Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Q & A with David Macias

After being named Southeastern Conference Hitter of the Week Monday, Vanderbilt center fielder David Macias sat down with The Sports VU to talk about a number of topics, including the Commodores' first SEC road sweep since 1993 and the reason behind his career-high six homers.

The senior is enjoying the best season of his career. He went 13-for-23 (.565) with a double, triple and homer and four RBI with nine runs scored last week, and currently sports a team-best .386 average, good for third in the SEC.

Sports VU: Going back to last Sunday, after you guys had been swept by Ole Miss, what was said then to help you guys regroup and propel you to such a great week?
David Macias: After that Sunday loss, we just tried to get back to Nashville and get things situated and go back to the basics, just practicing hard and practicing like we play, and ultimately it carries over.

SV: It would have been easier for you guys to panic, but I imagine you all realized that it's more important to peak in the second half of the season.
DM: Absolutely. We all know it's a long season and there's going to be some bumps in the road, and it's just a reflection on the coaches, just to keep us positive and know that good things are going to happen.

SV: For you personally, on the steroids lately? With six home runs already, talk about how well you're seeing the ball and your approach at the plate.
DM: As the leadoff hitter, I'm just going up there and trying to get on base. Fortunately, I'm getting good pitches to hit and a couple of home runs here and there...I've been working on my swing a lot. I think it's changed a little bit since last year, but those home runs at Alabama, the wind was blowing up pretty good. My swing has developed a little bit and I'm just getting good pitches to hit, and fortunately they're going out.

SV: Talk about what it means to this team for you to set the tempo early.
DM: No matter who's leading off the inning, it's just huge to get that leadoff guy on, especially with guys in our lineup like Pedey (Pedro Alvarez), Flash (Ryan Flaherty), Dom (Dominic de la Osa) and Feinberg.

SV: Do you think you get the credit you deserve out there in center field?
DM: I don't know about the credit, but as long as we win, that's all that matters. I just go out there in the outfield and play as hard as I can in practice so that way it carries over to the field, and I can help our pitchers out.

SV: Do teammates joke around with you about your newfound power?
DM: Yeah, they're always joking around with me about it, guys like Dom and Flash, but I'm sure they're happy for me.

SV: What's the mindset of the team heading into the second half of the SEC season?
DM: The mindset is to just go out and practice like you play, just take it one day at a time, so tomorrow's focus is a Lipscomb team.

SV: Guys say you're the funniest player on the team. What are some of the things you do to keep everybody loose?
DM: It's just the way I am. I just go in the dugout or in the locker room and try to be myself and I guess they think that's funny.

SV: Talk about the toughness of Alex Feinberg, who returned to the lineup just a week after taking a 92-mph fastball to the jaw.
DM: I couldn't believe it, but then again I'm not surprised. He's the toughest kid on the team. He can't even open his mouth and he's out there facing these guys at 90-mph and getting the job done.

SV: Talk about the atmosphere at Mississippi State.
DM: It's a big stadium, tough ball club, those people in the outfield are pretty bad...Friday was pretty bad, Saturday wasn't as bad, and then Sunday I guess they started to get along with Dom (right fielder) a little bit. They gave him some food after the game. They were nice fans.

SV: How impressed were you with the pitching staff this weekend? Talk about what's it been like to see these young guys grow up this season.
DM: They're doing great. Caleb Cotham came up in a big spot, and those freshman are doing great. It gives the defense a lot of confidence when you've got pitchers like that on the mound.

SV: How important is it for them to stay ahead and throw strikes, and keep the defense in the game?
DM: It's huge, and that's a reflection on DJ (pitching coach Derek Johnson). That's one of his big aspects, just keep the tempo going and keep the defense on their toes.

SV: It seemed like this past week everything kind of came together and you were firing on all cylinders.
DM: Just like Corbins always said, it's all eventually going to happen and everyone is going to get in sync, hitting the ball, pitching and playing defense.

SV: You have a real knack for getting hit by pitches; is that something you work on?
DM: To tell you the truth, when I work with (Eric) Bakich, I tell him to hit me sometimes so I don't get out of the way when it comes to game time. I'm a leadoff hitter so I do whatever it takes to get on base and let those guys drive me in.

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