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March 10, 2009

Yurendell Decaster

Rod Delmonico

Tom Stuifbergen


(Questions and answers translated from Spanish.)

ROD DELMONICO: It's hard to put into words what just happened. Our guys have played with heart the last three days. I've never been a part of a team with as much passion as this team has. I am very very proud of our players. I think our coaching staff, especially our pitching coaches, Jim Stoeckel, Bert Blyleven did a wonderful job of running the bullpen. It was a total team effort from the bunch, from our coaching staff, from the starters, from everybody. All I can say is wow.

Q. Please tell us a little bit about the mood in the dugout right after that run was scored by the Dominican Republic. And specifically about Kingsale.
ROD DELMONICO: Our guys were upset that they scored. The mood in the dugout was, hey, it's our turn. And when they came in, everybody was up. We were ready to go to bat. It was not a mood of feeling sorry for themselves. It was a mood of we've got to score, get the next guy to the plate. Of course Sidney stepped up there and drove a ball hard. I really thought our guys did a wonderful job of having some good times at bats. Sidney took us to where we needed to be. He had two great at bats. Curt Smith had a great at bat. And of course DeCaster earned it with a real good bat. Just battled it, put the ball in play and made something happen. Great team effort. It all started with an attitude in those last three innings.

Q. Good evening. Any comment about that AB, was that the biggest AB in your career?
YURENDELL DECASTER: I think it's the biggest AB in my career. I had to make a good contact, and we did.

Q. Now the whole Dutch Kingdom is looking at you, Curacao, Aruba, St. Martin, the whole islands, and Netherlands of course. What can you tell them now, right now about their players?
ROD DELMONICO: I can tell them that they have some incredible young men that they should be very proud of.
And I'm a blessed man to have had the opportunity to manage them.

Q. Coach, tomorrow you will play against Puerto Rico. What do you think about the Puerto Rico team? I know that you had yesterday a tough game always with Puerto Rico. How do you see the game for tomorrow?
ROD DELMONICO: Well, of course, we have a tremendous amount of respect for Puerto Rico. They have an outstanding club.
Right now we're just going to enjoy this for a moment, try to get something to eat. Hopefully our guys can get some sleep and some rest. I know for me it's going to be hard to go to sleep just from the excitement of all of this. We'll get up in the morning and tee it up tomorrow and see what we can do. We've got our hands full, but the good thing about it is we're both going Miami.
It's a great place to be, and it should be a fun game to play. It gives us an opportunity to play some players and maybe pitch the rest of our guys that are left. We don't have too much left in the bullpen, but whatever we've got, we're going to throw it at them.

Q. You don't have a big name. How did you manage those people against a team like Santo Domingo, you don't beat it once, you beat it twice. For you I think this is a very big win of your life.
ROD DELMONICO: I don't have a big name, but I've got some long names. We've just got some great leadership. A lot of things that you don't see behind the scenes. Sidney Ponson spent some time talking to Dennis Neuman about last night and being able to be clutch and be ready to pitch today. I really think that had a lot to do with Neuman having success is what Sidney did. And of course Randall Simon. You heard Randall last night saying they were going to come out and play with our hearts and passion give it everything we've got. Those two guys have been our captains and have done a tremendous job of leading. They've made my job much easier.

Q. Who's going to be your starting pitcher for tomorrow?
ROD DELMONICO: We're not sure. We're thinking about having some tryouts in the morning to see if we can pick up a couple more arms to finish tomorrow night's game.
That's a tough question right now. I know Bert still has a pretty good curve ball, we might put him in the bullpen. I'm not sure.

Q. You were characterized as being a team with such a good defense and excellent pitching. But we have to acknowledge that you did not bat. Are you going have the same way with the second group?
ROD DELMONICO: We've got a game to play tomorrow night. We're going to play that game, and then we'll have a couple of chances to practice in Miami. But I think really that's the kind of team we have. We've got to be solid defensively, and we've got to be solid on the mound.
I think Tommy came in and set the tone of the game. He was up tempo, threw strikes, got ahead of hitters. Every inning that we put up a goose egg, it gave our ballclub confidence. That's really the kind of club we've got.
We are going to continue to work on our hitting and continue to work on our bunting, generate some offense, but pretty much pitching and defense is what's going to win for us. That's what we've got to do.

Q. I imagine that for a long time you've had to explain to people that, yes, they do play baseball in the Netherlands. Can you put in perspective what this means for the Netherlands and for the Dutch Antilles.
YURENDELL DECASTER: I think a lot of young kids in Curacao and the Netherlands will be watching us play. So now I think they'll start liking baseball more. Maybe for the next baseball Classic we'll have a bigger team, more young people will play. It seems like we did.

Q. You put in your relievers very early in the game. Don't you think you should have used your better pitchers if you go into extra innings?
ROD DELMONICO: We had Leon Boyd at the end who is a starter. In fact, in about four or five weeks he'll be out on the mound starting, going six innings. We felt like we could get three innings out of him, or four if we had to, because he only threw about 12 pitches last night.
As we got towards the end of the game and both teams hadn't scored, that definitely ran through our minds is that we could run out at the end. But we still had a couple of guys down in the pens. We had three guys who could have thrown. We were hoping we wouldn't go 14 or 15, but that was a question that we were concerned about.

Q. When this tournament even began and you guys were beginning to packing your clothes and getting ready to come to San Juan, Puerto Rico, did you ever imagine that you were going to be where you're at today? And if you did, what was it, what were you taking?
ROD DELMONICO: Well, I don't know how to coach any different. You play to win. And you practice and prepare to win. Baseball is a game that on any given day anybody can beat anybody. Not that we thought we could beat them or that we knew we were going to beat them, but we prepared to beat them. And we worked towards practicing to beat them, and we thought about beating them. At least I did, and I think a lot of the players did or we wouldn't be sitting here.
It took a team effort collectively to beat these guys twice. Couldn't have done it individually. And yeah, we dreamt about that. We talked about it as a team, but it took everybody to make it happen.
YURENDELL DECASTER: We need to go for play against Dominican because they are a big team, big names. So if you play proud for Netherlands and fight, we can beat them. So that's what we did. That's why we're here today.
TOM STUIFBERGEN: We've got to believe to do it. We just did it. It's unbelievable. No words for that. We just always said we could. Everybody was like, okay, we could, but it's almost impossible. We just did it. It's just amazing.

Q. Manager, how do you qualify this win against the Dominican Republic in light of all the forecasts against you all.
ROD DELMONICO: It's a miracle. That's all I can tell you. Our guys came together as a team, and miraculously we won. It's not because we're better than they are. They're one of the best teams in the world.
Collectively we just played hard, and it happened. I can't tell you. Other than it's a miracle.

End of FastScripts

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