By Dan Vaughan/TalkingBaseballAustralia
Daniel Schmidt is the all time winning pitcher in the ABL. The “Big Lefty” sat down with Talking Baseball Australia and touched on all things baseball. From the pinnacle in both the USA and Australia Schmidt has also seen the challenges that the game brings. The consummate professional and class act had a season that almost seems like a Hollywood screen play. Yet, his story is one that has to speak loud to fans about following your dreams and knocking on every door and kicking them in when given the opportunity. The glamorous life of baseball is only glamorous to a small percentage the rest face the challenges with a love for the game that is hard to find in any line of work. “Schmidty” opens up about the wild year it was.
TBA: You had great finish to the season for you but really were solid all year. What was the key?
Daniel Schmidt: I certainly had my struggles in the first month of the season where I had those poor starts against Sydney and Brisbane. I really had to sit down and assess what I was doing differently to the successful year I had in the US. After breaking things down, I realized that I was trying too hard and not pitching within my capabilities. My ability to generate ground balls and pitch with movement is what allows me to be successful. Every pitcher wants to throw harder, it’s human nature but it doesn’t always guarantee success. You have to know what your strengths are and pitch to them, be comfortable with who you are. Once I made that conscious decision to focus on staying within myself, not trying to over throw the ball and keep it down, I was able to have more consistent starts.
TBA: You don’t throw upper 90s so what is the key? As a lefty a change is big but what is your approach?
Daniel Schmidt: These days, it’s not unusual to have a handful of guys on your pitching staff throwing 90mph. I’ve never been that guy even though I have tried to on numerous occasions. Throwing hard opens up opportunities to play at the higher levels but it doesn’t always guarantee success. Batters are accustomed to seeing pitching that hard on a regular basis now which makes it a whole lot harder to just “throw a fastball by him”. You need to set batters up with your off-speed pitches. An 88mph fastball looks like 92mph when you have thrown them a serving of offspeed pitches. My changeup is my best pitch but when I mix in my curveball and cutter after batters have been seeing sinker, changeup for a number of innings, it makes it a lot harder for them to decide what pitch is coming. I’ve been told that despite my funky delivery, I manage to hide the ball from the batter well so they don’t see it out of my hand until I release it. I believe it’s a combination of factors that helps make a successful pitcher.
TBA: With the club now notching another Claxton Shield and finals appearance is that what you expected in October?
Daniel Schmidt: Despite our early season struggles in November, we knew we have a great ball club. We still have the same core group of guys that we have had over the past half a dozen seasons and during that time, has seen us enjoy a lot of success. When you mix in a quality group of imports and some of our young stars coming up from the junior ranks, you get a well rounded unit. We have always believed that we are one of the best teams talent wise on paper but when you mix that with team chemistry, it is the primary source of our frequent success. We have been really lucky that each season, the imports have gelled with our group and team culture seamlessly. We have enough leaders on our team that everyone is held accountable for their actions and their role. We always expect to be playing in playoffs come crunch time as we know that if we do the little things right, we should be here.
TBA: When we talked to you and others (Heat players) last us summer it seemed like you boys were ready for a championship season?
Daniel Schmidt: Last season was bitterly disappointing. To not be able to bring the series to a game 3 of the championships felt like had let one slip away. You have all offseason to think about those type of series but it only makes you that much more hungry to get back there and win the whole thing the next year. We feel that last season made us that much stronger for this years championship…
TBA: Europe over the states?
Daniel Schmidt: I feel that I am finished with my Independent baseball career in the US after 5 years of slogging it out trying to get visas and compete for jobs. Teams in Indy ball don’t have the money of the MLB teams which means paying for visas and flights is difficult for them. They tend to just sign local talent these days. I also feel like the way my US season finished last year, with winning a championship, was a sign from the baseball gods above that I can now move on from Indy ball and that it’s time to see new places and experience new things. Asia would definitely be something I would look at down the track as well as they take their baseball very seriously over there.
