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Interrogation Room: Jim Henderson

January 26, 2010
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Jim Henderson was the closer for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the first half of the 2009 season.  This week The Interrogation Room peppers the Canadian right-hander with questions about what happened after he left the team at the All-Star break, Canadian Baseball, Canadian TV, Canada, and the future.

Q.  You had 17 saves in the first half of the season with the Timber Rattlers.  Did any one of those saves stand out from the others?

A. After missing most of the '08 season because of shoulder surgery, I'd have to say that my first save in the first game of the season in front of the sold-out crowd at Time Warner field was the most memorable.  It felt good to get back out there and do my job after a disappointing '08 season.


Q. After pitching for the West in the All-Star game in Clinton, you got bumped up to Brevard County in the Florida State League. After a couple of rough outings against Palm Beach, you really settled into a groove.  Was it much of an adjustment heading back to Advanced A ball?


A. It was more of an adjustment going from Wisconsin to Florida.  I had troubles griping the ball my first few outings because of sweat on my hands and the humidity which lead to a few more walks than usual.  Just took some getting used to.

Q. Then, you were in Huntsville at the Double A level towards the end of the season and -- just looking at the stats -- pitched pretty well.  Was it easier for you once you got back to this level?


A. It was nice to get back to that level again.  That was my third time in that league, so I was familiar with the stadiums, travel and level of competition.  It was a nice way to finish my year with the Brewers organization.

Q.   You didn't finish the year with the Stars because of your commitment to play for Team Canada in the World Cup of Baseball.  What did it mean to you to play for your country in an event like that one?


A. I had waited a long time to get the opportunity to play for my country again.  I missed the Olympics and the '09 world baseball classic because of my shoulder injury, so to put that uniform on again and have the opportunity to represent my country was very special to me.

Q. The results turned out very well for Canada with a Bronze Medal.  You were on the mound to close out Puerto Rico in the final inning of the Bronze medal game and got the final out for the first medal by Team Canada in 38 World Cups.  What was going through your mind as you got closer to a medal?


A. We all knew the importance of that game in Canadian baseball history. We had never won a medal in the world cup.  I tried to treat it like any other game, but it was impossible to keep the butterflies away.  It was an amazing feeling to finish off that game and celebrate with my teammates.


Q. What does that medal mean to Baseball Canada?


A. It proves that Canada can compete with the best in the world.


Q.   Do you have any memorable stories from the different venues in Europe during the tourney?


A. In Italy we would play our games and then have dinner right after at the stadiums.  Both teams would sit together and enjoy fantastic home cooked Italian pasta - and of course, some vino.

Q.   Where is your medal right now?


A. It's safe and sound at my parents house in Calgary.


Q.   On the releases and the website for the World Cup, you were referred to as Jimmy Henderson.  Should we have been calling you that when you were here in Appleton?


A. The last time I put on a Canadian jersey was for the jr. National team when I was a little skinny young kid.  The coach called me Jimmy then and still calls me Jimmy today - But you can call me whatever you'd like.


Q.   I've seen stories that the Canadian Baseball Network either named you as 2009 co-Canadian Professional Pitcher of the Year with John Axford.or as the 2009 Canadian Minor League Pitcher of the year.  To be accurate, which is it and how did you hear about it?


A. I believe it is Canadian pitcher of the year.  Bob Elliot of the Canadian baseball network informed me of the award.  It is an honour to be recognized as top pitcher among all the other great Canadian pitchers.


Q. You have been running camps for youths in your hometown of Okotoks, Alberta.  How is that going?  Is there a possibility of some coaching in your future?


A. It is going very well - I help coach the Okotoks Dawgs baseball program, which is the same program that I grew up playing in.  We have a bran new indoor facility, which is great for the cold winters up here. I may coach in the future, but I'm not thinking about it right now.


Q. What is a day/night like in Okotoks?


A. Okotoks is a small hockey town south of Calgary with great views of the mountains.  It's more of a nice little place to raise a family. 


Q. Corner Gas: Wanda, Lacey, or Karen?


A. Never watcher the show, but I googled it, and I'll go with Lacey (she's the most attractive)

Q. I asked Brock Kjeldgaard about the chances for the Canadian Olympic Hockey team in Vancouver.  He thought it would be a tough competition, but he was hoping for them to win a Gold medal.  What are your thoughts?


A. Along with Brock, anything but a gold medal would be a disappointment for Canada.  The Russian team looks scary though.  It's going to be exciting to watch.

Q. Is there another Olympic sport that you will be following?


A. I like watching any of the skiing and snowboarding events.


Q. Have you heard anything from the Brewers about where you could start the 2010 baseball season?


A. I haven't heard anything.  I'm just working on being in the best shape for spring training so I can put myself in the best possible position to win a spot at the double or triple A level.


Q. I am guessing that your main goal is to make the major leagues.  Do you have any secondary goals for the upcoming season?


A. I still feel like I have to prove myself at the triple A level.  So hopefully I will get that chance again this season.  Also, just staying healthy again is a big goal - continuing to improve my arm strength.