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March 7, 2009

Carlos Delgado

Jose Oquendo

Ivan Rodriguez

Javier Vazquez


(Questions and answers translated from Spanish.)

JOSE OQUENDO: It was a good game. Pudge and Vazquez did a good job, throwing strikes, throwing a lot of pitches early in the first couple of innings, but he bounced back and did a good job and threw 60 pitches for me. And that was a good performance.
We had Figueroa come in next. He's also a long man and he can relieve. So it was his decision to make there. It was a great game.

Q. Ivan, you gave a good message to the scouts, if there are any in Puerto Rico, about whether there's any doubt of what you have left; and how you felt with Javier Vazquez was pitching in the first two innings, he pitched over 20 pitches.
IVAN RODRIGUEZ: Really Javier did a good job as Cheito said. In the first innings the other guys, the first batters, they made them work hard and he used quite a lot of pitches in the first innings. He came back again.
And Javier, we always know he has lots of strikes and keeps the ball low and he strikes the players out. So for us he did a good job. And for us he did what we wanted, five innings with no runs.
On my behalf, what can I tell you? I thank God for the game I had today. I felt quite well. I was very concentrated on the game. The main thing is that we won for the team. I did my job, and the important thing is that we one and we won for the team?

Q. Certainly throughout your career you've had many perfect nights offensively. However, what do you think like having a night like tonight in a uniform like Puerto Rico.
IVAN RODRIGUEZ: To me it is pride. Can you hear me here? Does it sound good? To me it is pride. I'm very proud of wearing this Puerto Rican uniform. And I believe my actions tonight were done with pride and it was with a desire for the fans and for Puerto Rico. Really I did the best I could. And thank God. We played well in the playing field, and we won.

Q. What changes do you have to make tomorrow? The team looked well. The offense was good. Defense is good, pitching. What is expected for Monday, because today's losers are going to be playing. What adjustments will be there? For you, Javier, you showed today that you are prepared for the big leagues. What steps are you going to take after the Classic with the Atlanta braves?
JOSE OQUENDO: Well, what we will do tomorrow is win again. If the same ones can play, there's no problem. It had been announced that Javier was going to pitch now. That's the only change I will be may be making. Depending on who is going to pitch on their side we will make other decisions.
JAVIER VAZQUEZ: Well, thank God I felt quite well today. I feel good. I feel ready for the season. I feel that playing in the winter helped me to be more advanced than usual.
And nothing, I'm really happy, and I'm happy for this game that we played. In the Atlanta season I hope to give 100 percent as always. And thanking God always, which is the one that has me here.

Q. Cheito you played three giant games, they lost the first one and won the second two. What do you compare the China games in the Classic with the 2006 edition; and for Carlos Delgado who was not able to play the first time, that we saw the home run that you did. How do you feel playing with the uniform and playing from the start of the tournament?
JOSE OQUENDO: We were able to work with Ivan -- he's not yet signed. He's not working with anyone. I know he's really fit.
He needed to see his pitchers. With the tryouts, the only games with four teams pitching, it's not easy. We were lucky that we were able to have Mercado who was able to help us in the third game. It would be better to use a practice day game instead of three practice games.
CARLOS DELGADO: Greetings. It is a great day. Every athlete is going to tell you that when they are healthy they are in their prime. They are all going to tell you that when they're hurt they're sad.
In the case of 2006, a little melancholic because I was anxious to be able to have a chance to come and represent my country in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, my elbow betrayed me, but I feel well health-wise.
It is an honor. It is an honor to wear this uniform, this jersey, and come and play before my people. We will keep on doing the best we can. A couple more games like tonight we'll go to Miami and see if we can win it all.

