Luis Sojo postgame interview March 7

Q: Can you give me your opinion of that first inning against the Dominican Republic? What did you see on Anibal's play? It looked like he got crossed with Pablo and Elvis.

LUIS SOJO: Well, it was a difficult inning, an inning where we didn't execute and maybe the communication between them wasn't well, but when you don't execute, you're going to pay. Elvis' play, the same. It wasn't executed. Three runs in that inning against a Dominican team that knows how to play ball. They did good things to get the victory.

Q.: In a tournament that has a lot of limitations for the pitchers, how much of an impact was that rain delay?

LUIS SOJO: We were not expecting it. The day was beautiful, and then there was that huge rain. I mean, this is a tournament where the safety of the player is above all. Anibal just threw 20 pitches and we were monitoring, Alvarez and myself, the time. There was more than half an hour that went by, so generally I ask Wilson when that happened that 40 minutes is the most, but in a tournament that is so short, the teams start making those calls, and several people called from Detroit. He had thought that if more than 25 minutes passed, he wasn't coming out.

Q: So how much does a game like today affect the way you had to use your relief pitchers in the way of playing the next two games?

LUIS SOJO: Well, although we used a lot of pitchers, none reached 30 pitches except Jhoulys Chacin, which was in the planning with him. I tried to lengthen as much as possible for the fourth inning. We're off tomorrow, so the game against Puerto Rico, everybody is going to be available except for Torres, who pitched a lot yesterday.

Q: You were telling us that 15 runs, don't worry, but if we add them with today it's 24. Is that a headache, the score?

LUIS SOJO: I don't understand you.

Q: The three games that you've had, it's been 24 runs. Are you worried about this, facing Puerto Rico?

LUIS SOJO: It's a game, it's another game. Right now we have a big challenge. We have to win to go on to the next round, and we're going to know what we're made of. We have a lot of talent. We cannot get down. We've got to give credit to the Dominican Republic; they played better than us, and that's why they had the victory.

Q: What effect was it with the political situation in Venezuela with the team's mood?

LUIS SOJO: No, none. None. You have to take it one day at a time, start over. The thing is baseball, we know we have problems in our country, but the focus should be baseball. I let them know and they are aware of that. I mean, we have to turn the page. This is a game that's over, and tomorrow we come to practice at noon preparing for the game with Puerto Rico.

Q: One of their strategies was to neutralize Miguel. Could you talk about the way you neutralized him.

LUIS SOJO: Well, I realize he's a human being. We have to baseball is a game that's unpredictable. The most difficult thing is to plan. Maybe it's been easier for Miguel, but they did a good job. We have to give credit to the pitchers. Tony changed pitchers very well today, and well, you know.

Q: How do you manage a team in two exhibition teams and start in the first round with a difficult team like Dominican Republic, bearing in mind the situation that your country is living through and the relatives of the players?

LUIS SOJO: Well, I mean, two games are really very little that you could see. If we take into account that our players come from the Big Leagues, and are doing their bullpen, pitching every four days, there was also a lot of players that came, Rincon, Sanchez, players that maybe didn't do anything, just running, bullpen, that kind of thing. It's not the same to pitch in the bullpen as it is to face batters. The day of the death of our president there were a lot of comments on the situation that our country is going through, but each and every one of the players contacted their relatives, everything was fine, and well, that was the most important thing.

Q: The fact that Anibal barely threw 20 pitches, does that allow him, if you wanted to use him again in this first round, does that change the strategy of who's starting against Puerto Rico or how that is going to be done from now on?

LUIS SOJO: Well, there's a very interesting situation. 28 pitches, it is possible that he may be available to play Spain. I mean, against Puerto Rico, no, but Carlos Zambrano and Alvarez, it is in that order. We're going to touch all points with Major League Baseball with regards to the availability that Anibal may have in that game with Spain.

Q: Today the first five batters went 2 for 17, do you think of any adjustment, any change in the lineup against Puerto Rico?

LUIS SOJO: It's too premature right now. We still have a practice tomorrow. I have the men out there with Big League experience, people who know how to play ball, and when I make my lineup, my hand doesn't shake. They are aware that they may play today, and tomorrow we'll give a chance to some other player. That's something that we're going to talk about tomorrow.