10/20/2004 5:51 PM ET
Terry Francona pregame quotes
Manager comments on Game 7 starter, bullpen
Q. Have you given any thought as to the implications historically it would bring for a victory tonight for you guys?
TERRY FRANCONA: No. No, just trying to figure out how we're going to win. That's all we've been doing the last three days.
I don't think it serves any purpose or helps or it's any advantage. If we win, it will be fun. And people can write what they want or do what they want, but the reason we are here is to win; not to dream about winning.
Q. You've had to take a lot of lumps this year from the fans and media critics, etc. Considering that, would a win tonight be even more sweeter?
TERRY FRANCONA: Really? (Laughter.)
I think when you take the job as a manager in Boston, that just comes with the territory. I didn't ever really take it personally. Maybe I should have. I thought I do what my job was, and I felt confident enough in what I was doing to do it the way I thought was appropriate.
But as far as like what you said, no, I don't feel like that. I actually think in Boston, I mean, we have the greatest fans I've ever seen. They can be a little bit opinionated when you get to the top step of that dugout but they are great fans and they love our Red Sox. Now, the pleasure to win, not to show somebody that we could do something they didn't think or that I could, that's not how I feel.
Q. On further review, again, just going to bed and waking up and thinking about what Schilling did for you guys last night?
TERRY FRANCONA: Who said anybody went to bed or slept? (Laughter.)
I thought last night it was a pretty amazing performances, and I still do. I knew going into the game what the medical people had done with Schill or were attempting to do. I don't think we really needed to make it public because I don't think it helped us competitively.
When it looked like it was holding up, I felt pretty comfortable that he was going to stay out there just because of the way -- I've seen him pitch through so many other things. You know, his velocity was wavering, it was a little inconsistent but it seemed like every time we start to get a little worrisome he would pump it back up to 94 and hit his spots pretty good. Some people said coming out after the seventh, they were surprised, but we were actually keeping an eye on him from the fourth in case he was starting to not feel real great. He went inning to inning and kept pumping out outs, and so when if he said he was ready to come out, we weren't going to leave him in.
Q. If he had said he was ready to go in the eighth, would you have let him go?
TERRY FRANCONA: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Q. Can you talk about the thinking behind the Game 7 starter and what does the bullpen look like tonight?
TERRY FRANCONA: All things equal, and that doesn't necessarily mean they always will be, but we think Derek can give us more innings, more pitches than Wake could, if they are throwing well. I mean obviously whoever is pitching for both teams isn't going to have big rope but if Derek can get outs, we think he can stay out there longer. Wake has thrown 108 pitches, that's a lot. So has Derek, but Derek is a little younger, he's a sinkerball pitcher and I think that works to his advantage a little bit.
I would say in my opinion and I have not talked to Wally for the last time. I would think everybody would be available except for Schilling.
Q. Follow-up on that question. What do you think Pedro could give you out of the bullpen tonight and what benefits were there for him staying back yesterday?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, he went out about an hour ago with our medical people to throw and to kind of assess how he felt. And we'll sit down here in a little while and figure where people fit, including Pedro.
The reason to stay back was that he worked out with some physical therapist or whoever, to try to get ready to be able to pitch tonight. This is an abnormality. Usually what we do is, you know, you pitch, you take a day off, you throw your side if you need it. Sometimes at this part of the year they don't, so this is a little extra special trying to get ready.
Q. We're not allowed in the clubhouse right now, and I'm sure you're happy for that.
TERRY FRANCONA: That's okay.
Q. Can you describe at all the mood in there; is it serious before the curtain goes up, is it boisterous, is there music or guys talking the way they usually do?
TERRY FRANCONA: If you're asking that, you haven't been in there for a while, it's the same every day. This group is this group, they are a little nutsy. They are a little unique. When I was in my office yesterday before I went to the dugout you could hear guys screaming at each other and the music's loud. It's a little crazy.
Most teams watch a movie to get excited. Our guys were watching Animal House the other day at home. They are getting ready. (Laughter.)
They are the same every day. I will say this: In the dugout the intensity is incredible, just incredible. From one to 25, the intensity is absolutely incredible.
Q. Going back to Schill for a minute, can you get into the detail now that it's done, whose idea it was, how risky was it?
TERRY FRANCONA: I don't think there's much of a risk. I mean, the risk was I guess any time you suture somebody, there's an outside chance of infection and they put him on antibiotics right away. If it didn't work, he's in the same situation he was before.
The doctors had kind of come up with that early on, and we went out to the bullpen, he did pretty well without it. But from some time in between Sunday and Monday, they decided to go ahead and do it. Dr. Morgan and Dr. Theodore, they decided, and Schill kind of bought off on it, and they did it a day early to see if he could get used to it and let him get comfortable with it and certainly seemed to do the trick.
Q. Keith has thrown last three games, 100 pitches in all, and how impressed are you with what he's been able to do and how confident are you in him tonight?
TERRY FRANCONA: Extremely confident that he'll be ready to pitch. Theo asked me in one of my interviews last year about Foulke, because I had been with him in Oakland as a bench coach and I kind of tempered my answer because I didn't know if I was going to be in Boston. And if I wasn't going to be in Boston and I was going to Oakland, I didn't want Foulke to be back in Boston. He's one of the best I've ever seen.
He's kind of a rare breed. He will pitch any time you give him the ball. We're down in Colorado one game by four, five, we need an inning, he doesn't care. He just wants to pitch with the game close regardless of anything else. He likes to pitch and he'll be ready to pitch tonight.
Q. You got the home run out of Bellhorn last night, but Cabrera has been swinging the bat so well lately; can you talk about your thinking in flip-flopping them?
TERRY FRANCONA: Bellhorn has been our two hitter for the better part of the year. He was struggling early in the series and we were trying to take the heat off of him, and Cabrera was hitting well.
With Brown pitching tonight, Bellhorn has some good hits against him. As long as he's feeling good, I like him hitting second. He has a real good chance to get on base.
Q. What does it do for your players to go back into this scenario similar to last year, how does that help them tonight?
TERRY FRANCONA: I don't know, I wasn't here. I was driving home miserable because Boston had just beat us.
The obvious thinking was that they have experience, because they don't look to me to be intimidated or nervous or anything like that. This is a pretty big stage. They looked at me like they are having fun competing.
Q. Do you have any security concerns for tonight and have you discussed with anybody any special procedures that might be used?
TERRY FRANCONA: I actually said to Jim Joyce last night when I was out on the field; if something hits me in the head and I go down, there's a lot of people watching, get my hat back on. Very important. (Laughter.)
No, it was funny, though, in the eighth when all of the police were feeling out, actually I had to tell one policeman, I said, "Can you relay the hit-and-run to the third base coach because you're right in my way." They were everywhere. It was a different moment; the game is so important and it's such a crucial time and we have the policemen with the hard hats and stuff. No, I hope not.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.