Pena Interview March 7

Q. Are you surprised with the Dominican offense?

TONY PEÑA: Well, I'm surprised definitely, but I believe these guys are on a mission. They're on a mission. They do not want to waste a single moment.

Q. Volquez because of the rain was not able to reach the 30 pitches. There's a regulation that says if a pitcher doesn't pitch 30 pitches, after they rest they can pitch again. Is it possible that Volquez can pitch again on Saturday and Sunday? Have you talked about that?

TONY PEÑA: We want to win, but the last thing that we want is to hurt any of those guys. It's their career, and because of that I made the decision of not sending him back. Volquez wanted to go back, but I'm not going to put his career in jeopardy. No, there were other pitchers.

Q. With regards to Venezuela, Venezuela and Dominican Republic are the strongest teams in this pool. To beat them the way that you did, does that change the mentality that it's going to be easier the rest of the way?

TONY PEÑA: There is no easy game. We've scored runs before, and when we thought that maybe the Venezuelan team was going to stop battling, they kept on. They kept on and they kept on, because it is a team that has a lot of power. But the thing is that after we had a lead in our hands, we said, we're going to die with our best pitchers. I could have used other people, but from the 4th inning on, I stayed with Dotel and Strop, because that's a great team. They have a great team, and without a doubt I believe it's one of the best offensive teams right now in this tournament.

Q. Clarifying the question, he was talking about Volquez for the future, whether he could go back in this round. And my question is how much of an impact did the rain have in your original plan, losing your opening pitcher after 11 pitches so quickly after the downpour?

TONY PEÑA: I don't think, and I have not talked with any of the coaches, Volquez is a starting pitcher, and I don't know. First I would have to talk with the organization, with the San Diego Padres, to see if they're going to give me the okay for me to be able to use him. Volquez is a starter pitcher, and it's not true that after a starter pitcher warms up and pitches an inning, maybe they can go with two days of rest to pitch. But I don't know. I cannot answer that. Regarding the rain, well, the plans changed. I mean, after you get out your starting pitcher, you would like the second pitcher that you use to go long, but that was not so. So I had to use five pitchers in three innings with that team. In my mind I was spinning. Hey, you can be left without pitchers, and the way that they were batting and they were making their adjustments. I mean, you started immediately to think.

Q. Cabrera was coming from hitting three home runs in three games. Could you talk about how you neutralized him and whether that was part of the strategy that you had?

TONY PEÑA: Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter. We won't let him beat us. Simple.

Q. Talk to me about the play of Cano and Reyes. Is that how in sync you all are?

TONY PEÑA: It's difficult for you to see the players make that play with barely three days of practicing together. It's extraordinary.

Q. In the two previous games, there have been three different players at third base, Erick Aybar, Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Tejada. Hanley's performance, does it close a debate or will we still see different players?

TONY PEÑA: I said that I was going to try to play all three, and the only way that I can play them is like that. And I have to play Miguel Tejada because Miguel Tejada didn't come here to fool around. So it's not that I am substituting one of those superstars for a Class A rookie, I'm substituting for another superstar. If they wanted to do things, I'm going to continue doing it like that.

Q. Right now Spain is your next opponent. Spain of all teams is the least known, at least for many of us. Are you going to scout tomorrow's game, and what do you expect from Spain tomorrow? We don't know much about their team.

TONY PEÑA: That's one of the problems, that we don't know them very well. That Venezuelan team, I have a scouting report of how to pitch to each one of those guys. The Spain team has a lot of players that I don't know, and I don't believe that there is any weak enemy in baseball. We have to play the same ball we played against Venezuela.