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October 14, 2016

Terry Francona

Cleveland, Ohio - Pregame one

Q. Can you just let us know what happened with the Bauer situation?
TERRY FRANCONA: You know, it's kind of self-explanatory. I think we've all, probably everybody in here probably at some point or another had a drone-related problem (laughter).

I mean, he loves doing -- we know that. He was just, I think, like -- I think he said routine maintenance. And again, I have no idea what that is. But he cut his pinky finger on top. Fortunately it was on top. There's a couple bright spots in the fact that, okay, it happened. We had enough days off between series where Tomlin -- we can just flip-flop them. And in the grand scheme of things, as long as Trevor is okay, in the grand scheme of things, all it is is us flip-flopping them. We have to win four games, anyway. And they were going to pitch twice.

The challenge for the doctors will be to make sure this thing, by the time he pitches, has healed enough where it's not bleeding. And we're fortunate that Dr. Graham is actually here in Cleveland, and he's one of the best in probably the world. And he's really confident that by the time his turn comes around he'll be okay.

Q. You've heard a lot through the years, is this one that caught you by surprise?
TERRY FRANCONA: You know, I was in the shower and when I got out of the shower my phone was blowing up. And Chris was like, Call me. And you could have given me a lot of guesses, and I wouldn't have probably got this one.

Q. Could you kind of run through what your conversation with Trevor was like?
TERRY FRANCONA: Trevor was already here at the ballpark with our trainers. I was home. So I kind of hustled and came over and just popped my head in real quick to see kind of what he looked like and what it looked like. And then, again, we were kind of up against it with the roster and so it was very quick with him.

Q. Guys have to live their life and have their hobbies. It's not like he was out doing stunts. But frustration level or --
TERRY FRANCONA: No. Like you said, this was not malicious, he wasn't doing something that -- he just -- I mean, he could have been opening a box in the kitchen. Things happen. I wish it wouldn't have, but like I said, it wasn't done maliciously, it wasn't done by being silly. Just happened.

Q. You said the doctors will monitor him. Is there any initial indication whether this could take longer than a couple of days?
TERRY FRANCONA: No, I think right away, and then during the course of the day, there was a lot of confidence from them, that if we did flip-flop them he would be in a really good place to pitch.

And he can cover it in the meantime when he wants to throw, just obviously when the game comes you can't. So we need to have him -- and they know that. They know all the parameters and things like that and they were very confident he'll be fine.

Q. You've had so many pitching issues come up and you've survived and really thrived by the way you've used the options that you have. How challenging has that been and how have you managed to succeed with having to improvise as much as you have?
TERRY FRANCONA: I think one is it doesn't really change -- I mean, I think if you know what your goals are like for a series; this one we need to win four games before they do. We don't have to win every game. We have to win four. And just not lose sight of that.

Again, you try to take what your team is, you have a 25-man roster, let's try to maximize what the guys do well, and try to minimize what we don't do. And hopefully when it's all said and done that's good enough for us to get to four wins before Toronto. That's really what it is. I think you can sometimes make it harder than it needs to be.

Q. In line with what you were just talking about with the pitchers and Miller has stood out for his flexibility. How rare is that for a pitcher, a relief pitcher to be that open to different assignments from your opinion? Do you think we'll see more change going forward?
TERRY FRANCONA: Let me answer the first part. It is fairly, I think, uncommon. I would say, though, that maybe the one place where it isn't is here. I mean, Andrew has gotten a lot of publicity and notoriety because of this, which he deserves, don't get me wrong. But Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Dan Otero, they've all been the same way. I just want to make sure people understand that, too. We couldn't do this with Andrew if we didn't have Cody back in the back finishing it. It wouldn't work.

I don't think you're going to see as much as people think, just because of the way our -- like the arbitration system, the way people are rewarded for saves. Again, I'd love to see that changed because I think if that was changed you would see how pitchers are used differently and I think we'd have a better game.

Q. You had Tomlin going on Monday. Is there any adjustments he has to make, like mentally, Now I'm pitching tomorrow?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I mean, he needed to know that he's pitching tomorrow, like -- JT is probably the easiest guy in the world. He handles everything. He's about as mentally -- God, I hate to say it, because I know he'll hear it -- he's about as tough mentally as you're going to find. He was excited. Like I said, we were fortunate in the fact that we didn't have to start him early or we didn't have to make a decision to pitch him a day before he should, things like that.

We had rest because of the series was over Monday night. So our pitching was in pretty good shape.

Q. For us who are out of town who really don't know Bauer, how would you describe his personality, so we know more about him and what makes him tick?
TERRY FRANCONA: I probably have to do that for the guys that are in town (laughter).

We've been together four years and Trevor is definitely -- has his own thoughts. I think when it's all said and done, some of it's overblown, some of the things he does pitching-wise. I think actually he has a lot of really good routines, to be completely honest.

I think he has worked hard to understand how we think, feel about things. And I'm pretty confident that we've tried to do the same. I think that that's the way it's supposed to work. He's made a lot of adjustments along the way. And, again, whether -- like he flies a drone, I don't care. I'd rather him do that than getting himself in trouble. He's a kid that cares about winning. He's very competitive. And I think just because everybody's different, I think you have to respect that as opposed to maybe thumbing your nose at it, because people are different.

That's okay. He's never going to be the loudest guy in the room. That's just the way he is. But you watch him during the game, he competes like crazy.

Q. Earlier just a minute ago you talked about if we didn't pay guys based on certain stats we could use pitchers the way you want it might be a better game. In the playoffs we're certainly seeing that, managers being really aggressive. In the games that you've watched is that fun to see that just as a viewer the way managers, including yourself, have really gone for it using their closers in various spots?
TERRY FRANCONA: Some games have been so fun to watch. I get so nervous watching some of these games on TV. I can't stand it. I mean, I've got to believe that Rob Manfred or even Mr. Selig before, how happy they are the way the Wild Card worked and now going into these games. I can't stand it, I get so nervous. Watching Jansen come in the seventh last night. And I feel so much better in the dugout, not that we don't get nervous, but at least you have something to say about it, a little bit. Sitting there at home on my ninth piece of pizza, you get nervous, man (laughter).

Q. Just to follow up on the point you were making to Tyler earlier about needing to win four of seven and being cognizant of that. In game when you're making your decisions on when to go to certain guys, how cognizant are you of the need to save your bullet for a future game versus the game in front of you?
TERRY FRANCONA: I really don't -- when we talked to our team about this yesterday, you play every game, I think, like it's your last. I really believe that.

I think what's a little harder for me, maybe like tonight, is that with Kluber pitching, he's a guy that's won a Cy Young. He has the ability when he gets in a game and gets comfortable, he can go nine. So you don't want to go too early either, because to your point, you save some bullets, that's good, too. But it's not to save them because of tomorrow necessarily. It's more how to win the game and how to do it the best.

You don't have a crystal ball, but when you take a Kluber out of a game it's a little different maybe than somebody else just because of how deep he can go effectively. That makes you think a little bit.

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