WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC: POOL D
March 8, 2013Eastern Indiana Sports
THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and get started with Team USA. Open it up for questions.
Q. Did you get to see much of the first game here today? Were you here? And your reaction to Italy's two wins so far in the tournament?
JOE TORRE: Well, they're on a roll. They're on a roll. They look like they're playing with a lot of confidence. That's the charm, I guess you can say, of a short series; that you really shouldn't be surprised by anything.
Emotion plays such a huge part, especially a series when you're talking about country playing against country. And of course they had a very dramatic win yesterday, which I'm sure they were happy to play a day game, because they came right back and then still had that excitement going for them.
Q. Ryan, what's the feeling pitching for your country?
RYAN VOGELSONG: It really is a dream come true. I'm really excited for tomorrow. It's right up there for me as far as being in the World Series, being in the All?Star Game. It's something that I dreamed about as a young kid growing up watching the Olympics and tremendous honor to be in this locker room with these guys and put this Team USA jersey on.
I'm extremely excited for tomorrow to get here.
Q. Ryan, can you just take us through a little bit of the path that you have had to get here? Obviously you've played elsewhere in the world and to come here and now you've been in the World Series and to do this, can you take us through a little of that?
RYAN VOGELSONG: How much time do we have? Because it's pretty long.
To start with the Giants, traded to the Pirates, Japan for three years, pretty much forced to go to winter ball in the winter of 2010, back with the Giants. And the last two years have been tremendous.
People ask me all the time, you know, how much that had to do with being here, and I think it had?? my journey had everything to do with me being here. I think, first of all, it made me grow up as a person, as a man. It made me a better baseball player. And I think God had a plan for me. I think He wanted me to persevere and struggle through the first 13 years of my career to get to this point.
I wouldn't trade it for anything. People ask me all the time, Do you ever think about if things would have been different, your situation? And I say, No, because ultimately I got to where I want to be. And that's sitting in this room at this point right now, and I wouldn't change it for the world.
Q. Dale, I have a couple of questions for you. First, just throwing out the first pitch tonight. Can you just talk a little bit about how you feel about that?
DALE MURPHY: Well, first of all, I'm so thankful to be here and thankful that Joe called me up and asked me to be one of the coaches. I had my best years under Joe with the Atlanta Braves. So it's great to be back on the field with Joe.
To have this honor tonight and to be out there with Fernando, who we had our battles over the years with the Dodgers back in the '80s, it's just an honor. It's an honor to be a part of it. It's an honor to put on the uniform.
Like Ryan said, this is ?? you got to experience it to feel it. The guys that have done this before have told me and the other players, they said, You better be ready for Friday night because this is as competitive as a game as you're going to play in.
The adrenaline's going to be flowing. And I think that you can watch the highlights from past years, but I think of Jason Grilli ending the game yesterday, especially on the strike that wasn't, the ball that he thought was a strike, I mean, that adrenaline's pumping, and I'm sure it will be tonight. It is for me, and I'm just coaching first base.
But to be a part of this, the whole thing and the pregame ceremony and again with Fernando, it's just a lot of fun. I'm having a lot of fun for sure.
Q. The next question, you are into social media. Sometimes it's a little bit of a generational??
DALE MURPHY: Joe's a little worried about all my tweeting. So I've been a little reserved. But, yeah, it's a midlife crisis.
@dalemurphy3, in case you're wondering.
Q. How did you get into it? Did your kids encourage you?
DALE MURPHY: Oh, yeah, it was my kids. About two years ago they said, Dad, you ought to do this Twitter thing. I'm just like everybody else my age, I'm like, Okay, explain it to me.
I've had a blast with it. Obviously you got to be careful with it. But what I started doing was following current players in all the sports, and I thought it was the most remarkable thing to give fans some kind of an inside look at things and a contact with current players and personalities.
