10/11/07 4:14 PM ET
Workout interview with Terry Francona
Manager says Sabathia-Beckett match up will be great
By / MLB.com
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, we'll go with 11 pitchers, and that means Wake is added, and we'll go with two catchers, which means Kevin Cash is here but not on the roster.
Have you settled on a lineup for tomorrow, in particular right field?
TERRY FRANCONA: Kielty will play right field. As far as the lineup goes, not there yet. But talked to both those guys and they know what's going on.
Josh set the bar pretty high in 2003. Safe to say that he exceeded all expectations from the outside, at last week in Anaheim, in terms of performance.
TERRY FRANCONA: You know, our expectations are that he goes out and does his absolute very best, which he does every time out. The expectations from afar, quite frankly, don't mean a lot to us. It's going to be a great match up.
Their guy is one of the best in the game, we feel like our guy is one of the best in the game. I think when you get to this time of season, it's pretty awesome, and that's why we're playing this game. Anything less would be a little disappointing.
This is a little bit chicken and the egg, but how much of the success for Ortiz and Manny is based on the fact that they're lumped together, or do we make too much of that? Would they be like this no matter what?
TERRY FRANCONA: I'm still trying to figure out the chicken and the egg (laughter).
I think when they're both healthy, it certainly means a lot, not only to them but even to the guys in front of them and behind them. Obviously the better more guys are swinging, the more dangerous your lineup becomes, and I'm not just saying that. Even sometimes if guys make outs but pitchers have to work, that can even lead to runs later, maybe getting the starter out of the game, maybe getting to the bullpen before the other team wants to get there.
A lot of good things can happen from guys that are dangerous.
How far ahead is your rotation mapped out? And how much does it depend on what the situation is in the series?
TERRY FRANCONA: It doesn't matter what the situation is in the series; we've got it mapped out pretty much. The guys that are going to pitch are the guys that are going to pitch, and I think that's why you try to do it without emotion, because when you start making decisions with emotion, you can make some bad mistakes and you really don't want to do that. If we get to a situation in the series where somebody is saying, you'd better skip somebody, you'd better pitch somebody on three days' rest, we haven't played very well to that point.
What kind of a hitter is Bobby Kielty and what does he give you against C.C.?
TERRY FRANCONA: I hope he gives us about three homeruns. He was brought in here to give us some right handed punch. He has the ability, especially on some better left handed pitching, to give you a pretty professional at bat with the chance that he'll run one out of the ballpark. It's certainly not a guarantee that it happens, but he'll give us a good at bat, and he's definitely a threat from the running side.
You were saying something about C.C.?
TERRY FRANCONA: Just his ability, he's so tough on everybody, but especially left handers, just putting Bobby in the lineup, again, gives us that threat, maybe he runs into a ball. Again, nothing is guaranteed, but I think it's our best lineup tomorrow.
I hope I got this right, but Josh was asked the question something about he thinks -- he said that you're his manager, "he tells me what to think." So I'm just wondering what you have told him to think.
TERRY FRANCONA: There's a pretty good chance you got that one wrong, would be my first guess. I wasn't here for that. You'd have to explain to me what the heck he said.
They were asking him about you said he's an emotional guy and does he think that's true? And if so can he talk about it. And he said that you tell him what he thinks.
TERRY FRANCONA: I'm pretty honest with him about how I feel, pretty honest with everybody about how we feel. We don't want any of our guys to change. However they are is what we -- again, Josh can wear his emotions on his sleeve sometimes. Anything that's going to take away from their performance we don't have a problem with them being themselves. Again, as long as it's respectful to the game and things like that. We don't expect all 25 guys to be alike. We're not gathering for a Cub Scout venture. We want to go win a baseball game that's going to be very difficult. Sometimes guys curse, sometimes guys throw helmets. That's just the way the game is. That's not the end of the world. We just want them to compete to the best of your ability. Josh does as good a job of that as anybody.
How much has the job of manager changed since you started doing it? Now when people talk about teams, it's a lot more about organizational philosophy than like a manager's philosophy per se. Have you noticed that over the years?
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, I think that's true, and maybe in some places more than others. But I don't think that's an incorrect statement.
Is that important from that aspect, to fit into that role as a manager? Is that something that you've seen, not personally but in general?
TERRY FRANCONA: I don't know if I can -- I know I was speaking in generalities, but I'm not sure I'm in that position to do that. I can speak about here. I think our philosophies -- that's probably part of the reason I'm here is because I agree with the philosophy. I think one of the worst things you can do when you go into a job interview, is the right word perjured yourself? You can say all the right things in an interview and then not be the right person for the job. That wouldn't be very good. You might enjoy the first press conference and the first couple paychecks, but you wouldn't survive, especially in this atmosphere, if you didn't believe in what you were doing.
How are the Indians a different team than what you saw earlier in the season, and what are some of the advantages and disadvantages to not having played a team much during the season?
TERRY FRANCONA: You know, I don't know if there are advantages or disadvantages. It's probably going to depend on how we play and how they play. We catch teams at periods during the year -- I remember running through Detroit at a period, and I remember thinking, wow, that might be the best team in baseball, and then their bullpen got beat up a little bit. And then going through Cleveland, even though we won, thinking, wow, they've got a good team.
I think health has something to do with that. They're healthy. Some of their younger players have some games under their belt. They've gone through some big series. I know they feel good about themselves.
I don't think it really matters how we played back in April or June or how they played. I think what's important is you try to get your team healthy and feeling good about themselves, and I think both teams are probably there right now.
Can you tell us what Matsuzaka was able to do today?
TERRY FRANCONA: Three innings, just trying to -- rather than just throw a side, face some hitters, and that's not always the easiest thing to do. The hardest thing to do is try to come in aggressive against your own hitters. He left some pitches over the plate, which I'd rather him do than hit Mirabelli or something in the back. I think it was pretty well worth the while. Pretty much everybody threw an inning this week and all our players got some at bats. We took some ground balls similar to game speed as possible just trying to simulate -- keep guys in game shape without having us play an enter squad game.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
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