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March 15, 2006

Carlos Delgado

Jose Oquendo


THE MODERATOR: With us tonight in the formal interview is Manager Jose Oquendo and Carlos Delgado.
Before we start with the Q & A, could you give us your impression of the game?
JOSE OQUENDO: First of all, please allow me to express my words of congratulations to the Cuban team. We played a good game. They played a good game. It was a tough game, but it seems to me that I wish them the best of luck, to Cuba in the next round.
The two teams were very good. Cuba had a good defense. We were looking for a time to hit; it just didn't come through. Our pitchers kept us going. They were doing what they had to do, but it just didn't work out. It was part of the game. That's the way things go. I'm very happy, we're all very happy. I can say personally that I feel very proud to have been part of this team, to have headed this group of professional players.
And as to my players, I just wish them the best of luck in the rest of the season.
CARLOS DELGADO: I think they played a little better than us. We put ourselves in a position where we had a very good chance to win, and we didn't take advantage of it. We didn't come up with a big hit like Cheito mentioned. I guess at the end they played a little better than us.
Overall it was a good experience. It would have been a lot better if we would have won. But having been a part of such a great team, such a great group of guys and representing Puerto Rico, it was an awesome experience.
Q. Good evening. I would like to congratulate you in spite of the defeat. You played a wonderful role because this is one of the best events of all time. A question for you two: The level of Cuba has always been a question mark as to whether they could overcome their level and come to this level, the possibility of going onto the big leagues, did you consider that possibility? That is to say, was it a real option in keeping with them going on to win? For you, Carlos, was it a dramatic event when you came out to the series due to your injury? It seems to me you must have been pumping adrenaline even though the result was not positive at the time. But I want to hear your views on that, please.
JOSE OQUENDO: Beating the Cuban team is like beating any other team. You just play against the team that comes out and plays against you. Regarding the Cuban team, I can say that they played fundamental, good ball. They played ball, they had good defense. Their pitching staff had good arms and good pitches, and I can say that they have a good future.
They still have to learn a little bit of baseball, become a little more organized the way the pros are organized, but they have a good future I would say.
CARLOS DELGADO: It was a pretty awesome experience stepping up to the plate. Unfortunately it was the only at-bat that I took this tournament because of my injury.
A while back when they asked me if I would play for Puerto Rico I said I would because I know the fans. The fan base is very educated about Puerto Rico. It was a great experience, a great feeling to step up to the plate with the fans going crazy. We appreciate all the support that we got throughout the whole tournament, six games. It was awesome.
It was great to see, especially in a time where not too many good things have been said about baseball and Puerto Rico. I think this is a step in the right direction to continue to develop the game and take it to the next level.
Q. This is for both of you. Who on the Cuban team impresses you the most and why?
JOSE OQUENDO: Well, they played good ball. They're a very intelligent team. They're very well-organized. They delay a little bit the game, but that's not so good. I would say they play good ball. They know how to play good ball. They have good players. But I would say we should promote more exchanges and have more tournaments and more matches with Puerto Rico, with the Dominican Republic. That would be good for baseball in general and it would be good for Cuba.
Q. Two questions for Mr. Oquendo. You have been very successful with the squeeze play. Did you consider using a squeeze play? You've been successful in using that play, so I just wanted to know whether you considered that possibility. I'm not criticizing the decision, but with the work that you did, is there any possibility for this to be done in the major leagues, and with all due respect, my question.
JOSE OQUENDO: You asked me about the squeeze play in the 8th inning with one out and the bases loaded. I don't think that would have been a good idea. I know (Alex) Cintron a little bit, and it's a tough situation for him to do a squeeze in that part of the game.
The other day it was not a squeeze; it was more a safety squeeze is what we call it, where he tries to just bunt for a base hit and hopefully we can bring the run. That's what happened last time. This time, I don't think it was a good idea in this situation.
Q. Congratulations in spite of the fact we've been defeated. One for Oquendo and one for Carlos. Do you still believe that we can consider Cuba as an Olympic team or a weaker team because of what they've shown at this World Classic?
JOSE OQUENDO: Regarding the Cuban team, I would say that they have a good future. Any team that can turn professional and any team that can play the way they do in a professional way. They have very good talent. I would say that some of the players are older but they help out the younger generation. It seems like they're going through a stage where they're changing from the mature players that are helping out the young generation coming into the game. Any baseball team can turn pro. The only thing you have to do is watch 162 games played during the season and they become a pro team.
CARLOS DELGADO: I think this is a world class event. The world classic is a good opportunity for all the teams around the world to match up against each other and see who is actually the best team. I don't think there's a perfect time to do it just because of the length of the major league season and how demanding it is and how tough the teams are on the players.
Ideally it would be nice if all the players available could play, but this was awesome. I can honestly say that it was a great honor to be part of the first World Baseball Classic. It's not as fun as I wanted it to be because I didn't get to take the field, but it was a great event.

End of FastScripts...

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