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 14, 2006

Manny Acta

Miguel Batista

Daniel Cabrera


THE MODERATOR: With us this evening representing the Dominican Republic, we have with us (Daniel) Cabrera, Miguel Batista, and the manager Manny Acta.
Good evening. Before we open the floor for questions from the media, Manager Acta, we'd like to hear your views about the game and the views of the players, as well.
MANNY ACTA: I thought it was a great ballgame. You know, whatever comes out of it, Venezuela just made it easier for whoever goes over there in the semi-finals because what a ballclub. They've got a terrific ballclub. Their pitching staff is just scary, and they have a great line-up, too, and they can play defense.
It was a good ballgame. We had a chance to score some runs earlier in the game, couldn't do it, and Freddy just stepped up and did a great job. We've got to give credit to our guys because we're supposed to show up everybody around and the guys didn't do it. We showed our hearts today, and I'm very happy to be in the finals.
MIGUEL BATISTA: I think that a lot of people concentrate on the line-up. That is usually one of the questions that is asked. We have to think of the Classic as a whole, not so much as to what one does or the other one does. Let us see what the pitchers did tonight. It was an open game and a tight game. Venezuela played a very good game. They did not lose. It is simply a matter of saying the Dominican Republic played better. Let us see what the pitchers did, all our pitching staff, everybody from the very beginning. We just have to thank God and say that we played better baseball.
The fans, those are the ones that have to see that the money that they've invested in this is well-justified. This is really what we've seen here tonight, that good ball has been played here.
DANIEL CABRERA: Tremendous game, wonderful game tonight. Venezuela did a wonderful job, great work in the way they came out into the field. It was a close game, 2-1, but thank God we won tonight.
Q. In fact these are two questions. The first one for Daniel and the second one is for any one of you. When the tournament started, you were not considered as one of the major stars in the tournament, not by a lot of people, and I speak of myself who didn't know a lot of what you did and what you were capable of doing. How did you train in order to live up to such a line-up as powerful as the Venezuela line-up, and what pitches did you use today to do what you did today? And the second question, in Puerto Rico we have a huge Dominican community who today cheered you. Do you think that that moved you, motivated you in the game tonight?
DANIEL CABRERA: (Answered in Spanish).
MANNY ACTA: I definitely think that the crowd did help us today in a way. I mean, we have a big Dominican community here. It was quite different than Orlando where we worked in front of a number of Venezuelan fans. I thought the game was so good that I don't think the players were even paying attention to the fans, they were so focused on the game. But we do feel at home here. There are so many Dominicans here we feel at home here in Puerto Rico.
Q. Good evening. My first question, today you had a play, and no one was expecting this, and really it was a base stolen by (Luis) Castillo, I would like you to tell me whether that was your instruction? And regarding the pitcher, I've seen you in the three last times in which you came out to pitch was 102 miles per hour. Today you did 97, 98. Has there been a change in the procedure that you followed, and what can you say about the game tonight?
MANNY ACTA: On the Castillo steal, everybody has a green light on this team. Whatever we do, when we don't want them to run is when we give them the red light. If everybody does a good job and they think they can steal, they'll do it. The plan today was when Kelvim (Escobar) came into the game, we know that he doesn't -- he's not as fast going to the plate as some other pitchers. Neither is Jorge Julio, and we tried to take advantage of that on the bases. We knew if we got on base we'd try to explode that, and it worked. It was a good play by Castillo. I can't take credit for that.
DANIEL CABRERA: As you were asking, this year I do feel much more freedom. Two weeks ago, two weeks before I came to the Classic, I started training and preparing myself, and as you pointed out, I did change a part of the mechanics in the procedure I'm following. I'm now a little bit more closer into the game. I feel good with much more control over my pitches, and as you can see, instead of giving so many walks as I did in the past, I now have many more strike-outs.
Q. For Daniel and Manny. Daniel, obviously you said that every pitcher that is on line, and the very basis was moving on to another round. Was this the best game? Have you had such participation, such a top-ranking team as this one with Manny? Polanco is out. Was that an injury? Was he left out, ejected on purpose?
