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October 4, 2003

Ken Macha


Q. What's (Jose) Guillen's status for tonight?

KEN MACHA: He has ice on his hands. We'll see how he feels. He may be able to pinch hit. I'm not sure.

Q. You said the A's have beaten the Sox ten straight times in the postseason. Can you attribute that to anything, the style of play?

KEN MACHA: I've only been with Oakland the last five years. It's the first time we've played them. I've said before, I don't think history has a whole lot to do with how we're going to go out there and play today or how we played the first two games.

Q. Talk about Tim pitching tomorrow on three day's rest. Will one day's less rest affect him at all?

KEN MACHA: He threw in the bullpen yesterday and said he felt great. My feeling is I would like to have my best guys out there. He's certainly been our best pitcher for most of the year. That's how we're going to go.

Q. Talk about using Terrence Long tonight.

KEN MACHA: I view Jermaine (Dye) as a high-ball hitter and Derek Lowe as a low-ball pitcher. So we're going to try Terrence out there and see how he does.

Q. Talk about Ted Lilly. How has he improved and how is he a better pitcher than he was a year ago?

KEN MACHA: I'll go over that again. He came to Spring Training this year, and Mark Peterson worked on his delivery, the length of his stride some. There was a dramatic improvement on the velocity on his fastball. At one particular time Rick eliminated his curveball. He wanted to get more consistency on his release point. What was happening, he was prone to the long-ball and was making a lot of mistakes in the strike zone. Atlanta got four homeruns off him. He eliminated the curveball, got more consistent on his release point and eventually he worked his curveball back in there. But his command of his fastball has been a major improvement in the second half of the season.

Q. How much does having a bullpen that you trust factor into the decision to come back with two starters on short rest?

KEN MACHA: Well, that may play some part, but the big part is I'm going to have my best pitchers out there. I've talked to several guys that have managed in the Major Leagues, asked for some advice. They say go with your best guys, and that's what we're going to do.

Q. (Inaudible)?

KEN MACHA: I watched ESPN this morning, as you did. We're going with our best guys.

Q. In your opinion, who's your MVP this season and why?

KEN MACHA: You just asked a question about the bullpen. They have done a great job for us. Keith Foulke is the guy that ties it all together. When you have a guy that can pitch like that, give you four, five, or six out saves, it really takes the pressure off the other guys who are able to piece the game together at the end of the game pretty well. For me, he's been tremendous. Without him, I don't know where we would be.

Q. You've seen a lot of the young stars grow up since you have been here. Talk about how you've seen them mature.

KEN MACHA: There's been a bunch of ways. After Game 2, everybody came in the clubhouse and it was a relatively subdued clubhouse. I can remember coming in after Game 2 a couple of years against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. It was pretty nuts. Everybody was going nuts. I think these guys have been there before. We've had a 2-0 lead. They all realize it's going to take three games. That's an obvious statement. But you're not there yet. You have to keep playing. We came out, had a nice quiet workout yesterday, everybody was kind of into what they were doing. And when you can control your emotions, it kind of shows your maturity a little bit. And they've shown that.

Q. (Inaudible)?

KEN MACHA: I'm not giving away all my secrets.

Q. Is it your nature to be aggressive, too, about putting your best guys out there?

KEN MACHA: That question was asked of me after Game 2, why did we pitch Foulke there, my best pitcher out of the bullpen? We're going to send him out there. He said he was ready to go. I asked Hudson yesterday how he felt. He says he feels great. We went ahead and pitched Mulder on three days' rest last year. He pitched a spectacular game. Gave up two runs in eight innings. The other guy we pitched on three days' rest was Hudson. Well, he was hurting. He had a problem with his hip. But he's a gamer. He's going to go out there. He says he's feeling great. Here again, I just feel like if Hudson says he can go, he's my man.

Q. Have guys ever asked you to shave your head?

KEN MACHA: I did shave my head. I told them to win five in a row, and they did. We went through that. It changed my hairstyle. I think I'll keep it short for a while.

Q. Has there been anything in the Red Sox approach that has surprised you, or has it gone pretty much the way you thought?

KEN MACHA: I think they've done a thorough job scouting us. I know the guy that's been following us around. He does a very thorough job. I watch how they pitch to our hitters, and they have a good idea. A lot of times how you pitch to people isn't a secret. But it comes down to the execution of the pitchers out there and if the other team's hitters can make adjustments. There's probably no stone left unturned by either team. It's just a matter of going out there and executing. I read a couple of comments in the paper the other day about mistakes, when guys make mistakes you capitalize on them. I've been trying to preach we have to go out there and play a good baseball game, get a good solid start pitching, play good defense, run the bases well, and play hard. As long as you can do that, you have a good chance.

Q. Grady Little said this is a game of mistakes and your game hasn't made any so far. Do you agree with that?

KEN MACHA: Look back at the other three series that I've been involved with here. Oakland has been in a game or two in each one of them where we've made some mistakes. The Yankees capitalized on it in the first year, 2000, we had the first inning where we kind of them gave them an opportunity so they wound up getting a 5-0 lead on us and we couldn't come back. Game 5 after 9/11, threw the ball around a little bit. We had a 2-0 lead and we threw the ball a little bit and gave the Yankees another chance. You've got to play good solid defense. Fortunately we've done that. We've had streaks this year where we've played tremendous defense. Who knows, you go out there, it's another game tonight. Who knows what you're going 20 do. Our guys have been focused all year as far as defense is concerned. I expect them to go out and execute well.

End of FastScripts...

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