10/22/2004 1:44 PM ET
Terry Francona workout day quotes
Sox skipper talks about the series vs. the Cardinals
Q. After the incredible series that David Ortiz had, can anybody be reasonably expected to perform at that level again?
TERRY FRANCONA: He'd better. You know what, some of that stuff is, I mean, you're getting hot at the right time, and you can never script it before the series, obviously. But he's very dangerous all the time. Even when he's not hitting, I think if you ask an opposing pitcher, they are not going to be thrilled to have him hitting with bases loaded. I mean, the threat of him there behind Manny is huge.
You know, we talk about that a lot with our players, when they are not 100%, if they go out there and play, their presence in the lineup may help somebody else get a big hit.
Q. I was just going to ask you if you had any time for any personal time yesterday whatsoever to do, you know, something that you enjoyed other baseball; I know you had to come over here and do a press conference, but have you had any time to relax?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I went swimming. I swim occasionally just to -- you've seen this body, you don't get a body like this by luck. (Laughter.) I swam a little bit.
But other than that, you know what not just this year, but when you're a manager or a coach, during the season, there really isn't much downtime. And you know what, I don't want it. I like being busy with baseball, and I like the responsibilities we have. So when the season is over, you can take a deep breath and all that stuff, but not now, I'm not ready to do that yet. I like being busy with what we're doing.
Q. When you see the two lineups, do you see any similarities between the power and potential of what they can score?
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, I wish I didn't, because I like our lineup a lot and they have a very potent lineup. When you start hitting Larry Walker second, you've got some sock in that lineup. And I've seen Rolen close for four years, I know what he can do, and Pujols might be the best hitter in the game; Edmonds. They are pretty thick like we are and they are pretty dangerous.
Q. Could you talk a little about the learning curve the National League teams have had here at Fenway, and what things you see first game or two that maybe they adjust to as time goes on?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, we don't know. I mean, we certainly hope they are at a disadvantage. I think the outfielders first come to mind. But it doesn't necessarily always come into play. If the ball is down the right field line, balls off the left field wall are quirky; and if there is rain on the field, it would be to our advantage, and hopefully it will.
One of the first things that comes to mind with me is hitter in the batter's box because everything is a little different, our field is not perfectly symmetrical, the batter's view might seem a little different. Even it can mess a little with people; I might go over and tell Rolen that it might bother him somewhat. Things like that, when you're in your own home park, we don't have to take batting practice anymore. This is our park, we've played so many games since Spring Training, and we're comfortable here. When we go to St. Louis, we'll try to get out there on the field and get comfortable and see if there's anything we're not used to so that you're not surprised by anything.
Q. I know that you said, you stayed away from Wakefield in the Yankee game so that he would be the Game 1 starter, did you and Dave talk about anything else, any other information, like why you wanted Pedro in a National League city, like if you went to Houston, it would be warmer for him, or any other statistical data?
TERRY FRANCONA: As much as we did talk about it, weather didn't enter into it. What we were really trying to do was get to the World Series and however you break it down, if you were where we were on the day of last game, our bullpen was -- we were about out of bullets. They were on fumes.
So what we wanted to do was we were going to go to Wakefield early because Derek only had a couple of days' rest. Once we got past that, we told Wake, if we use Petey, make sure to get ready for Game 1, just so he -- we tried to tell everybody how to get prepared. We wanted to get to Pedro for an inning to bridge it to Timlin. Timlin was probably our freshest arm out there, and he had thrown four days in a row because he had thrown in the bullpen; so he wasn't exactly newborn. Once we got Pedro hot, we were committed to pitching him in a game, because if we bring somebody else in, and we run into problems getting Pedro up again is not a good idea.
So that's kind of how our thinking was. Really, if you sit down and look at it in depth, I don't think it was all that out of the ordinary or anything like that. We were just trying to piece together where we could cover ourselves for every event of the game.
Q. Wonder if you could talk about Wake and his ability and willingness to be whoever you need whenever you need him.
TERRY FRANCONA: I think I spoke about it after Game 3, the traumatic night here, we got kicked around a little bit.
I made the comment, maybe not in here, but I know I told Wake after the game that as tough as that night was, I was so proud of him and what he did for us; that it really helped get me through that night. And I know I came in here and said it, because we won the next night, go directly to Wakefield, because he saved a couple of our pitchers that actually helped us win the next night.
For a guy to do that willingly, and he did it; Dave and I were in the dugout trying to figure out where he were going in this game, and he was over my left shoulder with spikes on and glove. It wasn't one of those half-hearted; he was ready to go, and an inning later he was down in the bullpen throwing. That's the type of guy he is. Joe Torre commented on how happy he was for Wake to be in the World Series.
On the flipside of that, not only is he a very good guy, but he's a very good pitcher and he's feeling very good about himself. There were some periods this year that were a little rough on him. He feels good about himself. His confidence is high. I think he's going to throw a very good game.
