Terry Francona Pregame Interview

Q. Terry, you went through this in 2004, where your team is battling history a little bit and the pressure of the moment as the games get bigger. How has this team handled itself in these situations?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, last year, we lost. So, I mean, I’m not sure how to — I mean, this is our first time in this situation this year. I’ll have a much better answer after the game.

I think that when you bring up things like that, history, if you allow it to enter into what you’re doing, it can get in the way a little bit. But I think our group is pretty solid where we’ve got to go win a game. Whatever happened in 1959 or whatever happened on Tuesday doesn’t matter. We just need to go win a baseball game. Fortunately, I think our guys are pretty good at that.

Q. Tito, Edwin’s back in the lineup tonight. How do you feel he looked both running and hitting yesterday in the workout?

TERRY FRANCONA: He’s never been our best base stealing threat, even when fully healthy. But I thought he was moving around fine. I was more concerned with him hitting. I watched him in the cage, I watched him on the field. If I wouldn’t have been looking for it, I wouldn’t have known that something was going on. So I thought that was really a good sign.

Q. Tito, obviously you have a lot of decisions to make with the lineup and such.Roberto Perez is starting today. Usually, you see Gomes and Kluber together. What went behind that decision?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, we even it out towards the end. That was probably the hardest decision. When the guys went home last night, Millsy told them that we’d get ahold of them because we actually didn’t know. I took some time and talked to the coaches, and as always I talked to Millsy just about everything. We finally decided that’s what we were going to do.

I don’t think there was a wrong decision there, and I think before it’s all said and done — and we told Gomer that he’d have something to say about the outcome of the game.

Q. Terry, injury updates are part of your job. You’ve been doing it this week with Edwin. How much do you talk about that with your front office and your training staff just to make sure that the public is getting that accurate information, that you don’t create any additional headaches for yourself with information that’s misleading or inaccurate?

TERRY FRANCONA: Why? Did I miss something?

Q. Dusty got in trouble with Strasburg.

TERRY FRANCONA: Oh, good. I’d rather it be Dusty than me. I love Dusty. Don’t get me wrong.

You know what? If you have a communication breakdown anywhere, you’re probably going to embarrass yourself. I think that’s one of the things that we take pride on here. And I give our guys a lot of credit, Chris and Cherny are unbelievable. It’s like most of the time we really don’t have to have meetings.

I was just talking to Chris now. I was laying on the couch and he was getting ready to work out and we were just bullshitting around, talking. And our training staff is always really good about keeping us in the loop. So it’s never really been an issue.

Q. Terry, I don’t know if you saw but John Farrell was not renewed, his contract with the Red Sox. What are your feelings about that?

TERRY FRANCONA: I talked to Johnny today. He’s one of my dear friends. And I think on a day like this, I think John knows that he has a lot of people that — a lot of special people that care about him. It happens, unfortunately, in our industry. People get let go. And it’s hard because you care about people.

But knowing John the way I do, he’ll land on his feet and he’ll be in a better position than he was before.

Q. Tito, to have Edwin back in your lineup, it means what to you and your club tonight?

TERRY FRANCONA: Tell you after the game. I mean, nobody has a crystal ball, but he’s been our 4-hole hitter all year and he drove in a hundred. It’s nice to have him. His presence should be helpful.

Q. Terry, just to expand on that a little bit with Edwin, I saw the relationship he seems to have with Lindor and Ramirez and some of your young guys. What has he meant to you just as a presence and a guy in the clubhouse too?

TERRY FRANCONA: He very quietly goes about his business in a really professional way. A lot of people made stuff early on about him replacing Knapp. I didn’t think that was fair to Edwin, just because Knapp had such a presence in that clubhouse.

But Edwin has been terrific. He’s not the loudest guy in the room. But when you ask him a question, he gives you a thoughtful answer. He’s always offering to do whatever he can. He’s solid. He’s really solid.

Q. Sabathia doesn’t move like he once did, and he —

TERRY FRANCONA: Neither do I (laughter).

Q. He gets pretty agitated when teams bunt on him. I don’t believe you tried that at all in Game 2.

TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, we did.

Q. Did you?


Q. Okay. Why don’t teams do it more consistently or test him more often?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I mean, I can’t speak for other teams because it’s not any of my — but I don’t think it’s quite as easy as you — you know, you don’t just set out to bunt. If you do that, you can look up in the seventh inning and maybe you were successful bunting once, but you also — six innings flew by.

I mean, they know what they’re doing too. They’ll pinch on the corners a little bit. I mean that’s what happened. I don’t know who — we sacrificed the other day with him. I forget who did it. But, I mean, if guys bunt, they bunt. But if you start asking guys that don’t bunt to do something they can’t do, it’s probably not going to help you.