The EBCA Coach Exchange Program with schools in the United States is fully underway. Benjamin Kleiner visited the Butler University, while Bertrand Rue is currently with Caliendo Sports in the Chicago area and Pete Sollecito at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. You can follow their daily journals at the official EBCA Exchange Program Blog. Benjamin Kleiner already is back home in Berlin. He was so kind to answer a few questions about his trip and the upcoming season in the Baseball-Bundesliga.
Benjamin Kleiner: It was impressive, formative, and motivational. The people at Butler gave me the access all areas pass.
MRBB: What was your daily schedule?
BK: my daily schedule was different every day and pretty busy. Here is a sample of a day.
In the morning: Having a cup of coffee and writing the EBCA coaches exchange blog. Eating breakfast (French toast and homemade maple syrup) with Head Coach Steve Farley and talking about how to get the Butler Baseball team to come over and do a camp + play in Berlin. Getting into Butler University at about 11.30 am. Meeting up with Coach Matt Tyner, Coach Throneburg and talk about the line up for the game.
In the afternoon: Catching lunch with coaches and players at the college cafeteria. Going to class (how to become a masters student) with a student/baseball player Jordan Goldschmidt. Walk back to Butler baseball field and get changed for the game. Watch Butler play Taylor University, a D2 school, and win 16-5.
Night program: A player, Radley Haddad, and his family invite me over for dinner, his step dad is originally from Germany. After that, assistant coaches D.J. Throneburg and Scott Jackson show me some of the Indy nightlife.
MRBB: Did you get a chance to work with the players too?
BK: Sure, I was hitting fungos during practice and throwing batting practice. Coach Farley had me talk to the players about what opportunities they are for college graduates to pursue a pro career in Berlin Germany and in European Baseball. Hopefully one or two are going to be coming over here as soon as they graduate this year.
MRBB: What things stood out for you?
BK: Indianapolis overall is just a great place to be. The heart of the nation.
MRBB: What are the differences in comparison to German baseball?
BK: The ranking of the sport baseball in the society. Everybody knows there is baseball in the U.S. but nobody really knows there is Baseball in Germany.
MRBB: You are about to start a Baseball Academy in Berlin. What are your plans for that?
BK: Helping get the sport more popular and professional in the Berlin area. Make better baseball players and coaches. The DBA (German Baseball Academy) is supporting the project with quality coaches who help run clinics. Also the Baseball Club Berlin Roadrunners support the Academy by letting me use their Indoor and Outdoor facilities, which includes the only indoor batting cage in the Berlin area. Also supporting is the Cologne baseball School by sharing valuable information and more.
MRBB: The Berlin Sluggers are back in the German Baseball-Bundesliga. What do you expect for the 2011 season?
BK: The first goal is to make the game day more interesting for the fans to come, stay and get back there, the second Goal is to stay in the league, the third goal would be getting into the playoffs.