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October 19, 2004

Terry Francona


Q. Were you able to get any decent sleep; can you describe the night after you left the ballpark?

TERRY FRANCONA: We don't need sleep right now. We can get it in the winter. You have a lot of late nights in this life. I'm sure you guys do, too. It really doesn't matter. Like I said, we can sleep when this is over.

Q. I know you don't want to think about this, but what's Plan B tonight if Curt for some reason can't go or has to come out?

TERRY FRANCONA: That's a bright note. First of all, we would not pitch Schill if we didn't think this was going to work. This is not a move out of desperation. This is a move to win. Now, in saying that, I've got my fingers crossed underneath here, but our medical people have really jumped through hoops, and Schill's desire to pitch has been so strong that I think this is going to work and I think he's going to be very effective. If something does happen, we'll make an assessment in a little while here of what pitchers are available. You know, Derek Lowe, Bronson Arroyo, Mendoza, we may have to patch it together, but I don't think we have anybody we could send out there that's going to go the length of a game, but we just patched it together the best we could, just like we've been doing.

Q. No matter how many protections you take with the relievers of mixing and matching, do you have any worries at all that the pitching every day causes any long-term after effects on them?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, you worry about all of the guys. We're very careful; talk to the trainers before the game, after the game, during the game about guys. We took Embree out of the game and he wanted to keep pitching because we thought it was in his best interests health-wise to come out of the game. So we tried to do what's right. But in saying that, you get to a point this season, that's what these guys are playing for, too. They are playing to win, and some of them are on fumes on both teams, but they are going to keep taking the ball.

Q. I realize you might use everyone tonight, but do you have a leading candidate for tomorrow's starting pitcher?

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, some of it will depend on who doesn't get used tonight, but Wakefield has already been told to kind of prepare for that. Again, we get into 16 innings, you don't know what's going to happen. But that's kind of our outlook is to have him prepare as he's not going to pitch tonight so he can get ready for tomorrow. And then, we'd just go as long as we could.

Q. Any adjustments made at all in Curt's delivery? Yesterday when he was throwing before the ballgame, he was using a slide step, anything to that, because of the ankle?

TERRY FRANCONA: I think you're reaching. Schill doesn't need to slide step. He's so quick to the plate that that's not part of his -- where did you see him doing a slide step?

Q. Before the game.


Q. Out in the outfield?

TERRY FRANCONA: He didn't have a side yesterday. He just played catch. You've got a little bit -- you're confusing me. He just played catch. He didn't even have a side yesterday.

Q. Okay.


Q. Just telling you what I saw.


Q. Was there anything that happened the last two nights that just flatly exceeded your expectations, or is this the way it's supposed to be?

TERRY FRANCONA: It was exciting, it was long, it was kind of an endurance test for both sides. I think you've seen two really good teams that are playing with a lot of passion, and a lot of desire even when they are on fumes. You know, we were at home in extra-inning games, which is important. Now we come here and we've got to find a way to get it done because there are no alternatives, but it's been very exciting. I'm glad, the first three nights obviously were not a lot of fun. They had their way with us. And because of the type of team we are, we climbed back in this and we're giving ourselves a chance.

Q. Can you talk about your lineup tonight, and just top to bottom, is there any concern for Jason, having caught so many innings in the last two games?

TERRY FRANCONA: I asked Tek last night at the airport if he wanted the day off. He politely declined. Their guys are going to do the same thing. That's just the way it is now. We have Bill Mueller hitting second tonight, just his history and success against Lieber, and because of the lack of success we've had lately and get some of our big guys off in the middle. But the same guys are playing.

Q. How much are you hoping for a short game tonight, something under five hours?

TERRY FRANCONA: I really could care less. Maybe you are, but I really don't care. What I'm hoping for is a win. We'll stay here till the morning, it doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter.

Q. Can you appreciate the great theatre this series has become, or are you too wrapped up in it to observe that?

TERRY FRANCONA: I am sure yesterday's game was a thrilling game to watch as a fan. I don't -- I'm not allowed to take that perspective. You're on the edge of your seat too much and the emotions are up-and-down, being so close to losing, being so close to winning, trying to figure out how we're going to win. But I'm sure it was a great game to watch. Anything that's good for baseball, I'm glad, but at the time during the game, you certainly don't sit there and think like that.

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