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March 13, 2006

Jose Oquendo

Joel Pineiro


THE MODERATOR: Good evening. Welcome. We're waiting to have Manager Oquendo with us as well as Joel Pineiro for the Puerto Rican team. I will start with the protocol.
Welcome to the post-game formal interview of the Puerto Rico-Venezuela game. 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 by our stenographers who will be transcribing this interview. Our interpreter is Dina Kuriansky.
Before we open the floor for questions, we would like Manager Oquendo and Joel Pineiro to provide a brief summary and their impressions of the game.
JOSE OQUENDO: It was a well-pitched game for Venezuela. They pitched real well. Our pitchers did a good job to keep us in the game. We had a couple chances to come back, but Venezuela did a good job, too.
JOEL PINEIRO: I mean, I felt great. I had that one pitch that kind of hurt me. I felt good all day. We've just got to come out good on Wednesday and have a good game, and obviously Venezuela's pitching dominated today.
Q. Could you please tell us a little bit about three plays which ended up being key plays in the game? First of all, during the 8th inning when you had some pitchers that were already warming up, and second, the decision of bringing in Eduardo Perez as a hitter, being that he has been a player that has been clutch in his career. And the other one having Alex Cora bunt when you had a runner already waiting to run. It's three things. Start with the one you want.
JOSE OQUENDO: I'll answer the questions in the order they were asked.
First of all, regarding the bunt, it was the decision that we had to make. Cora made it, he wanted to take everybody by surprise and these things happen. If it would have worked out it would have been okay, but it didn't work out.
Second, regarding (Ivan) Maldonado, all pitchers are here to pitch. We cannot say because we had two or three pitchers yesterday, we were only going to use these pitchers. We had to use them, it was only an emergency, these things happen. We cannot exclusively use three or four pitchers in one game. We have 14, and all the pitchers must pitch and all must be used.
Now, regarding Bernie Williams, he was there, we were thinking about using a lefty or using a right-handed hitter, and it was a good time to use him. But I think that it was better to use a left-handed hitter rather than a right-handed hitter and that's why we turned to Perez.
Q. You just spoke of the situation with Cora. Was it really by surprise? Was this part of the designs and the instructions that you gave him, or were you also taken by surprise?
JOSE OQUENDO: No, it had nothing to do with signs, it had nothing to do with me giving instructions. I was also taken by surprise. It was also a decision that he made. It could have worked out well, but it didn't. The same situation was based yesterday about (Alex) Cintron and when you score a run that works and it's wonderful. Yesterday it worked, today it didn't, but that's part of the game.
Q. For Joel, you mentioned the one bad pitch to (Endy) Chavez. What were you trying to do? Then looking at all the hitters that they had, was it surprising or any more frustrating?
JOEL PINEIRO: I wanted to put the ball in play and he did. But he hit it to the right part of the ballpark. He put good wood on it. Everything has been working good with that sinker. I was hoping to get a ground ball. He looked for it, hit it hard, and like I said, it was the big hit of the ballgame.
Q. Venezuela won and Dominican Republic won. Now this is a tie between the two of you. The next game is a game against Cuba. You didn't play against them before but now you know them.
JOSE OQUENDO: The game against Cuba, I mean, it's a good team. We know Dicky Gonzalez, he pitched great against them. He did a good job. He knows some of the hitters. I know Cuba plays good from the mental game, so we're going to be ready to play them.
Q. I think that an important classic this is the first victory. Are you going to use (Carlos) Delgado for Cuba because I imagine if you're eliminated you're not going to San Diego.
JOSE OQUENDO: Delgado is going to be day-to-day. We've been going without him so far and everybody is doing a good job. I mean, I don't think because it's a big game, we're not going to race anything. This is still spring training and we're going to go day-to-day with him.

End of FastScripts...

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