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 10, 2006

Buck Martinez


THE MODERATOR: Welcome to the morning interview session. To ask a question please, state your name affiliation, wait for Bruce to get you the microphone. First question for Buck?
Q. Buck, can you tell me the Veritek barber shop story?
MANAGER BUCK MARTINEZ: Yeah. It's pretty good. Jason Veritek hit the grand slam, obviously, against Canada. The fan caught the ball. He has many friends in Boston and he called up, obviously, and said, "I just got Veritek's first Grand Slam in WBC history. Don't give it to them. Sell it in Boston".
He was a baseball friend. He knew it was - would be important to Jason, and Jason got the ball and traded a bat for the ball. The fan and was thrilled. The fan goes to his regular barber, and they're great baseball fans, talked baseball. Walks into the shop, shows him the bat and ball, and was, "This is great. I got this thing, and the guy getting his hair cut said do you want to meet Team USA's manager, Buck Martinez?"
He said, "What are you guys talking about?" He said, "I'm having dinner with them tonight." He came to dinner with us last night. He got his jersey and ball signed. That was pretty spooky that would happened. I mean, ten minutes either way he wouldn't know anything about it.
Wonderful baseball fan that travels around the country. He got his autograph from Jason Veritek.
Q. Buck, could you just tell us about your feelings of Mexico's kind of saving your skin a little bit? And if you sent like any flowers to the manager or whatever?
MANAGER BUCK MARTINEZ: I congratulated a lot of their fans at the hotel. They were obviously very pleased to be advancing. It certainly improved our position dramatically. Now we have to go out and win a game today.
But, you know what, they came out swinging the bats. And obviously, we knew they had that capability. And as I said last night, it really reflects just how good our bullpen was against them in the opening game to come in and shut them down as dramatically as they did.
Q. Good morning, Buck.
MANAGER BUCK MARTINEZ: Good morning, Barry.
Q. Do you know your -- if you move on, do you know what your practice schedule is for tomorrow, and have you figured out which game you're playing on Sunday and is Jake Peavy still the starter?
MANAGER BUCK MARTINEZ: Jake Peavy will be the starter. We're not sure which game, what time our game will be. Our feeling is it will be the day game. And as far as practice tomorrow, we haven't decided that.
Q. Buck, does it make any realistic difference to be the second seed as opposed to the first?
MANAGER BUCK MARTINEZ: After we lost to Canada, absolutely none. (Laughter.)
It doesn't. We're just thrilled we have the opportunity to advance if we win this game today, and I think that's the feeling that's universal in our clubhouse.
It doesn't make any difference. We're going to have to play all three teams. When you play them, it doesn't make any difference number one seed, number two seed. It's going to be Peavy and Willis in the first two games for sure.
Q. Buck, when Mexico put up four in the first inning, how immediate -- how immediate was the sigh of relief, that you guys were able to recognize that the next eight innings didn't necessarily matter that much?
MANAGER BUCK MARTINEZ: I never thought about going to the game last night, and then I got anxious sitting in my room, and I called Paul Cyr. I said I'm going to go to the game with you. Before I walked into the stadium, my son called me from New Jersey and said you're up one to nothing. And then before we got into the door, he said you're in. They've scored three.
And, you know, that was a big relief. And it was almost like I didn't really believe it. I wanted to go see the scoreboard myself, but I got in the stadium and Mexico was really fired up. They came out swinging the bats. And Jeff Francis had a tough night against all those right-handers. We knew that again, too, because Castilla and Durazo were capable of breaking out, and they certainly did.
Q. Buck, what's your son's name?
Q. C, K?
MANAGER BUCK MARTINEZ: Casey at the bat, C-A-S-E-Y.
Q. I guess it goes back to the Wednesday game where whether you win or lose, you have to score runs. And I think it's probably a lesson that many of the players on the team learned because I don't think any of them were aware of what the composites of the rules meant at the time.
MANAGER BUCK MARTINEZ: The six runs obviously were huge, and then Jeff Francoeur's throw to get the guy at the plate was even bigger possibly because that reduced the margin of runs that we had a big difference between Canada and ourselves. And certainly, I didn't think anything of the time but, you know, we started thinking about, boy, that was a great play that Francoeur made to cut down that run at the plate.
