Miguel Tejada pregame interview March 10

Q: You didn't have so much time in training camp. How will that affect your play with the Royals?

MIGUEL TEJADA: Well, how can I tell you, the Kansas City Royals knows the quality of player that I am, and I believe in the few times that I have been in training camp I showed them that I am very good physically, very well physically. The game I've always played, I played in training, and I believe that unfortunately I am not playing here every day. But how can I tell you, yesterday I played, everybody saw what I did, and I'm going to be there waiting for the opportunity to be able to play again. And when I get a chance to play, I'm not going to be thinking of Kansas City seeing me, I'm thinking just of helping the team out.

Q: You've been in three World Classics, how do you think the chemistry is here in the dugout in the Classic with the chemistry of other previous Classics?

MIGUEL TEJADA: Well, I think that to win any kind of tournament that you do, long or short, that's right, the chemistry is the most important thing, the integration, the unity on and off the field. The difference this year is that maybe many have not noticed is that this team came with a lineup, which is most important, we have a lineup where every day it's the same people, and that's different than the previous years. Everybody knows when they're going to play. We don't have two players by position like in previous years. And I believe that has been the most important thing that has happened. That's why we have such good chemistry because everybody knows what role everybody has, and that's why everybody is happy.

Q: Tony said that you're going to alternate. How did you adapt to the situation?

MIGUEL TEJADA: Well, how can I say? As I said in the beginning, I came here to help this team. I came here to obey orders, to do whatever for the team. I thank God I feel very good physically to play any position where the manager wants me. I mean, I think the most important thing is that I'm happy to be here regardless of whatever role that maybe not doing what I usually do, but I'll do anything for the team. I will be prepared for when the manager needs me, I'm going to be ready to do 100 percent for the team.

Q: Three Classics, maybe this is the last one. How did you feel when you started on third base at the moment that the game started? How did you feel?

MIGUEL TEJADA: Fine, fine. I felt really good because for me I feel proud, and I also thank God, and I thank God and thank all those people in the Dominican Republic who have always supported me and given me support and kept me in this game with their goodwill and their good comments. So I feel happy. I feel happy and glad being one of the participants in this Classic and seeing the mood of others, and now being a little bit older and being able to contribute, I mean, it gives me pride. And I don't want to say it's the last one, but everyone knows that it's every four years, and I don't know if I'm going to be in the next one as a ballplayer.

But the most important thing is that I'm here now and that I'm happy, and God willing, God is going to give me what we're looking for in this Classic.

Q: (Inaudible).

MIGUEL TEJADA: Well, the message that I give to my people in the Dominican Republic is that they have 28 players and coaches that are here at war. We came to battle, and it is a war where we came to defend that flag. And me and those guys, the country stops when we play, and everybody has seen what we do and what we're going to continue to do because our country feels that they have one of the best player talent, and they have the hope of reaching a championship in the World Classic. The only thing I tell my country is stay with us, say prayers for our health to be positive about this team because I think that's the most important thing for all those guys that are there, to stay healthy so we can move on to the end.

Q: A lot of people agree, and I count myself, that your situation goes beyond the playing field, even if not being in the lineup you can collaborate in the clubhouse. Do you enjoy that role? Do you think you're going to be next to Tony Peña helping him out?

MIGUEL TEJADA: Of course, of course, that's what I've always done. Each of those guys enjoy having me here. They enjoy what I do, they enjoy how I try to help them, and it fills me with pride to be helping them out outside of the game. And if I can help them by mouth, I'll help them, and I feel proud.

Q: One thing that you said just now, you said this may be your last Classic but you may be with the team in another way. Would you consider the possibility of staying involved in baseball when you retire as a ballplayer?

MIGUEL TEJADA: Well, you very well know that I'm a baseball man, I love this game on and off the playing field, so I'm the kind of person that's going to be in this game always. I don't know in what way because I mean, you don't know how you're going to end up. But yes, after I dedicated the time to myself and my family, a bit more time, I will make the decision. And if it's a World Classic to keep on representing Dominican Republic, then it will be good. I will see how. But I would like to. I hope that we're alive for the next one.

Q: Your opinion about Venezuela's early elimination?

MIGUEL TEJADA: Well, look, I believe that for everyone who is in the World Classic and for everyone who is a baseball fan, it has been a sad experience for all of Venezuela. Dominican Republic already went through that, so I'm very sorry. I'm very sorry for those Venezuela guys because luck was not with them. I know they gave 100 percent on the playing field, because I know them all and I know how great they are and how much of winners and how much they love to represent their country. But I'm sorry for Venezuela's fall, but everybody would have liked Venezuela to go with us having ballplayers of the quality of Miguel and Carlos and all those guys and keep on giving a good face to baseball. Unfortunately that's what happens; sometimes you win and there will be others later. But we hope in the next Classic they don't get careless like we got the other time.