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March 10, 2013

Derek Holland

Adam Jones

Joe Torre


Team USA – 9
Team Canada – 4

THE MODERATOR:  We'll go ahead and get started with Team USA.

Q.  For you guys, how much of a joy or relief‑‑ or what's the feeling, from all three of you, to get through that game as tough as it was?
DEREK HOLLAND:  For me personally it was a fight.  We were out there battling the whole time.  It was an unbelievable game.  Both sides were playing hard.  We came out on top.  We hit at the right times and everything was working out for us.
JOE TORRE:  Well, it's not a relief, because we have been teasing ourselves.  Last night we had the one big inning.  We have had too many opportunities with too many good people up at the plate.  We really don't have a soft spot in that lineup.
So I'm ‑‑ I guess we have to get behind to all of a sudden think about it.  But they were very aggressive today and it really helped us.
ADAM JONES:  Both sides came out swinging the bats.  Team Canada, they were hitting a lot of balls right on the button right at us, and we were doing the same thing the first part of the game.  And as it progressed, we had just‑‑ I think we just were resilient in just trying to ‑‑ everybody was trying to get the big hit.  But not necessarily to try and hit a home run or anything like that, but put the ball in play and live with the results.

Q.  Derek, usually you pitch a game early in March, you're just going out to throw mainly for yourself and see what happens.  What's it like to have a team riding on the outcome of something like this?
DEREK HOLLAND:  We got a great group of guys.  They're ready to play.  And if I go out there and execute my pitches, they're going to make those plays for me.  And they showed it today.
Also with the bats.  Just like Joe was saying, it's a strong lineup, 1 through 9.  Once one guy gets going, the rest of them are going to catch fire, and they did it today.

Q.  Adam, obviously you're coming off a great season with Baltimore, you got to the playoffs.  Today it seemed like after your big hit the next time you came up there was maybe a little bit of a louder ovation from the fans, like they really appreciated what you did for your country.  Talk about what that meant for you in the context of your career to have that great moment for the whole country, not just for the Baltimore fans?
ADAM JONES:  Like I said before, wearing USA across your chest is a little bit different than Baltimore.  You're representing a larger group of people.  And it was appreciative.  I wish I would have came through in that situation, but Hosmer piggybacked me and came through for us.
And it's just a special occasion for I think everyone, even the repeat guys that have played for Team USA and for the first‑timers, such as myself.  I'm just glad I'm able to share it with a great group of guys and my family.

Q.  Joe, you're managing Major Leaguers here, but every game has been difficult at one level or another.  What does that say about the overall level of competition in the tournament?
JOE TORRE:  Overall ‑‑ in the tournament?  Well, I mean, we all know short series.  Play 162, yeah, the cream comes to the top.  Usually the best teams get to the postseason.  But when you start playing these short series ‑‑ and you look at Italy, they had a tough game against Mexico, they came, they almost gave it back, who knows what happens if Mexico comes back and wins that game.
But momentum carries you here.  Momentum is yesterday's game.  And they play‑‑ not only the fact ‑‑ it breeds confidence.  And then to go up there, they're aggressive as opposed to trying not to make an out.  It's a huge difference.  But the competition I have seen has been ferocious.
And when‑‑ I've said many times before, when you got the letters across your chest like we have, they always put a feather in their cap if they can take care of us.  And that's really a credit to us and a compliment to us, I should say, in understanding what our country represents.

Q.  The play, Adam, where you doubled.  You guys, you had the runners going and it sort of again generated a momentum on that play.  And you got the pitch to hit and drilled it.  What was the thinking on that, Joe, and then how did you execute it, Adam?
JOE TORRE:  Which one do you want to start?

Q.  Either or.  You.
JOE TORRE:  Well, the only thing I've talked to our players about is be aggressive.  That's all.  I just felt that we have enough speed up and down that lineup.  And if somebody gives you something, take it.  And I think it was initially we had the two men on‑‑ no, it was‑‑

Q.  When you put Bloomquist in?
JOE TORRE:  Bloomquist, right.  Well, Bloomy just‑‑

Q.  Was that on their own?
JOE TORRE:  No, they were on their own.  They were measuring‑‑ obviously we have times on pitchers and stuff like that, but that was huge for us.

