Edinson Volquez, Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes interview March 11

Q.  Tomorrow you'll face Italy, a team that has surprised the whole world.  It's a team that you don't know the players.  What has been your focus to face a team in which you don't know the way the players play, their offense?

EDINSON VOLQUEZ:  I pitch with what I have, nothing special, try to be more aggressive in the strike zone.

Q.  Only 11 pitches the first day, on Saturday, against the Venezuelan team.  You did not come back.  The rain delay took 50 minutes.  Is that usual?  Can those situations affect you to have pitched that day, then to come back to another game here in the Classic?

            EDINSON VOLQUEZ:  I don't think so because we had that routine.  We had an excellent bullpen yesterday, so we'll be good enough to pitch our best tomorrow.

Q.  José, how could you describe what is happening in the Dominican Republic from inside because people will be ‑‑ teams with big names, and they think that everything that happened with the Venezuelan team, you seem to be more United.

JOSÉ REYES:  I think the union and chemistry of our team is something that has helped a lot.  We are not overconfident.  We are going outside the field, we are giving 110 percent.  We know what has happened in the previous games, and we are taking it one day at a time, which is the important thing.

Q.  Hanley and José, how do you feel to be back in the city where you played and where you have so many friends, and in fact work at this park?

HANLEY RAMIREZ:  That's right.  Since we came into the stadium the workers are really happy, and that gives us great happiness, that support that we've always had from there is still there.

JOSÉ REYES:  We feel like we are home.  It's not like I lasted too long as Hanley in Miami.  I was here for one year, the fans treated me very well.  I'm very grateful to the fans, and as Hanley said, all the workers were greeting us, good for you guys, keep on playing hard.  That's always satisfying.

Q. Both of you having played here and coming back under weird circumstances maybe leaving, you in the offseason, you last year, how does it feel to come back? Do you remember good things, bad things?  What sort of memories come up for you guys when you walk back into this place?

HANLEY RAMIREZ:  I think José and I, we don't keep bad things in our minds.  We put that away on the side and just keep getting better and keep it positive in our head.  When I think about all the times that we are here, I think about the fans and the team, everybody treats us good, and we've got good memories here that we ain't never going to forget.  And we're really happy to be back in here.

JOSÉ REYES:  Like Hanley said, we have unbelievable memories here, and I had the opportunity to play here for one year, and the fans, they showed me a lot of love, and just happy that they can see me one more time here.  I know I don't want to play for the Miami Marlins no more, but I'm glad I'm back here and they can see me one more time.

Q.  A lot of people ask about the harmony and the devotion that you have for the Dominican Republic, but that's because you give of yourself and you want the Dominican Republic to go far in this Classic.  Hanley playing third base, apparently you have not been given the approval, and he's been appointed by rotating in right field.  Is this a sign that you are willing and you are after the goal that the Dominican Republic can win the Classic?

HANLEY RAMIREZ:  For us the team has only one goal, which is to win and to take the crown.  That's what we are working for.  So if that's the way that we can reach that far, you cannot do otherwise but to accept it.  That's why we decided to be here.

JOSÉ REYES:  Well, you know that we are warriors in this work, and we are here for only one reason, to take the crown back to the Dominican Republic.  We know what happened the first Classic.  Right now we are playing together.  When you have a team that is playing together, you go out the big door.

 

Q.  About Tejada, to see a player that gives so much of himself, what's that like?

HANLEY RAMIREZ:  We got to study him, we see him with that harmony and that enthusiasm for the game.  That's one of our players that we have to admire, because there are only a few players who give of themselves as he gives on and off the field.

JOSÉ REYES:  For me Tejada, the way he gives of himself on the field, he tries to help the team win, and that's for us, for the young players, how we learned the way Tejada gave of himself on the field.  When you're a young person, you see how Tejada can still do it, but he has that passion inside, but that's something that we are still learning as players.

Q.  How does it feel to be on the same side of the infield together again?

HANLEY RAMIREZ:  It's fun.  Being next to him is something that you've got to be proud of.  He's one of those more exciting players in the game.  Everybody talks about how he plays the game, and he comes to play every day.  For me it's always going to be a pleasure.

JOSÉ REYES:  For me it was a blessing to play with Hanley.  I would see Hanley for so many years from the other side, and last year just to have the opportunity to play on the same team with him was an unbelievable experience.  Now we're here in the WBC together again.  That's something we're never going to forget, and hopefully we can take the big trophy to Dominican Republic and maybe we can enjoy it more.

Q.  This is a question for both of you.  In several opportunities what happened in the previous Classics, in the first Classic you got to Santiago but in the next Classic you did not go beyond Puerto Rico.  Was there something that happened in the Dominican Republic in 2009 for the Dominican Republic to get united so you can do what you've done so far?

What I have seen different in this Classic different from the previous Classics is that everybody is more focused, and it's become more 100 percent because you know you are representing a country where everybody is expecting that, and everybody is happy to be here.  Some of the players that haven't played yet that are still sitting on the bench, they are still happy to be there.  A team that plays like that, there is nothing that can defeat them.

What we were missing the previous Classics, as I said, we were too overconfident, and in baseball any team can win.  The way they cover the field, we are the favorite, but the difference this year, as Hanley said, we are more focused.  We go out to the field to win each game and do the pitching like it's the last pitching of the game.  That's what will help us reach where we want to go.