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March 6, 2017

Corey Baker

Jerry Weinstein

Seoul, Korea

THE MODERATOR: Jerry, give us your impressions going into today's game and how things are going.
JERRY WEINSTEIN: We're excited. We're looking forward to play. We've had enough scrimmages and practices, and we want to play for real. It's a real challenge and we're looking forward to it, and hopefully we're up to it and we'll know in a few hours.

Q. You already had a press conference once, and now, several hours later, you will have the match. You've watched the Korean team; what is your impression? I believe you studied their strategy so, what is the weakness for the Korean team?
JERRY WEINSTEIN: Very impressed with the Korean team. It's a well balanced team. They have offense, they play defense and they can run. Like I said, it's a daunting task, especially playing here in Seoul with all your fans and support.

Q. You guys have both been classified as sort of extreme underdogs. How much do you like that description? Do you think it plays to maybe being able to surprise some people in this tournament?
COREY BAKER: I don't really see us that way. I don't know if anyone in our room does. I can't speak for anyone else. I've seen the guys in our locker room. I've seen how we can play, and we have a lot of confidence in ourselves and the guys in that locker room.
So people from the outside have been saying that, and understandably so. It's our first time. I just think we're excited to get out there and play and prove that, I guess right or wrong, whatever people want to say about that. But I think we're competent. We know what we can do, so I don't know if I would necessarily classify us as that.
JERRY WEINSTEIN: Well, I would answer the same way. We're not the underdogs. We're pretty much unknown, and I think that's why people think we're underdogs.
But those are opinions of other people, and like Corey said, that's not the feeling in our locker room. We feel very confident, and we came here to win. We can't come here to be underdogs or whatever. You can put any label you want on our team. At the end of the day, when this is all said and done, there's going to be a winner and there's going to be a loser. Our expectation is to be on the winning side.

Q. Can you just explain what it means to you to represent Israel and being part of this team, what that means to you?
COREY BAKER: Yeah, it means a lot. It meant a lot in the qualifier in Brooklyn and now I think it means even more. It's a bigger stage. In between the qualifier and now, I've made my second trip to Israel, and every time you go there, you're extremely impressed and feel a connection with the people and the country, and that gives you much more pride.
And extremely proud, I think is the way I would feel. It's just a huge honor. It's a great opportunity for all of us, great opportunity for the country and I think proud would be the No.1 way of describing how I feel about it.

Q. I've been told the reason Corey is here is he's going to be your Game2 starter. Can you talk about what went into that decision and how you got to that point?
JERRY WEINSTEIN: Well, easy decision. He's the right guy to pitch. He pitched extremely well for us in the qualifier, and he's done nothing to diminish his pitching skills since then. Was in big league camp with the Cardinals and pitched well with them, and we feel very confident having him on the mound for us.

Q. The way the schedule is set up, it's kind of a strange situation that you guys will be playing Game2 before anyone else has played. Tomorrow, you have a chance to either clinch a ticket, basically, to Japan, or have it be an all‑or‑nothing kind of scenario. How does that enter into your mind‑set, especially given, I know you were in big league camp, but it's not like you were stretched out and pitched numerous innings at this point.
COREY BAKER: I think it all goes into the preparation. I have to treat it like another game. I have to go out and pitch tomorrow, and whether it's ten pitches, 20 pitches or the full 65. I have to go out and do my job. We've been here for awhile. I have my routine down. I think just looking at it like it's another game with those factors that you mentioned of clinching‑‑ it's a huge game.
Every game here is going to be a huge game. But between the lines, it's the same game. It's just another game, really and I think that's the only way to treat it. If you let those outside factors creep in, I don't think you can have a lot of success doing that.
So just another game for me. Excited to watch tonight, get the atmosphere, see how it feels. Real excited to go out and compete with my team tomorrow and just going to be another game.

Q. The starting pitcher is Jang Won‑jun for the Korean team. I believe you looked into him. So what is your impression for him?
JERRY WEINSTEIN: Well, we're very impressed with him. No.1, he's left handed, throws strikes, he can pitch inside. He's got a very good changeup. He can throw four pitches over the plate for strikes. We're going to have to be extremely disciplined, and just like any other pitcher, you have to recognize pitches and swing at your pitches. And when you get your pitch, you need to square it up, if at all possible.
Again, he's good. Secondary skills are good. He holds runners. He's a good defender. He's athletic. A lot of pluses on the mound tonight against us.

Q. Have you announced the lineup for tonight's game?
JERRY WEINSTEIN: We have our lineup ready to go. We're just waiting to get the lineup from Korea, and apparently you can wait as long as 90 minutes before the game. So they have chosen to wait to 90 minutes before the game, so our lineup will be ready 90 minutes before the game when their lineup is ready.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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