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March 9, 2009

Pedro Feliciano

Yadier Molina

Jose Oquendo

J.C. Romero


& (Questions and answers translated from Spanish.)

JOSE OQUENDO: First of all, congratulations to the Netherlands team. They played a great game. They shouldn't feel disappointed. They should feel proud. They played a great game. We hope they play the same way against the Dominican Republic.
The game was a great game. Snell gave us the necessary runs, and the relief did what they have to do with Feliciano with the runs and the left-handers, the immediate hitters with the right-handers. And so the only bad thing that I can say of the game is the runs that we left on base. But that's part of the game. Anyway, we came out the winner.

Q. Congratulations. Talk to me about the time when you were able to do the double, which was the golden head of the game. What was your focus that you were looking specifically at that time?
YADIER MOLINA: It was a good game. And those particular times I tried to watch the ball and make a good swing. And when I got the first pitch it was in the middle, I thought, why didn't I swing on that. But then I had a slight hanging pitch, and I was able to hit it good.

Q. When you did that hit, when you looked to the sky, were you thinking about your father and all of his teachings in baseball and teachings to you in life?
YADIER MOLINA: Today's game was an emotional game. It was exciting to be in front of my family and knowing that he was not here physically, but I know he was here spiritually.
I asked God to give me a chance to make him proud of me. And I was able to do so. I dedicate that hit to him and all my family.

Q. Congratulations on your win. The Olympic freeze, because a player in a series like this, what happened with Michael Aviles which is a great player and at some point in time confused us in the press with the running of the bases and the reactions of the game. What happened?
JOSE OQUENDO: Well, to me these are things that sometimes you try to do more. I don't want to make mistakes and go down on the next base. I blame myself because I did not give the signal to Michael Aviles. I only told Aviles that he was going to be bunting and he was not able to read the ball. It was my fault also.

Q. Bernie Williams started and Bochachica didn't and was the first alternative and did well twice. Tell us about that in light of those opportunities.
JOSE OQUENDO: Well, the players that they have, well, they didn't have so many left-handers, just one. And I believe it was going to be a little bit more difficult to use. Feliciano ran the bases good. When coming to the bat he was going to face the right-handers more than the left-handers.
PEDRO FELICIANO: On my part I prepared for anything. I understand the players with the experience have to have the opportunity. Bernie Williams is a great player, and in the training games he did a great job. I understand he deserved to start the game. Bochachica we all know that comes from playing in Japan.
The other thing I'm here for is to follow what the manager says. I am prepared for anything, and I will do my best. Any time I have a chance to do my job, I will do it.

Q. Cheito, you have been a manager for many years now, at the St. Louis Cardinals, and you have seen him make really important hits especially in the World Series. Do you think that this helped him having participated in a World Series in a moment like that. And I would also like to ask Yadier, to play in a World Series and playing in Puerto Rico in your country in a full stadium.
JOSE OQUENDO: If you know Yadier, he is one of the best hitters with man on base to score. There was no doubt he was going to do his job. He is a man who works hard in that situation, one of the best to be in that situation. He will do what he has to do. It is a gift that God gave him, and he knows how to use it very well.
YADIER MOLINA: To me the comparison that the guy asked me in 2006 to the World Series and playing the Classic here twice, I've played it twice. Sometimes there's no comparison. To play before your family, before your own people, there are very different emotions than playing a World Series before almost 50,000 people. It is really exciting, but here in front of your own people, your family. I believe this is my World Series, and I enjoy it more here.

Q. Congratulations to the Puerto Rico team. My question is for J.C. Romero. Good evening, J.C. How did you feel in front of the Puerto Rico audience? We know you're going through a difficult situation because of your suspension from the big leagues. I would like you to say what this opportunity has meant to you and also the Puerto Rican victory.
J.C. ROMERO: It is a privilege, and wonderful to play here in Puerto Rico, the Island of Enchantment. I was born here, but most importantly, the support that I get from my friends and family.
I'm going through a tough situation. You all know it is a little bit unfair. But these are obstacles that you have to face. I'm going to keep on working. I'm going to try to do the best I can. And every time Cheito gives me the ball, I'll try to do the best I can.

Q. Yadier, your home run against the Mets, which was a bigger hit, tonight's double or the home run in 2006 in the NLCS?
YADIER MOLINA: I would like to say I think this here in front of you people and in front of my family. It's one of the greatest moments of my life. Definitely I would pick here. The double that I hit tonight is going to be in my heart all my life.

Q. J. C. I talked with you before the game, J.C., and you told me that, maybe you were going to put on a show tonight. How do you feel now after putting on that show and now getting ready to go to Miami?
J.C. ROMERO: Did I say that? I said that I was going to do my job. As I tell you, I was full of pride. I felt good today even though the game was tight. I told the guys in the bullpen, "I'm going to get this one." I said that in the third inning. Thank God I got it.
To me, it's a chance that I get, and I have to give my best, because my mom is here in Puerto Rico, and she saw me playing in this game. She doesn't travel to the States much. The first thing that I had on my cell phone was a call from her, congratulating me. That means a lot to me.

