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March 6, 2017

Xander Bogaerts

Rob Cordemans

Seoul, Korea

Q. Rob, you're kind of the elder statesman of the group, most accomplished pitcher from the Netherlands. What does it mean to you to be in this tournament and representing your country and what you've accomplished in the game?
ROB CORDEMANS: Well, I've been doing this I think for 22 years now. This is my fourth World Baseball Classic, and I'm really happy I made the team now, and I'm trying to contribute again for the fourth time.

Q. Can you give us a sense of what it means to you to be representing the Netherlands and what you're most excited about for the tournament?
XANDER BOGAERTS: I'm excited to be back, the group of guys that I was here with in 2013. I remember, I never knew who he was until probably Panama and then after I went to the WBC. I mean, for him to be doing this at his age and for the longevity that he's been doing it, it's something pretty impressive.

Q. Your mind‑set, how is it different now compared to four years ago?
XANDER BOGAERTS: Have a lot more experience I would say. 2013 were a lot of young guys: Me, Jonathan ‑‑ Simmons was probably the only one in the big leagues at that time. And now we all have some big league time in us. Being able to play with some other young guys that we can learn some stuff, it's pretty impressive. Andruw Jones was a player at that time and now he's a coach. You can learn a lot, also, from him.

Q. How do you feel about the turf? Can you just explain the differences you've seen between the turf here at the SkyDome and the sort of turf and playing surfaces you've played in the United States?
XANDER BOGAERTS: I think all are pretty much the same. This is a nice stadium. Obviously it's indoor. So the ball tends to do different stuff here as compared to out in the open. I mean, the field is pretty neat. It's pretty much, looks in pretty good shape. It's pretty much the same, I would say. It's very nice.

Q. Four years ago, you were in the Minor Leagues, so it was easier for you to be part of the WBC, but you are now a major player and you flew a long way from the United States. Did you feel any pressure, personally?
XANDER BOGAERTS: I mean, I would say it was a little bit of pressure. Last time around, we made it pretty far, the semifinals. The years that Rob played in, they made it pretty far, also, beating out the Dominican; that was a pretty good team. Obviously we expect a lot from of ourselves. Our countries back at home, Netherlands, Curacao, Aruba, all the Antilles expect a lot from us.
Hopefully we can go out there and put up good numbers, put up a good paper again, and hopefully make it to the semis and further on.

Q. It was discussed a couple times about you've been playing for a long time, and your advanced age you've talked about. How have you managed to stay in such good shape at your age to continue to be able to pitch the way you do?
ROB CORDEMANS: Well, I would say I'm kind of a natural. Just really‑‑ I work hard for it, but at my age now, I have to be really careful, because I've been throwing a lot the last couple months and it may be a too much. Last couple weeks I've been doing a little less, and my arm is feeling better and better. So I'll be ready when the coach wants me to play.

Q. The Netherlands has good batters, but many people think the pitching is not that good. As a pitcher, what do you think the biggest strong point is?
ROB CORDEMANS: Well, they have been saying that about us, but if you look at the last, maybe decade, we've had many tournaments, and the pitcher always did great. I really don't agree. We don't have the big stars like the Dominican or the U.S., but we will do our job.

Q. In 2013, you were promising player, and after that, you grew as a star player. So can you explain how the WBC helped you grow?
XANDER BOGAERTS: I think the WBC helped me a lot that year. Playing in front of that crowd in Japan was probably one of the biggest ones I've had in my entire career at that point. The Tokyo Dome, going nuts, especially when we were playing against Japan; I never was in a crowd like that. You only see that stuff on TV. And being part of it, playing live in a game that, definitely helped me as I went on. I got a big league call‑up that year. I tried to do my part and eventually won the World Series that year.
That definitely helped me a lot, especially calming down my emotions during the playoffs and the World Series and stuff like that.

Q. In your play, you talk a lot with the team players, and you were very happy when you played, so what is the key to playing a fun game?
XANDER BOGAERTS: As I said, there's been a lot of guys that I respect growing up, that I played against, played with growing up. It's just kind of us being again together, trying to compete for the same goal in the end. Obviously it's going to be a tough tournament, but we've got to come out strong and do our part to hopefully advance.
And just enjoy. As you say, he's been a part of four, four WBCs, and this will be my second. So he obviously has a lot more experience than me in that department, and I'm just looking forward to hopefully playing in many as he has.

Q. Tomorrow you will meet the Korean players. Have you ever heard about the Korean players or Korean league? Is there any information that you already have about Korean players?
XANDER BOGAERTS: Not really. I think the only player that I might know is the guy with the Pirates. I don't even know if the onewith the Twins‑‑ the Pirates played for Korea, no? He's not playing on the team, but he's from here, right? Yeah, he's probably the only one I know. (Laughter). I think Park, too, with the Twins. Those are the two guys that I know that came from here that's playing now.
Yamaico Navarro played here. He doesn't play on this team. He's on the Dominican. Basically that's the only guys I know here that play in this league. So I don't know the other guys.

Q. Do you have a sense of Team Korea or any of the players?
ROB CORDEMANS: Not yet, but the coaches do. We've been scouting the last couple weeks, so we know a lot about them and they will probably share it with the team like later on today and tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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