Q. Buck, Peavy wasn't stretched very much in his first start. Do you have set of number of innings he's going to go this time? And second, you just mentioned Peavy and Willis in the first two games. Is there any chance we won't see Rocket in the third game?
MANAGER BUCK MARTINEZ: That's always a possibility, but right now, he's tentatively scheduled to pitch in the third game.
Obviously, as we've learned, how your situation develops. Of course, the first two games determines what you do in game three.
The Jake Peavy situation, that was his second start in the spring. He had started for the Padres. He had thrown39 pitches in two innings.
And then, you know, I don't know that we're locked in toa certain amount of innings as we are as much watching him develop and get into the game.
He breezed the other day. He was free and easy. And he did throw more pitches down in the bullpen after his start. So he threw a few more pitches.
And as I mentioned throughout, the up and down is a concern. We would feel comfortable for sure with four and, you know, maybe even five. So I think we're at that point now.
Q. Buck, now that it's become evident this run differential can be so important, will you start playing --will you start playing games any differently? Like we were saying the other night when you were down by two runs, you could almost play for one. You're playing to lose, but you cut the differential down. Does it make any kind of bogus baseball to try to do --
MANAGER BUCK MARTINEZ: Yeah. There was some concern about that. We won't play the backwards kind of thing. We will stick to traditional baseball. But we if we should have a comfortable lead, we probably wouldn't be aggressive on the bases, probably not play hitting and running and obviously wouldn't run a lot with this team.
But at the same time, we'd be aware of scoring as many runs as possible. I think we need our hitters to get going. Our hitters haven't swung the bats that they're capable of. It's important for them now to relax, have good at-bats and start swinging the bats the way they're comfortable.
Q. Are you uncomfortable having to manage that way a little differently?
MANAGER BUCK MARTINEZ: It is a little different, but I don't think you change anything. The one thing we've seen now that we're close to advancing is that you have to play to win, and there's no question about that. And whatever it takes to win, I think these guys have bought into the fact that we're here to win.
Q. Buck, obviously, I mean, the rules were set in advance and everyone knew how it was. But do you think there's some disappointment that Canada, the team that pulls the biggest upset, is most likely going home now?
MANAGER BUCK MARTINEZ: You know, obviously, it's a big disappointment for them, and that's the nature of this tournament. South Africa had a chance to pull off a bigger upset than even Canada pulled off.
But at the same time, you have to just play the tournament by its rules and within the parameters of this pool play. That's the perils of international play.
You can have a great game. You'd hate to think there was an emotional letdown for Canada coming out against Mexico. Because it was such an important game for them. They had the opportunity to lock up the pool, to be the first seed, and certainly sealed their fate, but I'm sure they were prepared, but they got caught off guard by a redhot team.
Q. Buck, the other seven spots in the tournament are all taken. When you look at the rest of this field advance to the second round, what strikes you about it?
MANAGER BUCK MARTINEZ: I think pretty much the teams that everybody expected to advance are close to advancing en masse.
I think the thing that strikes me about that is there were perilous situations for all them. Panama was close to knocking off Cuba. Venezuela had a couple of close games. Nobody has been routed. That's what's interesting is none of the big powerhouse teams have really broken out yet, except maybe for the first Venezuela/Dominican game.
But other than that, everything has been pretty good. I think the caliber of baseball is much better across the board than we expected. Even China held their own respective lead given how short their baseball experience is.
So I think overall, I mean, with Italy winning a game in an international tournament of this magnitude, it's been pretty impressive. That's the one thing about this whole tournament as you look to pool two is how good the baseball has been.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions? All right. Thank you all.

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