In the run-up to the 2021 European Baseball Championship, which will be played in Italy from September 11 through September 19, the KNBSB has informed several players they will not get an invite for Team Kingdom of the Netherlands. In some cases understandable, but in some other cases mind-boggling.
A total of six players have been informed about not being selected for team Kingdom of the Netherlands: Diegomar Markwell, Stijn van der Meer, and Dudley Leonora (all Curaçao Neptunus), Rob Cordermans, Gilmer Lampe (both L&D Amsterdam Pirates), and Randolph Oduber (Hoofddorp Pioniers).
When it comes to Diegomar Markwell, he has made clear earlier this season, that he will be pitching from the bullpen with his club to give younger players a chance. He also mentioned that he likely would not be called up for Team Kingdom of the Netherlands as the KNBSB wants to rejuvenate the team. Also, the decision not to call up Rob Cordemans is understandable. So far this season, he has pitched only one inning and he is 46 years old.
When it comes to Randolph Oduber, the decision not to select him is rather mind-boggling. So far he is hitting a respectable .321. Could his age (32) be the criteria? When you look at Markwell and Cordemans, this could very well be. Fact is that Oduber was so disappointed by the decision, that he decided to stop playing at once, so he is disadvantaging his club Hoofddorp Pioniers.
Also, the decision not to select Dudley Leonora (29) is strange. He is a solid infielder and hits a whopping .360 at the moment in the Dutch hoofdklasse. Also, Gilmer Lampe is hitting a solid .358 but since he is at the wrong side of 30, this may be de dealbreaker.
But the most mind-boggling move of them all is the decision to keep Stijn van der Meer from the roster of Team Kingdom of the Netherlands. Van der Meer is one of the best defensive infielders of the Dutch hoofdklasse and he is batting .350. He is very reliable at shortstop and a solid third baseman. The weird thing is that Van der Meer is only 28 and thus in the prime of his life.
Understandably, the KNBSB wants to rejuvenate Team Kingdom of the Netherlands. The team has been relying on some of the aforementioned players for more than a decade. But the decision to cut a 28-year old and a 29-year old when rejuvenation is the magic word is incomprehensible.
With not being selected, these players will lose their source of income, the stipend of the NOC/NSF (Dutch Olympic Committee/Dutch Sports Federation). It remains to be seen if they will continue to play in the Dutch hoofdklasse or that they will focus on a social career.
A big thank you goes out to Tino Groenland for making me aware of this.