A few days before the start of the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup, Greg Frady, head coach of the German National Team did an interview, talking about the tournament.
How did your Team qualify for the 2011 Baseball World Cup?
Greg Frady: We finished 3rd at the 2010 European Championships in Germany.
What selection process did you went through to complete the roster for the BWC?
Greg Frady: Always we had several meetings and discussions about the final roster. For 2011, I wanted to get a mix of veterans and young guys to keep German baseball growing for now and the future. We had a large group of players to select from and I divided them up using the World Port Tournament and the World Cup to continue with our National Team development. Each roster features players that are skilled in their area and can help the team play at a competitive level.
What are your expectations for the BWC? Which teams are favored in your group and to win it all?
Greg Frady: My expectation for the German team is to play each day at a very high level. I expect the team to be in a position for positive results each day. We are playing in a very difficult group, but this is the World Cup and each team is going to be very strong. Our focus will be on playing the game hard, executing our game plan and finishing strong. Baseball across International borders continues to grow stronger and each team in our pool has a chance to be a finalist.
How important is the BWC for the German Baseball and Softball Federation?
Greg Frady: Our primary goal for the German Senior National team, is always the European Championship because it presents us with an opportunity to secure a spot in the World Cup. Following the European Championship, the World Cup has been the next important event for the German Senior National Team because for years the WC has been the highest tournament we could play in. The 2011 WC will be our third opportunity to participate, since I started with the team. These tournaments have been the spring board to other invitations. The consistency of playing at the WC level has helped us gain invitation to many international events, like the World Port Tournament, the World Baseball Challenge in Canada, series with the USA National Team, the Final Olympic Qualifier and now an invitation to the World Baseball Classic qualifier in 2012. Furthermore, the WC has been very important to development of German baseball.
Did/will you hold a training camp in preparation of the BWC? Did/will you play any exhibition games and if yes, against which team(s)? How important was the World Port Tournament for the German Team?
Greg Frady: The World Port Tournament this past summer was very important to the team because, we used that tournament to get ready for the World Cup. Additionally, any tournament we are able to participate in, is an opportunity to continue to help grow German baseball. We will not be together before the WC, but time together from this past summer will serve as our preparation. Loss of Olympic funding, university, jobs and family considerations made it difficult for us to be together for prior traning. This is not perfect, but this is the best we can do at this time.
Any players missing due to injury or other obligations?
Greg Frady: My focus is on the 24 man roster that we have selected and we will spend our time and energy on these guys. Many factors create change to our roster each tournament, but the players chosen always represent German baseball well.
You selected Daniel Thieben to the German roster. He hasn’t played much in the Baseball-Bundesliga so far. What was the reason for this surprise selection?
Greg Frady: Daniel is a very good young pitcher. His talent and ability is the reason he was selected. This tournament will serve as a very good learning experience for him as he continues a bright future in baseball. I will pick the right spots for Daniel in this tournament, so that he will be in a position to have success in his Senior National team introduction.
Can you tell us something about your coaching staff?
Greg Frady: Troy Williams is our pitching coach and he has been with me and the team for 8 years. He brings consistency to the staff and the players feel a good comfort level with him. Dirk Fries returns as Bench coach and brings a lot of experience to the Senior team. He is in his 2nd year as a coach, but had a long a successful playing career. Dirk is closer to the player’s age and speaks the native language; this is beneficial to me and for the success of the team. Nick Hogan will fill the last spot on our staff. He is a Division 1 college coach and is an excellent teacher with emphasis on base running, bunting and outfield play. These are areas in which we pay a lot of attention to and must continue to improve.