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October 9, 2016

Terry Francona

Boston, Massachusetts - Pregame three

Q. I know it's hard to be hypothetical now, because the game hasn't been postponed yet, but if it is, and you have to play three days in a row, what are the biggest impacts it can have on you and your strategy, bullpen use and other things?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I think it's easier when you know you're not playing, it's easier to go to your bullpen earlier.

Saying that, I think when you have a lead in a short series you try to win because you're never guaranteed that you're going to have the lead the next day.

So I think you try to win every game you can. You might be less inclined to chase a win a little bit, but again, in a short series you're never guaranteed you're going to have a lead, so when you have a lead you go for it.

Q. But when you spot, say, an instance in the sixth inning, when it's a big thing where you would bring Miller in [no microphone]?
TERRY FRANCONA: I don't feel like I need to go through our strategy here for the next game, but I'll pretty much try to -- we stay in the moment and try to win the game at hand because there's so many unknowns. Like I said, you might not have the lead, it might rain, you end up worrying about things that may not even happen. If you have a chance to win a game, that's what's right in front of you and that's what's important. And then if you don't, then you figure it out the next day.

Q. If it's rained out, which isn't that big of a hypothetical at this point, what's with your rotation at least for Game 3?
TERRY FRANCONA: I think we'll probably stay the same. We were just kind of talking about it a little bit ago, but my guess is we'll probably stay the same.

Q. What happened to your finger?
TERRY FRANCONA: The truth or what happened? (Laughter.)

We have a SwimEx in our ballpark, you know, the little box that you get the -- I keep hitting my finger on the end and then it gets infected. It happens like three or four times a year. Man, it's tough to play with injuries (laughter).

Q. What has Raj Davis brought to the ballclub, to the clubhouse and on the field, and how unusual is it for someone to retain his ability to steal bases as long as he has?
TERRY FRANCONA: That's what he brought, speed, which I think we thought that on our ballclub maybe we would see more stolen bases than the year before, which I understand. With Miggy hitting and Victor and J.D. Martinez, you don't want to get thrown out. We were looking for someone who could run.

But you make a good point, sometimes you get into your mid 30s and the stolen base, the speed isn't what it quite was. Raj works really hard. And every day to be consistent and he's so fast, but he's been so fast every day, whether he's starting or coming into pinch-run the eighth inning, he's always ready to go right now, and he works really hard at it.

Q. You've been on both sides of kind of the large market, small market dynamic, how much has the ability of small market teams to win changed since the time you were with the Red Sox? And what's important to an organization in order to be able to kind of succeed in spite of market disadvantages?
TERRY FRANCONA: Oh, boy, that's probably over my pay grade. I know when I was going to come to Cleveland four years ago Chris sat me down and really had an honest conversation about some of our challenges, which I think he was worried that maybe I'd be excited for a little while and then get frustrated. And I appreciated that. Because it is a little bit different, in the winter. Not now. When the game starts, it's the game. But sometimes the neighborhood you work in is a little different during the winter.

I think we don't have the ability to -- if we make a mistake it can hurt us not just for this year but for the next year. And so we have to be very cognizant of that. That's why I thought Chris and his guys did such a good job this winter. They stayed at Napoli, that could have gone away a lot of times. And they signed Raj and Uribe, those were our three. And we signed Byrd late. And Raj and Napoli have been huge parts of our team. And it didn't undo our pay scale. I thought Chris's guys deserved a ton of credit for that. It wasn't as easy as it looked.

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