March 2006

A great night for Mexico

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Photos by Ben Platt / MLB.com

First off — I don’t want to talk about me tonight. It’s not about me, it’s
about what we did. I want everyone to know that this is a team game and what we
did tonight was for our team and our country. We wanted to go with our chin up
and play our best tonight. We wanted to say goodbye to our crowd — we had an
amazing crowd tonight and we got the win. Our pitching, offense and defense was
so great tonight. The controversial call on Valenzuela’s missed home run was a
little unfair. I saw the replay and it looked like a home run; but, we got the
win and celebrating with my teammates on the field after our victory was a
special experience. What we did tonight was for Mexico and nothing else.

Dsc_0744_1What we did as a team these past two weeks meant everything to us as a team
and to our country. Our dream team is now big in Mexico. Like I said before:
it’s all about pride and being able to hold your chin up and battle with the
best baseball countries in the world.

Tonight I saw the legendary Juan Marichal walk by. In 16 or 17 years
from now I hope to be like Marichal: a legend in baseball. I want to
recognized here in the United States and in Mexico and everywhere else in the
world. That’s what every ballplayer dreams to be. You just need keep that dream
and work hard to head into that direction.

This blog has been a lot of fun for me. I check all the responses every
day. I don’t have time to respond to everyone; but it’s been fun to read all of
your responses and your enthusiasm has rubbed off on me and it’s made me even
hungrier to raise my game to a higher level for all of you.

So to all of you I appreciate your support big-time and you are always
welcome to write in and I will try and respond to you. I have my computer with
me all the time and when there is a free moment you will hear from me. But now
it’s time to get back to Florida and catch up with my other team — the Devil
Rays
. Let me get back into the swing of things in Florida and when the season
starts I may keep this going.

Thank you again for sharing this amazing experience with me.

Jorge

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A great experience

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Photos by Ben Platt / MLB.com

Hi everyone, it’s been a couple of days and during that time we played two
games against the two Asian teams — Korea and Japan — and they are very tough
teams. They have great pitching and they shut us down for those two games —
there’s nothing you can do about it, it’s baseball. To me those games are in the
past; I’m glad we played them. We now know how good they are on a baseball field
and that’s something to remember for the future. We’re going to play the
Americans this afternoon and we’ll keep our chin up and play with pride. It was
nice having a day off yesterday. You know what I did? Nothing, absolutely
nothing. I pretty much stayed in my hotel room, did a little shopping with my
dad and just rested — no trips to Disneyland — just hung out and talked to
some friends. I needed the break.

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There’s a lot of things I’ve been taking in during this tournament and one
memory I’ll always have with me is that I was on the same team as Fernando
Valenzuela
. If you are Mexican you know who Fernando is (photo below) and I am so honored that
he’s been here with us. He has brought his incredible experience to this team
and we all want to be like him in the future. Vinny Castilla is that way in the
eyes of Mexico and the younger players on this team. He’s the power hitter. I
just go step-by-step, living day-by-day and hopefully people will one day look
up to me the way they do to those two great players.

I’m a little surprised this tournament has caught on as quickly as it has
with the fans. It’s been such a fast turnaround from its creation to us actually
playing. This is the right time of the year to play it. If we did this after the
season I think a lot of people would be fatigued from a long season. It’s been
great. I’m getting my work in and I’m getting ready for the season at the same
time we’re playing some good baseball with the Mexican team.

It’s been great just being a part of this first tournament. I gotta go and
get ready for our game today. I’ll have a few more thoughts later on.

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Ready for Round 2

Jorgeatanaheim

Ben Platt / MLB.com

Hi, everybody. I have to tell you, this has just been fun traveling around with this team. It’s been a lot of laughs along the way and to be here in Anaheim for the second round of this World Baseball Classic just means everything to us and to the people of Mexico. We are trying to prove to everyone that we are really, really doing it and we are going to make that dream happen.

There are a lot of Mexicans here in Southern California and in Arizona, too, and boy, does that help. We love the support so our fans back in Mexico, watching on TV, realize what kind of fans we have in this country. So far it’s been like a packed house, and for us that just makes it wonderful to play.

I know one thing . . . I heard about the Korean fans, with their cheering sections and their thundersticks. So there’s going to be competition on the field and in the stands, which means the team with the best fans wins. I like a lot of people in the stadium; I like the atmosphere it brings.

People have been asking me if I was shocked that we are seeded over the U.S. in this round. I wasn’t shocked at all. We played hard — it just came down to the combinations with the U.S. and Canada — because I guess we were all tied up. We just played hard, tried to score a lot of runs and our pitching really held up — they didn’t allow too many runs and that got us into first place. We didn’t expect this, but playing hard paid off for us.

JoeI got a call today from my other manager, Joe Maddon, who wanted to know how I was doing, what was going on and what the scenarios are — which is good — I know they are supporting me in Tampa Bay. I think Joe knows that we are facing great pitching here in the tournament from the teams that we have played and that I’m handling it pretty well — especially after the Canada game. I felt like I was ready for the regular season and that’s how you want to feel.

My teammates and I feel like we are in mid-season form right now and we have a great team in the Major Leagues. Everybody is feeling confident and going out there to prove themselves. We really are the dream team from Mexico and we are going to play like that.

I’ll let you know how we did against Korea.

Durazo

Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images

The first two games

Cantuswinging

Let’s start todays blog with the game against Team USA. First of all I was very nervous. I got the adrenaline flowing as soon as I woke up that day. Just to let you know, I couldn’t eat before the game. I was so pumped for that game and now the people in Mexico know what kind of quality we have. Team USA got away with a win. We both have good pitching staffs and the game was very close, but they were a little better on that day.

Next up for us was South Africa. Everything went well for us and we won 10-4. I hit my first home run of the Classic. I am starting to get into that rhythm and get in season shape. The rest of the lineup is getting loose with the bats and looking relaxed at the plate and thankfully we hit well against South Africa. We hope it’s the beginning of good things to come and we score a lot of runs. Today’s game with Canada will be a great match just like the game against the USA.

Today we win or we go home, it’s just that easy. And I don’t think anyone wants to go home yet. Whoever wins is going to the next round for sure, and Canada doesn’t want to lose to us. So we we’re going to go out there and bust our butts. Everyone is going to do his part and hopefully we do it together and wrap it up.

The best part has been the Mexican fans. They come from back home to support us and they realize what kind of baseball we are playing. They have been really supportive and that’s the most important thing for me. I want to thank all the Mexican fans, because we are playing for them and our country.

Mexicofan

First game against USA

Fox
Mexico President Vicente Fox

Its been a great adventure and the WBC is a great event. It’s unbelievable and I’m just so proud to be playing for my country. In the back of my mind I feel bad leaving my team behind in Tampa, but they are supporting me and even our new manager Joe Maddon is supporting me while I’m here and playing against all these all stars. It doesn’t get any better than that and I’m enjoying every single minute of it

We played and exhibition game in Tucson against the Diamondbacks and it was great. The whole stadium was for Mexico. It’s right there on the border and that’s what we want. The support out here has been great and we want to take advantage of that. It’s going to be huge and we are excited about it and we are going to do our best.

I have a lot of family coming out for this. My family and friends are all going to be here all with the big sombreros rooting for the team. They got in late last night and got to mingle with the players from the USA and Canada and South Africa and that’s a thrill for them as it is for me. That’s the beauty of baseball. You never know where you are going to be and in what situation..

We play the USA today and it is going to be a great game. Both teams are strong and have strong pitching and the best team is going to win.