BUCK SHOWALTER: Well, we should have a good crowd do you think? I'm just kidding.
Yeah, it's great. The one challenge, too, it's impossible to tell your players to take the emotion out of an at-bat or a pitch or a throw or whatever. I think everybody, you'd like to get -- it is kind of like football, everybody that has played, you know, once you get that first contact or first tackle or first block, you kind of get in your environment. Players are such creatures of habit and routine, that's why we've tried to do as much as we can, everything the same with some exceptions, with the schedule, we'll have an advance meeting, the same thing, and a lot of it won't have to do with them because it'll fall underneath the you know what. We've played the Yankees 18 times this year, and probably 20, 22 counting Spring Training. We're trying to stay in routine, and what was your initial question? I don't think I got there. My point I was trying to make before my 56-year-old brain wouldn't let me is it's tough to take the emotion out of it. You can't coach taking the emotion. That's part of it. It's also part of what is good. I think we saw it last year when we were playing some real meaningful games for the opposition in their ballpark, and our guys kind of fed off the emotion of the ballpark. We saw that with Toronto and even Boston at the end, our ballpark was electric.
I think everybody in our locker room will be more comfortable when they get into the environment that they're used to being in, which is after they play the National Anthem, we play a game. I think that's what Mattingly used to say, what time is that song over, that anthem. Then everybody is in a position to control their destiny, so to speak. That's pretty deep.
If you could talk a little bit about your starting rotation, which has been a work in progress all year, you don't have any true aces, but for the most part they've been fairly consistent in pitching just good enough to keep you in games so you could use your bullpen. I'm just wondering, has that been kind of a secret weapon for you all year?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Well, it's the whole thing years ago that our No.1 pitcher is pitching that night. It's not like we haven't had some deep, dominating efforts from our starting pitchers at times. Certainly you look at a guy with a track record of a Sabathia or a Pettitte and those guys, you don't have that kind of bird in the hand and knowing what you're going to get for X amount of innings. There's some unknown there. But they understand their job is to keep us in the ballgame.
I think Joe Saunders was a great example of that in the first couple innings against Texas. He knew it was to minimize damage, keep us in the ballgame and keep the game close and see if we can do some things out of our bullpen.
I think as much as anything, this club knows who they are, and they know who they're not, and they don't try to be something that they're not. It's very sincere. I don't want to say humble, but a grounded team that doesn't get involved in a lot of drama and other stuff. They really feed off each other's mentality.
You made reference a minute ago to the season¿ending series last year against the Red Sox here. I'm wondering in terms of you're trying to build a winning environment here, if you felt that the way your team played in those three games produced or any kind of carryover effect as something that you could take into Spring Training this year.
BUCK SHOWALTER: Winning games is what creates that environment. Let's don't ¿¿ you don't create an environment and then you win. Winning games helps create that environment because after a while if a team, an organization aren't getting return on the scoreboard and in the standings, it doesn't really matter.
But I'd be less than frank if I said that didn't have something to do with it, to be playing in that environment and responding to it, as well. We kept challenging with the professional integrity of the schedule, and one day the shoe is going to be on the other foot and we're going to hope that someone -- we want to set an example the way you're supposed to go about your business in September. Obviously, because of the 40¿man call-ups, we were in a position that we weren't in in July and August. But everybody was playing by the same rules.
I think coming into spring training, there was a positive vibe about the competitive part of it, and I think more than anything, I'm feeling proud of the way they presented our organization in the month of September.
Machado batting sixth, beyond the fact that there's a lefty on the mound, what does that say about him and the confidence you have in him that he's an important spot in the lineup in Game 1?