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March 13, 2009

Ryan Braun

Derek Jeter

Barry Larkin

Matt Lindstrom

Jake Peavy


Q. About the pride of putting on a Team USA uniform?
DEREK JETER: It's something. I have never, with the exception of 2006, I had never worn a uniform that represented my country. To be quite honest with you, I really didn't know what it would be like. When you put the uniform on there is a sense of pride. It's an honor. I know there's a lot of people out there that would love the opportunity to do this one day. So I really appreciate it the opportunity I got back in '06 and I feel the same way this year."

Q.On the emotions/feeling of playing for Team USA vs. playing during the regular season?
DEREK JETER: It's a little bit different because you don't know a lot of the guys. One great thing about a tournament like this is you get to admire the players for what they do on the field, but then you get to add a personality to it when you get this much time to spend with them. It's great to have the opportunity to know guys. The atmosphere here is like a post-season atmosphere, but it's really enjoyable. I think anyone on the team would tell you the same thing. It's a fun tournament and everyone is looking forward to the second round here.

Q.On Playing Puerto Rico?
DEREK JETER: Puerto Rico is well represented in the Major Leagues. There's a lot of great players that come from Puerto Rico. I've played with a lot of the guys that are on the Puerto
Rican team. I've played with Pudge (Rodriguez), I've played with Javier (Vasquez), I've played with Bernie a long, long, long, long time ago. But it's been fun to get to know these guys. I know what baseball means in Puerto Rico. I'm really close with Jorge Posada so I spend a lot of time down in Puerto Rico. They have a great team. I think when you play a tournament like this, I don't think you can say necessarily that one team is a favorite because anything can happen on any particular day.

Q. On Seeing the Netherlands upset the Dominican Republic:
BARRY LARKIN: Personally I was surprised, but when you play a short series like this, anything can happen. Just an example of why we play the game...the reason that it's not decided on paper by who has the best talent. You have to go out there and execute. The Netherlands, obviously playing as the underdog, looked very motivated. You gotta give them credit. We went out and played Venezuela and we handled them pretty well the first game and then the second time around they beat us and we really didn't have any excuses. That's why we go out there and play the game, but everyone that is here is capable.

Q.On if there is disappointment for not getting a crack at the Dominican Republic:
DEREK JETER: No, not at all. They have a great team. To echo what Barry (Larkin) said I was surprised when they beat them the first time. I was shocked when they beat them the second time because it's pretty difficult to beat a team two times. Every team you play at this point is capable of winning. You can't take any team lightly. The best teams advance. It's a great tournament for that reason and the reason is that any team can win on any particular day.
BARRY LARKIN: It's a matter of who ever is hot...who ever is playing well at the right time. In 1990 when we won the World Series against Oakland, It wasn't about us having more talent. It was just us playing well at that time.

Q.Barry Larking, tell us about the extent of your managerial experience and how you feel about this opportunity?
BARRY LARKIN: None and excited. The last three years I've had an opportunity to do a lot of international stuff. I managed a little bit over in Italy with some youth players. That's really the extent of it. I had an opportunity to work with the Chinese National Team and be the bench coach for Jimmy Lefevre, not actually at the Olympics, but before the Olympics.
And I'm excited. This is Davey Johnson's team, and obviously these guys team, and I'm not going to go out there and do anything different. Davey has a game plan, I'm just going to execute the same game plan he had that I sat there and saw at Toronto.

Q. Is managing something you can see yourself doing down the road?
BARRY LARKIN: Well, if I can get players like these guys, absolutely. I don't know what those chances are.

Q. Is the focus of the team different than it was in '06. There was an early exit by you guys last time? Are you guys approaching the tournament differently at all?
DEREK JETER: I wouldn't say that. I've heard that time and time again. People are saying they took it lightly, and that's why we didn't get to the finals. But we didn't take it lightly, we just didn't play well. That is the bottom line.
Everyone has an understanding of how you advance. The first time around we advanced to the second round because of a departure or something like that. Nobody really knew what the rules were. Now you understand you win two games and you move on to the next round. I think that's the only difference. But the approach and the mindset the first time around was we didn't play well.