Q.  Adam?
ADAM JONES:  Knowing Bloomquist and David Wright, those are guys who are perennial base stealers.  I played with Bloomy in Seattle, and any time he gets on base, he doesn't want to stay on that base too long.  It was a good pitch for him to go on and it was a good pitch for me to hit, and I was glad that I didn't try and do too much and didn't get distracted by the runners and just was able to put a good swing on a good pitch to hit.
JOE TORRE:  The two balls that were hit, both Jones and Hosmer, those two balls were about as hard a ball hit as you'll ever want to see.  Because I think both times the center fielder thought he had a shot at it, and he just had no chance.  That ball just took off over their heads.  They creamed those.

Q.  You talked before, obviously you're playing these games to win, but you're also talking about making sure the guys get innings and the guys get at‑bats.  Now that you're out of the first round and you had all your pitchers be able to get in there, do you think you can tip more towards, hey, I got to play the best nine, go for the best players, or do you still have to be mindful of both?
JOE TORRE:  Well, Big League clubs are still in Spring Training.  We're borrowing their players.  So we have to make sure ‑‑ I thanked Mauer today for getting on base so we could pinch run and get Bloomy in a game.
But, no, we still have to be mindful of the promise I made to take care of these players and make sure they get back and get ready to start the season.
So we're still going to do the same things, try not to repeat with the bullpen.  Because after Detwiler yesterday, we had a lot of one‑inning guys.  And when you see the 2‑2 score, you don't know how long this game is going to last.  So it gets a little edgy for a time.
But, no, we have to think the same way.  We have to get at‑bats, we have to get guys in the games.

Q.  Did those limitations from the ball clubs possibly hinder this team going forward, if you feel compelled to pitch a guy on a certain day or give a guy a certain number of at‑bats?  You had right‑handers in against left‑handers in I think the 6th, 7th, and 8th inning, with Canada's lineup there, when usually a left‑hander might have been the right move there.
JOE TORRE:  Well, I don't think this‑‑ the team over there, Canada?  They don't know if you're left‑handed or right‑handed; they whack the hell out of the ball.  They didn't give on any left‑handers today.  So I didn't think that that was a priority to match up, necessarily.
I took Hernandez out of the game because he had just thrown too many pitches in that inning.
But, no, you still have to make sure that the pitchers get the work.  And, as I say, we're probably a little more restrained, too, than the rules allow, because it says you can go back to back with guys.  I'm not saying we won't do that, but we don't want to get in the habit of doing that.

Q.  Adam, you came up through the Mariners farm system with Michael Saunders.  What do you think of his emergence in this tournament to be the MVP?
ADAM JONES:  I think I'm two years older than him or one year.  But we never got the opportunity to play together just because we were at different levels.  But he's improved each year.  I remember him getting called up in 2009 and 2010, and he's constantly improved.  He's a big kid.  We joked before the game that he's the smallest Canadian on the team.  And he's just ‑‑ he's improved.
And that's‑‑ I guess that's what you want to do.  He's got a great opportunity for the Mariners right now.  I don't know if he's fighting for a job or has a job.  I don't know what's going on in that organization.  But I'm just glad to see the constant improvement of him.

Q.  Joe, the one thing that does change going into the next round is that you can go with your starters to 80 pitches.  I'm assuming that with Gio (Gonzalez) having gone three starts now he's equipped to do that on Tuesday.  And who do you follow him up with in your next game, which could be Wednesday or Thursday?  Is it Dickey?
JOE TORRE:  I have to check with my guru, but he could have gone 80 pitches today.  But the rules said he can only go 65.  So they should be far enough along to handle that easily.

Q.  Adam, I remember you saying earlier in Spring Training looking back to last October that you felt like you didn't breathe during that whole series against the Yankees.  Did you feel more comfortable and did maybe that experience last October help you in that at‑bat today?
ADAM JONES:  I think it has.  A couple of my friends‑‑ obviously they didn't want to bother me during the playoffs last year, but after I got home they were just like:  If you just took one breath, you probably would have relaxed a little bit.
And it was my first time in the postseason, so I was all wrapped up.  But coming here, I think after the very first game with Mexico and just seeing the atmosphere, it helped me relax and just bring back like, okay, these games do mean a lot, but I don't necessarily need to be the man.
And like Joe said, our lineup is very, very strong top to bottom.  I don't need to be the man all the time.  Sometimes take a deep breath and take the walk.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, guys, very much.  Congratulations.  Good luck in Miami.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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