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Hoffmann gets back into the groove for Orioles

April 5, 2012
Jim Bastian - Journal Sports Writer ( , The Journal

Jamie Hoffmann probably has not had a baseball spring like the one he has just experienced.

Hoffmann was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers, picked up by the Colorado Rockies, went to play winter ball in Venezuela, got ill down there and came back for spring training in Arizona.

He was designated for assignment by the Rockies, took his release and now has signed with the Baltimore Orioles.

Despite everything, his outlook is still positive.

"Things are going pretty good," he said. "I was a free agent for about two weeks and it is a tough time to be a free agent. Everyone is trying to cut down their clubs at that time so I definitely had to be patient."

That patience had Hoffmann talking to the White Sox, the Twins and the Mets as potential teams to sign with.

"It was a matter of timing and making things work out and here I am in Baltimore," he said.

But getting to Baltimore was a long and painful trip.

"I went to Venezuela to play winter ball and basically got a stomach virus - and it hit me pretty good," he said.

Hoffmann continued to see other doctors to try to see what was wrong before a doctor correctly diagnosed what he had contacted.

"She got me on some different medications, which helped me feel stronger," he said. "It took about two weeks for it to work. But I was real stiff and my joints like my knees and back hurt.

"I kept the Rockies informed about what was going on and they said that they had heard of the disease before,"?he said. "They said that when I got better I should join them and start rehabbing. That was slow with walking first and then getting faster and improving. Right now I am dealing with something like arthritis and will have to deal with it until it gets out of my body."

Hoffmann said that the Rockies optioned him down to "AAA."

"And I had no say over that so I talked to the Rockies and went down to "AAA" for two days," Hoffmann said. "They then called me in and told me that they had designated me for assignment, which meant taking me off the 40-man roster. So I could either accept my assignment or make myself a free agent and I went free agent. It was scary for a while being a free agent and just coming off of a sickness. I was worried."

Now with the Orioles, Hoffmann said that he will be going to the "AAA" affiliate in Norfolk, Virginia.

"I think that there is a good opportunity here. It is hard going to a new place but when I walked into the clubhouse here I already knew 20 players. Baseball is a small world. Basically all that I can do is continue to work hard and play hard on the field."

And Hoffmann has done a lot of that this spring already.

HEIDERSCHEIDT RESIGNS AT NUHS: Stating that he wanted to watch his daughter play basketball next season at Sleepy Eye High School, Shane Heiderscheidt resigned Monday as the New Ulm High School boy's basketball coach.

"They are talking about moving my daughter up to the "C" squad at Sleepy Eye High School," said Heiderscheidt, who is a Sleepy Eye resident. "I did not want to miss out on her games."

Heiderscheidt was hired three years ago when then-head coach Kory Kettner resigned before coaching his first game with the Eagles. Heiderscheidt was Kettner's assistant.

"There was no other option than me because Kory had resigned so close to the start of the (basketball) season," Heiderscheidt said.

Heiderscheidt said that there is a "lack of commitment from players and parents. I am stubborn that way. When I was hired I told the people that it would take five years to turn the basketball program around. We had some good sophomores and freshmen coming up and the younger players were developing a little bit."

But Heiderscheidt saw a lack of commitment from players to develop in the off-season.

"We had to struggle to get five or six kids to play in the summer," he said. "It was tough to coach. You need to work hard to improve - you need that dedication in all of the programs here."

MISC.: Long-time South Central Conference member St. Peter applied for membership in the Minnesota River Conference but was denied admittance... Four former New Ulm Cathedral softball players are playing college softball. Katie Larson is at the University of Sioux Falls, Kasey Bode is at Rochester Community College, Hayley Hornick is at Central Lakes College and Morgan Zollner is at Iowa Lakes Community College.



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