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October 27, 2004

Terry Francona


Q. First of all, your former three 20-game winners gave up no earned runs in this series, you shut down the 3, 4, 5 hitters, how did you go about doing that?

TERRY FRANCONA: I thought we had a great scouting report, very in depth. Great pitching coach. And I got to say two great catchers, that took the time to go over the reports and pass them on. But what it comes down to is having really, really good pitchers, follow the game plan and are able to follow it. And the other thing is sometimes a short series, when you catch guys at a the right time, and again, we won tonight. You know Rolen and those guys are going to get hot, we didn't allow them a chance to get hot, so good for us.

Q. Derek Lowe's run has been amazing, what was your conversation with him before the series started?

TERRY FRANCONA: We talked to him in Baltimore, told him he was going to the bullpen, he wasn't happy. He's a competitor, nobody wants to do that. We told him he had a day to pout, yell or whatever. Because he was going to have something to do in the playoffs. We didn't know how much. But to his credit he did what he was supposed to do. He didn't pout. He got himself ready and look at what he did. We're pretty proud of him. And I'm happy he had that much to do. Because nobody -- he was a big part of our team, won 14 games. You have to make tough decisions, and like I say, he didn't put his tail between his legs, he went out and competed. Our guys love him so much, for him to be out there was really, really neat.

Q. You heard Curt (Schilling) and Manny (Ramirez) giving a complete team effort. When people look back at this team years from, for you how will this team be remembered?

TERRY FRANCONA: As winners. That's probably the only important thing for me is that we won. That's what we set out to do and we were fortunate enough to get it done. We beat some really, really good teams under some adverse conditions, and we ended up standing at the end. And for that I'm proud and I'm pleased and that's all I care about.

Q. Some folks may look at this and see it was a four-game sweep, must have been easy. Can you talk a little bit about the team you went up against and what challenges they presented you, despite the fact that you beat them four straight?

TERRY FRANCONA: Nothing is easy. The way Isringhausen came in with the bases loaded and got out of that. That's amazing. That's an amazing piece of pitching to do that. Their fans are going crazy; that they get a hit, if they get another hit the tying run comes to the plate. It's never easy, but we didn't allow them the chance to come back. We know how good they are, we respect that. We got out of here with the ring we needed. Now we can celebrate. We didn't want to let them back in. We know what happened with us.

Q. What's more gratifying, being World Champion of the world or never having to answer a question about the Boston curse again, hereafter the next day or two?

TERRY FRANCONA: I don't think I ever answered it to begin with. I didn't believe in it. I wasn't around then. Being the World Champion is by far the best. I didn't do this for any other reason. We can't reverse what was a long time ago. I'm sure there are a lot of people in New England that are dancing in the streets right now. For that I'm thrilled. I can't wait to go back and join them. As far as the other stuff, this is the team. This was our team this year; you can't do anything else about any other year, so we'll celebrate this together.

Q. Wonder if you would talk about having Manny being the MVP and how that symbolizes the team?

TERRY FRANCONA: I'm thrilled for Manny, but we talked so much about a team concept that I'm a little uncomfortable going much farther than that. I think we had a bunch of MVP's. If you go back to the Yankee series, if Dave Roberts can't steal second base, I'm home watching this on television. We had a lot of people step up -- we have a lot of good players that played up to their expectations. We also had some guys that were in role parts that came in and did amazing things to help us win games. What Keith Foulke did, to me, was incredible. He came in and we're over or we're extending games. That's how you win when people do special things. We had a lot of special people do special things.

End of FastScripts...

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