Q. When you get in the big Leagues, a lot of the antics, and a lot of people think guys are killing guys up, when you play international, is it a little bit different? Do you tend not to get as mad at the guys?
JAKE PEAVY: Is it a different feel? I don't know. I just think there's a way to play the game of baseball and that's with respect to the game. People who come before you have respect for the team you're playing against. I can't speak for other countries.
I hope that it's played that way in all games. But like I said, me and my teammates. I think we'll play the game the right way and show the respect to Puerto Rico tomorrow night and whoever else we play.

Q. What is it like being teammates with Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis?
DEREK JETER: I mean, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they played for Boston, and we play for New York. We understand that. We're here to play for the same team right now. You get an opportunity to get to know guys, and like I said earlier, you add the personality to the player. But it's been a lot of fun.
Dustin's a unique individual. We've all had a lot of fun with him. You respect the way he goes about his business. He plays hard every day, he's a great guy as well. I think a lot of times people assume when you play against a guy, you either love him or you hate him.

Q. Is there going to be a game plan for tomorrow and what do you expect will happen tomorrow?
JAKE PEAVY: I'm not sure. I want to share my game plan with you. But it's certainly, I am excited that we do have some history with the Puerto Rican fans and playing in the Major Leagues. And we've pitched against Carlos Delgado, and Beltran, and Alex Rios and Pudge.
So I do have a history, and I will have a game plan that we'll go over. But what to expect from me? To go out there and be entertained. I'll walk off the field, when Barry takes the ball from me.

Q. Where are you normally midway through Spring Training and working towards, you know, the regular season? How much ahead of a normal schedule are you, and how strange is this whole process today?
JAKE PEAVY: I don't know how much ahead I am. 58 to be exact. It was strenuous, for three innings, just about 20 an inning. You know, so I got good work in. I think the biggest thing is knowing where you're at, you know, personally, and not trying to do too much.
Obviously, in March and June I'll do things just to have a little bit better feel, but it is what it is. It's March for everybody. Like I said, I threw 60 last time, I don't even know what the pitch count is. But I should be able to throw 75, 80 pitches. Hopefully things go well.
I haven't talked to anybody about how many or how big the game will be played and what to do. But I'll be as good as I can be this time of the year and expect to do well.

Q. Miami is a melting pot and there is a lot of Latin flavor down here. Do you feel with the fan support you might be underdogs down here? What do you expect the atmosphere to be like tomorrow?
DEREK JETER: I would assume so, but I thought that in Canada as well. There are a lot of Canadians, and Venezuelans have the next two. So I would assume there are going to be a lot of Latin American fans here.
BARRY LARKIN: I would expect that people will expect to see some good baseball, and they'll appreciate what they saw.
JAKE PEAVY: I have played in World Baseball Classic games where we've had more fans than anywhere. Whether it be in Arizona or playing a Korean team, we were outnumbered. We need to get some Americans out and get a little USA chant tomorrow night.

Q. Matt, I guess it feels like home game for you. Not only USA, but also in your backyard, talk about that.
MATT LINDSTROM: I'm just excited to be on the mound. I really like the mound here. Obviously, pitching with these guys is going to be great. It's exciting. The team's great. I get to come home and pitch in front of the fans. I'm just looking forward to the experience.

Q. Is it a different feel playing in your country versus a normal a, regular-season game? Talk about the enthusiasm of it?
RYAN BRAUN: Yeah, it definitely is. I think it's a tremendous honor to work for your country. For us, we'll never have the opportunity to play in the Olympics. So you don't get many opportunities to represent your country, and when you do, I think it's something that all of us really appreciate that opportunity.
MATT LINDSTROM: I feel the same way. Like he said, just representing the country having team USA across your chest. The excitement level is going to be tremendous down here. The Miami fans, and looking forward to the game.

Q. Your first pitch in Toronto was over 100 miles an hour. Can you talk about how you get your emotions in check for that first appearance?
MATT LINDSTROM: It was exciting. It was tough to kind of think about what you're trying to do out there and pound the zone. I just try to go out there and do what I do. I didn't know I had that.
It's still pretty early in the spring. But there was an adrenaline rush for sure. It's a little different than pitching in the situations where you're out in the back field in spring training or a 1:00 o'clock game down here at the spring training field.
So it was very exciting. I don't know, it's just kind of weird. I hope I can keep it up.

