When we had our meetings in Spring Training, listening to the player
development people talk about Masterson, talk about Lowrie, I actually
think -- and they had seen them play a heck of a lot more than I had, I
think they felt like this could unfold the way it did. They were talking
about Jed Lowrie as kind of a Bill Mueller type player, which is, I think,
a pretty good call.
They spoke with about Masterson at some point in the season, he was
probably going to accumulate some innings where we may want to put
him in the bullpen because he could come up and really impact our
season, which is exactly what's happened. So I think the guys in this
organization had a pretty good feel for some of these younger guys.
Is the way Masterson pitching for you now in the playoffs clarifying
or confusing the situation with regard to his future role with this
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I don't think there's any reason
today to clarify what he's going to do down the road. Our job right now
is to win as many games as possible. I was asked that earlier by the
other group of writers. I don't think there's any reason to do that.
Pap is similar. Pap could start or relieve. I guess when it boils down to
it, if you get guys who can get outs, we'll figure out where they can best
impact our team, but for the moment, we really like where he's at.
Again, there were some reasons he was put in this situation, because
he's developing still as a young pitcher. Where that takes him down the
road, we'll see.
It looked as if J.D. Drew got drilled pretty good on the shoulder last
night. What's his status today, and is he in the lineup?
TERRY FRANCONA: He's not in the lineup, and that's not
because he got hit. We're putting Coco in center more because of
Kazmir, we want Ellsbury to stay in the lead off spot.
He got whacked pretty good in the shoulder, but saying that, from
where I was sitting, I thought he got hit in the face. So there was a sigh
of relief because it looked a lot worse when it happened. I'm sure he's a
little sore today, but again, I'm glad it was not the face or the neck.
When you send Daisuke out last night, you talked about it after the
game last night, but how much discussion goes into something like that?
Is it always the same amount of discussion, or are there cases where we
need to go on the runway and talk this one through?
TERRY FRANCONA: There was a lot of discussion last night
because there were a lot of different scenarios that could present itself,
which it did. We actually got Masterson up before he went out, because
we wanted to have an answer for everything that could possibly come
up, and we only had two mounds.
So we got Masterson up, and we told him to get close to being ready
because we wanted Oki ready for a scenario with Peña; we wanted Pap
to be ready if the inning went a little bit better. And then we needed
Masterson available to get a double play ball with Longoria if that
presented itself. So we tried to have everybody be as ready as possible
for anything that happened.
I mean, the idea when you send Daisuke out certainly isn't to have the
first two guys get on, but you have to be prepared that that could
happen, and we were.
A lot of people in this room, and, of course, throughout the building
are spending a lot of time writing about the importance of postseason
experience. In your view, is the idea of postseason experience going into
a playoff series like this overrated or underrated or neither?
TERRY FRANCONA: I think you try to take any experience
you have and make it to your advantage. If it ever gets in the way of
how you play, then it would be a disadvantage. I think somewhat it's
probably overrated, though, but again, we're going to try to use
everything to our advantage we can.
If experience is part of that, good for us.
Just to follow up on what I asked you before, I know that Theo and
the front office people told you in the spring that these kids are pretty
good, that they may be helping you, but seeing how it's all played out,
especially Lowrie with his defense, and, of course, Masterson and what
he's done. Are you at least a little bit surprised at their makeup and at
their poise and that they don't seem to be fazed by all of this?
TERRY FRANCONA: No, I don't think "surprised" is a good
word. I'd be lying if I told you I haven't enjoyed these last two months.
We've mixed in some youth, and when guys seem to be going in one
direction and we have a lot of veterans, we do have a lot of young kids on
the field sometimes; when they seem to be going in one direction, I have
really enjoyed it.
We've got some pretty special kids in there, and at the same time, we
have some pretty special veterans that have allowed these young kids to
come in and be a big part of our team. And it probably goes both ways.
Once these kids prove that they understand how important our games
are, it works a lot quicker.
Do you give up any outfield defense with Drew not out there?
TERRY FRANCONA: Not with Coco playing. No, Coco can go
get them at center and Jacoby has done a great job of going to either
corner position and can impact the game very well.
You talked a little bit about -- it might have been under the radar
in Boston a little bit when you required Mark Kotsay and what you had
known about him beforehand and kind of what he adds to this team.
TERRY FRANCONA: I got so many messages when we
acquired Kots from people that I know in the game that respect that
said we were getting a guy that was off the charts, and I agree with that.
He's a gamer. The one concern I had was one of the type of guy he was,
to kind of grind it out, that there was a chance he wouldn't play every
day. But because of our injuries an things like that, he's played a ton,
and he's been tremendous for us.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.