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March 10, 2009

Bert Blyleven

Rod Delmonico

Michael Duursma

Eugene Kingsale

Randall Simon


ROD DELMONICO: I said Sidney you got to be a leader for the pitchers. We're going to do as you guys do. They have been tremendous leaders. They're on time on the bus, they go to bed at night. They talk to the players. They do whatever they need to do to try to make this better. They encourage the players, they give them their experience over the years. They were talking about how to pitch Pudge. They were going over to it. You know, they're all talking what he knows and what he thinks Pudge is going to try to do. That's invaluable. It's not just one thing, it's a little bit of everything.

Q. One thing we have noticed is keeping very fundamentally sound, not many mistakes, a couple great throws from the outfielders, is that something that was already there?
ROD DELMONICO: When we went to Florida I told them that we're going to practice a little harder than normal. Because we don't have six weeks of spring training. And that we got to speed up the process. And our whole game plan was to come in at game speed, hoping that maybe a couple other teams would use this as spring training to get ready for the big league season. So our whole goal was -- we had two a day practices. We practiced hard. We spent five hours out there one day. We really stretched them. And it was two sessions. But they bought into it and they got their arms and hands and everything they need, they got ready. And I think that was a real key for us. We went to spring training on a mission.

Q. In international play, were you stunned by the quality of play or did you go, well, no, we see these things happening now?
ROD DELMONICO: They have a good team. You look at the team they got several teams from the states. They got four or five or six big league pitchers and I just think that people don't realize, I know from being in the States that people don't realize when I got the job they said to me, can they play baseball in Holland? What kind of players are you going to have? And then they go, oh, you got Andruw Jones, that's the only guy they could name. They didn't realize how good baseball was. When you look at the statistics, 38 percent of all Major League Baseball is foreign. 48 percent is Latin. It's not America's sport any more, it's the world's sport.
And we don't understand that. This tournament here alone will show to you, this baseball game that supposedly was invented in America, it is now the world's sport. Maybe one day we'll eventually have a World Series. Maybe this event will become the World Series of baseball and then we'll find out who the best is really in the world.

Q. It looks like the U. S. Team also took it more seriously and is more into it this time, because they played very well so far.
ROD DELMONICO: They don't have a bunch of superstars. They were smart. They went out and got players that wanted to play. Thinking that the name on the front of the jersey was more important than the name on the back of the jersey. They don't care who gets the credit. They have got a lot of players, but they're team players. Some of them are role players. And I think that they made a good move. They didn't go out and get the 20 best players USA. If they had, they probably wouldn't be as good.

Q. Of the guys you've seen here whose particularly caught your eye?
ROD DELMONICO: On the mound? I got to go with the kid, J.C., who was pitching high school baseball last year. He was in front of 20,000 screaming fans, sounded like 40,000, and he pitched a great game. Most kids would have walked in. They would have done that. He struck out Pudge in another big situation. In the infield, our position player I really like Schoop. I think he's got a chance to be a -- I really like Schoop. And I think he can play shortstop. I think he's got a chance to be really really good. And then the guy's that's been around a little bit, but I think is making some moves, he's going to play AAA with Detroit is DeCaster. I really like him. I think he's got a chance. But those two kind of catch the eye.
Now best arm on the field, bar none, is behind the plate for us. I've never seen a guy in 30 years throw like that. He's got the best arm. He throws better from his knees than most guys throw from their feet. But talent is always out there.

RANDALL SIMON: I think right now I'm just going to keep working hard and hopefully today we're going to get a win that we need to go on to the second round.

Q. You guys came over here, big, big win in the first game, yesterday you almost came out and had another victory. What's the mindset of the team after the loss last night?
RANDALL SIMON: I talked to those guys already and I let them know that we're just one win away. That's all we can ask for. As long as we come with the same love and the same interest that if we believe in each other we can accomplish it again. I always said that if you do something once, you can do it again. So why not? Why not today? Why not make it today. So that's what we have been doing, giving it everything we got. I think we always have to have a chance.

Q. You said right now that you and Sidney are the guys with the most experience on the team, talk about the progress that the younger players have made in learning the game and just the fundamentals.
RANDALL SIMON: It's just awesome. You just can see that the way they have been playing. Those two weeks that we were over there in Florida, we worked hard and we were determined in how well we're going to do, in what we're going to accomplish. And one thing I was telling those guys, you always need to have a goal. And we got to have a goal. And our goal is to go to the second round and make it all the way to L.A.
So I think it's not over yet, so I think if we stay, if we keep that and keep that goal in front of us, we still can make it because it's not over until it's over. And we'll be fine. We're just going to go today and take it inning by inning and try to do those little things and like those are the pitches, knowing that when you play against good teams you can't give them a lot of opportunities. So we got to create some great defense. The guys that win have great defense. But if you give those guys base on balls like that, with a good team, they're going to hurt you sooner or later. So I think if you do that, eliminate those mistakes, and don't give those guys chances, we always are going to be able to beat them.

