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March 10, 2009
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
Q. Brad, this is your second World Baseball Classic. What are some of the things that you've done differently personally so far?
BRAD HARMAN: So far, I mean, not too much, to be honest with you. I've grown as a player the last couple years since the last one. Apart from that, I guess it's just doing the same thing day in and day out, and that's what the good players do. Try and keep it regular and do the same thing.
Q. What do you think the WBC as a whole does for a player?
BRAD HARMAN: It's a great experience, it's a great opportunity to play against the best players in the world. You know, not only is it a good grounding point to see where you're at with your ability, but it's just good to be around this environment. It's the Major League lifestyle, so it gives, I guess, more incentive for the guys to work harder and get to this level on an everyday basis.
Q. Now, you made your Major League debut with the world champion Phillies this year. Talk about that experience.
BRAD HARMAN: Yeah, that was unbelievable. 20 best days of my life so far. Since then it's been a bit of a grind for me, but as I said about working hard and getting back to that everyday lifestyle, that's what you want to achieve, and that's where everyone wants to be.
It was an amazing experience. I learned a lot while I was there. And yeah, just working hard and trying to get back up there.
Q. Going to spring training late obviously because of World Baseball Classic. Where are you going to fit in as far as what level you might play at when you get back?
BRAD HARMAN: Yeah, I'm not too sure. I spent a couple of weeks -- I think I reported on the 12th of February, so I got in two or three weeks before coming in. It's another one of those things that you can't really get your head too far involved in. You've just got to play baseball. Where they put me is where they put me. I've got no control over that, so I'm just going to do what I can do when I get the chance.
Q. Do you think not being there helps or hurts your chances if you're not there but you do well here?
BRAD HARMAN: Personally I'd like to think that it wouldn't hurt it too much. You know, the teams across this World Baseball Classic are full of Major League players. I'd like to think it wouldn't hurt me, and I hope not, but it's another chance to show the Phillies what I can do out here against this good competition. I'm excited to play, hopefully do well. Hopefully they can see that I'm playing well here, and we'll just go from there.
Q. I know it's apples and oranges, but how would you compare team Australia to a team like the Phillies?
BRAD HARMAN: Yeah, that's a tough one. Comparing it to the Phillies, World Series champions, is a bit different. It's pretty similar in the clubhouse. It's a great group of guys with the Phillies. They keep the clubhouse light. They're having fun, which I think is very important on a team, and that's what we always do here. We're always having fun, keeping it light. We just go out and have fun, play baseball hard and let everything else take care of itself.
Q. You've got a pretty good bat. It's been really impressive watching you defensively. What part of your game do you feel you have to work harder on?
BRAD HARMAN: Everything. I'll never be done working on either side of the game. As far as defensive, yeah, that's been my gig, I guess, coming up through junior baseball and sort of getting my start. And now, you know, just working hard on hitting and everything, I don't think I can concentrate on any one thing to be honest.
Q. This team all the way around, whether it's pitching, hitting, defensively, is very fundamentally sound, something Jon Deeble preaches, but how does somebody like Pat Kelly help out as an infielder?
BRAD HARMAN: Just the mental part of the game. I've learned a lot from him growing up, in the past couple years, especially in the '06 Classic. It comes down to the little things that once you can field a ground ball and you've got those things down, there's definitely a huge mental game that comes into play, watching pitches, taking a step on an off-speed pitch left or right, there's so many things I've learned off of him, and there's so many parts of the game that are out there, I guess, so he's been a great help to a lot of the young infielders, and especially now we've got more young infielders coming out, so I think he'll be around for a while to teach us more things.
MANAGER JON DEEBLE
Q. What is the toughest part about taking on Team Cuba?
JON DEEBLE: I think this ballpark. I don't see Cuba at all. Six runs the last couple of days, and I think there are only two legitimate home runs that have been hit. Taking on them is going to be tough. We understand that they're a good ballclub. We understand they've got good pitching. It'll be tough for our guys to just focus in and come out aggressive like we did against the Mexicans.
Q. What do you think are some of the advantages that Team Australia has against Cuba being that you've seen each other a few times in the last couple years?
JON DEEBLE: We've scouted them very well. Over the last eight or nine years we've done a very good job scouting them. We know their strengths, we know their weaknesses. We understand they're a great baseball team. They're the world champions. But again, we'll be going straight after them. We won't be taking a backwards step against them.
Q. What should people seeing Travis Blackley tonight expect from him?
JON DEEBLE: Our game plan will be to keep the ball in on these guys, don't let them get extended. He's got some Major League experience, so hopefully we can get him up through five innings on 70 pitches would be nice and get into our bullpen.
At the same time we need to get into their bullpen, get this Chapman out of the game early, if at all possible.
Q. Speaking about Chapman, a guy who's been clocked at 102 miles an hour, what's the hitting approach against a guy who throws that hard?
JON DEEBLE: Just be aggressive. The one thing we do know, and I've seen him pitch a lot, he doesn't have great command. We need to work some counts, get him deep into counts and run his pitch count up, and if we can do that, if we can be close to them around the 5th inning, I think we've got a real shot at beating them.
Q. What is the approach? You want to win every game you play, but is it harder to beat Cuba or harder to beat Mexico for a second time?
