Figueroa / Figueroa Interview March 7


            Q.  As we said to the manager, we really don't know much about baseball in Spain.  Talk to us, either of you, about what it means to you all to play in the tournament so important as this and playing against teams like Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico?

            PACO FIGUEROA:  Well, in the beginning to say something quickly, our Spanish is not perfect.  But to play for Spain, to play for a team that gives you a chance to play, it's great.  Our father is a Spaniard from Galicia.  We've been playing with Spain; my brother since 2007 and me since 2009, so we are here for many years.  It's really great to come here in the Classic to play against the other countries and to play for Team Spain.

            Q.  Your team is made up of many Latinos, many baseball players like you two.  Do you think you can get that competitiveness in such a strong pool with the selections of Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela?  Do you think you have that experience?  We know that in baseball the game is over when it's over, but do you think you will be up to play with such a talented group of teams?

            DANNY FIGUEROA:  Well, we have baseball experience.  But countries like Venezuela and Dominican Republic, they have great experience in the Major Leagues, but in the end, baseball is baseball.  You have to pitch and bat, and you have to make contact and you have to play ball.  But with all these things and the interviews, yes, it all goes up, but when you play ball, baseball is baseball.

            Q.  What do you all know about the Puerto Rican team?  Obviously they have some Major League players like Beltran and Yadier Molina, but in addition to that, what else do you know about the Puerto Rican team, which is the first one you're going to face tomorrow?

            PACO FIGUEROA:  Well, the Puerto Rico team, Puerto Rico is great in baseball.  All Latino countries play good baseball.  We know in Puerto Rico here there are a lot of players who play good, but as everybody says, my brother and I were saying to the manager that when you start playing ball, there are people there in the Major Leagues, right, but on our team we have people who have played professionally for a while, Triple‑A some and the Big Leagues.

            But when the game starts, you don't look at the scoreboard; you have to play mentally.  You need to bat, move runners, steal bases.  Everybody has to do their part, and anything can happen.  Whatever happens, we're going to play strong and we're going to play as a team.