Our [TBA] thanks to Daniel Schmidt and we wish him the best as he take his resume to the Netherlands. For fans who want to follow the Twins Honkbal in the Honkbal Overgangsklasse in the Netherlands here are the links to the team website. Our thanks to Daniel Schmidt for his time and we wish him the best in the coming season.
For more excellent articles from the folks at TBA click on the link in the Blogroll on the right of our page.
Czech champion Draci Brno has added left-handed pitcher Wilson Lee to the roster for the 2014 season in the Czech Extraleague.
The 22-year-old Australian [originally from Darwin but recently playing in Adelaide] played two years affiliated minor league ball for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He had an ERA of 3.64 in two seasons in the Gulf Coast League. He struck out 45 and walked 13 in 59 1/3 innings.
He arrived in the Czech Republic on Friday.
Richard James Olson pitched eight shutout innings to lift the Stuttgart Reds to a 7-0 win over Haar Disciples at Haar.
Five runs in the first three innings helped the Stuttgart Reds blow out Haar Disciples. An RBI single by Sascha Lutz during the first inning and a two-run double by Chris Beck and an error in the second inning helped the Stuttgart Reds put some runs on the board early.
Chris Beck racked up two RBIs on three hits for the Stuttgart Reds.
The Stuttgart Reds added two more runs in the top of the fourth. A steal of home scored Chris Beck for the inning’s first run.
Saturday was a great day for Richard James Olson as he struck out 15 batters to carry the Stuttgart Reds to a 3-2 victory over Mannheim Tornados at Stuttgart.
A walk-off single by Sascha Lutz gave the Stuttgart Reds the win.
Sascha Lutz racked up two RBIs on two hits for the Stuttgart Reds. He singled in the third and ninth innings.
A bright spot for Mannheim Tornados in the defeat was Jan-Niclas Stöcklin, who allowed only two runs while striking out nine.
The bottom of the first saw the Stuttgart Reds take an early lead, 1-0. The Stuttgart Reds got things going when Chris Beck singled. Then moved Chris Beck from first to second.
The Stuttgart Reds scored one run in the fifth inning, and then followed it up with one more in the ninth. In the fifth, the Stuttgart Reds scored on a steal of home, scoring Matti Emery.
Source : Gamechanger
If you wish to read the original go to @ABDSource for link.
Richard James Olson throws no-hitter as the Stuttgart Reds defeat Tübingen Hawks 11-0
No Tübingen Hawks batter was able to locate Richard James’ pitches during the game. Richard James threw a no-hitter, striking out 11 batters and walking one while recording his momentous feat. He got Pedro Medrano to strike out for the final out of the game.
Eight runs in the opening three innings allowed the Stuttgart Reds to easily put away Tübingen Hawks. A single by Markus Winkler, , , an RBI double by Chris Beck, and an RBI double by Sascha Lutz in the second inning supplied the early offense for the Stuttgart Reds.
Chris Beck racked up three RBIs on three hits for the Stuttgart Reds.
The Stuttgart Reds added three more runs in the bottom of the third. The inning got off to a hot start when Chris Beck doubled, plating Craig Pycock and Markus. That was followed up by Marcel Hering’s single, scoring Chris Beck.
In 75 innings pitched Richard has in 10 games a 5-3 record. having 57 hits recorded he has had 31 runscrossing the plate yet only 20 were earned striking out 101 . lowering his ERA to 2.4.
Ex Major Leaguer and Brisbane resident, Phil Stockman,[pictured left] has been appointed to the coaching staff of Great Britain’s team in the 2013 European Championship and fellow Queenslander Matt Roxburgh is in the playing squad.
Although he was born in England Phil grew up in Australia and he has represented the country as a member of Team Australia. While with the team, Phil won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics. He also played in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
Originally signed by the Diamondbacks he signed with the Braves as a six-year minor league free agent in 2006, and earned a midseason promotion to the majors. On 16 May 2008 he was called up to the major leagues and pitched 1 scoreless inning of relief against Oakland on 17 May.
He was released on 15 March 2009 due to injuries.