Q. Talk to me about Kenley Jansen in the first game. What kind of a player do you think he can eventually become?
RANDALL SIMON: I think his defense is legit. Honestly. He can block balls, you know, I think that one thing I've been working with him a lot is to try to stay in balance and work a little bit on his hitting. I think if he works on his hitting he's going to be tremendous. And you don't find a catcher that hits both sides of the plate. That's another thing that he's got on his behalf.
So I think he's going to be good. And I think that he's learning what he needs to do and he needs to stay focused and I believe that he can do it. Without a doubt he's going to be a major league player.

Q. Talk about the veteran leadership that you bring. Showing a lot of emotion, trying to keep these guys pumped up a lot of the time. Can you talk about what you've tried to instill in these guys and what you've been telling them?
RANDALL SIMON: One thing that I know from experience is that when you go out there and you show what you're all about, you show that you're wanting to win, you are always going to have that motivation that you need to win ball games. And I think that's always very important.
And when you play against teams like Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, those guys are all-star players. So you got to show those guys that, you know what? I know you guys are really good players, I know you guys are all-stars, we respect you guys, but we believe in ourselves. And as long as we keep believing in ourselves and keep ourselves in the game and showing each other that, you know what, if you don't do it, I'm going to back you up, it don't matter what happened.
In the game, you know, we're all -- because it's a game of simplicity, you know what I mean. And all you got get is three hits, you know, and that scores at least one run. And for them to understand that if you do something wrong on the field, that doesn't mean you're not working on it. That doesn't mean that you're not going to win. It's going to happen because it's part of the game.
As long as you show them that and let them know that, keep your head up and regardless what you do we got your back. It's going to keep us always in the game and knowing that when the guys feel like that they're going to give everything they got until the 27th out. Because I know that we don't have 27 outs so we don't lose yet. And as long as we stay in the game, we're always going to have a chance to win.

Q. You guys pulled off a monumental upset in the first game. What's the team morale right now?
MICHAEL DUURSMA: Last night was pretty tough. It was a tough loss. We lost the ballgame, but we're going to play today. It's a new day, a new game, and we'll be ready to play.

Q. Talk to me about the improvement of your team, it seems that you guys are well prepared this team talk about how you got here.
MICHAEL DUURSMA: It's the same thoughts we always have. We know how to play. It's all about playing catch and hitting the ball and just playing baseball.

BERT BLYLEVEN: J.C. had great stuff. He's aggressive. He's been doing that since he joined us in Florida. He's a kid with a golden arm. And as soon as he learns how to pitches going to get better and better. But he did a great job last night.

Q. For somebody that young to be on stage like this, talk about that.
BERT BLYLEVEN: That's how you learn. I came up at the age of 19. So I know to pitch at the major league level you have to have that type of determination. And he does. He went about his business and he threw strikes, he went after the hitters and even when he ran into some trouble he found a way to work out of it.

Q. Talk about his organization, do you think he made enough of an impression that maybe he could by the end of the season be in the major leagues?
BERT BLYLEVEN: Well this is going to be his first year with the Cincinnati Reds, so to say he's going to make that jump, I doubt that. But it's an organization that's looking for arms. They got a couple great arms already there in Cincinnati. But he's just going to take it step by step. Hopefully the first year he'll impress a lot of people and hopefully he he'll move up in the organization to where they feel one day he will pitch in the big leagues.

Q. He went from high school and now with the crowds and that, but is it more a matter of building endurance or what?
BERT BLYLEVEN: There's a lot of things that go into it. And I can only go by myself. I was 19. I was less than a year out of high school when I made my major league debut. It's concentration, determination, stubbornness. It's learning how to pitch, it's watching other players, how they do it, especially the ones that have been very successful, and hopefully you can kind of put what they tell you or what you see into your repertoire to where it will make you a better pitcher.

Q. Is there anything that you worked with him on to make him better?
BERT BLYLEVEN: I think the biggest thing for him is just to not get over excited. Because he's a young kid with a lot of talent and he wants to over throw at times, so we just tried to keep him back in his delivery and let his natural ability take off.
He's got a moving fastball. Nobody wants to play catch with him because his fastball is moving all over the place. But he's got an outstanding breaking ball and he's got a very good changeup. So he's got three pitches I think he's got a lot of confidence in and he can throw them over at any time.

Q. Talk about the throw you made to get Bernie Williams out at the plate?
EUGENE KINGSALE: I made a good throw. I got behind the ball and I really put something on it. He gave me a good target and I just hit it.

Q. How important have Sidney and Randall been to the team being they're the two guys with the most experience on the team?
EUGENE KINGSALE: Well, pretty good. I can say to myself that I'm a veteran myself, I have a lot of experience, but these guys have been great. They have been helping with the pitchers and everybody, really. It's been a great motivation. Hopefully that will continue and we'll see if we can take it into the second round.

Q. After the first two games what do you have to do today to pull off the victory and get into round two?
EUGENE KINGSALE: I think we just got to get out there and just have fun. Have fun, do the little things. If we do the little things, then big things will happen. That's going to be our mindset.

Q. You guys actually have great camaraderie. Talk to me a little bit about that. How tight you guys are?
EUGENE KINGSALE: Actually, it's been like that since we have been with the team. We have bonded together. All of us got to pull together to be successful, so the team's pulled together and it's been great. So hopefully we can continue this and we'll continue to the next round.

End of FastScripts

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