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Terry Francona pregame quotes
10/18/2004 1:48 PM ET

Q. Did you sleep, can you sleep, what's your reflection?

TERRY FRANCONA: I slept a little bit. Unfortunately I had little kids who had to go back to school today, so it was an early wake-up call and a late good night, which is okay. I don't think anybody is going to be complaining today about lack of sleep. We'll be all right.

Q. You mentioned Schilling for Game 6, if necessary. Can you tell us about the side session yesterday and obviously it was positive?

TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, that was, again, I don't want to get too far into it because we need to get there. The way we approached yesterday was it was the only day that mattered. Today is very similar. We've showed up so often this year and just wanted to win a game and did it pretty successfully, so we'll try to do the same thing today.

As far as Schill went, though, he did very well. He did well enough where we named him the starter without any qualms.

Q. If there are any players that are in the clubhouse this early at this point before you came over here, what's the mood? Did last night's win change the mood or is it just the same as it's always been with a group of professionals in the clubhouse all year?

TERRY FRANCONA: I think the mood in our clubhouse has been the same all year. I don't ever remember walking into the clubhouse seeing guys down or quiet. It just not the way they operate. Their personality is their personality. I don't think you can force those things. If you do I think it's wrong. They have been themselves all year. I don't think that's ever going to change.

Q. I know that you said that you don't want to get ahead of yourself and I don't want to have you do that --


Q. But yesterday, when Curt performed well enough in his throwing so that you felt comfortable putting him in that Game 6 slot, was it because the new equipment that he's using has stabilized the tendon, or is it because he's like sucking it up and managing pain?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, he's not really having a whole lot of new equipment. We've been over this so many times. He had a shoe, that we've already been over. He just needed another side session.

I mean, you said sucking it up, I don't know if I'd -- he's a tough guy. But, again, it just all goes back to the point, we wanted him to pitch if he could pitch being healthy, not at risk and also being able to be productive. I think that's where we're at.

Q. You talk about your bullpen, is everyone still available, are there some people that are still available, or is anyone not available because of last night?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, we're not going to save them up for next week. What we'll do is we'll go out for BP in about an hour and a half and the pitchers all go down the right field line and do their throwing.

Obviously there are some guys that threw a lot last night. They understand the situation, also, and we'll evaluate where we are when we go out and have them throw and then we'll piece it together and see how many -- it's almost like a puzzle, we'll just see how many pitches or how much you they think they can tolerate and then we'll try and put it together and win.

Q. Almost to a man, it seems like the guys who came in and pitched relief yesterday said after the game, they would not wait to pitch today if they were needed. Do you have to sort of balance their enthusiasm and desire to get into a game and pitch against -- whether you think the amount they pitched last night will have an impact on their performance today?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I'm glad, first of all that they seemed like that. That doesn't surprise me. Our guys do a pretty good job of being honest with themselves. Like Foulke last night, asking him for the third inning, I think he -- I've been around him for a couple of years now. You get to know these guys so well now, if they don't ask out of a game, if they need to come into a game or don't need to go into a game and we don't just check with the pitchers. We have bullpen coaches and catchers. We pretty much check with everybody to get the best read on these guys.

Q. When did you know for sure or tell the players that Schilling would be available if there was a Game 6, at what point in the day yesterday?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I don't know. We didn't call a meeting to tell them.

You know, I just think sometimes I don't think you guys quite understand. We don't call meetings every ten minutes. I don't stand up and tell them we have to pin tonight or so and so is pitching. They have this routine, they go out and take batting practice, they come in and watch a video and do whatever they do and go play the game. Half of them still might not know. They just know they have to show up today and win.

Q. What did Mussina do so specifically the first time around and does that change hitters' approach when you're facing a guy so quickly after he pitched so well against you?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, the hope is that he doesn't do this time what he did last time. Sometimes when you get a pitcher of Mussina's stature, like a Pedro or a Schilling, if they are on their game about the best thing you can do is make them work and try to get them out of there. He threw so well last time, he went right through us for six innings. Hopefully he won't be quite that sharp and put some pitches over the middle of the plate for us to hit. But it's our job to make him do that, too. Just like they are going to do to us, try to get him out of there early, because their bullpen was used as much as ours was last night.

Q. How important is Bill Mueller to your team, last night he had the big hit, but also the tag at third base?

TERRY FRANCONA: He's our mainstay. He's our every day third baseman. Just like everybody else, he shows up every day, it's fun to talk about it because of the kind of kid he is, the way he goes about his business, we talked about him last night for a little while, such a good kid and he gives you everything he has. He's so conscientious sometimes, like when he looks down for 3-0 to see if he's hitting it or not, you see he doesn't ever want a sign, he's so conscientious in everything he does, and he's a pretty good baseball player.

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