Team Europe lost a high profile player today as 10-time MLB Gold Glove winner Andruw Jones withdrew from the team for its upcoming trip to Japan.
Jones would have been a representative of the Netherlands for Team Europe in the Global Baseball Match coming up next week in Japan.
He released the following statement through the World Baseball Softball Confederation:
“It is with tremendous regret that I announce the difficult decision that I will not be able to represent Team Europe in its historic debut versus the Japanese National Baseball Team in front of passionate and familiar Japanese fans. While I had initially planned to be part of Europe’s roster, new duties may call upon me to be away from home for the next several months, so spending as much time as I can at home with my family and children who are in school is the number one priority for me right now. It remains a great honour to have been selected by Coach Janssen to wear the Europe jersey and I wish Team Europe and the Samurai Japan Global Baseball event nothing but success. I will be following the games and hope this great initiative can continue to further globalise our sport.”
Jones spent 17 years in the Major Leagues and the past two in Japan as part of the NPB. The rest of the team will arrive today in Japan and begin workouts for the games tomorrow.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.