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March 9, 2006

Adrian Beltre

Alferdo Griffin


Q. Manny was just saying that it was money in the bank that Vladimir Guerrero is going to join you for the next round. He seemed very optimistic about it. Have you been talking to him?
ALFREDO GRIFFIN: Well, I quit talking with him because I don't want to make him feel that I'm worried, that I'm not worried about his family, that I'm just worried about the game. But what I want to show him is for him to come over here and experience the atmosphere we have here, the way that -- the way he's suffering right now, it's a good way to relax and just forget about what happened.
And on the other hand, I don't want to keep bothering him like, come over here, come over here. And I want him to think, oh, man, he doesn't care about my family. He just cares about this game.
So I just quit, I backed off and I quit calling him and I just let him make his own decision.
Q. If he does come here, I think he'll find that he has big support for people that care about him and that, but you probably know him even better than most of the guys.
ALFREDO GRIFFIN: For me, if he comes over here, it will be a great thing for him. It will help him a lot.
Q. And I know you don't want to offend him, but it would be a great thing for the team, too.
ALFREDO GRIFFIN: Of course. Of course. Yes, it will. The lineup that we have right now and with him in this lineup, geez, I would take this team in the big leagues anytime.
Q. Will he play right field or center field for you guys?
Q. How much have the guys been talking about his situation and talking about Vladimir Guerrero about the players that are here?
ALFREDO GRIFFIN: Well, he's a popular guy. He's a great guy to have here. We get along very good. David, Pujols, those guys, even Manny Acta, they have known him for a long time, so they're close friends. So I know he wants to be here but he hasn't done it because he has a reason. But I know that if he would walk in here today, he's going to find out what he was missing, because he's going to feel very good, very comfortable, relaxed and that's going to make him just forget about what happened. And for me that's a big, big thing for him.
Q. Shifting to today's game for a second. Were you surprised that Italy was able to do some damage against your pitching?
ALFREDO GRIFFIN: I've been in this game for a long time and I am never surprised about whatever happens in this game. A team like that scares me, because you don't know the pitching. You don't know the hitters. And if you don't go with some intensity, you know the other team can beat you. You relax, you lay back, and that is not good for you. When you try to wake up, it's too late. You could be down by five runs and to try to catch up. Like for example, last night with the U.S. and Canada; anything can happen.
Q. Was that something, seeing that game, was that something that your team noticed as a wake-up call?
ALFREDO GRIFFIN: For me, I wanted to go, since the first inning I told the guys, "Let's go, we're playing Venezuela. We're playing Puerto Rico. Don't look at the team we're playing, because it can get to you, you know."
Baseball, you never can take your eyes off the game.
Q. You have stars of all kinds in the Dominican Republic, but some of the big sluggers in the major leagues are Dominican. How is that for the kids now growing up? Do they want to be big home run hitters, where maybe in the past they wanted to be shortstop like --
ALFREDO GRIFFIN: Well, you can tell the kids, they change. They're changing because now if I'm a scout and I go to sign a kid for playing shortstop and I got to pick them, like I used to, when I used to, and just be a good fielder, you can't do that. You need to be a good fielder, plus you need to hit, and hit mostly for power, you know. And that's tough for a kid. Because he might not get that big like Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz, but somebody has to be a line-drive hitter, you know.
But I suppose that they would teach a kid to get stronger and because there's not a lot of shortstops in the big leagues that hit like they used to in the past.
Q. Do you feel particularly locked in, in mid-season form? How do you feel right now?
ADRIAN BELTRE: I feel okay. I can't say I'm a hundred percent yet. But I'm feeling pretty good. My confidence is going real good right now.
Q. What is it like to be part of that lineup and do you think you get better pitches because there's no margin for error?
ADRIAN BELTRE: Yeah, they don't want to really pitch to Pujols or Tejeda, Big Papi Ortiz, you know, they want to pitch around them. So that's when I take my advantage and when I get a good pitch, you know, to hit it real hard somewhere.
Q. What are your thoughts on the possibility of Vladimir Guerrero joining you guys?
ADRIAN BELTRE: What I heard was that he was thinking about maybe joining the team in Puerto Rico, which I would be glad to play with him, too, but we don't know for sure yet. Hopefully he can make his mind up and we'll be waiting for him to come.
Q. How much better can he make your lineup than it is already?
ADRIAN BELTRE: A lot. He can make the lineup on any team. Especially on our team. If he is able to come back and play with us in Puerto Rico, you know, our team is going to be a lot better.
Q. Did you see the games yesterday?
ADRIAN BELTRE: I saw a couple innings of the Cuban game and Puerto Rico. And I saw maybe one inning of the American game, the American-Canadian game. But I didn't really see the whole game.
Q. Did you enjoy it?
ADRIAN BELTRE: I do. It's good to see them, to see how they're doing and how the pitching staff was throwing, so you get some idea for the next series.
Q. What did you think about the fact that the Americans lost and what does that say to you, that such a favored team could lose?
ADRIAN BELTRE: It's baseball. Any team can win today and advance to the next pool.
So no matter how good your team is, you are playing against 30 other people when you get on the field. So you never know what can happen.

End of FastScripts...

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