March 9 Team Canada interview

THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions for Team Canada.

ERNIE WHITT:  Okay.  We showed up today.  We're ready to go.  So, I mean, we'll go out and play the game.  And Mexico gave us a chance last night by them beating Team USA.

So we need to win today.  And after we win today, then we'll focus on tomorrow.

Q.  Can you talk about your first start, Jameson?

JAMESON TAILLON:  I'm excited to be here.  I'm really excited that I got such a great opportunity on such a big stage.  I'm really looking forward to it.  Going into it, just got an attitude that we got nothing to lose, go out there, give it everything, and it's in our hands now.  We got to do what we can do.

Q.  Both talk about the atmosphere right now in the clubhouse, what the team is thinking about this morning and how it feels in there.

ERNIE WHITT:  Well, we put yesterday behind us.  We'll go out and give it our best effort today.  Things like this, you just ‑‑ this is why you play the game.  Everyone comes in and they think Italy is a pushover, but I've been involved in international play for a long time, and there's no team that you can take lightly.

We go back from the beginning of the WBC in 2006.  We should have lost to South Africa, but the center fielder missed the ball and we were able to hang on for that.  And then in 2009 we lost to Italy, which I thought we were the better team.  This year I think Italy definitely has a better team than what they had in 2009.  But, again, that's why you play the game.

Q.  Ernie, have you kicked around the notion of maybe going ‑‑ or letting Chris Leroux go towards a 65‑pitch limit today if needed just to maybe save a couple extra arms for the U.S. tomorrow?

ERNIE WHITT:  Yeah, he's going to throw as long as he can.  We'll get him close to the 65.  We're in contact with the Pirates to make sure that's okay, but he's been up‑and‑down for three innings this spring already.  So we're hoping to push that to that limit anyways.

Q.  Ernie, the only real change to the lineup so far is Votto moving to first base.  Was there any thought given to trying to shake things up?  It looks like you're going with pretty much the same lineup as yesterday.

ERNIE WHITT:  No, it is what it is.  We will go with what I feel are the best players.  I can't take Votto out of the lineup, I can't take Moreno out of the lineup.  You're dealing with a lineup that the only thing I could change is maybe put Van Ostrand out in left field, but then we're shortening our defense at that point in time.  But I've got ty (h) and Van Ostrand coming off the bench as left‑ and right‑hand hitters.

So we just have to play the game and hit the ball, and our pitchers have to shut down the opposing hitters.

Q.  You mentioned that you could go with Van Ostrand in left.  Given how teams just continually line up lefties against you guys, how did you debate the balancing of trying to get that additional right‑handed bat in the lineup?

ERNIE WHITT:  Well, again, they're throwing a righty against us today, so we're starting the same lineup.  There might be a change tomorrow.  But we're considering it.  You don't have a lot of options, to be quite honest with you.

We're just a left‑handed ‑‑ predominantly left‑handed hitting team, so there's not really a lot of options to have.

THE MODERATOR:  All right.  Thank you, guys, very much.