Sanchez Interview March 6

Q. What does it mean to you to not only represent your country at the 2013 WBC but to start the opening game?

ANIBAL SANCHEZ: To me it means so much. It's an important responsibility. I see it as truly a major personal and professional accomplishment. As Luis Sojo said during a team meeting, there are so many good Venezuelan players playing baseball, but there are only 28 of us here.

It truly is a blessing to represent my country, and I'm very happy to represent in the first game.

Q. What is the biggest challenge in facing a powerful lineup like the Dominican Republic has?

ANIBAL SANCHEZ: I don't have any specific goals. They also have a strong team. I simply want to take the mound and do the very best I can when I face them.

Q. What are your feelings about facing some former teammates like Hanley Ramirez and José Reyes?

ANIBAL SANCHEZ: I'm not sure. I've never faced them. This would be the first. Look, I hope to have a strong outing. Really, I am only concerned with having a good outing and helping us win, rather than the other things involved with facing them.

Q. Following Monday's workout and Tuesday's exhibition, what is the overall mood around the team as you prepare to start the WBC?

ANIBAL SANCHEZ: We have a solid team. We have great chemistry and most importantly we're united. My experience has been that nothing matters more on a team than unity.

We know what we need to do. We have the opportunity that we've sought out, which is to win the World Baseball Classic.