Macha: 'Catchers are my point guards'

Ken Macha did some catching during his own playing career, and he gathered his backstops in the conference room at Maryvale Baseball Park on Saturday to let them know how important they are.

“Everybody says, ‘pitching, pitching, pitching,'” Macha said. “But really, these catchers are my point guards.”

The captain of the group is veteran Jason Kendall, who led the Majors in starts last season and is very familiar with Macha from a two-year stint together in Oakland.

“Our preparation was such that I could almost tell you every pitch that was coming,” Macha said. “You like to have that familiarity. I wanted the younger guys to understand that they have to evaluate the pitchers and use their stuff accordingly.”

It was the first of two morning meetings for Macha. About 45 minutes after the catchers’ meeting broke up, Kendall was back in the conference room along with a number of the team’s established players, like Jeff Suppan, Mike Cameron, Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy and Corey Hart. Macha wanted input from the players on team rules like dress code and curfew.

Major League Baseball’s security division has asked teams to submit their list of team rules this year, so Macha wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page. 

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