When I played, it was a little easier for people to have contact with players. Everything was toned down a lot more. There's a lot more security now, and understandably for a lot of reasons. But this is an unbelievable way for people to have contact with current players, and that's how I first got into it with my kids. And they had to correct me and said, Dad, you just sent out one of your text messages to Mom over Twitter. And I was like, Oh, go get some, you know?? I picked up the eggs and the milk or whatever, and they go, Dad, that just(laughter)??
And so, you know?? and then I got a tweet early on, and they said: Follow Murph. He tweets more than a Kardashian. So that got me going.
I've had a lot of fun with it. I love it. Fun to interact with the fans. And who would have thought you could interact this way with personalities and people and athletes? It's a lot of fun.
Q. I heard a rumor that you wanted Team USA to be the first baseball team to do the Harlem Shake, and Joe said no?
DALE MURPHY: No, Joe didn't say no.
JOE TORRE: I didn't know what he was talking about.
DALE MURPHY: Yeah, he didn't know what I was talking about.
But I made a decision, Joe, just to let you know, we're not going to do it. It's old. It's too old.
JOE TORRE: Thank you.
DALE MURPHY: Right? I'm right, aren't I? What's the word? It's over. It lasted two weeks. It's too old.
Q. In that vein, Joe, you were talking about this a couple of weeks ago when you said you had to go talk to your daughter to find out what tweeting even was.
JOE TORRE: Oh, initially, sure. That's how Murph found out, through his kids.
Q. Have you picked it up at all since then?
JOE TORRE: No.
Q. Do you want to pick it up?
JOE TORRE: You know, I'll never say never, but I doubt it. Let's put it that way. But I have?? my daughter with her assistance, when we were trying to raise money for our Safe At Home Foundation, Pepsi Cola was doing something for charities and we were?? so I definitely did that for a good cause, even though we fell a little short as far as doing what needed to be done.
Q. Murph, back to what she was asking you about, going back to the '83?'84, I mean, '83 was like the year you guys went to the playoffs. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that was one of the years that you're back?to?back MVP's, wasn't it?
DALE MURPHY: Yeah, '82 we went to the playoffs.
Q. Right. So what do you remember about that and how does it feel to be back with Joe and this sort of situation and another generation working as a coach?
DALE MURPHY: Yeah, well, Joe will remember, TBS that year actually followed us along with a camera and mic'd us all up, so we actually have that year documented. And I watched a lot of it last summer. 30 years ago, I guess. And what can I say? It was a crazy year. We won 13 in a row and then in August we lost 19 out of 21, and then we ended up sneaking in the back door the last day of the year, so last day of the season.
It was the most fun I had ever had playing baseball. It was the closest I ever got to the World Series. And it's hard to just realize it's that long ago. I feel some of the butterflies now that I did back then. It's a good feeling.
Q. Dale, of all the young players in the game today, who do you enjoy watching the most?
DALE MURPHY: That's hard to name one guy. There's a few. And some of them are on the team here. So that's really fun for me. I love to watch David Wright. I appreciate how he approaches the game. Ryan Braun. And I really?? of course I've done a few games on TV and radio with the Braves, so I'm a lot familiar with those guys. I love their two young stars, Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman. I love to watch those guys.
Those are some of the names that come to mind. There's a lot of other guys, but those are the first ones that come to mind.
Q. I know they're not here, but how about last year's two Rookie of the Years with Harper and Trout? Have you spent much time watching those guys?
DALE MURPHY: Yeah, I'm just like everybody else. I think that it's great to see guys that young play that hard, play the game the right way. And it's really fun to see. They're amazing talents. I just ?? they didn't pop into my mind like they should have, but I'll definitely pay to see those guys play as well.
Except Bryce Harper is in the same division as the Braves, so, you know, I got to be a little careful there. But what can I say? Miguel Cabrera just popped into mind for obvious reasons. I love to watch him hit.
But Trout and Harper, like I said, I would buy a ticket any day of the week to go out to the ballpark and watch those guys play ball.
Q. Joe, do you expect a final USA against the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Netherland, or Italy?
JOE TORRE: Well, selfishly speaking, whoever we play in the final game will be wonderful.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you, guys. We'll see you after the game.