KEN MACHA: We have not, on the roster.
That would be tomorrow then?
KEN MACHA: Scutaro and Jimenez are
going to be the starters. Is that your question?
No. You had the two backup guys,
Ginter and --
KEN MACHA: We haven't made that
Will that be tomorrow?
KEN MACHA: It's going to be tonight.
They're down there playing, also, and we're going
to talk to our people that are down there running
the process down there and see what their
What's made Polanco so successful
against you guys, and how important is it to
keep him down this series?
KEN MACHA: I want you to tell me that
(laughter), because I just looked at all the
match-ups. He hits a million off us. Somebody
said throw it, like, behind him and see if he can hit
it. I'm just kidding.
No, he's just a contact guy. Hits line drives
everywhere. Doesn't overswing. Really the only
pitcher we've got who gets him out is Saarloos.
Everybody else he kind of wears out. The law of
averages are going to even up in this series.
Obviously we've heard so much
about Moneyball, small budget teams,
et cetera. People say, Well, look at the
Yankees; they were going to buy the World
Series. They're not even getting to the next
round. As a guy who's been around sports a
lot, baseball, do you think going out and
getting the best players is sometimes
overrated, that there's so many other factors?
KEN MACHA: Well, the Tigers have built
an excellent pitching staff. When you get into a
short series, the pitching staff can go out and
dominate. Kenny Rogers goes out there and
throws the game that he did, and Bonderman,
that's just what's happening.
Over the course of a year, you're going to
see those pitchers several times, and they're
probably not going to be at the top of their game
like they were at that time. I think we were
fortunate to have clinched early and to have rested
our bullpen. I was able to bring in Duchscherer in
two of those games. He was very effective against
the Twins. He was a little bit of an MVP in that
series that went unnoticed.
Pitching a lot will come in and take over.
This particular series, they've got a great lineup,
and we've got some guys that have been swinging
the bats very well. But you look at the pitching,
they make their pitches, if we make our pitches.
This is going to be a tight, low-scoring series.
You clearly have more experience
than the Tigers do in the post-season, but so
too did the Yankees. Is post-series experience
overrated sometimes in your mind?
KEN MACHA: Well, their catcher did win
the World Series with the Marlins, so I don't think
we have anybody with a World Series ring. That's
probably important there.
Just to answer that question, as I look at
our club, that's the one thing I really like about it;
we've got some veteran guys that have been
around and that you kind of know what you're
going to expect to get out of them. So Chavez has
been playing quite a while, and Kendall and Kotsay
and Frank. We've got some veteran guys.
Pretty much you're going to get a pretty
solid performance out of those guys. So to that
extent, I'll agree with what you say. I respect their
team. I mean, Guillen has been in a playoff
situation. He's one of the best hitters on their club.
Rodriguez is back there, he's been all the way
through. He can let these guys know what it's all
about and be that example.
That's what a big boost for our club by
getting Frank here. He kind of led the charge in
August and September, and the rest of our guys
picked up on that and saw the way he handled the
pressure and all the situations going down there.
I'm sure with them having Pudge, this will be a big
help for them.
Could you describe a little bit about
the way that -- your feelings about the kind of
season? Frank Thomas was going to have
evolved as this season progressed from what
you were expecting of him early on to what he
became like in August and September?
KEN MACHA: Well, you know, in spring
training, he told me, "don't worry, I don't need any
at-bats. I'll be ready." We were just trying to get
the guy healthy. He had a hard time even running.
Some of the big days in spring training, Frank
jogged 50 feet. Well, that's progress.
And then his first spring training game he
steps up at his first at-bat he steps up and hits one
up in the rocks there in Phoenix, which was pretty
impressive. Still, coming into the season we knew
he could still hit. He had 12 home runs in 100
at-bats in the previous year, hit for power.
I think as the season went on and he got
more at-bats, he just got better. As the season
went on from the All-Star Break until we clinched it,
he played every game. That's a tribute to him and
our trainers. The work they did on his ankle, foot
bone, whatever it is, you go in there every game,
Frank has got both feet stuck in ice water and it
sits in there for 20 minutes.
That thing they say on TV, "Don't try that at
home." It's not very pleasant, but he does that
every night to get himself out there on the field.
He put a lot of work into it, and I know the
organization, myself included, are very
appreciative of what he did. He's been a big factor
in us getting where we are.
How important has the clubhouse
chemistry been in your team's success this
year and through the playoffs?
KEN MACHA: You know what, I've been
here eight years, four working for Art. This
clubhouse chemistry thing has been kind of a
constant. I normally hit the ballpark real early. We
were going to Minnesota and we were playing a
noon game, so I think Brad Fischer and I are
getting in there about quarter to 8:00. As we're
walking down the hallway, the music was already
These guys were ready to go already,
Swish and Frank, and there were a couple other
guys in there. They had the music turned up and
they were having breakfast and real loose.
We've got a great bunch of guys. They're
not just all one way. We've got a wide diversity of
personalities. Barry Zito is a lot different than Mark
Ellis or Kotsay, but they all get along and they all
have a common goal, and it's a pretty neat thing.
When you take a look at Detroit, are
you more impressed by the starting rotation
they bring out or the guys who come out of the
bullpen, and why?
KEN MACHA: I'll answer that question yes
(laughter). They led the league in pitching by a
pretty good distance. You bring in Rodney,
Zumaya out of the bullpen, not to mention their
closer, much like Duchscherer was for us.
Those guys can do the same thing. They
can close that gap, 6th, 7th, 8th inning and turn it
over to Jones. They're impressive all the way
through with their pitching.
A little connection here, their pitching
coach is one of my best friends in baseball. I'm
glad he got this opportunity to show people what
he can do. He's a great guy, and we worked
together when I was with the Angels.
As a matter of fact, we roomed together.
I'm happy for him he's gotten in this position. I
hope he's got bad instructions for these guys this
Everybody knows, obviously, the
importance of pitching proved again during the
first round of the playoffs. How old were you?
Were you in high school or college when you
realized as a batter how important pitching
KEN MACHA: Goodness. This is a test of
letting you know how old I am, period. That's a
hard one to answer. I know how difficult it was to
hit. I don't think you come to that realization until
you get into the management end of it, or when I
went down to the minor leagues and managed, or
the coaching end of it.
I played on some teams. The Montreal
Expos, we had some pretty good pitchers, Scott
Sanderson and Steve Rogers and David Palmer,
and they could go out and shut a team down and
keep you in the game all the time.
And I played for Dick Williams, and one of
his things was the defense and the pitching. The
two years I was up there, '79 and '80, we
competed, and it kind of put a highlight on it.
The other years I was with the Pirates, we
just got up there and swung the bat and didn't
worry about it. That might be it, in '79 and '80
when I played with the Expos.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.