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October 24, 2016

Terry Francona

Cleveland, Ohio - Workout day

THE MODERATOR: First question for Terry Francona.

Q. We were talking to Danny in there. He said that he was informed he's on the roster. What can you tell us about that decision, and how he looked in the sim game yesterday?
TERRY FRANCONA: Nothing's official, but Danny is going to be on, and Cody Anderson will be taken off for this series. Now, again, nothing's official, so if we have another drone incident or anything with model airplanes or anything, we reserve the right till we have to turn it in.

But Danny threw last night, and he threw three innings and under those circumstances, it's not the easiest to probably reach your best velocity, but he was getting after it pretty good. So, it gives us -- we've talked about using three starters, then after the third game we'd kind of see where we are. We have Merritt, we have Danny. Neither one would pitch a full game, but between those two, you know especially with Danny, it gives you a guy that made the All-Star team that we could pitch really whenever we want.

So it's another really good arm that's kind of a wild card that we think could help us.

Q. Two-part question for you.

Q. You've known Joe Maddon an awfully long time. Just your thoughts on him as a manager, and what he's meant to this game. Number two, who were your influences on the managerial side, guys that maybe made you want to be a manager and kind of molded you into who you are today?
TERRY FRANCONA: One, I would never evaluate another manager. I don't think that's my job. I think Joe's career speaks for itself. He started in Tampa and had the ability down there to kind of almost do what he wanted. He always pushed the envelope trying to do some things, whether it was playing four outfielders against Ortiz. The one thing he's always had the ability to do is keep a clubhouse together, which is saying a lot, during the course of 162 games, keeping guys going in one direction. I mean, certainly there's a lot more to him than that. He's very intelligent. But just for the fact that he gets teams going and believing is a pretty big compliment in itself.

As far as people you learn from, I mean, shoot, from the time I was able to carry a glove or a bat, because my dad played, I always watched my dad do everything, and he was by far the biggest influence in my life and in baseball. But then, because I wasn't a very good player, there were a lot of Major League managers I played for. I think it was 16, so I paid attention a lot. It's a lot of philosophies. A lot of different ways of handling things.

Buddy Bell, who I roomed with in Cincinnati, was a huge factor. Then he hired me as a third base coach, and a lot of how I feel about the game is because of Buddy.

Q. A couple Cubs players who you have a shared past with, how would you describe your relationship with Jon Lester, and do you remember the day you showed Anthony Rizzo around Fenway?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, Jon, when you know young players when they're first coming through, like when they're coming from Double-A, Triple-A to the Big Leagues, you almost get a little bit of a feeling, almost a paternal feeling, and I don't ever mean to say -- there's only one father and mother, but I think you get my point. So I've known him since he came to the Major Leagues. I've lived through him beating cancer and so I've known him for a long time.

He's one of my favorites. He's one of everybody's favorites though, so that's an easy one. I won't be pulling for him tomorrow, but he's very special. I've known his mom and dad for a long time, and he's pretty special.

Anthony Rizzo, my goodness, the time he came to Fenway he was so sick himself, to the point where it was hard to watch, because he was really beat up and look where he is now. That's pretty cool.

Q. Another Boston connection question. What would it be like to go against Theo Epstein's team and how important was Theo to your career?
TERRY FRANCONA: Theo was kind of laughing about that today. It's not against Theo. Our players are going to dictate who wins and loses on both sides, as it should be, but Theo had the guts to hire me up there when, I don't know, I didn't have a ton of resumé and they were expected to win, and he believed in me. We went eight years of a lot of good baseball. You've been to Boston enough to know if you can survive with somebody through eight years there, that says enough right there. I always knew when things got tough where I could go, and that's a big compliment, in my opinion.

Q. Jon Lester's issues throwing to bases are fairly well documented over the past few years. Was this something you had to manage and keep on your radar when you were working with him in Boston?
TERRY FRANCONA: The last, I don't know quite how long, but the last bit while I was there we knew it was surfacing and we did a lot of things to make sure that it didn't get out in the open, and I thought we actually did a really good job because it wasn't until I left there that people started to realize that.

