home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 13, 2006

Manny Acta

Odalis Perez

Placido Polanco


THE MODERATOR: Welcome to the post-game formal interview of the Cuba and Dominican Republic game of the second round of the World Baseball Classic in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
My name is Barbara Mari. Interviews will be conducted in English and Spanish. We ask you to please be patient as the entire process will be interpreted for our stenographers who will be recording this interview. Our interpreter is Dina Kuriansky.
Before we open the questions from the media, we would like to ask Manager Acta and Odalis Perez to provide us with a brief summary and impressions of the game.
MANNY ACTA: Well, we won and that's the important thing, and I know that a lot of people don't like to analyze wins, but I do. I think we can play a lot better than what we played. I think we should have scored at least 12 runs. We didn't secure and do the things that things that we were supposed to do. We didn't catch some balls that we were supposed to catch. It was just bad that I had to use Fernando Rodney which disables me to use him tomorrow because of tournament rules, in the 9th inning.
I've got to give credit to the Cuban team. I can see why they're dominating international competition. They are true players, pretty good pitching that they throw out there. Most of those guys were hitting low 90s with sharp breaking balls and good change-up and location. I can see how they can dominate this competition.
ODALIS PEREZ: Well, I agree with everything Manny says because I understand the competition today for us, it was very important because I understand if we would have lost today, we would have gone home tomorrow. But for us it was important because we won. That's the main thing. That kept us alive, and I understand -- if we can go back out tomorrow and we can score at least eight or nine runs, we might go to the final.
But at the same time, today was very important, we won, and we want to be focused for tomorrow's game. That's the most important thing.
THE MODERATOR: We're going to open the floor for questions from the media.
Q. You mentioned that you thought your team could have scored 11 or 12 runs today. What in particular, offensively, didn't you guys do?
MANNY ACTA: I think we need to concentrate a little more on having a plan in certain situations, like today we had guys on 2nd and 3rd with less than two outs. We had the right hitters at the plate, and I think that should be a guaranteed kind of get one in, get a guy over, and that way you can up the score and things will be easier from there. We just didn't get the big hit a lot of times with the bases loaded and stuff like that. But it happens in the game. It's just when you play in this type of tournament where at the end of the tournament you can have the same amount of wins as somebody else and it will be decided in runs scored, that's why I thought it was very important to do that today.
ODALIS PEREZ: Well, to me the Cuban team is a great team because they know how to play baseball. Their pitching staff, they have a great pitching staff. They did very well. They did very well, and I understand that's why they most of the time win international competition, because they are able to score the runs when they need it, to move a runner when they need to. At the end of the game, they're the ones that score more runs. For me, the Cuban team is a great team. They know how to compete.
Q. (Question for Manny Acta.)
MANNY ACTA: We're going to keep the same line-up we had out there today because we thought that that line-up won the ballgame, and if it's not broken, why fix it? The only change basically will be that Alberto Castillo will be able to join our club again tomorrow, and he's going to be the catcher. Other than that, we're going to stay with the same line-up.
Q. For Manny, which of the Cuban players do you think right now could play in the majors?
MANNY ACTA: I'll tell you what, (Yulieski) Gourriel is as good as advertised. I mean, when you can turn fastballs as I've seen him do in the game, late in the first round, and then he turned that fastball today on Sosa today, I think he'll be able to survive in the big leagues and be a good player once he learns how to control the outer half of the plate, too.
A lot of those guys that they threw out there, pitchers, I've been in the big leagues for the last four years, and they show the same stuff that I see a lot in the big leagues, 92 with a good slider and good change-up. (Yadier) Pedroso, I don't think he had his best stuff today, and I think he could be a quality pitcher in the big leagues, not to mention (Pedro) Lazo, even though Lazo is up there in age. But he can still bring it.
THE MODERATOR: Placido Polanco is with us this afternoon in the press conference.
MANNY ACTA: We're going to approach this game that's very important just like the first game of every round, which is the key game. We respect every one of the Venezuelan pitchers, but we do have a very good line-up, too. We're going to try to go out there against Freddy (Garcia) and have quality at-bats, and hopefully our pitchers can hold them down because their offense hasn't been very good so far, so hopefully we can shut them down, too.
Q. (Question for Manny Acta).
MANNY ACTA: Duaner Sanchez will be the option to close the game tomorrow. Him and Rodney were sharing that duty. Rodney won't be able to pitch tomorrow. That was the reason why Sanchez didn't come out to the 9th, so we didn't push him on the pitches, so he could be ready for the big game.
Q. (Question for Odalis Perez.)
ODALIS PEREZ: I understand as a professional, the first scene of trouble, a drive over Adrian's (Beltre) head, but next time up I was able to throw a pitch away to get a ground ball. I understand when you are healthy you are able to do it. After that I was mixing all my pitches, my change-up, then my fastball, and I was able to go farther in the game than two-thirds and come out with a victory.
Q. (Question for Manny Acta).
MANNY ACTA: Odalis Perez was pitching on three days' rest and so was Jorge Sosa. That was the reason why he was top 50 pitch limit today. We had a talk with our pitching coach, Rick Honeycutt, we had to get permission to do that with these guys, mainly because they didn't throw that many pitches in their outing before. They gave us the go-ahead, as long as we don't push these guys over 50 pitches. So we were just looking top 50 for Odalis and Jorge, and we'll be doing the same thing tomorrow for (Daniel) Cabrera and (Francisco) Liriano because both of them are going to be pitching on three days' rest.
Q. (Question for Placido Polanco.)
PLACIDO POLANCO: I felt fine today. I'm very happy that Manny Acta gave me the chance to play today. All I tried to do was make the routine play and get on the base for the big guys. I'm glad everything came out our way today.
Q. (Question for Placido Polanco.)
PLACIDO POLANCO: I think they have really good arms, the young guys, and they throw any pitch on any count, so you have to be ready for that. Our approach today was to hit the ball the other way, and we did good.
Q. Yesterday you lost to Puerto Rico, today you were on the other side. How does that feel?
MANNY ACTA: Yes, we felt relieved today after winning the ballgame. Obviously these guys are professional. They've been playing the big leagues for years, and they're used to up and downs. As the saying goes, it's not how you fall but how you get back up, and these guys understood that today because if we didn't get up today, we would have been packing to go to spring training tomorrow.
Most of these guys are not ready to go to spring training yet, and that's why they came out eager to win the ballgame. This tournament, what it means to me, I've said a zillion times, it means a lot. It means everything. It's the biggest honor my country has given me, and I'm ready for the next one if they need me for anything. They know where I live and they know my phone number, so I'm ready if they need me.
ODALIS PEREZ: For me this tournament is the biggest, biggest thing for me because when you represent your country, you have to be proud to do it. Believe me, not only me but for everyone, we're 100 percent for our country. I'm proud to be here. In the next four years if they do the tournament again, if I'm able, if I'm around to play ball, if I'm able to, believe me, I'd be very proud to come back again and represent my country.
PLACIDO POLANCO: For me it's an honor, again, being able to play with the best players from my country all on the same team, speaking the same language, Dominican Spanish. It's a thing they're going to do every four years, and I wanted to be here because I don't know where I'll be in four years, so we wanted to take advantage.

End of FastScripts...

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297