a clean top seventh inning with one strike out and no hits, giving Talbert the win after Karlskoga scored 11 runs during the initial six innings. Jason Norderum and Hiba Nabi pitched game two. Jason gave up an unusual three earned runs (six scored during the first six) and Hiba added four earned and one unearned. During those seven innings the Sharks failed to get on the board heading back to Gothenburg scoreless.

Sundbyberg away (June 14).

Some two weeks later, on the 14:th of June, the Sharks travelled to Sundbyberg. Sundbyberg Heat have had a good 2014 season. They are one game behind Leksand Lumberjacks and four games behind the leaders Stockholm Monarchs.

The games vs Sundbyberg was the first one for Spencer Kreisberg who made his first appearance in the Swedish Elitseries since 2012 (playing for Karlskoga Bats). The Sharks lost the game 16-6 after seven innings. The frustrating part is that the Sharks let 16 runs of which 11 wasn’t earned! Spencer started on the mound for Gothenburg and had to see the Sundbyberg cross home plate ten times. Only one of those ten runs was earned. Hiba relieved one inning and had to let six runs of which four was earned. The game was ended premature in the seventh. Joe Lankford, and Spencer scored twice and Norderum and Melendez scored once. A multi hit day for the reinforcement Simon Tysk. Runs batted in by Laffin, Tysk, Melendez and Olivia.

Game two just want’s one that Gothenburg was supposed to win. Pitching wasn’t working, defense wasn’t working and the bats wasn’t working. Exception to that was the top of the batting order where Joe and Spencer did what they could. Both scored runs and both had extra base hits. Runs batted in by Laffin and Spencer.

Patrick Laffin have struggled this season. Half way through it his average has dropped from over .400 last season to .282 just now. He had 17 walks last year and halfway through this year he’s down to 2. Patrick is one of the keys to the Gothenburg offence, so lets hope that the numbers are going back to what they were last year and his team mates follow.

 

Weekend wrap up

The past weekend was full of baseball!

Leksand @ Gothenburg

Leksand Lumberjacks was visiting Gothenburg in the Elitseries. A beautiful day where the games was preceded by the national anthem and the ceremonial first pitch. A lot of people found their way to the Shark Park which was offering both sun and some occasional clouds! The spectators could not only enjoy the weather but also some good pitching from both teams. Even though the game was not as tight as a Shark fan would have hoped, it was an exciting one where the Sharks failed to produce enough runs in the end. Even though it wasn’t the failing factor in this game, the defense needs polishing. The Sharks seems to have problems producing the extra sharpness and have the quicker feet when needed for the final out. The passiveness or perhaps choosing a play with a lot of margin let Leksand on base a few too many times.

Game two featured pretty much all of the Gothenburg pitching staff available. Coach Anders did what he could to keep the arms fresh not letting each of them too many innings. Even though the runs let was a few too many, two runs scored is not enough to win a game on this level.

Game one ended 6-1 and the second game ended 12-2. Both games in favour of Leksand. A well deserved win according to how the game was played.

Malmö @ Gothenburg B

The Gothenburg team in the second division welcomed Malmö Pilots to Shark Park on the two Sunday games. The Gothenburg team featured youngsters,old timers and up and coming players who all share the love of the game. Malmö showed off some good pitching and a tight defense which made it hard for the Sharks to get on base. Malmö capitalized on some mistakes made by the Gothenburg defense but must be given the credit they deserved for their hot bats. Brian Jordan with the Pilots left the game 8 for 8.

Sölvesborg @ Stockholm

The first game of the day was a tight one. The game ended 2-0 to Stockholm. Jacob Claesson with the Stockholm Monarchs pitched all nine innings not giving up a single run. The Sölvesborg pitcher Eddie Aucoin gave up the game losing run in the forth. If game one was tight, game two was totally the opposite! Sölvesborg started out fine with a two run lead, but Stockholm took over after that. Karl Knutsson started off with the pitching and was relieved by Mathias Person for an inning. Karl then entered the mound once again, but failed to produce the energy to stand up for the Stockholm offense. Rickard Ödmo took them to an early finish in the sixth where the game ended 5-20. Stockholm is still undefeated but was challenged for the first time in game one.

