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March 15, 2009

Rod Delmonico

Bryan Engelhardt

Randall Simon


Q. Coach, you obviously had a marvelous run getting into this round. I know you just love the game, but can you put into perspective what this means, the effort you guys put, what you think it will mean for the Netherlands in baseball in the future?
ROD DELMONICO: Well, I think there's many thoughts that go through your mind about what this team was able to accomplish. Collectively they were able to do something that was very special, that no one gave us a chance, but it just showed what happens when a group of players come together with one common goal and play for the name on the front of their jersey instead of the name on the back of their jersey. They played with a lot of energy. I think that showed tonight. We could have easily have folded the tent and quit, but these guys did not quit from the day we started practice in Holland and went to Pirate City and then to San Juan and then here, of course.
It's a great accomplishment for our countries, gives our players some hope and determination that if they play and work hard, that they have a chance to play for the national team, they have a chance to play Major League Baseball or play at the World Baseball Classic. It gives them something to shoot for, so this was tremendous for our countries.

Q. Bryan, we saw your reaction when Matt Lindstrom threw behind the next batter. I'd like to hear your thoughts. The whole bench was very animated for several minutes. Tell us your opinion of what you saw.
BRYAN ENGELHARDT: Yeah, I hit the home run, and the guy is a Major League pitcher, so you need to shake it off the next guy, so I don't see why he throw the ball on his head.
ROD DELMONICO: I think it's one thing to throw inside, establish a ball inside, but to throw it up around someone's head and throw behind his head, there's no room for that anywhere, especially at the World Baseball Classic. I thought that was classless, to be honest with you.

Q. You've played a lot in the Dominican Republic. You eliminated the Dominican team. Many have been your teammates before. What do you think? Holland went to round 2, it was a success, and people thought your team wouldn't make any progress for sure. First?
RANDALL SIMON: First of all, we had a chance to be here in the World Baseball Classic. We have played hard. We have given everything we got every single day, and at the outset, we had confidence. I'm very proud of my team, very proud of my manager, very proud of every single teammate because they put everything out. And now I know that we lost, but we can go home with our head up high because Netherlands during the next Classic, I know that lots of people are going to respect us more because nobody thought that we would be here at this time, and we -- well, I'm 1,000 percent sure that we, the Dutch team, played baseball amongst the best baseball players in this 2009 Classic. I thank my team and I thank God for this wonderful opportunity.

Q. I wanted to ask, at the end of the game there, you guys came out on the field and applauded the fans. Can you just talk about the decision to do that and what the fan base that showed up tonight, what that meant to you guys?
ROD DELMONICO: I think that was a decision of our players and coaches. We all wanted to come out and thank all of our fans and family that have traveled to Puerto Rico, came here to Miami. We didn't have a lot, but the ones we had were pretty loud and supported us, so we just wanted to say thank you.
And also for the fans who came out to watch us here in Miami, the Dutch fans or somebody that just wanted to come and see us play, we wanted to say thank you for that, as well.

Q. This is for one of the players if you'd care to take this: Considering all you accomplished here, are you all disappointed that you didn't perform better tonight? And are you also disappointed that you had the situation with the pitch and that that really was a focal point in some ways of what happened in the late innings?
RANDALL SIMON: I think that we're not disappointed at all. We are all very proud of each other. The game is a game of failure - you're going to win, you're going to lose. But as long as you go out there and give everything you've got, the way we did in this whole tournament, ain't no better way to finish up.
Our goal was to get to LA, but it did not happen. But God gave us something very, very beautiful and that is to be around each other every single day and showing that, you know what, you don't have to be an All-Star player, you don't have to be a Hall of Fame player to play the game like it's supposed to be done, and just to let everybody know that if you believe in each other, you can accomplish a lot of stuff in life. That's what we did from the getgo over there in Pirate City, that we all knew that we could do it, and we are very, very proud of each other. We know that we can all get on the bus, hold our head high knowing that we gave it all. But it's all about God's will.
But it shows us that, hey, I can't be more proud of those guys, and this is one of the best groups I have ever been around. I played in the Major Leagues for a long time, and it's priceless being around these guys, and whatever we have showed in this tournament, I know without a doubt it's going to last forever.

Q. I want to ask you this: Holland is going to be leaving this Classic. What team would you like to be the winner in this Baseball Classic?
RANDALL SIMON: Well, I haven't seen much of the other teams that have played in Mexico and San Diego. But of the teams that I've seen play, I think that if I say who should win, I would say the Venezuelan team. It is a good team. They play together and they have great ball players, and I think they have lots of chances to win this tournament.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

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