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Speaking of Schneider . . .

. . . he was just on XM Home Plate with host Holden Kushner. I attempted to transcribe the interview, which dealt with the World Baseball Classic, Schneider's defensive reputation, and the Soriano trade. What follows is the rather muddy fruit of my efforts:

XM: Excited about the opportunity to make the roster, to play in the WBC?

BS: Very honored; hopefully I'll make the final roster.

XM: Has/will the WBC caused you to change your preparation schedule?

BS: Not especially. I've got to be in shape, ready for pitchers and catchers, etc.

XM: Some pitchers on that American roster!

BS: Definitely. It's an honor, both for the chance to play for the US and to play alongside guys I grew up watching and respect as the best.

XM: Do you think your defensive prowess helped you be considered for a spot on the roster?

BS: It has helped me out much throughout my career. The main job of a catcher is not just to throw out runners and block the plate, but to handle a pitching staff. I've learned a lot last couple years, catching great pitchers and playing for great managers and coaches.

XM: Are you ready for the "passion" that will be present at the WBC?

BS: Better be ready! There are lots of great teams; Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela---these guys are already playing hard in winter ball, at the top of their games.

XM: The US roster has lots of great relievers---one tough closer after another! Street . . . to . . . Wagner.

BS: Yeah, that's the biggest eye-opener. Everybody's got offense, but pitching will really be our strong point. These are legitimate top starters and closers, not just set-up guys.

XM: How good is Chad Cordero?

BS: Very good. He's young and has a great mentality; if he blows one save, he'll forget about it and come back strong the next time. Happy he's on the preliminary roster.

XM: Catching for the WBC, you have to learn what these pitchers throw. That requires lots of homework, you have to make sure they're not overly pumped up, know what makes them tick . . .

BS: That's very tough. You can face guys all the time, but it's a different ballgame behind the plate. Motto is "Whatever they want; it's their game."

XM: You've been a player representative with the Nats/Expos for three years. What kind of concerns did the players have regarding the WBC?

BS: To make sure everything was guaranteed and covered. Injuries are always possible, and if they happen, they happen. So we wanted to make sure we're taken care of. And we are satisfied with that. So we'll be ready and healthy and in shape. Ready to go.

XM: Throwing out baserunners is your forte. Why have stolen bases been cut back since 1980s? What do the Nats do to stop the running game?

BS: It all starts with pitchers, and Randy St. Claire has done a great job on holding runners and being quick to plate. For the Nats, we say, "Keep 'em close, give me a chance." And it works.

XM: [The host] saw you and St. Claire in Ottawa, and you too seemed to work very well together. Is this continuity between players and coaches important?

BS: Yes, I've been with St. Claire since A-ball. The organization has worked on instilling confidence. And if you give your pitching coach and manager confidence you can throw out baserunners consistently, it will benefit everyone---in terms of strategy, morale, etc.

XM: How do you rate the Nats moves, especially Soriano?

BS: It's a Catch-22. The trade is great for team, first of all. But we hope everything works out with position issue, etc., and we hope he puts up the power numbers. At same time, Wilkerson was a great friend and work-out partner, so that was very tough. Plus, Sledge is a very good hitter, and it was difficult and too bad we had to lose both of them.

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In the previous post, I looked at Schneider's chances of making the Team USA roster. Obviously, Chad Cordero stands a good shot at making the team, too. But there are so many pitchers on the preliminary roster that I can't even begin to assess what his odds actually are.