Brisbane Broncos’ Matt Roxburgh [pictured below] played for GB last year after sending the coaching staff a video of his performances. He said at the time:-
“I was just searching on the Internet and I was looking at the WBC and I noticed that Great Britain was playing in the qualifiers,” Roxburgh said. “I knew one of my old coaches played for them and coached them a couple of years ago so I just asked him what the team was like and what he thought my chances were of making the team and it went from there.”
In Germany, Daniel Lamb-Hunt is back playing for hisBonn Capitals team after an ankle ligament injury kept him out for a month. The break hasn’t slowed his batting down however with the Diamondblack utility currently hitting .370 after 10 games, with 3 home runs a triple, 3 doubles and 9 RBI.
Daniel said it was good to be back after the injury. “Since being back a couple of weeks now, a couple of homeruns last week, and a timely double the week before, so the hitting is coming back good.”
In Germany, the league is broken up into a north and south division, with Daniel playing in the north. “Each league has 3-4 good solid teams and 4 not so talented but scrappy teams. The 3 main teams in the north are Soligen Alligators who are leading us by 2 games, and Paderborn Untouchables, who we play this week and Hamburg make up the top four in the north. In the south there is Regensburg, Mainz, Heidenheim haar uns Stuttgart who are all playoff contenders, as the south league is more well-rounded with the gap between the bottom and the top not as big as the north, but the teams are as good as the north at the upper end.”
He went on to say that “of course baseball is a minority sport so whilst they don’t attract the huge crowds that follow football, they may get 300-600 people to a game on a great day, and other teams will struggle to get 100.”
An impressive effort by Richard James Olson spurred the Stuttgart Reds to a 10-1 win over the Bad Homburg Hornets on Saturday at Bad Homburg.
Olson’s 10 strikeouts were enough to push the Stuttgart Reds past the Bad Homburg Hornets. The Stuttgart Reds’ pitcher gave up just three hits over eight shutout innings.
The Stuttgart Reds didn’t let up, as they kept racking up runs until the end. The Stuttgart Reds scored three runs in the final three innings to cap the blowout win. The Stuttgart Reds scored two runs in the ninth on a solo home run by Sascha Lutz and a fielder’s choice.
The Stuttgart Reds hit three home runs in the win. Additional home runs for the Stuttgart Reds came when Chris Beck homered in the first inning and Ruben Kratky homered in the sixth inning.
The Stuttgart Reds’ Kratky, Beck, Lutz and Darren Marquez combined for seven hits and nine RBIs.
The Stuttgart Reds went up for good in the first, scoring two runs on a solo home run by Beck and a wild pitch.
The Stuttgart Reds got two-run boosts in each of the third, fifth and ninth. In the third, the Stuttgart Reds scored on a two-run single by Darren Marquez, scoring Marcel Hering and Joshua Little.
Source : Gamechanger
The Dutch Hoofdklasse club DOOR Neptunus has added right-handed pitcher Brendan Wise to the roster for the stretch run in the 2013 season. The 27-year-old Australian is expected to arrive in Rotterdam on Thursday according to Honkbalsite.com.
Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2005 he eventually reached Triple-A. In 2012 he pitched in the Minnesota Twins organization, also in Triple-A.
He also has been a member of the Australian national team in the World Baseball Classic and played for the Perth Heat in the Australian Baseball League.
Olson’s 20 strikeouts helped the Stuttgart Reds to the victory. Olson allowed one earned run, two hits and one walk over nine innings.
The Stuttgart Reds blew out Tübingen Hawks thanks to eight hits, including one extra base hits. The Stuttgart Reds scored four runs in the sixth on a groundout by Marcel Hering, a two-run single by Matti Emery, and a wild pitch.
Emery racked up three RBIs on two hits for the Stuttgart Reds.
The Stuttgart Reds built upon their lead with three runs in the fifth. A clutch sacrifice fly scored Ruben Kratky to open the scoring in the frame. That was followed up with a steal of home by Chris Beck.
After a slow start Olson has shown what talent he possesses in his last start. Richard has an ERA of 4.14 in 37 innings pitched.