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March 18, 2009

Paul Seiler


Q. Any roster adjustments you can announce?
PAUL SEILER: In terms of adjustments to our roster, no, not at this point. We're in those discussions right now. We've got a few guys having medical evaluation as we speak, and until we know the results of those evaluations, we wouldn't be prepared to make any roster adjustments, because it goes beyond just you lost this player, add this player. There's the whole thing from the managerial perspective of left, right, balance, position, flexibility even within the roster that we have now with a guy like Mark DeRosa just as examples of, okay, it's not a simple if-then. There's, believe me, much more discussion that goes into it moving forward.

Q. Do you have to choose off the provisional roster?
PAUL SEILER: Yes, we're limited to the provisional roster.

Q. At this point could you say you're looking probably for a third baseman to replace Chipper or a pitcher to replace Lindstrom and possibly a first baseman for Youkilis?
PAUL SEILER: I don't want to speak for Davey. We probably wouldn't make a pitcher replacement because beyond tonight you've only got two more games. So as much as we hate losing Matt Lindstrom, and he is an outstanding individual, he came to us, wanted to be in the dugout last night with his teammates in uniform, which we were very appreciative of the Marlins giving him the opportunity to do that. He was very thankful to do that, and I think he's going to be there again tonight. But our pitching depth is what it is, and it's good, so we don't need another pitcher.
Again, if you looked at what Chipper and David were doing, they were DHing and third basing, so again, you could almost look at it and say, well, we've got a third baseman, do we really need another third baseman for two more games, as opposed to an outfield, first base, just a DH, just a bat? So those are the conversations. Is it a left-handed bat, a right-handed bat, and then beyond that what kind of springs are your provisional guys having?
All of those things go into the evaluation of who, if anybody, would be the best fit right now for the next couple days or for the last two games ideally.

Q. The Roberts replacement was fairly simple because --
PAUL SEILER: He was the only second baseman on our provisional.

Q. And he happened to be close by.
PAUL SEILER: That whole thing was funny. We had a tight time frame with Dustin going down and adding Brian, and I know some things have been written about when Brian accepted, but I didn't talk to him until the second inning, but that was the only shot we had. So he was our only second baseman on our provisional, and we were where we were with him, and if he had said no thanks, we would have been left to what we had and gone from there. But we were very fortunate that when we reached out to him as this thing began, "Hey, you're on provisional." What does that mean? "That means even though you may not be on the initial roster, to be eligible you have to be here, and if something were to happen, which could, then you would be in play."
Thankfully you've seen him play and we couldn't be more happy with having Brian on this club.

Q. Is this likely to be more difficult given that you're getting ready to fly across the country?
PAUL SEILER: No, I don't think so. Everybody is playing spring training now. If it's a guy from here, you have the ability to maybe add him as late as tonight in terms of transportation, fly with us tomorrow. If we don't play, best case scenario, or worst case depending on the way you look at it, if we don't play until Saturday, and it's a guy who's doing spring training in Arizona, it's a short flight to LA. A lot of these guys know each other.
One of the things that I think has been so positive about this club is how tight they've become in such a short period of time. But then when you see a guy like Brian as an example, when he came into the clubhouse the other night, he immediately, whether he was ready or not, was dragged into the camaraderie of that clubhouse, and having guys like Adam Dunn and Youkilis and some different personalities like that in there make it easy for guys who may not have been here the whole time to come in and feel accepted and welcomed right away. And I think you've seen that with Brian. If you watch the replays from last night, he's coming down the line after David's hit and his arms are in the air. You would not have known that this wasn't a guy who was here from day one.
We've been really blessed with the chemistry of this club.

Q. Have you ever placed guys from the provisional roster after some other players went down, like Vernon Wells went down, Atkins has been injured. Do you allow the flexibility of making changes there?
PAUL SEILER: I'm not --

Q. After the provisional roster was set, Wells gets injured.

Q. Could you have then replaced him?
PAUL SEILER: The rule is that prior to the event starting, which was March whatever, let's just say March 1st, you'd have to check the number on that, because I think it goes to the Asian pool, but prior to the event starting, beyond your provisional you could have made five roster replacements or adjustments that weren't on your provisional. Once the event starts, you're limited to your provisional changes.

Q. Are there guys on that provisional roster that are swing players, maybe an outfielder --
PAUL SEILER: No, not really, not that we have left.

Q. You have Longoria, Lee, Pierzynski, Schneider and Vernon Wells?
PAUL SEILER: Yeah, Derrek Lee, Longoria, Schneider Pierzynski, Wells, Ryan Ludwick, and actually Sizemore would be on there, as well, Grady.