DANIEL CABRERA: As we talked about previously, I told you it is very important for one of us to participate on a game on line as we did this evening, and winning, for me this is really important. It is a matter of great joy and great pride to go on to the next round, which in this case it's going on to the next round where we can win. I feel very happy, very proud, and for me as a pitcher, what you can do is simply concentrate to play a good game and think of going to the finals.
You're asking me whether this is the best game that I've ever played. I cannot say that because I've never participated in a game in the World Series. But for me this is a very important game. It has been a very important tournament, this Classic, because I played with my home team, with my country, representing my country, and I don't think that anybody can feel so much desire, so much expectation and so much love to do what we've done here tonight.
MANNY ACTA: Placido Polanco is fine. He felt some tightness in his legs. I went to first base and asked him if he could score from first on a double because he didn't want to get out of the game, and he was kind of shaky answering me. I felt that was a very important run for us in the game, so when he got to second base I didn't want to take a chance because we have three good outfielders back there. We just took him out of the game and he's going to be fine.
Q. A question for Manny. The second round is over for the Dominican Republic. What are the results that you can draw from this World Baseball Classic, and what is your responsibility as a team from the Caribbean playing with all the others?
MANNY ACTA: It's over, the second round, we went through it, and I feel fantastic because most of the guys now are in playing shape. The pitchers have been able to go out there more than once, and the hitters had enough at-bats, so I'm happy for the guys.
Also very happy for the tournament. It's been a great event. I don't think everybody was anticipating this kind of an event, not only for the fans but for the players. I'm pretty sure that if you ask 99 percent of these guys, they'll do it again tomorrow, they will. I think it's fantastic for the game.
The responsibility we have now, it's a big one, not only us but whoever wins tomorrow, to try to bring the first Baseball Classic to Latin America. It'll be great. It's a great responsibility, and we're going full blast over there trying to accomplish that.
Q. First and foremost, congratulations on your success. Thinking of the third round already, some changes that you can tell us about in the line-up? What takes you from the second round to the next round so that you can start working on that for the coming round, and who can be the most serious rival opponent for you in the coming round?
MANNY ACTA: There are very few changes that we can make to the line-up that we have today.
I think now that we're going to the third round, semi-finals, we're not going to make any more changes in our line-up and stuff. I think this line-up I played the last two games won the ball games, got us to the semi-finals. It's a very short tournament; you lose one game and you're going home, so we're going to stay that way. The only change we're working is Damaso Marte is hurt, we're going to substitute him with another pitcher, and then other than that, no more changes.
We're really not worried about who we're going to face on the other side, in the other pool. We just want to be the one that comes out of this one. A lot is being said about the great team the United States has, but Korea has been undefeated so far, and they bring that uncertainty that we don't know a lot of those players except for the guys that play in the big leagues. Me, I just want to win. I don't care who we play in the finals, I just want to win.
Q. How did you feel about his game, if you're going to follow the same pace, and how you felt about this game? What is the specific value that you attach to this one?
MANNY ACTA: Bartolo Colon is going to start our first game over there in the semi-finals. Obviously we can't be saving our ace. He's our ace so he's going to start in that game. Then in the second game we haven't decided yet. We're going to sit down, our coaching staff, and make a decision.
For that last game, everybody could pitch. There's no tomorrow after that one, so everybody will be available.
DANIEL CABRERA: The question is what do I feel and how do I feel and what does this mean to play the game like we did tonight. All I can say is that this is very important. I have never played in such an important game as I did tonight, and never played in a Classic before. So I'm very proud and very grateful that Manny gave me the opportunity to pitch in such an important game as we did today, and all I can say is we reaped the fruits of the work we did.

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