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10/05/08 6:05 PM ET

Terry Francona pregame interview

Manager discusses changes in the lineup

Could you just talk about your decision to put Crisp in and take out Drew? And was there anything physical involved with Drew?

TERRY FRANCONA: J.D. is physically doing pretty well. You know, I do think we have to recognize the fact that he's played two games in a row, even though there's a day off for the first time in about 50 days. We've actually made a couple changes. We sat Lowell the other night, played Cora.

I know normally you get to this time of the year and you send eight or nine guys out there and just stay with it. I don't know that the way we're built right now that's the way that is the best way for us to do it. Coco's had some pretty good at bats against this guy. I just think sometimes we need to try to do what's right for the ballclub, and it maybe is different than we've done in the past. I think we have to recognize some of the things that have happened to our team physically. It's not something I think like with trepidation. I think Coco's going to do a good job. He gives us some left handed bats on the bench.

Your games against Saunders when he's had success, has it been his command or has it been your guys approach more often than not?

TERRY FRANCONA: He's thrown through one that was here, I believe, one that he pitched a really good game. He commanded the outside part of the plate and threw his breaking ball. We're going out to try to beat them tonight. What a great kid. Got a chance to visit with him in the All-Star Game a little bit. It's hard not to like him.

Saying that, I hope we knock his brains out. But he's a hard guy not to like.

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When Jason Bay came here, do you recall your first impressions and what you said to him about the atmosphere he was coming into?

TERRY FRANCONA: Probably in more of the general. We just welcomed him. I think I actually was kidding around and I said, "I've got to give you the prerequisite speech on not trying to do too much knowing you probably will. I said, "Hey, just play."

He seemed so excited to be in this atmosphere that, again, sometimes I think you give a guy a speech and you can send him into a panic. You don't need to do that. He'll figure it out. He knows these games are important. It's been a very welcome addition to our ballclub though. Very refreshing, very competitive, and I think he's enjoying this atmosphere a lot. It's what we want. It's the best way to compete.

What, if anything, was the difference in the feeling of satisfaction you received last year as opposed to winning the first time in '04?

TERRY FRANCONA: I think in '04 I was a little naive. I was going through it. You know, winning is so hard anyway, but, again, I hadn't really lived through this whole atmosphere here. Some of the things people were telling me, I wasn't even aware of. Now I live here, go out and get the paper, walk out, take the garbage and the neighbors or somebody's honking at you because you didn't hit and run or you didn't bunt. So I'm a little more aware of that kind of stuff. And I know how important the Red Sox are to people here.

But, if anything, winning is almost kind of addicting. Once you've won it's like you want to win worse again the next time. It's not like you won once and you think, oh, well, we won. You recognize how hard it is, but the hunger, it's like once you felt it, you want it again and you almost want it worse.

Just as you've added Jason Bay, they've got a little different look with Teixeira. Can you talk about the difficulty in facing the middle of their lineup with him added to it?

TERRY FRANCONA: We haven't figured it out yet. Everything you swing at, he's hitting. He hit a ball neck high the other day. We didn't want to let a guy like that start feeling good about himself, and that's exactly what he's doing. He's getting to everything right now.

They've always created problems because of their speed and aggressiveness. You put some guys like Torii Hunter in the middle of the lineup along with Teixeira, and you give them a different look, and it makes them more dangerous.

Are two-strike RBIs or two-out RBIs more devastating than a regular RBI with zero or one out?

TERRY FRANCONA: No, I don't know about more devastating. It could be, can be. It can be more glaring. I mean, if you've gotten a bunch of RBIs with nobody out, and nobody really remembers if you're playing a game where you've had to have gotten a hit with two outs and you don't, then it's more glaring.

But I think like the last game in the first inning we've not only prolonged an inning, but we ended up turning it into a three run homer and we scored four. They prolonged the inning and we were able to snuff it out with one. Later in the game they had a chance for a real quick inning. Cora hit the double and followed up with Ellsbury driving him in. So not only did we score, but we prolonged the inning which was good anyway. But to add runs is always, you know, the goal.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.