Q. Definitely maybe everybody thought you were coming on the defensive. How do you feel by that, doing that third run positive, Puerto Rico that they don't have to bunt, play for more runs. That's an important moment for you and even your dad who was a great AA player.
PEDRO FELICIANO: Definitely I had a good hit for the team. I understood we were up one run. And I understand Javier had pressure. It feels huge. We have to thank God for all of this that is happening in my career. I have to move forward.
I am sure that my family is more than proud. My dad played 16 years in the national team and we have a chance to represent Puerto Rico. Maybe players like Roberto Alomar, Juan Gonzalez and even Roberto Clemente who never had a chance in playing in the national team, they are maybe looking at us now saying they would like to be here. I've heard a lot of players who sometimes play in the big leagues and they go to World Series and they've never had a chance to play for their national team. Thank God we've had it.

Q. Your father represented Puerto Rico and now you're doing it also. What do you have to say to the people of Puerto Rico? And to whom do you dedicate this great moment here? You make history, father and son doing for Puerto Rico.
PEDRO FELICIANO: Well, you have to dedicate it to the family and for all of the people in Puerto Rico because I'm really happy for this chance.
We will keep on moving. This is the start. This is the first round. We can't think of winning this game now. We have to think about Wednesday and then think about Miami. It's step by step. We have to concentrate on the next game.

Q. Bernie Williams came to the field. He hasn't been on first base. What is your impression on Bernie Williams' performance?
JOSE OQUENDO: Repeat the question.

Q. Your impression on Bernie Williams' performance on first base and left field.
JOSE OQUENDO: Bernie is a great guy. Regardless where he's used, he'll work hard where it's necessary. He worked hard in those innings, and he was thinking about playing defense, and that's how it was. He played defense, and that's part of the game.
Remember, he's two years out of playing ball, but I know he's fit and he wants to keep on playing. He'll take it step by step.

Q. Cheito, one question to you. Many people are asking Bernie, second base, having a chance to tie the game, it may be a mental error. What happened when he was sent home, when Bernie hasn't run from second to home in two years.
JOSE OQUENDO: There's always a play. Every time you have two outs, you want to keep pushing it. We don't want to be leaving men on bases, you want to keep pushing. That's part of playing the game. I can push whoever. Yadier scored from first base in two outs. That is part of the game.
YADIER MOLINA: Cheito, what's the matter? (Laughter.)
JOSE OQUENDO: You have to make the decisions and you have to make it right at the moment. Any coach on third is going to be more aggressive than defensive.

Q. How did you see Bernie Williams run? Is it the same run? It was a great shot, a perfect shot was needed. And him running, the reaction, was it adequate, or does it show the two years of absence?
JOSE OQUENDO: Well, he ran well. I saw him running good. And I saw the ground ball in the outfield. That's the game. You can't play this game with fear. If you're afraid, you shouldn't be playing ball.
You have to play aggressively. Things are going to happen. You have to keep your head up high and move forward.

Q. The 8th inning there were several positions that had come out wrong in the game. The moment of the bunt attempt and it failed. Was there panic at any time? If we won we would classify as we did, if you lost you would have to play tomorrow life and death.
JOSE OQUENDO: I think the guys have gone through many experiences in playing ball. I've gone through even more. I've tried to coach for these people, but it's part of the game. You have to be watchful of the situations that you have to do.
The most that I was watching for was the pitchers who were coming in who were going to be prepared. That's the most you have to look out for.
There may be a bunt play, but I'm mainly doing it with the pitchers, the changes are going to be minimal.

Q. One thing that causes a lot of discussion among the fans are the positions and the time of the bunting, the decision of bunting the ball with the bases loaded. Did you feel that it was appropriate or was it not?
JOSE OQUENDO: Well, his swing was a little bit different today. He not only needed to watch what he did in the past, but what he's doing right now. And it's a situation that we need to have a tie on second and a man on third. You have to bunt. You can also do other kinds of plays. I didn't want the signals to fail. So it was easier.

Q. This team ended without losing in the first round. And you've learned by its experiences. The team has classified that it has to win on Wednesday. What is your message to your team on that second round in Miami to give that extra step and go win in the last four?
JOSE OQUENDO: Well, the thing that I'm concentrating on now is Wednesday's game. We have a great pitcher like Jonathan Sanchez. We have to be prepared to have a win with Jonathan also to do his job. And we do have pitchers that need to pitch. And we can use them more in that game.
But if there is a situation of winning, we are going to do it. That's what we're concentrating on. When we get to Miami, we will start preparing for Miami. The pitching will be the same. There is going to be Vazquez, Snell, and Sanchez. There won't be much different. I won't know what will happen until we're right there. It's hard to say what we're going to do.

Q. The 7th and 9th innings, didn't you think about taking the bat away from Alex Cora?
JOSE OQUENDO: Well, the situation changed, especially in the last inning. We were up front. And he's one of the best defensive players that we have. I did not want to risk that part. I wanted to keep the defense, which is important in games like this.

End of FastScripts

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