Q. Davey had talked about the possibility of forfeit if guys didn't work, if he ran out of catching or whatever.
PAUL SEILER: It was funny because somebody said, "Did you hear what Davey said?" I think sometimes things are taken out of context. There's no way last night we were going to get into that kind of situation. But again, you get to pitching and some other things, like we play this game tonight, but if you get to a point where you run out of pitching, what do you do? We are always -- the primary thing in this is these players leave here and go back to their jobs, okay, so when a player is injured or if we were in a position to have to risk something outside of what a player would normally be exposed to, we're not going to do that. So he may say that as a fait accompli, but at the end of the day we're going to do everything to protect the athlete, and then if and when we ever got to that bridge, we'd cross it. But hopefully between what he does as a manager, what Marcel Lachemann and Stottlemyre do as our pitching guys, a lot of time and effort goes into making sure that we would never get to that point.

Q. How strongly did you consider making adjustments to the provisional before the tournament started?
PAUL SEILER: Wells was a question guy. But you know, we have a lot of respect for Vernon, especially since he played on our first club and he was a guy who expressed an interest in playing, and we have a lot of respect and we desire that guy. So keeping Vernon on our list for us was really a no-brainer relative to how we feel about him as a player, how we feel about him as a person, and to leave that door open for him.

Q. What do you do tonight at first?
PAUL SEILER: Probably Adam Dunn.

Q. And yet he had said that the Nationals had asked that he not?
PAUL SEILER: Not play first? I can't speak to that conversation between Davey and the Nationals. We're in a pinch here. I'm sure if we reached out to the Nationals and said, here's where we're at for tonight's game, hopefully it wouldn't be an issue.
Dunn has played first base over his career at the big league level. It's a spot that he's familiar with, and it's our best -- it's really our only option tonight.

Q. So there is no necessarily call from the Nationals? Would you call the Nationals ahead of time and say, look, this is what --
PAUL SEILER: We have those conversations every day. Again, if it's something that is not normal for that athlete, just because he's here doesn't give us carte blanche opportunity to do whatever we want with him. I mean, Marcel talks to pitching coaches every day, exactly what a guy did, whether he threw live or if it was an off-day, a bullpen session, whatever it is, how many pitches, all those things. We could communicate every day to a very large degree with all the clubs, both on just normal information but then especially when a situation comes up that may not be what would be normal for a player in his club. We absolutely ask for permission before we make any of those decisions.

Q. Have you started contacting those guys on the provisional?
PAUL SEILER: No, because everybody knows who's on the provisional at this point, so we have to get to the place where we have these medical evaluations done and we say, okay, this is what we're left with, where do we go, and then we'll make those decisions and the club will hopefully support those decisions.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PAUL SEILER: I mean, again, you get into these situations, and all of a sudden you start looking at what guys are doing in spring training. I know Derrek had a hamstring or something within the last day or so. This is, again, just stuff you're picking up off the internet, didn't play today maybe on a two- or three-day rest. Again, now you're asking a guy to come in and jump in. You have to be a realist when you look at these situations, too, and to say, oh, yeah, Derrek Lee is the right guy to come in here, as much as he would be in another situation given his current circumstances, he may not be.

Q. So who's the front runner to be your first baseman in the semifinals?
PAUL SEILER: That's a good question. I can't answer that right now.

Q. The win last night, advancing USA to the semis, the whole program, how big is that?
PAUL SEILER: It was huge. I'll tell you, I've been involved with the gold medal in Sidney with Tommy, us qualifying for the Olympics when we beat the Cubans in Havana in front of 45,000 with Davey, and then that win last night, you get to that point in the ninth inning, and again, we've all been around the game long enough that it looks very dire, but as we talked about the players for this club, we talked about character a lot and makeup, and I think you've seen that. That game last night showed it all.
For us as an organization, you know, the thing about the United States is we have that thing when we compete internationally, you almost have like two extremes. The one extreme is what went wrong, and the other extreme is congratulations. There's really no middle ground with us. And that's a good expectation and we embrace that.
For us it's as much relief sometimes, as odd as that sounds, as it is euphoria, and I was happy for those players to be able to -- if you watched them last night they were like kids, and they were playing in a very pure sense of our game that you learn as a little leaguer and as a Dixie or a Babe Ruth or a Pony or whatever. So for them I was happy that they got to feel that excitement about what it means when a country -- and then what you saw with that war veteran in there after, it kind of tied all of that -- we've been really hammering these guys with the patriotic element of this, that it is special, and once you experience it, you understand there's nothing else like it.

End of FastScripts

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