Saturday, December 31, 2005

Ken "Joe Morgan" Macha

I recently came across an interview Ken Macha gave at the winter meetings. Naturally, most of what he said was idiotic or non-sensical; this is Macha after all. And since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I would like to make some flattery towards one of my favorite blogs out there, and pretty much completely rip off their style. Original thought is soooooooo last year.

So, from this Macha interview, I intend to do just that.

Q. How much have you thought about the pitching staff next year, knowing there could be significant changes? Is it too early to even toying with stuff like that?

KEN MACHA: One of the positive things I've thought about is right now we've got 11 quality Major League pitchers. You've written about seven starters that we have, and then you've got Calero and Witasick under contract. Going into the season last year, we were not sure at all what we had. We had some young and some good arms so now we've got 11 guys that have proven they can go out and pitch and pitch well. So that's my thought right now.

I think a lot has been made of having too many starters. I don't think that's a difficult problem. That's a nice problem to have. Joe Kennedy pitched very well out of the bullpen. I'm not saying that's where he's ticketed to go just yet.

Part of our turnaround in the second half, particularly right after the All-Star Break was due to what he had done, pitching in the bullpen. So when you've got 11 good pitchers, that's something positive to look at.

This is a pretty good way to start the interview. Ken was asked two questions, and somehow didn't answer either one of them. What he did think about, however, was that having 11 good pitchers is a good thing. I guess I'd agree with him on that, but it didn't really answer the question as asked. This is going to be a common theme throughout the interview, so brace yourselves for that. And Joe Kennedy's addition to the bullpen had nothing to do with the turnaround. The turnaround began on May 30; Kennedy arrived on July 11th. But he was close. Close to only being mostly retarded, instead of completely.

Q. Is there a need for a guy with big game, more of a veteran, experienced guy in that staff?

KEN MACHA: We don't have a guy that's a big name veteran guy?

Saucy, sarcastic Ken. He's talking about Barry Zito here. Ken, you adorable little ragamuffin. You are so deliciously evil.

Q. Do you feel this is an important year just in terms of showing that he can stay healthy for six months and make 30-plus starts and pitch 200-plus innings?

KEN MACHA: Well, I don't know if you would say it was important. I mean, he's under contract for how many more years. I think probably important for himself and his psyche to be able to go out there, 30-plus starts, give us 200 innings and win some ballgames for us. So I know that not having him in May and then again August and September has really hurt our club, not having him for the whole year would be important for me and important for the A's.

Allow me to repeat what Ken said here. "Not having [Harden] for the whole year would be important for me and important for the A's."

Important, professor? Not having one of the best pitchers in baseball for the whole year would be "important," for both you and the A's? This is our manager, A's fans. Ken Macha, the broken thesauras.

Q. Would you be surprised if Barry is not back with you guys next year?

KEN MACHA: Let me put it this way: I want Barry back. I hope he's back. I think he made a nice jump in his overall game last year, and a nice jump in the leadership qualities that he has in a pitching staff. With all of those young guys behind him, he led by example, he was our lead guy, the No. 1 guy going out there. And when you're that guy, you're pitching against the other team's best people, too. So overall, I think 13, that's still a pretty good year. Who knows, there might be improvement from there.

Once again Ken fails to answer the question. But he did go on another 8 sentence tangent covering everything from Zito's win total (which, naturally, he got wrong) to who he was pitching against. You'd think a guy who excels in the monosyllabic would be able to answer a question that only requires a one syllable answer, but I guess not.

Q. Any help from your Minor League system that you feel will be a surprise in Spring Training?

KEN MACHA: Well, Andre Ethier had a great year in AA and was promoted to AAA. We saw him in Spring Training a little bit. For the most part, all of your young guys were there last year, so we're looking for, I don't know, if you look around at Ellis, relatively short amount of playing time, two years, I believe, Crosby two years now, Swisher in his second year and Dan Johnson, and then the pitching staff are real young there. So we've got a lot of young guys there. We're hoping they can continue their progress.

Ken was asked about minor leaguers who might be a surprise in spring training, and reeled off the names of Mark Ellis, Bobby Crosby, Nick Swisher, and Dan Johnson. Minor leaguers all of them. He came so dangerously close to giving a thoughtful, cogent answer when he was briefly talking about Andre Ethier (the interview was given when Ethier was still on the team), but thinking linearly must have given Ken headaches, so he decided to go off on another wild tangent.

