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.