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October 16, 2004

Terry Francona


Q. Can you give us any update on Curt? And you said yesterday it would depends on how he felt today?

TERRY FRANCONA: I can give you a small update. I think he's having the usual after-throwing soreness. Nothing more and not much less. I think probably what I said yesterday still stands. We have not closed the door on his season. But that's about where we're at. He's down there now with the training staff and some medical people, just trying to get a little better feel for where we're at.

Q. He was pretty down after Game 1, just wondering if he was going to be able to pitch again. Is he any more enthused after yesterday and how he felt today?

TERRY FRANCONA: I don't know if I'd use the word "enthused." I think he's obviously very hungry to pitch, and we spoke about, you know, how he looked forward to this possible match-up as far back as Thanksgiving last year and when he went out there and was kind of not able to pitch like he wanted to I'm sure that was very tough for him and us, too. I think he kind of feels like we do; that this door isn't closed. And until it does, you keep the hope and faith and try to work hard and do what you're supposed to do, and we'll kind of see how it goes. We kind of said the same thing, maybe different ways. If he can pitch without endangering himself and he can also be productive, you know, we would like to send him out there, but only under those circumstances. Regardless of our situation, whether we win or lose, I don't think we can let that dictate when he pitches. That's not fair.

Q. Can you compare the atmosphere at Fenway Park to the atmosphere at Yankee Stadium? There's 20,000 more fans in Yankee Stadium, but certainly the proximity of the fans to the players and just obviously you must take solace in knowing that you're home, how do you compare the two?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I was going to say, I think they like us more here. We were actually talking about that the other day. We were out on the field taking BP, because you're at Yankee Stadium, because of the configuration of the stadium, the upper deck, they are right on top of you and there's a lot more people there than there are here. I forget what year it was when we beat -- Clemens won Game 4 to clinch it, I actually bought tickets and took my kids and sat in the upper deck, and I was amazed at how good of seats that they were. You come back to Fenway and it's so small and so quaint, but you get these maniacs in here loving their Red Sox, and it's a pretty neat atmosphere.

Q. Bellhorn is an unusual number two hitter. How long did it take you to be comfortable that a guy with that particular resume would be an effective number two hitter for you?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I agree, he's a little bit unique. I know there's more strikeouts there than, you know, you would like or I would like. But when you're putting your team together and you're putting your batting order together, you try to take the positives and let them outweigh the negatives, and he's been on base so much for us, he's got big hits for us, he's hit some home runs, he's seen a lot of pitches. I just think when it all stacked up, he was our best number two hitter on our ballclub. If he struck out less, would he be better; well, probably, but maybe that takes away some of the other things he does. Guys hit the way they hit, so you take what they bring and then you try to put them in the right place.

Q. You have not played a game in this series for almost 72 hours, with ballplayers being such creatures of habit, can you describe your team at this point, are they bouncing off the walls in there or are they antsy because they have not played? How are they dealing with this kind of layoff?

TERRY FRANCONA: I don't think they are bouncing off the ball walls any more than unusual. Our clubhouse is never really that tame. They are the same. We just haven't played a game. We've been out doing the same thing, we hit, we hit on the field the day before, we hit in the cage yesterday which happens from time to time here. We just didn't play the game. They showed up at the same time today ready to go. They are always the same.

Q. Having had more time to consider your options, do you still intend to pitch Derek in Game 5 and Pedro in Game 6?

TERRY FRANCONA: Did we say that already? Did I announce Pedro as Game 6? I don't think I did.

Q. You had indicated Derek was going to pitch Game 5?

TERRY FRANCONA: I think I said maybe. We haven't got that far yet. I mean, that's -- we don't really -- we haven't made the announcement yet. We'll let you know when we think it's appropriate.

Q. Were you able to find Curt the right size shoe?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I wasn't. Actually, he just got in about a half hour ago. I don't know if the shoe got in or not yet. I hope. For all of the publicity they are getting, they ought to be able to get the right size. (Laughter.)

End of FastScripts...

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