Q. You talked about the gamesmanship that you've dealt with, with La Russa in the past and what you expect during the series, on top of that, what La Russa has done for managers and coaches over the last 25 years, as far as getting realistic money; I think he was one of the forerunners?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I'm definitely going to talk to him about that then. (Laughs). No, Tony is one of most well-respected managers in the game, for good reasons.
As far as preparation goes, which is something we believe in very, very dearly, I don't know that you can get more prepared than their staff. He and Dave Duncan and the staff, they do a great job breaking down hitters and pitchers, preparing for a series. When I was a real young man manager just coming into the National League, Tony was very kind to me before the game started. Once the game starts, he takes no prisoners, which I also respect. I hope we feel the same way. But I have a lot of respect for their staff and a lot of respect for their team but that doesn't mean we're not going to go and knock them all over the ballpark.
Q. Do you have any message to the fans outside in regard to the death that occurred out here the other night, what would you say to the fans about what happened?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I don't want to get into an area that I have no business getting into. I think we have the greatest fans in the world. I hope we give them a lot of reason to celebrate over the next week, but I also hope they use some common sense. I mean, times when things happen after a sporting event, I don't think it happened because of the sporting event. I think sometimes it gives people an excuse to do something they were going to do anyway, which is not right. So I hope they in the spirit of what we're doing, I hope people use some good sense and don't do anything silly.
Q. You mentioned quickly Mike Timlin, he's a guy that has won the World Series before and seemed like for a while might be out of the game, but seems like he's a bit of a survivor and he's got a spot in some team somewhere?
TERRY FRANCONA: Out of the game? He was a mainstay in our bullpen.
Q. There were some lean years for him, some years where he struggled and was on the verge of being in or out and now here he is an important part of a team in the World Series?
TERRY FRANCONA: Okay. I didn't think he was that close to being out of the game. He is a durable, effective reliever. Now, when he comes in, and for the very most part, when he's right, when he's throwing 93, 94 with some sink on the ball, doesn't matter left-hander or right-hander, he can go right through the lineup. He's a veteran guy that's logged a lot of innings, but he's very durable, very reliable. I think his ERA a is a little higher than it should be because we used him so much. We went through a period in July, Scott Williamson was down, we used him more than he should have and that's why his numbers are higher than they should be. He's very, very reliable.
Q. Obviously there's a different set of criteria for the games at Fenway Park versus the games in St. Louis. Would you like to see a situation where the rules are the same no matter what game it is and what park is it? And is it a bit of a hindrance to the Red Sox because you are the ones that unfortunately have to make the adjustments?
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, that's actually a very good point. And I don't need to come in here my first time being involved in something like this and demand the rules change. That's a little silly.
But realistically, it does put us at a disadvantage when we go to St. Louis. We're not sending our team out on the field. Doesn't mean we're not going to win, but wire not sending our best team out there. When the Cardinals come here, it's different for them also. They are used to playing with a pitcher, they are going to have somebody be a designated hitter, which I'm sure they will like, but it won't be our designated hitter. So there's some problems on both ends, but I think it definitely sets us back a little bit when we go there.
Q. From your advantage point in the middle of everything, do you allow yourself at all to sense the historical perspective of where the Red Sox are, the fans' hopes, the rivalry, the two losses to the Cardinals, or is it just so focused on the task ahead of winning four games that you can't appreciate that at all?
TERRY FRANCONA: I think I appreciate where we are. But as far as that goes, that's it. The task at hand is all that's on our mind, because the task isn't over. When it's over, we can sit back and think about a lot of things and I'm sure that will bring a smile to my face. Not yet. Not even close to yet. We've got a lot of work to do.
Q. I know that you were asked about your 25-man roster yesterday and you said you and Theo were going to talk some things over, wondering if 24 hours later anything has changed or if that's still a little way as way?
TERRY FRANCONA: No, that's a ways away. We have some meetings and we're going to work out here in a little while and we have some meetings to go through and things. It's a great question, I'm just not ready to answer that question yet.
Q. The patch (World Series logo), I see on your sleeve, is that kind of helping to bring the magnitude of this whole event to you? Probably everything you put on has probably got World Series, World Series, World Series on it, and how does it feel?
TERRY FRANCONA: I actually didn't even see it. It was in my locker. I thought it was my old one.
I don't think -- I certainly understand the questions. I don't think you understand how I feel or how we feel about things. We just want to win. As much as when we were down 0-3 to the Yankees and I said, we want to win tomorrow, that's how we feel about what's coming ahead of us. We want to win tomorrow. I think that's how we're going to accomplish what we want to accomplish, not by looking down at this patch and getting carried away with things and getting away from things we've done all year. We just want to show up and play a game tomorrow and do the best we can and then we'll move on.
Courtesy FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.