Q. You helped put an end to that long drought in Boston. How special would it be to help put an end to another title drought here?
TERRY FRANCONA: I know that's a really cool thing for fans to talk about and stuff. It really doesn't enter into what we're doing. It's so hard to win anyway. We'll put all our energy into tomorrow, see if we can beat Lester, and whoever follows him, hopefully. Then if we win, we'll move on. If we lose, we'll move on and try to win the next day.

I just think if you look too far back, you look too far forward, you miss what's right in front of you. So these players have earned the right to try to see if we can beat the Cubs, and that's going to be a tall enough task. But I don't think we need to go back and concern ourselves with 40, 50, 60 years ago.

Now, if you win, it makes for a cool story.

Q. This is along the lines of a cool story angle, so sorry in advance. You're one of a handful of players that have ever played for both teams that are involved in the World Series right now. Does that mean anything to you? And can you appreciate the historic nature of both teams and what the fan bases have been waiting for for this long?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, what it means is I wasn't very good because I kept getting let go. I mean, I think that the story line is already written, and I'm sure people are going to make a big deal out of it, but I think it makes kind of a deal out of its own. One franchise and one city is going to be really happy. The other one is going to probably -- all the same things you've heard year after year, you'll probably hear it again. I hope it's them.

Q. Kind of a two-part question: A lot of the players that have played for both you and Joe said you're very similar in the ways you make the players relax, you get the best out of them. So do you see that? And also, how are you guys different, because it seems like maybe off the field you're a little different?
TERRY FRANCONA: It's hard for me to answer that because when you see somebody managing across the field, one, you don't spend any time thinking about what they do in their spare time, things like that. I have a lot of respect for Joe, though, on how his teams have always played, and I know from talking to players that they do a really good job of making guys relax and getting the most out of them.

But other than that, I mean, I really never spent much time thinking about similarities or things that are alike. I know he rides his bike a lot. I prefer to take the hog every day. I don't want to exert more than I have to.

Q. How's your wine knowledge?
TERRY FRANCONA: I hate to say this, but, I mean, I used to drink Boone's Farm when I was in college (laughing). I am not a real big wine drinker. Really, I really don't know much about wine, and if I started to act like I did, I would just embarrass myself.

Q. What can you tell us about Kipnis' potential status for tomorrow?
TERRY FRANCONA: He's actually, I think, probably in about ten minutes he's going to go out and run the bases and do those things and he'll be fine. He's doing much better today. He hit last night in the sim game. Again, he might not be 100%, but I don't think it's going to get in the way.

Q. You talked about Bauer and Tomlin, two and three. Do you know anymore about Bauer than you did when we talked to you yesterday?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I can tell you where we're at. Trevor really wants to face a couple hitters today just because it's been a little while since he's thrown what, 20 pitches a while back. So he's going to go ahead and face a couple hitters, and we're going to try to work that in during batting practice, because it's only going to take about five minutes. Then when he gets through that, we'll know a lot more. The hope is that he's ready to pitch on Wednesday. But if there's any ambiguity or any questions, we'll bump him back to Game 3.

Q. Does anything stand out in your memory about your season as a Cub?
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, I mean, nothing that you're probably -- not what you're looking for. I lived out in Northbrook and my slot to hit every morning was I hit from 10:10 to 10:25, Chris Speier and I. So I would fight the traffic in, so I had to leave at like 7:00. I'd usually pinch-hit about quarter to 6:00. There would be shadows, I'd make an out. And then I'd fight the traffic home. That was my summer in Chicago.

Q. I don't think a lot of us knew what Josh Tomlin was going through in August with his dad. Can you just have an appreciation for him having to deal with a personal issue while trying to perform for you guys?
TERRY FRANCONA: I think he actually thought that being here and with his teammates was helping him. Because I told him many times, I said the minute you feel like you want to be home, even if it's for your mom, we'll handle this. But he had a lot going on. That was tough.

I think his dad's trying to come to Game 3, which would be really cool. And I hope that works out, not just for J.T., but for his dad and his family, I think that's really cool.

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