Karlskoga @ Sundbyberg

The Karlskoga Bats was coming from back to back losses versus Leksand (0-10 and 1-2) and Sundbyberg on the other end was 2-0 versus Sölvesborg (1-17 and 4-7). The Bats took their first win of the season in game one but came up short in the second game. That puts Karlskoga one win ahead of Gothenburg. The Bats are off to Stockholm next.

Sundbyberg won todays game over Akademin comfortable 16-5 (7).

Gothenburg on the road

The Sharks will head for Sölvesborg on Saturday. Both teams are looking for their first wins of the season and someone will break their track record. Exiting weekend coming up.

Next home game

The next home game is May 24 when Sundbyberg is visting Shark Park!

And we’re off

Finally! The first game of the season is history and we can look forward to a new season of baseball!

The Sharks travelled to Stockholm for the first game. Stockholm had already begun their season with double header versus Leksand the previous week. Stockholm won those two games comfortably.

Jason Norderum started pitching in game one for the Sharks. He let one run, which wasn’t earned in the four innings he pitched. Eventually, Gothenburg let 10 runs, only giving up five hits. The amount of walks Gothenburg gave up turned out to be costly. The Claesson’s of the Stockholm pitching staff gave up four hits and two walks which the Sharks failed to capitalize on.

Game two were cut early due to the weather but they managed to squeeze in five innings. Gothenburg put themselves up on the board in the third inning when Jason hit a single to the right, where both Joe Lankford and Simon Tysk managed to score! Stockholm started game two by giving Hiba a severe headache. Stockholm scored no less than six runs in the first and four in the second. They managed to score once in the third, but the bleeding stopped there. However, those runs in the first and second was more than enough to put Gothenburg in the backseat and Gothenburg failed to recover. Gothenburg did as Leksand the week before, left Stockholm empty handed.

While Gothenburg was visiting Stockholm, Leksand won two games vs Karlskoga Bats. Karlskoga lost game one 10-0 and the game lasted only until seven innings. Game two was quite the opposite and was a tight game where Leksand came out on the front winning 2-1.

Sölvesborg who lost two games to the Akademin in their opening game got a visit from Sundbyberg. It was Sundbybergs first game of the season and they were pumped! Scoring no less than 17 times in game one. The second game got a bit tighter where Karl Knutsen pitched the entire game for Sölvesborg. Sundbyberg’s national team player Philip Gajzler drove in a two run homer in the ninth and set the final score to 4-7.

Leksand will go on the road and visit Gothenburg Sharks home opener on Shark Park. You are welcome to join us watching the ceremonial first pitch of the season and two exciting games! Please note that game one starts at 12.

Jason Norderum to Gothenburg Sharks

The Gothenburg Sharks is happy to announce that the second American import of the 2014 season is the left handed pitcher Jason Norderum. Jason was born 1981 in California and have played baseball pretty much his entire life. He has a few games in the AAA for New Orleans Zephyrs in ’06. Prior to that he had several seasons in the A and AA. After the visit to the AAA he played several seasons in the indie leagues until 2011.

Gothenburg Sharks are very happy to welcome such well renowned pitcher to the team. It will be of great help to our game bur perhaps most of all, a very skilled coach to our younger pitchers.

 

Below is an interview with Jason that was made before he arrived in Sweden

Tell us a bit about yourself and where you come from?

I was born in Redding CA, which is in the northern part of the state. I enjoyed playing sports- baseball, soccer, basketball. I did a lot skateboarding with friends all over Redding. Since I was on several traveling baseball teams in grade school and high school I was able to see a lot of different cities in Cali and other states. We even went to Australia for a tournament.

Did you read up on Gothenburg as a city yet?

Yes of course I looked up Gothenburg on the Internet. I’m looking forward to being there.

What’s the word on the street about Sweden? Is it all tall blonde, good looking women and IKEA?

We have heard good things about Sweden’s conservative , environmentally conscientious thinking. Of course we hear about IKEA, bounds, etc.

What have you heard about the Swedish baseball game?

Haven’t heard too much about the games of baseball in Sweden, but I have heard there is a strong and passionate interest for the game.

In preparation for Europe, did you alter your off-season routines this year or are you sticking to an old programme of strength and conditioning combined with hitting and fielding?

