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Roger Bernadina will leave camp Saturday to play in the WBC in Taiwan.
Orange? Isn't that going to clash with the Nationals' uniform?
Well, yes. Thankfully, Bernadina has no plans to match them up with his standard red, white and blue garb. These are for his other team, the Netherlands national club which is competing in next month's World Baseball Classic.
Bernadina, in fact, has to leave camp on Saturday so he can join the rest of the Dutch squad on a 20-hour flight to Taiwan, where they'll all open first-round play against South Korea on March 2.
"Long day of flying," the outfielder said, "but it's worth it."
Bernadina is one of several established big leaguers playing for the Netherlands, which pulls the majority of its players from its Caribbean territories: Curacao and Aruba. Also on the WBC roster: Andruw Jones, Jair Jurrjens, Jurickson Profar and Andrelton Simmons.
Three Nationals minor leaguers (Randolph Oduber, Spencer Kieboom and Robbie Cordemans) also are on the team, so at least Bernadina will have company on the long flight.
The Netherlands has surprisingly built one of baseball's best international programs. They've been playing the sport -- it's called "honkball" there -- since 1911 but enjoyed their first big breakthrough in the 2009 WBC when they twice beat the powerhouse Dominican club to advance to the tournament's second round.
Then, two years ago, the Dutch won their first-ever international championship, defeating Cuba to win the Baseball World Cup.
"Over the years, we've progressed pretty good," said Bernadina, who first started playing for his country in the 2007 World Cup. "I know how we started, and now we're one of the top teams in the world."
So, has baseball fever overrun the streets of Amsterdam, where Bernadina lives in the offseason?
"No, not yet," Bernadina laughed. "Soccer is still the big sport over there. But it's getting there. I think once we get some more major league players and some more media about the sport, it will get bigger."
The Netherlands faces a difficult road through this year's WBC. If they advance through round-robin play in Taiwan, they would head to Japan for the second round. The final four then meets in San Francisco, so it's possible Bernadina will be away from the Nationals for as many as 25 days before appearing in his first official spring training game.
"It's tough," he said. "It's something new for me. It's a challenge. But I want to represent my country, too. I'm looking forward to it. I want to take the team as far as we can. But I also don't want to miss too many spring training games so I can get ready for the season. I'll get myself ready somehow over there."