March 9 Mauro Mazzotti & Engel Beltre interview, Spain

Q.  Engel, being from the Dominican, what does it mean to you to play against this team that you're going to play this afternoon?

ENGEL BELTRE:  It really means a lot to me to represent team Spain in the World Baseball Classic.  I think one thing, I always want to play in the World Classic, no matter if I play for my team, for the Dominican, or another country, and I feel very good to represent the team Spain.

Q.  As a young player trying to make it to the Big Leagues, you see the list on their roster.  Do you look at these guys and say, that's where I want to be, not necessarily the Dominican team but as a Big League All‑Star kind of player?

ENGEL BELTRE:  Yeah, yeah, I'm looking forward to get going, working hard, and trying to do what I'm doing, get better at the things I need to work on. But it's a really, really good time to be here and compete.

Q.  I'm curious, what have you learned about Spain?  Have you gone online or asked people?  Have you been there before?  What sort of things have you come to appreciate about that country?

ENGEL BELTRE:  I've been to Spain a few times with my dad on vacation.  And the people in Spain, they are really friendly, and here with the team here, I've been learning a lot of stuff, Spain from the Euro side, and I think it's a very good team, and I think it's helped me be a teammate here and learn about a different country.

Q.  After having time to break down last night's game, your pitching, especially Richard Salazar, was fantastic.  What do you think you need to do to generate a little more offense, especially against a team like the Dominican?

MAURO MAZZOTTI:  We need to take advantage of every opportunity.  We had the opportunity yesterday, and we just hit into a double play and only made five or six hits per game.  Five or six hits also for them, but they put it together in the first inning, plus a few walks, a few hit‑by‑pitches, and that was the score.

Q.  As that game went along and after that first inning, were you thinking to yourself, not only have you stemmed that inning and the inning after it, but this could turn the other way so easily?  The notion that the game had gotten away from you early was over, and you say to yourself, we're in a really good spot now.  We just get a couple guys on and we're going to shock this place?

MAURO MAZZOTTI:  Well, we started a little nervous, a little tense, first time for some of them to play in this kind of competition, and that's why.  After that we just settled down and we played calm, we played our baseball, and we showed that yesterday that we could compete.

Q.  Obviously when you come here you want to win games, but what do you think it would mean for the development of baseball in Spain just for you to be competitive, even if you go home?  This isn't an easy draw for a new team.  What do you think it'll mean for baseball back in Spain if you even walk away from here feeling that you've competed?

MAURO MAZZOTTI:  Well, you know, first of all, we just showed that we qualified against other good teams, but they were like Minor League teams.  Now we're competing against Major League teams, and the media coverage and a lot of competition is way higher than that.

We need to do good.  We need to prove that we belong here, see the development of the Italian and other European countries, Italy and Holland who are doing good.  It's only our first WBC, we have to do good, and we want to come back.  In order to come back, we need to win one.

ENGEL BELTRE:  I think for the situation here and in Europe, we need to focus more on baseball, start playing baseball over there.  And the first sport over there is soccer and now they see us playing here at that level, and they're going to be prepared, and I think they're going to be more focused and try to make it to this big competition.