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July 12, 2005

Terry Francona


Q. Terry, I was looking at you out of the corner of my eye and you were going through your team for tonight's game and different changes you were making and you had that smile across your face. I know you've got a great team to manage and a great lineup, are you having any fun?

TERRY FRANCONA: This has been the best. You know, the point coming up to this game, it was kind of trying at times. So far this game is just above everything I expected. These players are awesome. They give it everything they have. They are enthusiastic and so far we are doing okay.

Q. I would imagine foremost in your thinking right now to get Matt Clement through this inning without getting him hurt?

TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, no runs and not getting hurt is huge. We want every player to go back intact, especially our own.

Q. Talking about Mariano Rivera, the conversations you had with managers not just Joe Torre and obviously that's the main goal, to keep these guys in the shape they were in when they came to Detroit, you got Clement and what are you looking at as we go deeper?

TERRY FRANCONA: Next thing we might do is pitch Mariano, 6, 7, 8, 9. I don't think Joe will have a problem with that -- no, that's fine.

Q. You open with the Yankees the second half, you aware of that?

TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, we're going to try to mix common sense and definitely win this game and trying to play people.

Q. I said earlier that you can debate all you want about whether this game should be which league has home-field advantage in the World Series but I don't think you can debate that it's changed the mindset of the managers. You're going over decisions that four years ago you would not have even thought about; hitting and running, stealing, pitching around guys; has that changed the way you guys think?

TERRY FRANCONA: You know you're right, last inning, the run, definitely the exhibition atmosphere, attitude towards the game is definitely gone. I think if we forget who is getting home-field advantage, it's a big mistake.

Q. Two wins in Boston, two in St. Louis, and Terry, thanks not only for tonight but all during the regular season you guys are great to work with and thanks for joining us.

TERRY FRANCONA: See you this weekend.

End of FastScripts...

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