I have continued my routine that has been my way of life for the past 15 pulse years of professional baseball. This routine includes strength and conditioning. I have added cross fit, hitting, fielding, so I can be a complete player this season.

Do you think playing ball in Sweden (or Europe in general) will change the way you view the sport?

I will continue to have a love of the game- but I’m sure my ideas will be broadened with this European experience. I’m sure the game is the same- its all about the love of playing and of course trying to win.

What did baseball mean to you growing up as a kid?

As a young boy baseball was very important to me. I started playing when I was 5. Baseball has allowed me to travel, meet people and see places I probably wouldn’t have been able to see.

What’s your best baseball memory? Is it something that happened on the field while you were playing yourself? Or is it catching a foul ball at a major league game?

One of  my most exciting times was the championship run with hall of fame player and my manager Gary Carter in 2008. The win of the championship was great and playing for Gary Carter was awesome.

How would a baseball scout describe your skills as a ballplayer?

I believe I am a better than average left handed pitcher and the fact that I’ve been able to continue to play baseball for this many years shows something.

You were drafted by the Expos out of High School back in 1999. What was it like getting that call?

It was both exciting and scary to be drafted.

You have a son that’s playing t-ball. What advice(s) are you giving him growing up practicing sports?

Being able to play a sports a process that takes a lot of time. Skills are not developed in one year but over many years of learning and practicing.

When not playing baseball, what are your favorite things to do?

I like to do a lot of things outside. I play golf, ride bikes, walk, run. I like to travel and see new places.

You’ve been fortunate to play with a lot of talented players over the years. Are there any players that stand out and that when you’ve seen them, you’ve been vowed by their skills?

Grady Sizemore, Jason Bay, Cliff Lee, I got to be teammates with and got to see there process. Justin Morneau, Migueal Cabrera are a couple of guys I got to battle with and watch turn in to best at what they do.

During your career so far, you’ve seen Rookie Ball, A, AA, AAA and also some Indy Ball. Briefly, how would you describe the differences in play during the different levels?

The lower levels of baseball have raw talent. The higher levels (aa-aaa) have skills and talent that are much more defined. The game gets more difficult for both hitter and pitcher. Indy ball is a mix of many levels of skill and talent.

What’s your favorite major league team?

My favorite team is the SF Giants and my favorite player is Randy Johnson.

Besides the obvious baseball gear and stuff you usually pack for a holiday, name one thing that you’re definitely bringing to Sweden.

I will bring my sense of humor, willingness to play hard and a strong work ethic.

Do you play fantasy sports? Baseball or Football? Anything like that?

Yes, I played fantasy football one season but I would rather be a arm chair QB.

Living in California, what’s your take on the A’s stadium situation? Do you think owner Lew Wolff will be able to relocate to San Jose and build a new ballpark?

The Oakland A’s deserve a state of the art stadium and so do the fans. The have a good system and consistently return to the playoffs.

Expectations on the upcoming major league season? Any teams that really stand out as contenders? Any obvious bottom dwellers?

I’m pulling for the Giants this season. They play well on even years (2012-2010), and now its 2014 we will win again.

It’s still early but can we please get your picks for the World Series and who’ll be the WS champ? Will it be a Northern Cali Series in SF with the Giants and A’s?

Another battle of the bay would be nice-( without the earthquake). At this point as hard as iris to write the Los Angeles Dodgers look like they could be the champions.

Now the season is really over

The Sharks left the season semi early by winning the series versus Alby. We don’t know what would have happened if we lost that game. We do know that Alby lost two straight games to Sölvesborg and by that lost their Eliteseries status.

We welcome Sölvesborg to the Elitseries! Karl Knutsson lead Sölvesborg through the playoffs and finally to a spot in the highest league. Something the Sölvesborg team have been longing for (2:25 into this clip).

In the other end of the series we do have a winner! Stockholm did take one win away vs Karlskoga setting the score 1-1 after two games. When the series moved to Stockholm, the Stockholm team took no chances! Back to back wins where the first game saw no more than seven innings. We congratulates Stockholm for the 2013 title! Also, the Stockholm cadets took their fourth subsequent title! Very Impressive!

We’re keen to see what the Elitseries will actually look like the 2014 season. Skövde won a spot there some years ago but decided to not take it. In April 2014 we know for sure when the schedule is set, what to expect.