ALEX DERHAK: I STILL HAVE THE FIRE INSIDE
Hroši are more than happy to announce transfer of this postseason. We dont really need to introduce this big Czech-American player. Sasha Derhak played in Czech EXL for 8 years already and celebrated the title with Draci Brno five times. He is coming over to play some more and help the team win.
Hello Alex. First of all welcome to our club. Coming up with a deal with a player like you can be huge for us. Can you tell us what is behind your decision of transferring over to Hrosi?
Thanks Martin. I'm very excited for this new oppurtunity. The number one reason and most important, is that I still want to play baseball. I still have the fire inside to compete and help a team win. Draci is such a strong club with so many talented players, both established veterans and very exciting young players. It would have been very difficult for me to get playing time surrounded by all that talent. This was not an easy decision by any means, but I set a goal for myself to play again and even if that meant I had to pack my backs and play in Afgahnistan, I would have, just to have that chance to be in the arena again. Also, one of my son's favorite animals is the hippopatamus. So when I asked him "Would it be cool if daddy was a hippo?" He excitedly said YES! After that it was a no brainer.
Of all the clubs why did you chose to contact Hrosi?
Well most obviously being that Brno is my home, I really wanted to stay close to my family. Another goal of mine is that my kids both can have early memories of seeing their daddy play baseball. I also have some friends and former teammates who are Hippos, which will help ease the transition of being on a new club.
Finally, in Hrosi, I see a growing club full of a group talented young players trying to take the next step. This directly paralles the club I first I played for and managed in Adelaide, South Australia, The Woodville Senators. That was a very attractive thing to me as well. It just seems like a great fit.
Is there anything you'd like to forward to all the people you got to know in Draci? It's been seven years of your career and you celebrated title with them five times.
The words thank you do not express enough the feelings have for Draci. The kindness they showed to my family and I have been amazing. We really felt like family, heck it was family. To the management, coaches, juniors, fans, and most importantly players; there will always be a special place in my heart for what that organization did for me and let me acheive, not only in baseball but in life. To learn what it takes and what it feels like to be a champion, to be able to travel all over Europe to compete against the best clubs, and to be accepted loved by a team in a foriegn country where you can't speak the language and feel lost sometimes, it truly was special. I played 7 years for Draci, unitl my body fell apart, and I wouldn't change a thing. I'll be rooting for them in this year's Euro Cup!
Unfortunately you missed almost full 2017 season due to a back injury. How did that happen and how does it look now?
Well, I was a catcher for 23 years. Unfortuantely my body could not handle the pounding anymore. Simply put my back said enough despite what my mind wanted. I am 7 months out after surgery and I'm way ahead of schedule. I have followed my rehabilitation proram religiously as well as looking to alternative methods in recovering faster. Our bodies are capable of so much more that we believe. I've changed my workouts, diet, mental approach to optimize my health both on and off the field. I feel fantastic!
The rehabilitation of my back, will be a continous process moving forward not only this year but the rest of my life. 1% better every day is my mantra!
You're around top five hitters basically every season you played in Czech EXL. What would be your expectations of coming into 2018 season?
During the 19 seasons I've played as a professional, hitting has never come easy to me. Defense has been my meal ticket and trademark. Like a roller coaster, I've had a lot of highs and lows statistically speaking. My past seasons do not define me as hitter. The only season I can control is the one in front of me and that season starts today by getting 1% better. I try to start from doing the little things to help my team win. If I do that then the stats will take care of themself.
My only expectations are to be healthy and continue to get stronger, to have an approach and have the mental toughness and focus to maintain that approach throughout the long season, and most importantly have fun in the process.
You're going into your 9th year playing baseball here in Brno. When did you decide to fully move in and what was it to make you stay?
I never really planned on livng in Europe but life just kinda happened. With the birth of my son 3 years ago, it was clear, given my options, that this was the best place for my family to be. Now after living here year round for 4 years, building a house, and creating relationships. I know this is the best place for my family and I to grow together. That all being said, I think about miss my family and friends abroad everyday.
Can you tell our fans little bit about yourself and your family?
Sure, My partner Denisa and I have two beautiful children, William Edward 3, and Valentina Anna 1, as well as a giant demon dog with a heart of gold, Dart. They are everything to me. As for myself, I take my coffee black and my whiskey straight. I love riding my bicycle and I hate smart phones. Advocadoes are my favorite food. I'm a Star Wars and Game of Thrones geek. New Zealand the number 1 travel destination I would like to go. If you believe that the earth is flat or that dinosaurs weren't real then please don't talk to me. Finally, the number 1 thing on my bucket list is dive with Great White Sharks.
Thank you for your time. We look forward to you joining our club. Let's make 2018 another remarkable year.
Hey thanks Martin. Ain't nothing to it but to do it!