10/19/07 3:34 PM ET
Workout day interview with Francona
Manager believes it is a fight to keep perspective
By / MLB.com
TERRY FRANCONA: I think you could put Josh Beckett's name there right in front. You can talk about confidence. If we would have gotten beat, everybody would have said, why didn't you have confidence?
When you send a starting pitcher out there that can do what Josh can, it certainly makes playing the game -- it does give you a certain sense of confidence. Even after the first inning when he was up with pitches, our sense is that he'll gather himself, compete and make pitches, which he did.
Have you decided if you're going to go with the regular lineup tomorrow or make any changes?
TERRY FRANCONA: I don't feel -- today was actually supposed to be an off day. Came in just because I respect you guys so much (laughter).
We don't have a lineup yet.
How much do you make of a team's approach, attitude, in Games 6 and 7 in pressure situations?
TERRY FRANCONA: How much do I make of it?
Yeah, how important do you think a team's approach is?
TERRY FRANCONA: I think it will be very important. I don't think that regardless of the importance of the game, you can change how you play the game I think that's why we place so much importance during the year. When we play a series and somebody will ask me about the next series and I'll say we're consumed with who we're playing, I think that's because that's the way it is. That's the way you play.
So when you get to a game like this, it doesn't overwhelm you. It doesn't guarantee you're going to win, but what you want to do is go play the best baseball you can and then see what happens.
You talked about your confidence in Josh. Can you describe your level of confidence in Curt at this point?
TERRY FRANCONA: It's probably unfair. I mean, even dating back to the sock, and remember the soap opera watching him throw in the bullpen and having the doctors and the trainers out there, and he really shouldn't have pitched. And I can't remember one moment ever thinking he wouldn't pitch, and not only that, but that he wouldn't win. And it probably wasn't fair. So I guess that kind of sums up how I feel about Schill.
This is sort of a follow up to that: What does it do for the team, the clubhouse, knowing that you've got a guy who has this great track record and he's not going to panic or have any kind of emotional issues going out there and getting the ball in this game?
TERRY FRANCONA: That part is terrific. I think we all know that and have come to respect that. You know, we still are facing the Cleveland Indians, who have a real good ballclub.
But for me especially, knowing your guy is not going to walk people, he's not going to balk, he'll field his position, that is comforting.
You know, he's a pro in every sense of the word when it comes to competing and things like that, and at this time of year that is comforting.
Earlier in the series when the hits weren't falling for Dustin, you talked about him being a little jumpy and maybe pressing a little bit. What do you see about Coco's approach that accounts for his struggles, particularly in Cleveland?
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, he's really having a tough time, I agree. Even trying to get the bunt down, you could see him trying to maybe be too fine, do too much. He's gotten himself into some things mechanically where he's not been able to make some adjustments. Any time the ball is moving, this is with any hitter, when the ball is moving and the hitter is moving, it's tough to make adjustments.
We're going to have to, again -- I think he understands what Mags is telling him. I think sometimes taking it to the game gets a little tougher than people realize.
Would you have Wake out of the bullpen for either of these games this weekend? Is that something you guys have talked about?
TERRY FRANCONA: There's not much we haven't talked about. That's part of the reason we're in here today, and we'll assess where we are and how people feel and kind of go from there.
Is there a slight hesitation to start Daisuke in Game 7 after his rough outings in the other two games?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, first of all, we're not at Game 7. We need to get to Game 7, which will be very exciting. And I guess when you ask that question, do you have somebody else you'd start? That's not a good enough answer (laughter).
Come on, I understand the question, but you have to have a legitimate reason for asking it. I mean, it's not like going to go pull somebody off the Dodgers. This is our team. We set it up the way we set it up, and now we need to go win.
My answer is no. We would be very excited.
Were you watching the Joe Torre press conference at all?
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah.
Just your reaction to it?
TERRY FRANCONA: My reaction is I wanted to stay down there and watch it, but I heard you guys were up here waiting, so I came.
It's unbelievable that -- it's almost like the Bronx is Burning. You're watching something unfold that's just unbelievable. But again, I kind of said -- my feelings haven't changed since yesterday or the day before or the day before when you guys asked. My answers are pretty much hopefully consistent. I hope Joe is very content and happy moving forward because I feel like he was -- in this game, organizations not only have the right, but they have a responsibility to do whatever they want with their teams. That's the way it goes.
But to do it very publicly, which Joe had to endure, I think was difficult. I'm sure it was difficult, and I feel for him.
Understanding you don't want to get too far into Game 7 for obvious reasons, Josh said last night that he anticipated you guys asking might he be available for an inning or whatever in a Game 7 situation. Will that come to pass? Will you come and ask him?
TERRY FRANCONA: You were right on the first part (laughter).
About Game 7?
TERRY FRANCONA: (Nodding head.) We need to win Game 6. We really need to win Game 6. I haven't been accused by you guys very often of being very, very intelligent, but I do know to get to Game 7, we need to win Game 6. I will go that far.
Would you say that particularly since you did just watch the Joe Torre press conference, and given the kind of offer they made to him all predicated on, you get X if you win the Series, X if you win the LCS. Are the expectations for you and Joe in being manager of the Red Sox and the Yankees different than other places in Major League Baseball?
TERRY FRANCONA: I'm sure they are. Theo and I have talked about this a lot lately. It's probably a conversation for a different time, you know, in the winter when everybody is taking a deep breath or they're able to take a deep breath, because I somewhat understand what you're asking and probably agree.
Because of the money that's spent and all the passion that's been -- I've only been here four years. I know it started before I got here, but things have gotten a little bit skewed around here, and sometimes the big fight for me, and I'm sure Theo is involved in that, too, is not losing sight of what's important, what's meaningful to you. And here's -- like I said, sometimes that's a fight.
Being a part of what we're doing, I absolutely love, and I really love who I'm doing it with. But it is a fight sometimes to keep the perspective. I mean, we're sitting at 101 wins, and people don't seem to be very happy very much of the time. So again, that is a little perplexing, but that's the way it is.
So you deal with it the best you can, and sometimes it is a fight to deal with it correctly, though. But that's our responsibility.
Much has been made of the fact that there are eight guys who are on this club who were there in 2004. Youkilis was only a peripheral guy in '04. Dustin, of course, wasn't here.
TERRY FRANCONA: He thinks he was (laughter).
The fact that they've performed the way they have on this stage, do you think they have answered some questions for themselves, about themselves, and how good do you think they should be feeling about themselves right about now?
TERRY FRANCONA: I think we're in the same position we were the other day and the other day before that and the other day before that. We've been through a lot this year. We know who we are. There's a lot of trust in there, as there should be, and again, if we go out and play as good as we can play, you know, you certainly hope that leads to a win. Believe me, I hope it leads to a win, or leads to two wins -- I hope we win (laughter).
Do you think there will be any carryover from the Lofton/Beckett thing last night, or was that like an isolated incident, or did you even consider it?
TERRY FRANCONA: I didn't consider it at the time, I really didn't. I don't know if you went back and looked at the video, if you saw my gait out to the field, there wasn't a whole heck of a lot of urgency. Nobody was going to fight.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
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