An interview with Terry Francona

An interview with Terry Francona

Terry, could you get into your lineup decisions specifically? You talked about them yesterday, but Cora over Lowrie at shortstop?

MANAGER FRANCONA: Sure, I think there was a good chance that we would play Cora tonight, just style of pitching, Ervin Santana, the way Lowrie swung, the way Alex Cora swung at certain types of pitchers, and I was leaning toward that anyway, but you don't need to make that decision until you need to.

With Mike Lowell that was a hard one for me. I think it's pretty obvious I couldn't say he's hurtin', he did not get worse. He wants to play. So I got up and got to the workout, thought about it a lot, and I realized where I wanted to get with that decision but getting to that decision was hard for me, that was a tough one.

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Terry, following up on that, how did Mike take the news?

MANAGER FRANCONA: I think he wanted to play. It would be a shock for him not to. But, again, sometimes some decisions are harder than others. I feel like I have an obligation to do the best I can in making decisions and I always will. But I admit some are harder than others.

You talked about Lowell yesterday. Is this decision more for his well being or do you feel like you're a better team right now with Youkilis at third?

MANAGER FRANCONA: No, no. Do I ever feel like we are a better team with Lowell not in the lineup, but there are some other things to think about besides just tonight.

We're going back to Boston, we've got to face a left handed pitcher. Trying to do what's best for our ball club. No, I have a lot of confidence in Mike Lowell, that's not it. What he's battling is tough.

I know you're a long way away from this, but more from a historical perspective, when a team wins a World Series, how much credit do you think the manager deserves?

MANAGER FRANCONA: A lot! (Chuckles.) Where are you going with that, because I'm not really sure what

Where I'm going with it, you're probably not going to like where I'm going because it's going to force you to not be humble

MANAGER FRANCONA: Can you ask a question, Tony? Go ahead.

You've been the manager in a World Series and if you stopped people on the street and ask them who are the best five managers in baseball, I'm not sure people would say your name

MANAGER FRANCONA: My dad would. No, I don't know, damn, I'm probably not going to answer this very well. I think we take what we're doing really seriously, and I hope at the same time we don't take ourselves too serious.

I think when we win I hope we win as an organization. The winning for me is enough. I really get a kick out of it. There is no way you ever win anything without really good players. I think when you couple that with having a really good organization, it certainly helps.

So part of me -- I guess what I'm saying -- if I said I don't care, that sounds flippant and I don't mean it like that, but I guess what I care more about is us winning, that's enough for me.

I really get a kick out of winning and when you win with some people you really care about, that's enough for me. You go to Beaver County, Pennsylvania, though, and they think I'm good.

Is that John Madden's county?

MANAGER FRANCONA: No.

That's Hazelton.

MANAGER FRANCONA: They don't know nothing.

Do you have anything named after you yet?

MANAGER FRANCONA: There is a softball field.

Really?

MANAGER FRANCONA: Sure.

That's appropriate.

MANAGER FRANCONA: I agree.

Talking again about Mike Lowell, how would you use him now? Might use him as a pinch hitter?

MANAGER FRANCONA: That's interesting, I wouldn't want to put him in a situation where he can go out there and hurt himself. You're not playing a guy because he's hurtin' and you shove him out there to play defense, that's not fair. Without giving away our strategy, if he fits a hitting situation where it's strictly hitting, he doesn't have to leg out something, I think he can help us win. But I would never put him in a situation that I think is unfair.

Terry, because of the time difference, et cetera, is Beckett going to remain with you for this game?

MANAGER FRANCONA: Yeah, we asked him if he wanted to go back and he said no. We usually we've been consistent all year long about talking to pitchers if they need to leave early, what's in their best interest, we've sometimes sent two guys ahead and he had no interest in doing that.

Sticking with Josh Beckett how is he feeling today after yesterday's side session?

MANAGER FRANCONA: Good, good. He's ready to go. When this first happened, I think there was some thought to pitchin' him today. We may have been able to pull it off, but what would have happened is he wouldn't have had his regular week of work which I think can get in the way of his success, so we tried to be a little bit patient, which is not easy, he had a long toss, his side, 67 pitches is a long side, but I think for his piece of mind and his ability to go out and try to be better than the team we're playing, this was the correct way to do it.

So are you saying now that he is starting Sunday? Is that a certainty now or are you going to wait?

MANAGER FRANCONA: Yeah, I think I said it pretty much all along, yeah, he's ready to go.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.