Venezuela Postgame Interview March 10

Q. Having played in this World Classic, how did it go being part of the Venezuela team, your experience? And obviously after this Classic, your next step is to get ready to be with the Colorado Rockies.

CARLOS GONZALEZ: Well, to me it's an honor always to represent my country. It's really been a great experience despite the results. To share with the players of our country is something that I always dreamed to be here ever since the 2006 Classic, when I was training in the Minor Leagues. And it was that I set as a goal, and I was very happy to be part of Venezuela. And obviously I would do it in any other circumstances.

And with regards to the Rockies, well, now I'll have to prepare myself to go back with them and go back to Spring Training, and keep on working hard for what the great season is going to be. I'll always be representing my country wherever I go with the Colorado uniform. A lot of people support us, but we're in the Big Leagues and we hope to have another great year.

Personally I always want to be healthy, which is what has cost me the last few years, not being in the lineup daily. And I know that with all these games and the opportunity, I'll get to be able to achieve a lot of things, and that I will put up some good numbers.

Q. One of the things that was criticized was Venezuela's hitting. Today it exploded. How do you feel now that you did bat in this game? And how is that going to be from now on? How are you going to go with the Rockies?

CARLOS GONZALEZ: Yes, it's not a secret things did not work out well. Offensively there is no one to blame; things just happen. We didn't hit, we didn't pitch well, we didn't play defense in the first game against the Dominican Republic. A lot of players think that because that's why today we are packing up and going back home, and it's disappointing for us, for the fans, also, as well as simply we have to keep moving forward and think about the future.

I mean, it's not easy, it's such a short series that anything can happen, and obviously the Venezuela team is going home.

Q. How difficult was it to prepare for today's game knowing that unfortunately that game did not have the meaning that you would have wanted, and you fell behind 3 0 early in the game? Coming from the disappointment of yesterday, how difficult was it to stay in it and keep on playing?

CARLOS GONZALEZ: Well, we are professionals, and every time we have a uniform on, we're going to go out to try to win. That is our goal. We knew that today's game didn't mean anything; we weren't going to the next round. The same way, winning or losing, we were going to go to the same place. But we played to win. I mean, we just tried to win in any game.

Things didn't come out right, we were losing 3 0 early in the game, but we knew we would respond. That's how we thought in the first two games, it didn't happen, so we didn't get to where we wanted.

Q. You all were together for the three days before the start of the tournament. Do you believe that it's necessary to have any change in either the schedule or in the format of the tournament, for the teams to have more time together, to be able to practice more and maybe have a better performance than what you had here?

CARLOS GONZALEZ: Of course. I mean, Spring Training was invented for a reason, and that's what Spring Training is, you get in shape. We have quite a few exhibition games, and to try to get in good shape for Opening Day in the Big Leagues. In the World Baseball Classic that just doesn't happen. It's such a short tournament, and teams can get in a slump.

Our team, we were ready, big name players, players that have proved themselves in the Big Leagues. Things didn't happen, and so part of the big reason is that, that we did not have the good preparation.

I would say yes, that if this Classic was played in other circumstances when we were at a good level, teams that everybody knows could win the championship like Venezuela, we wouldn't play the same we played in this series.

Q. You say everybody is packing up to go back to training camps, and the fans who had everything ready to be in Miami, I mean, confident. What can you tell them? What can you tell them regarding the early exit?

CARLOS GONZALEZ: Well, baseball is not an easy game. You don't win by simply looking at a lineup. You have to play ball and you have to play in a good way, and we played bad baseball. We didn't pitch well, we didn't hit well, and you don't deserve to win, and we did not deserve to be in the second round, and that's why we didn't qualify. That's why we're disappointed like the fans are disappointed. A lot of people see Miguel Cabrera in the lineup and they expect a lot of good things, but it didn't happen. We didn't play good. We did not take advantage of the opportunities. We did not create opportunities for ourselves, and that's why we're going back home.

And with respect to the fans, I mean, it's understandable that everybody is frustrated. I mean, a lot of people expected good things for our country in our pool, but that's baseball. On the other hand it leaves a professionally strong team like Dominican Republic, like Puerto Rico, who also have proven players in the Big Leagues, and many surprises it seems like Italy is going to be in the second round. You understand that baseball is difficult every day, and is not as easy as it seems.

Q. What is the environment like in the clubhouse? Because we cannot go inside to talk to you guys. What's the environment, the mood amongst yourselves, especially because of the situation you're going through in Venezuela? Is that the reason why you guys did not do what you usually do in baseball?

CARLOS GONZALEZ: No, really, I mean, we as professionals, as I said before, you simply have to separate everything that may be going on outside of the playing field. I mean, even if you have personal problems, you have to go to the playing field, you've got to put on the uniform and you have to focus on what you have to do. Obviously we are all sad, we are all disappointed with the way that we played, but there's no other explanation. I mean, we all feel the pain caused by yesterday's defeat.

And today we came with the same mood, defeated but knowing that we had to show up, and we had to play, and we had to put in the effort because we are a team that could not leave without at least a victory.