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March 6, 2006

Carlos Beltran

Carlos Delgado

Ivan Rodriguez

Javier Vazquez

Bernie Williams


THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon. Welcome to the first formal interview of Round 1 of the World Baseball Classic in San Juan Puerto Rico. My name is Barbara Maripena. I will be the formal interview moderator for Round 1 games. Before I introduce the members of the team Puerto Rico who are with us today, I want to explain how the formal interview process will work today and every day after the games.
I will ask each person to provide a brief summary of the game, or in this case today, I will ask each person to tell us how they feel about representing Team Puerto Rico and what their hopes are for the tournament.
After this, I will open the floor to questions from the media. Raise your hand; I will call on you. Please stand, give your name and the name of your publication, then ask your question.
Let me remind you that the official language for the World Baseball Classic is English. It is important that you ask your questions in English for our stenographers, who will be recording all the interviews. Copies of these interviews will be transcribed and will be available to all the media. If you need help for interpretation, I will be glad to help you.
Let me introduce the members of Team Puerto Rico. Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Jose Oquendo, the manager, Bernie Williams, Carlos Delgado and Javier Vazquez.
CARLOS BELTRAN: We're very happy to be here in Puerto Rico playing and I'm very excited to all the people who are coming out to watch the game.
Q. You play Major League Baseball; how do you feel playing for your country?
BERNIE WILLIAMS: It's very different because I'm playing for my country and that I'm very happy to do. So I feel that I'm in very good shape. I'm in spring training, and I'm going to give my maximum in playing the game.
IVAN RODRIGUEZ: I say the same thing as Bernie. I'm very happy to play for my country.
Q. How are you going to play? How is your elbow? How bad is it?
CARLOS DELGADO: My elbow is injured, and I will be checking -- I couldn't play yesterday, but I will be checking on it, but my health is first.
I have to be a little bit wise if I'm going to play or not because I don't want to injure it further.
Q. (Question for Javier Vazquez.) Do you feel you're ready and do you have the appropriate training?
Q. (Question for Carlos Delgado.)
CARLOS DELGADO: It's called left elbow tendonitis. I took the day off yesterday, I'm taking the day off today. I'm going to continue to get my treatment and keep working with the trainers and see what happens. I don't like to speculate, give a number, what percentage, but if I'm ready, I'm going to be ready to play.
Q. (Question for Carlos Delgado.)
Basically I had the opportunity to play in the Puerto Rican Dream Team in '95, and that was a great experience because I was a young player, and having the opportunity to play with Bernie Williams, Rubin Sierra, all those guys, it was a great experience, and one thing that made it great was we won.
This is a great team, and I'm honored and flattered to be a part of this ballclub. The last two days has been awesome wearing that Puerto Rico jersey. I think it's going to be a great experience going out there and playing in front of the home crowd, and obviously it will be that much sweeter if we win.
Q. (Question for Bernie Williams.)
BERNIE WILLIAMS: The circumstances were a little bit different but back in '95 we were coming off a strike year, and a lot of people were eager to play in winter baseball, and we were able to basically get all the people that were available to play. We were able to manage to have a great team, and we won.
I am very surprised that we were able to do this in my career, having the opportunity to be on that team and now on this team. That team won, and we're going to try to win this time, too. It'll be sweeter. At this time in my career, I'm just enjoying everything right now. This is like icing on the cake.

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