Q. Thank you all for giving us all such a wonderful evening. Carlos, for opening the offense with your home run. Javier, great pitching. Ivan, this question is for you particularly. Your motivation tonight, was it more a matter of this afternoon's game, Dominican Republic losing a game that was not expected, Puerto Rico winning its first game, and you not having a contract yet. What is your greatest motivations in such a wonderful night? Second question, how many calls have you had from other teams?
CARLOS DELGADO: I'm the agent now. (Laughter.)
IVAN RODRIGUEZ: Really, I haven't even picked up the phone. I haven't even looked at it.
CARLOS DELGADO: Well, get it. (Laughter.)
IVAN RODRIGUEZ: My motivation was great. I'm a player, an athlete where I get ready, I work all year. And I know that there are free agencies and the situation in the United States and the big league teams, it's tough because you have to understand the economy is quite difficult, and the team owners are suffering because of the same things.
But really I don't have control of that. The control that I have is getting prepared and being fine physically, mentally, and to keep on working.
This has helped me a lot. This will help me for the team, the general managers, and the teams to see me playing live, playing in a game. It's on TV, and being national and all over the world they'll see.
I don't think about that though. I think about myself and playing and trying to win for the Puerto Rico team and trying to do my job. As long as I do that, everything is going to be fine. That is the only control that I have. I hope to God going forward to see what happens.

Q. What do you have to say to the Puerto Rico fans about Carlos Gutierrez.
IVAN RODRIGUEZ: Carlos Gutierrez has great talent. He's a guy with great potential with his arm. He has a great arm. He has a great sinker, and he has a great future. I think if he stays healthy, he's going to be in Major League Baseball soon. If not this year.
Because the guy, you can see that he's got the tools to be in the majors. To me, I'm a catcher who gets to see a lot of pitches. These days I've had to stay in the middle of home because the ball moves a lot. They move everywhere. When you have a pitcher like that with a sinker like that, it's gold to the team. He's got great talent.

Q. Ivan, I would like you to tell me what your feelings are, two times you have to come out, the fans were asking for you after those two home runs. For Delgado, I know Puerto Rico has been left in the first stage of this tournament wanting a dual between Dominican Republic on Monday. Talk to me if you also wanted that and talk to me about the Netherlands, what you saw today.
IVAN RODRIGUEZ: For me what I felt was a lot of happiness. What can I tell you? When you play in an event like this, a Classic representing your country or your island, you have your Puerto Rico jersey on, and you try to do 100 percent in the playing field. I really thank God because he gave me the concentration and the strength, and as I said, concentration to do the job that I did today.
I'm very happy with the fans, the way they've supported me, the way they've supported the Puerto Rico team and how they were in the game from the beginning to the end. They were there supporting us.
I do appreciate that a lot. I love them a lot, and really it made me very happy. My pulse went up when that happened. It doesn't happen often. So when it does, you have to take advantage of it.
CARLOS DELGADO: I don't know, but in my town they say that's why we play, because the people take anything and run with it. We can -- we don't care who was playing on the other side.
We do know that the Dominican Republic was the favorite. In this case they didn't win. So now we have to deal with the situation of the Netherlands. So in due course we will see the status report that we have.
I do know that there are a couple of players who we have played against like Randall Simon, Sharnol Adriana. I don't know who the pitchers will be, in tomorrow's practice we'll discuss it and analyze the stats. At some point we'll face Santo Domingo, I suppose. We are going to worry about the game with Netherlands on Monday. The next time we'll deal with that.

Q. Cheito, you won the game. We know you're happy with the team. There is a particular player that was with the team last year, and he's not here. Can Joel Piniero be added for a second round? And have you been able to talk to him before coming out here to Puerto Rico?
JOSE OQUENDO: The only thing that can be done is -- nothing can be done about injuries. If there's an injury, Joel Piniero, that's the only way he could come into the team. I hope there is no injury. We don't want that in a tournament like this. I have not talked with him yet. Until we get there, I won't be able to talk with him, but I will do so when we get there.

Q. We know the situation that the New York Mets are going through seeking an exchange to open a space for Ivan. Are you thinking about talking with Omar?
CARLOS DELGADO: I am so lucky that Tony came personally, and I don't have to do the dirty work. I think in Ivan's case, he's his best presentation card. I'm very happy that he's had the game he's had. And there's the situation that is out of the players hands.
If you ask me publicly, I will advocate for Ivan because I know that he can help us. There was representation from the Mets here. Not only the players, but the managers, too.

Q. In case of the team reaching agreement with the New York Mets, would you be willing to start the season in the minor leagues?
IVAN RODRIGUEZ: I don't know anything about that. These are all comments that you hear. They have a number of issues that they have to deal with and changes. As of today it's been three, three and a half weeks of training, and nothing has happened.
So the only thing I can control is to keep on working and preparing myself physically for any opportunity either with the Mets or any team. I will be ready.

End of FastScripts

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