Canada postgame interviews March 9

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

Q. A question for Chris and for Ernie. Is there a code? When you're up 9 3 in the ninth inning, can you bunt in a single? Is that from a baseball standpoint, is that good baseball? Is that bad baseball?

ERNIE WHITT: I'll answer that. In this tournament it's you play baseball like it's 0 0. That's the unfortunate thing.

What happened tonight is because of the rulings that they have. Regular baseball, during the season, you would never see that happening. But because of the run differential that they have, you play it like an 0 0 game the whole time. I mean, they stole the base in the 8th inning. They're down six or seven runs. Why do you do it? I mean, it's unfortunate what happened. It happened. They need to take a look at that.

Q. Ernie, by saying "They need to take a look at that," do you mean changing the rules or just better informing the players of those rules as the tournament goes on?

ERNIE WHITT: All the managers and coaches were informed of that at their technical meeting. We have talked to our players about it, that basically we are playing every inning as it's an 0 0. Our players knew it. And I was I assumed all the other players would know it too.

Q. To you two guys, Justin, you guys have all I'm sure been in these types of situations before in baseball games, but how different is it wearing the Canadian the pride that's going on, but also you got to be thinking about your future and not getting hurt and not getting to a point where something could happen to either one of you?

JUSTIN MORNEAU: Yeah, there's a point you got to stand up for yourself. We got hit for playing the game, and that happens, but at the same time you got to stand up yourself. You can't just get pushed around.

Obviously everyone wishes it didn't happen, but it happens in the game sometimes. I think we have all learned from being in the Minor Leagues that especially in low A ball, high A ball, those things get real crazy. There's not as much security. It starts to get out of control pretty bad, and I think you learn from that, you learn to keep your head on a swivel.

And obviously you don't want to see anybody get cheap shotted or anybody get hurt or anything like that, but you got to look out for yourself and look out for your teammates.

And it's an unfortunate part of the game, but I think it was handled as well as it could be, I guess.

ERNIE WHITT: Let me interject on that, if I could. Okay. He had one shot to hit our player. He missed him twice. So, yeah, I mean, something's got to be done about it.

Q. Ernie, did everyone was there anyone hurt in the fight, or is everyone for y'all OK?

ERNIE WHITT: You can't hurt us Canadians.

(Laughter.)

Q. Also, with that, after the fight, when there was the it looked like I guess a bottle was thrown, who did that hit, and was there?

ERNIE WHITT: We had a couple of things thrown at us. One of my coaches was hit. Denny Boucher was hit in the head with a bottle. Larry Walker was almost hit in the head with a ball. That's when I went out to the umpire, when I said: Another thing comes out, we're going to pull our team off the field.

Q. For any one of you three, is this incident the kind of thing that could affect the team in tomorrow's game, either positively or negatively?

ERNIE WHITT: Game's over. This game's over. We know what we have to do. We're out to play baseball tomorrow. It's an unfortunate incident that happened today. We didn't intend for it to happen. It happened. We move on. We knew going into today that basically we controlled our destiny. We had to win today; now we have to win tomorrow.

Q. Chris, you were involved in a lot of activity today with Team Mexico: takeout slide at second, collision at the plate, the bunt single. Did you see anything building during the game that might have led to that?

CHRIS ROBINSON: I don't think so. I think that we that's kind of our MO: We want to play the game hard. We play it properly. You get an opportunity to help a team, help your teammates by breaking up a double play or something, that's something that to do.

And that's the way that we play as a whole. That's the way I've always played. The play at the plate, that's baseball. People disagree with it, but our job I signed up to catch at some point and knowing that, and just unfortunate that it was the pitch after getting hit in the balls.

(Laughter.)

So I hadn't even caught my breath yet, so I was still talking in a soprano voice, so ...

Q. For both players. Now this is what's going to be seen all over the place, is just the fight; not the game itself. How does that make you feel in terms of what this competition I guess is supposed to be?

JUSTIN MORNEAU: Well, it's a part of the game you don't see all the time. But it is part of the game. It's unfortunate. Usually it's just words being said. There's not always punches thrown, or whatever it is.

But it was a really good baseball game. It was a good battle. Two teams fighting to stay alive in this tournament. Whoever says that guys are just here as an extra Spring Training game or just here to be say they represented their country and then go home obviously didn't see how intense that game was and what it means to everybody that was involved in it.

You had intensity from both sides and it was a good game and something unfortunate happened towards the end of it, but like Ernie said, we didn't bring yesterday's game into today's game and we won't bring today's game into tomorrow's game. We'll start over again and hopefully it's a good, clean game, but you never know what's going to happen.

Q. Ernie, you said that you would like to see them review the rule. How would you settle tie breakers? Do you have another method that you think would work?

ERNIE WHITT: Well, there's got to be another method other than the scoring runs, running up the score on the opposing team. No one likes that. That's not the way baseball's supposed to be played. There's a professionalism that we're all accustomed to here in North America. And unfortunately teams are knocked out of the tournament because other teams run up the score on them. Unfortunately that's what you have to deal with when you have that type of format.

JUSTIN MORNEAU: I think, Ernie, also we didn't advance in 2006 because of run differential too. We have been on the losing side of that before. So I think everybody is well aware of the impact of scoring extra runs and getting every run that you can, especially being down negative 10 after yesterday. So add that in there as well.

Q. Ernie, wading through all the political correctness, this would seem to fire up a bunch of plucky Canadians for tomorrow. Can you compare the mood of the team today as opposed to 24 hours ago?

ERNIE WHITT: Well, number one, Mexico did us a favor last night by knocking off USA, which gave us a chance. And basically we said at the start of the game we had a little meeting and just told them that we own our own destiny and we know what we have to do. We knew that we had to beat Mexico today and we have to beat USA tomorrow. And we have accomplished one step of that right now and we have got one more step to go. It's going to be a tough task, but we know what we have to do and we'll be ready.

Q. Ernie, are you aware of any chance of any suspension that could affect tomorrow's game?

ERNIE WHITT: I'm sure they're going review the videotapes. They threw out three of our guys, three of their guys. I don't know. We're mulling around in the middle. I don't know what they're going to see. Hopefully we'll be a part that process, because if there's suspension on our team, it affects us for tomorrow's game. So if there's suspensions for Mexico, it doesn't really matter at this point in time in the tournament, because they're not going on. So we want to be a part of that process.

Q. Ernie, I want to pick up on something. As you know, Canada's a hockey country. You mentioned a moment ago you can't mess with us Canadians or scare us Canadians. I forget how you exactly put it. This was a battle you didn't want. But is there a team bonding element to it in that they pushed you but Canada pushed back? I saw Canadian fans not backing down to Mexican fans; we saw Canadian players not backing down to Mexican players. Is there a factor X in that that you take and propel this team to the next big challenge against Team USA?

ERNIE WHITT: I don't know whether you do that or not, to be honest with you. We do what we have to do to win a ballgame. We protect ourselves, we protect the players, we protect our coaches. And whatever it takes, we'll do. It is a tight knit group that we have in that locker room. It's something that's been going on for a number of years. And a lot of people don't realize that, but we play the game, as I've said many times over, with pride and passion, and we'll do whatever it takes to win. And we'll fight for each other.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys, very much.