by Pim van Nes
Yesterday the Netherlands federation KNBSB has distributed a press release. The subject is the agreement between KNBSB and FIBS, the Italian federation, to have the two national teams play warming-up games in preparation for the World Cup tournament in September.
According to the agreement, the national team of Italy will travel to the Netherlands to play two games on Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 September. On the other hand Italy will host the Netherlands national team for two games in Godo and Ravenna on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 September. Three days later Italy and the Netherlands will start their participation as co-hosts for round two of the Baseball World Cup.
The KNBSB press release brings no other news than a comment from baseball technical director Robert Eenhoorn, presently staying with the Netherlands WBC delegation in Bradenton, Florida: “It is exaggerated to call these games European Baseball Series. These four games are only warming-up games, which are planned conveniently in the preparation for the World Cup tournament.”
Apparently Eenhoorn reacted on news articles, which firstly appeared in Italy (Baseball.it) and later on Mister Baseball and on the Dutch Honkbalsite. Without reference to any official news source, the four games between the Netherlands and Italy were described as European Baseball Series.
This was the title for the six games planned and five games played in Rotterdam (3), Grosseto and Nettuno between the two national teams in 2006. Game six was canceled for heavy showers in southern Italy, upgrading the 3-0 win of the Netherlands in Nettuno as decisive for the Series. Debuting 17-year-old pitcher Tom Stuifbergen and his relievers kept the Italian home team scoreless in game five, bringing the 3-2 series victory to the Netherlands.
Earlier this week KNBSB president Ruud van Zetten informed your Mister Baseball correspondent, that the two warming-up games between the Netherlands and Italy will NOT be played in any of the three World Cup cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Haarlem.
Pim van Nes
Baseball writer for