January 24, 2011
We are coming up on the big Oceana 16-and-under tournament here in Auckland on Tuesday. Countries represented are Guam, Australia and New Zealand. I've now had the opportunity to work with all three teams and I see a lot of skill from these youths.
The past two days have been pretty rainy, so we've had to improvise some on both my personal workouts and the workouts for the kids. We had to move all the clinics and the MLB Roadshow to a local college gym.
The main obstacles there are footing when trying to run, and hitting. We had to get a lot of wiffle balls for the kids to hit, and throw them soft toss. It wouldn't be fair if we were throwing knucklers at the kids!
Scott Campbell, who is in the Blue Jays minor league system, is an Auckland native and was also able to help out the past couple of days. It's been fun getting to know him.
Basically, we played some home run derby with the kids. Of course, we weren't swinging bats! We just robbed homers for the first part and then worked with the kids on their batting technique the rest of the time.
Last night I was able to head out to dinner with some friends. One thing out here that I have really loved is the amazing cuisine. Being in such a farm-rich country surrounded by a large body of water, you don't run into many processed foods or imported products. Pretty much everything is local and fresh, whether it be the beef, seafood or greens. That is one of my favorite parts of going to another country — experiencing the local foods.