Q. Have you guys done any scouting of the batting order?

MATT LINDSTROM: No, not really. I think a lot of us are familiar with their team. Not too many unknowns. We recognize they have a really good team and they're playing great baseball right now.
RYAN BRAUN: You've got to recognize a few guys in that lineup. Guys like Carlos Beltran, he can reach it any time. He's got to be careful when you pitch to those guys. They've got a tremendous lineup, so we'll be aware.

Q. I wanted to ask you about the Netherlands and Rick VandenHurk. Talk about the huge upset. And have you talked to hurt about being part of that team?
RYAN BRAUN: Yeah, Rick and I actually lived together in spring training, so we've been keeping close tabs on one another the emotions are hard to keep in check. We talked a little bit over the last couple of days on what's going on. Those guys are on cloud nine. They're playing really good baseball. I'm he had a really good outing the other day, too.

Q. Talk about being back here in your stomping ground?
MATT LINDSTROM: It's great. I really enjoyed my time at the University of Miami. It doesn't feel like it was that long ago. I guess it really isn't. '03, '04, '05 I was here. So lot of fun to be back. Checking out the University of Miami baseball game tonight.
But again, I love it here, and it's always fun to come back.

Q. Matt, what's life been like for you over the last few months? You went from being the set-up guy, now the closer for the Marlins, you're on team USA. It's been quite a whirlwind the last few months, hasn't it?
MATT LINDSTROM: It's a little overwhelming. I'm just trying to keep it in check. Emotionally I'm okay. It's been nice trying to keep the approach, especially in the ninth inning.
It's a wonderful surprise. The day after Christmas they called me and asked me if I wanted to participate, and I gave him my answer right then and there. So it's been a very exciting time for me.

Q. Derek Jeter and some of the other players said they're expecting to be underdogs down here because there is a lot of Latin flair down here. So they might expect there's going to be a lot of fans from Venezuela or whatever. But when you're from the University of Miami and you're a Marlin, do you expect you guys will help bring out the support?
MATT LINDSTROM: I hope so, we'll see what happens we're in the trenches so far, and we have quite a few fans. When we opened up in Canada, we expected that. But it would be nice to have a little more support. Hopefully we'll get some people to come out and support us?

Q. Are you guys calling in the troops?
MATT LINDSTROM: Yeah, I think every player is going to have some kind of reaction. I think the fans are down here supporting pretty much everybody. USA, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Netherlands. I'm just expecting good baseball and an overall support.
RYAN BRAUN: Being a hitter and this time of year your timing is pretty much playing meaningful games, what kind of challenge is that? It's just for everybody, obviously recognizing the significance and importance of these games.
Everybody's tried to get ready as soon as possible. I think it's a little more comfort. We're swinging the bat better, having more at-bats and being more consistent with that.

Q. Matt, what kind of atmosphere do you expect tomorrow night? Certainly the crowds usually here from the games are sparse tomorrow. There are going to be thousands of people here, what kind of atmosphere do you expect and talk about the adrenaline tomorrow night if you get into the game?
MATT LINDSTROM: It should be electric, it really should. Like that game in Toronto when we played against Canada, I'm hoping a lot of people will come out and support this venue, it's exciting baseball. I still can't believe I'm on this team, actually. The teams are packed with a ton of talent. So expect a lot of excitement.

Q. Are you disappointed that you don't get a crack at the Dominican team with the odds on favorite coming in?
RYAN BRAUN: Not really. Our goal is to win this tournament with them being in it, it's increased our chances a little bit. That's why we've had a great team. We know those guys are friends with a lot of those guys, so it will be fun to play against them. But I don't think we're overly disappointed.
MATT LINDSTROM: I feel the same way. You know, anything can happen in baseball. You never know what's going to happen. Whatever kind of talent you want on the team, if you don't have the chemistry and you just don't play well, anyone can win. So the Netherlands proves that.

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