JON DEEBLE: I think they're both as tough as each other. We beat Japan twice at the Olympics in 2004, which was a great feat. I'm hoping we don't have to go back and play Cuba. I'm hoping we're in after tonight. But if we do, it's going to be tough still. To beat them twice is going to be tough. I'm so proud of the way these guys have gone about their business, and they look like they belong here.
Q. Your team is very fundamentally sound. It's something that you preach a lot, whether it's at the plate, on the mound. What do you attribute all that to?
JON DEEBLE: Just our work ethic, the way we go about our business. The guys want to be here, they want to play, they want to learn. They take pride in representing their country and they take pride in themselves. That's the main thing. Our whole game plan is don't get any more than 27 outs, and if we can do that, that means we're not making errors. We're not giving the opposition five and six outs in innings. We've got to continue to do that all throughout this tournament.
Q. James, just 20 years old. What has this experience been like for you so far?
JAMES BERESFORD: It's been amazing. It's kind of still shocking. It hasn't really kicked in that we've already played one game against Mexico and put the result up that we did. It was a pretty special night for all the boys, and the team is really gelling and executing the way we want to, so hopefully we can keep it going.
Q. You got a chance to get into that game. What was that like for you?
JAMES BERESFORD: It was a bit of a shock because it was only the 4th inning when Deebs told me that I was coming in, so it was probably a good thing that I was a little unprepared and not thinking about it for a long period of time. But when it happened and I made the first play, it was good.
Q. You started at a very young age, played in the Claxton Shield as a teenager. Did you expect to get this far this quick?
JAMES BERESFORD: You know, you always try, try and work hard, and the results will come as they do. I had a good Claxton Shield this year, but no, I never thought I'd be in the World Baseball Classic at 20 years old, let alone starting. Yeah, it's pretty amazing.
Q. What's it been like facing some Major Leaguers, seeing them, talking to them? What has that experience been like?
JAMES BERESFORD: It's fantastic. The first practice exhibition game we played was against Seattle, and watching Ken Griffey run up to second base right past you, and instead of saying "G'day, Ken," your mouth kind of drops and you're thinking you're actually on the field with a guy that's your idol and you look up to.
So it's pretty special.
Q. What do you want to get out of this experience personally when you go back to your club?
JAMES BERESFORD: I think just the experience of playing at such a high level. People say there's not that much of a difference. Everyone has got the same, that people can be more consistent. But I think getting experience playing out on the field along with all the Major Leaguers is going to be the main thing.
Q. There were some pretty good Australian players that didn't make this team. Were you shocked, or what was the feeling when you heard you made the team for sure?
JAMES BERESFORD: Yeah, I was told pretty early, like the start of February, so that was kind of a shock hearing so early. The big name pitchers got pulled out like Ryan Allen Smith and Stockman and those type of guys. If they pick you, you've got to do it. They obviously think you're up to it, so you've got to do your best.
Q. What are you expecting out of Team Cuba tonight?
JAMES BERESFORD: Obviously every time we play them, it's a big game, and they don't like losing to us. If we just execute and do what we did against Mexico, have good at-bats and play good defense, I think the result will take care of itself.
Q. Chapman is on the hill tonight. If you get a chance to hit against him, what do you expect against a guy who's been clocked at 102?
JAMES BERESFORD: Yeah, it's always a challenge. You've got to go out there with the mindset, key the ball, hit the ball, and I guess if he's throwing 102, get it started a little earlier.
Q. Brad, how thrilled are you to be a part of this team?
BRAD THOMAS: Yeah, it's great. It's great to be part of this team. I think it's one of the best teams we've put together for an Australian team. It's pretty exciting, really. Watched the boys the other night, and if we can keep doing that, we can go a long ways.
Q. Now, how much of an honor did you consider it, granted, you've been a closer closing in Korea, but how much of an honor did you consider it being a closer for this team?
BRAD THOMAS: Oh, definitely a big honor. With our bullpen guys and our pitchers, it's fantastic, I love it. It's part of the game that I love doing. It's what I'm used to and it's what I'm doing overseas. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to get in there, but with these bats the opportunities aren't there yet.
Q. What do you expect if you get into the game against Cuba?
BRAD THOMAS: These guys, they take the big swings. I've faced them a couple times before, and they like to swing at fastballs and things like that, so we'll have to see how they go throughout the game. There's a lot of new guys there, so we'll see what happens, I guess.
Q. Now, you were the first foreigner to play over 30 games in Korea this year. Talk about the experience in the Korean league and what was it like doing something like that.
BRAD THOMAS: It was awesome. I love the league over there. It's probably one of the best times I've had in -- for one season. It's a tough league, pitching five, six days in a row quite a few times. It was a lot of hard work, but in the end I got there and didn't quite make the playoffs, but this year we're looking pretty good.
Q. You've pitched in a Japanese league, Korea, you're in the World Baseball Classic. How does the world competition vary in this tournament?
BRAD THOMAS: It's good for everybody to see. As I see, Japan and Korea are pretty strong, and they'll take on the best. I notice with Korea there's a lot more power guys than Japan, so it's going to be very interesting to see how far each team goes.
Q. Whether you're winning or losing do you expect to see some action tonight?
BRAD THOMAS: Yeah, depending on how we go. If we're up by a lot, we'll have a day off and then another game, but if it's a close one, we'll be three days on in a row. We'll just have to play the game and see what happens.
End of FastScripts