Monthly Archives: April 2014

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.

Patrick Laffin returns to Gothenburg

While the Elitseries has already started with Stockholm Monarchs sweeping Leksand Lumberjacks in a two game series, the Sharks is still waiting another few days for our opening game. We will face Stockholm away this Saturday and the home opener is May 10th.

Meanwhile we will take the opportunity to introduce our American players for the 2014 season! First off, we are proud to announce that Patrick Laffin will return to Gothenburg!


Below is an interview with Patrick just before coming back to Sweden.

Welcome back for a 2nd year with Hajarna. We’re excited to have you be a part of our organisation once again. What was your first impression by Swedish baseball?

I was really impressed by the closeness of the team and the organization. It felt like one big family, and I really enjoyed that feeling. I believe that baseball is baseball no matter where you are, the ony thing that is different is the people you play with, and with that being said, the people I played with, and against in Sweden, really made me love my experience.

Did the city of Gothenburg and Sweden in general live up to your expectations?

They both far surpassed my expectations! I fell in love with both the city of Gothenburg and Sweden in general! I am so excited to come back!!!

What do you think of the 2014 roster and our chances?

I am really excited to see the team! I know they have worked hard this off-season, and I am pumped to get back onthe field and practice! I think if we carry the momentum and attitude from the end of the season last year, where we were definetly playing out best baseball, we will be great!

Do have any personals goals that you aim to achieve this season?

I always go into a season aiming to play the best baseball I possibly can and put my team in the best position to win a game; and this season is no exception. I think it is hard to set specific numeric goals in baseball, because it is such a game of chance and inconsistencies.

Coming back for a 2nd year and knowing a bit more of how the game runs here, have you altered your off-season routine?

I have no altered my personal routine this off season, what I ahve done though is expand my knowledge of all different aspects of the game, to make myself a better coach for my fellow teammates on both the Elite and Regional teams.

What’s your favorit baseball memory of 2014? Clinching the Elite Series spot by beating Alby on the road? Taking a dip in the ocean after our road games?

We had so many great moments, both on the field and off it is hard to pick one specific time or event that was my favorite! The memories that will stick with me forever, are not the ones that happened on the field, rather the times outside of baseball that I got to spend with my teammates and their families and friends!

A lot of people rave about the Swedish cuisine and I’m sure you’ve been able to try some different dishes. Is there anything that stand out to you as delicious or not the tastiest meal on the planet?

I am a big fan of food! My mom is a chef and nutritionist, so I have had a love and appreciation of food from a young age. I loved all the food I tried in Sweden, and would often keep my mom up to date on all the new food I tired! When my mom and sister visited, I took them to a restaurant called Sjomagasinet Restaurang and we had classic Scandanavian food prepared by a master chef! It was so good! I also loved going to the Feskekôrka, and getting fresh fish to bring home and cook!!

If you were to give a tourist a planned day in the Gothenburg area, what would that day look like?

I actually got the opportunity to plan a couple days in Gothenburg for my mom and sister! If I had to plan a one day adventure, I would start with the Paddan Tour on the city, because that offers great insight into the city, and allows you to see it from many different and unique vantage points. It also provides background information on different areas and buildings, which would be useful knowledge for the day trip. After that I would go for Fika in Haga, because that is a really cool and unique area. While in haga, I would take them to the top of Skansen Kronan, for the awesome vantage point at the top. After that I would plan some shopping and walking, starting at central station and Nordstan, and then working our way down the streets in the Brunnsparken area! I would finish the day with a nice dinner, and then a trip to the Avenue for some drinks!

I know you’re a fan of the Red Sox growing up in the Boston area. What was it like coming home from Sweden in mid September last year to witness their hunt for October and eventually winning it all? Did you go to any games at Fenway?

It was awesome coming home and expirencing the hype and excitement of the Red Sox! It is hard to explain how the Red Sox captivate the city to someone who has never been, so I will not even attempt because my words will not be sufficient! I did not get to watch a lot of games while in Sweden, due to the time difference, and so when I got home I had a lot of catching up to do! I was lucky to have some buddies I played college baseball visit me during the playoffs. One of my friends is from Venezula and is in the Detriot farm system, and works out with Miguel Caberera in the offseason. He was able to get us tickets to game 6 of the ALCS which was so amazing to be at!

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

Boston will repeat, plain and simple! The Yankees will be the bottom dwellers.

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?

I am feeling a Boston, LA World Series!

Thoughts on MVP’s and CY Young winners in each league from the past year? Really tight races and we’d love your take on it.

I think the MVP in both the American League and the National League went to the right guys. Caberera and McCutchen are both awesome! I think Clayton Kershaw deserved the NL Cy Young, but I am a little torn on the AL Cy Young in Scherzer, I don’t know how I feel about him! Keep an eye on my boy Wil Myers in Tampa. He’s bound to do big things!