Q. Given the fact that three of your pitchers are still in the development stage of their big league careers and Barry, they have all given Barry a lot of credit for helping them through last year, how much is that a part of your desire to have Barry back?

KEN MACHA: I think the cohesiveness of the staff is very important. I know I'm sitting on the bench and when these guys are out pitching, I'm always counting making sure all the of the guys not pitching that day are on the bench. The togetherness of the team and the way those guys helped each other out was tremendous. I'm hoping very much that we can keep Barry.

Didn't actually answer the question here, either. He did say that he wanted Barry back in the interests of cohesiveness, but I suppose a brief statement on how the return of Zito would help Harden, Blanton, and Haren continue to develop would be too much to ask. Kind of like how a decent lineup is too much to ask.

Q. Do you think it will happen?

KEN MACHA: Do I think it will happen? We want to keep him. What are the odds? If it was up to me, 95 percent he's coming back it.

I just look at Dan Haren and I think we're going to try to encourage him to use his changeup a little more this year. He's got great stuff, the other pitches that he throws, he has a tendency to get his pitch counts up a little bit. The way Barry uses his changeup, just Dan watching the way Barry uses his changeup would be helpful for Dan.

If we can get him to get his pitch count down a little more and a little further into the game, I think some of the times as I can remember he had some games where 115, 120 pitches. And then the next game, it kind of took a toll. He's not going to admit that but he got nicked around a little bit in the next game. If we can get him to stay in a little bit over 100 to 110 and still get out of the game I think it would be helpful overall.

If we can get another right-handed bat that's a power threat in the lineup, that would be very good. Chavez, Dan Johnson, Swisher is a little better from the left-hand side, get those right-handed bats, spread everything out would be a big help.

If it were up to you, 95% he's coming back? What the hell does that even mean? He's asking your opinion here. Do you think Zito is coming back, he wanted to know. If you had said that you were 95% sure that Zito would be returning, that would have answered the question. Naturally, you failed. And that three paragraph tangent on Dan Haren's changeup, pitch counts (not even sure if you're talking about Zito or Haren here) and the need for a right handed hitter that has less than nothing to do with anything is merely icing on the retard cake. This is probably my favorite answer Ken gave, just because it's so god damn stupid. Just like Ken. I doubt that even Military codebreakers could decipher this nonsense, so I'm not even going to bother.

Q. Are you still leaning towards Jason leading off?

KEN MACHA: Not necessarily. I think Ellis. I'm thinking Ellis has earned the right to go hit lead off. So where that puts everybody else in the lineup, we'll have to see.

YES!!! Not only did Ken give a clear, concise answer to the question, but it also makes sense from a baseball standpoint. My world was just turned topsy-turvy, and I'm not sure what to think anymore. This reminds me of the way my head was spinning moments after I got my first blowjob at 17, right before I took a nap. When I woke up, I believe I drank a Snapple. Mango Madness has always been my flavor of choice.

Q. What are the chances of Nick getting more time at first base?

KEN MACHA: That will depend on what we do, if we're getting another bat. I think it's going to be important to have four bench players, four guys that are able to go in there and not sit like we did with Adam last year, he was sitting the whole season. If we can get people a little more involved, maybe we can get more production.

So see if we get a Frank Thomas, then you're looking at a number of positions where Payton, Kotsay, Swisher, Johnson, Frank Thomas, you've got five guys for six spots and you should be able to make sure everybody gets a whole lot of playing time. It's not like you have six players for three spots, and still give everybody some rest. Like Kotsay, he had gotten his rest, as compared to giving him a day off and maybe not losing him for four or five, seven days.

Once again, this interview was before the Bradley trade, so Ken's first sentence actually does make sense. What doesn't make sense, however, are the two paragraphs following that. First of all, between the outfield, DH, and 1B, there are only 5 spots, not 6. And whose fault do you think it was that Melhuse was sitting all season? You had the worst catcher and worst DH in baseball, and yet you still found a way to get Melhuse less AB's than Keith Ginter, you fucking moron. And that last sentence about Kotsay might as well be in another language.

