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March 9, 2009

Carlos Arroyo

Jerry Morales

Sidney Ponson


Q. If it were not for you probably the Netherlands would not be here, but you definitely have to win. What do you see the mood of the team is with the job that you did?
SIDNEY PONSON: Well, the team is fine, we have some guys that are hurting, but the guys are happy, they are easy, calm, and that's good.

Q. Is there pressure because you are playing against Puerto Rico?
SIDNEY PONSON: No, we just have to play ball. They, on paper, they should win. But you saw that we beat Dominican Republic, so we came to play, but they have an all-star lineup also, so we have to see what happens today.

Q. The job that you did to beat the Dominican Republic, what can you tell us about that?
SIDNEY PONSON: What did I do? Well, I pitched and helped. And they started to hit ground balls and we took a few good breaks also, so that happens and that's why we play ball, because we were quite lucky.

Q. So tonight you know you have to beat Puerto Rico.
SIDNEY PONSON: Of course we have to beat Puerto Rico, we have to play against Santo Domingo and then Miami. All teams came to win, so let's see what happens. Being at the bench watching the game, so I don't have to be -- I'm not pitching today.

Q. So what did the manager say for today's game?
SIDNEY PONSON: No, I haven't talked with the guy yet. I will talk with him in BP when he's in there and let's see what he says.

Q. With the team, how is it?
SIDNEY PONSON: It's good. Everyone wants to play ball, so let's see what happens today.

Q. So the attitude of the team, the enthusiasm, on the behalf of the country, how do you feel?
SIDNEY PONSON: Oh, the country it's, I've gotten about a thousand e-mails of congratulations and the guys are calm, relaxed, the boys are still like that.

Q. How do you feel being at this Classic again? How do you see the Puerto Rico team facing Netherlands?
JERRY MORALES: I feel very good, thank God, this is a great opportunity to be with the guys again. The team looks well. As we showed the first game, there was really good playing, the morale is high, the Netherlands team, you know that there is no small enemy, with that team anything can happen. And in Santo Domingo, they played the best baseball possible to be able to qualify for tonight.

Q. So definitely Puerto Rico should win tonight to then go comfortably to the next rotation?
JERRY MORALES: That's, that's what we hope, but remember what happened, so we're going to try not to have happen the same thing that happened to Dominican Republic, but as I said, morale is high and the guys are positive and that is what we want.
This game tomorrow we have an off day, so we have to play one more game practically for the position in terms of how to play Miami and so that is the goal to win here and win the next one.

Q. In terms of the big leagues and this team, who is your favorite to win this Classic and how should it develop? Because, for example, Korea beat Japan today, which was a world champion last year.
JERRY MORALES: Well, all teams are good, I mean it is natural that whatever has two defeats will be eliminated. We had a meeting in Fort Myers where they said that, well, guys, we are here, we believe we have a good team, so it's a matter of doing the job. And jokingly I said, "From here to Hollywood." And it's probably, it's in Los Angeles, so there are a lot of good teams. No one can complain. Everybody goes home and we will fight for our team.

Q. How difficult is it for Jonathan Sanchez to get prepared for tomorrow without knowing who you're going to pitch against?
CARLOS ARROYO: Well, I think that the routine dictates everything. You stay ready to pitch one day, but we get a benefit from knowing who we're going to face because you would have it in the lineup and the day before you're getting ready. But the experience last time is that you have to take one series at a time and then tomorrow morning we will check the lineup and we'll see how the team is going to pitch and we'll refresh our memories. And the important thing is to be physically prepared and mentally that is a part that comes when you have experience, but the part, the mental part you prepare yourself for today and I am prepared to make adjustments to make the pitch, to do the pitching. Which is important right now.
And as you know we are limited in pitching. The thing we have emphasized is being efficient in the strike zone. That has been coming out well in this tournament and until now it has shown, been seen in all the games. So we do not want to leave that.

Q. How did you see him in Florida? He looked well. What made you think that he was the right person for this opening for tomorrow?
CARLOS ARROYO: Well, yes, the opening, Jonathan's opening, we were planning it like that for him to be a pitcher. Jonathan has matured a lot as a pitcher. He has an excellent arm. He is a guy who can maybe fail in location and still being effective because he has a straight ball and he moves it well and he's aggressive. He's now pitching a three finger. So he's like a pitcher who has matured a lot and we are very impressed with him.

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