Q. When did he have surgery? Did he not have surgery?

KEN MACHA: You're asking the wrong guy. He said he didn't want to have it from what I understand. Can't make the guy have it. They think it's manageable. After all, he only missed -- what did he miss last year? Two, three, maybe three games. That's really a lot to ask out of a guy.

Asking you anything is asking the wrong guy, but I do find it funny that somwhere in that 7 sentence rant about nothing is the fact that Chavez and the team doctors decided against surgery. Do we give you half credit because the correct answer was in your answer, or do we attribute it to the "million monkeys working on a million typewriters" syndrome? Yeah, I'm going to have to go with the latter.

Q. Is he a guy who is really a better player with protection with a hot-hitting Crosby or a healthy Frank Thomas?

KEN MACHA: 2004, his discipline at the plate was terrific. He led the league in walks, I believe.

This year, got a little bit away from that. Be it protection or whatever, he's trying to do too much. He's trying to do too much, then you're having somebody behind him would probably help him out.

He said that he played 160 games, he went out there every game. One of the things I admire about Eric is just watching him from afar, he enjoyed going out there. He had fun when he went out there and played, his intensity level was always high, and he's got a great desire to win. So he's got a lot of positive things going for him. I mean, you can always look at certain parts of his game and pull it apart and be negative about it but you could probably do that with every player. For me, he had a good year.

Yet another question Ken doesn't answer. We're all glad that Eric has fun and has a great desire to win, but the question was whether or not he would benefit from some more protection in the lineup. Even studies done by scholars have been unable to conclude whether protection is a quantifiable commodity, so I certainly don't expect a half-wit like Ken to give a definitive answer on the subject, but talking about Chavez' walks and his intensity level is just precious. Preciously retarded.

Q. What is it about Gerald Perry that made you go with him?

KEN MACHA: Well, working with Gerald, I enjoyed the year that Gerald was there with me. He has great rapport with the players, solid citizen, excellent teacher. He was with the Mariners when they won 116 games, so he knows what he's doing. He's worked with veteran guys.

One of the interesting things that I really liked about him is when he was a player with Atlanta, Willie Stargell was one of the coaches, and Willy would talk to him a lot about situations and how the pitcher is going to pitch him, what to look for and how situations differ. Hopefully Gerald will be able to bring that home.

Well, if you think Perry is a solid citizen and an excellent teacher, those would be two very good reasons to hire the guy as a hitting coach. But giving him credit for the Mariners 116 win season is just stupid, just like it would be stupid to blame him for the Pirates sucking offensively the last couple of years. Ken obviously doesn't have the best understanding of cause and effect, but what do you expect from the guy who says that not having Harden for the whole year is "important?"

Personally, I hope Perry punches Macha in the face the same way he cold-cocked Dave Duncan, and I would have hired the guy based solely on that, if it were up to me. I'm hoping for similar results from a Milton Bradley blowup.


Anonymous Spaz said...

WTF did any of that even say?!?!?!?!

From the robot/broken english that made zero sense, to answering a question about Zito by saying Haren needed to use his changeup more, made him sound even more retarded. Up to now I didn't think there was a lower point.

After watching him give Kendall and Hattepussy (probably 2 of the top 10 worst everyday players in 05) the 2nd and 4th most AB's on the team...... i didn't think it could possibly get worse.

It has.

Saturday, December 31, 2005 2:41:00 PM  
Anonymous 12kobayashi said...

at least Ellis will be leading off.

Saturday, December 31, 2005 3:03:00 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

He really is an idiot. It's sort of depressing that he is the best Billy thinks we can do for a manager.


But at least he provides fodder for your blog.

Your article was well done as usual.

Saturday, December 31, 2005 4:39:00 PM  
Anonymous smac said...

Smac, what do you think of this interview?

"I like pie."

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 2:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Peanut Gallery said...

Ken: "I'm always counting, making sure all the of the guys not pitching that day are on the bench."

Well, that certainly explains a lot of the pitching decisions he made last year. He's not thinking about matchups or who's been pitching well lately. No, no no. He's counting starting pitchers who aren't playing that day! Whew, that's a load off my mind. Glad our manager's not wasting his precious neurons on something trivial during games.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 12:14:00 PM  

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