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Terry Francona pregame quotes10/05/2004 9:39 PM ET
Q. I might as well ask you about Pedro, tomorrow, he is not talking today, how the team looks at him, is the extra rest going to help him?
TERRY FRANCONA: I think Pedro is going to be fine. You know what, if he talked, again, we go back to the gamesmanship thing. I don't pay much attention to what he says to you guys. You guys probably feel the same way at times. I know he is an interesting story because he is Pedro. What I care about is how he is going to pitch, and I think he will pitch fine.
Q. Terry, can you go over your final roster and your lineup for today.
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, sure. The final roster has -- I am not going to name 25 names. Youklis is on, Scott Williamson was the one guy we didn't put on, and that was after talking to Willie, Dave Wallace, myself and Theo, and explaining to him the rigors of this five-game series, which he already was aware of. I think he felt like doing the right thing for the team was maybe not being on the roster.
We appreciated his honesty because those roster spots are so important, and if he couldn't answer the bell, it could have maybe put us in a little bit of a bind.
Q. Terry, as you may have noticed, this is a somewhat loose bunch over the course of the year.
TERRY FRANCONA: You guys or our team?
Q. Both, actually. How does that translate in the postseason? Is that a good thing, to have guys not being uptight, or do you wish they would maybe step up the intensity or do you not want them to change?
TERRY FRANCONA: I don't think there is a correlation between them being uptight and the intensity. If I did, I would have tried to step in and change stuff. Their personality is their personality.
As a group, they are borderline nuts, but when they get out in the field, I think they try to play the game right, and I don't see that changing today at all. I don't want them to show up and be different. I want them to be themselves because I think we are a good team like that.
Q. Terry, Johnny Damon made an allusion to Pedro's last start; he touched 96 on the radar gun. I know you probably don't worry about velocity much, but could you say what Pedro's velocity has been this year and when he has gotten into trouble, why he has struggled.
TERRY FRANCONA: I think like most pitchers, I think the velocity -- although I catch myself looking, too, because it's up there. In Tampa he looked like he got a little aggravated and threw the ball very hard, threw the ball by some hitters, but rather than the radar gun, I think the way a guy is throwing tells you how far good their fastball is.
And I think when he has run into problems, it's been location and command. If he is commanding, I am not sure it matters how hard he is throwing because he has four pitches, and he can do what he wants to with them. He has had some tremendous success this year, some big games where he wasn't throwing the ball 96, and he is still a dominating pitcher.
Q. Terry, can you talk about how you are evaluating your choice at first base for these games.
TERRY FRANCONA: Millar is our first baseman. We are going to pretty much stay consistent with what we have done. If we have a lead later in the game, Mientkiewicz will come in because he is so good defensively. But we have talked to Dougie about this. You know, when we got him from Minnesota, we, basically, got him to play a lot, and it didn't work out that way.
When we made -- when Theo made the trade, Millar got real hot, came back, things we didn't see completely, and it's cut Dougie's playing time a little bit, but when we have a lead, he may be in there. He may have a game this series, I am saying he is not playing tonight, today.
Q. How much of the extra rest that Pedro has will affect your decision as far as how many pitches he will throw? Because once he gets over about 100, he tends to not be as effective.
TERRY FRANCONA: I am not sure I necessarily agree with that. I think it depends on the situation, rest, who he is facing, hitters, how his innings were -- you know, the amount of labor. I think there is a lot of things that go into that and we will take all those into consideration.
What we are going to try and do is win, and we will do the best we can with that. I think those numbers have changed a little bit this year late in the game.
TERRY FRANCONA: I think so. Damon, Bellhorn, Ramirez, Ortiz, Millar, Baritek, Carera, Kapler, three lefties and three righties on the bench.
Q. Terry, I know you tried to keep Pedro as fresh as possible but did you see him wearing down towards the end of the season?
TERRY FRANCONA: No, I don't think he looked extremely well the last couple starts and it cost him. I actually thought -- again, we talked about him getting a little aggravated that one start, he reached back and threw the ball, as far as velocity goes, extremely well.
Sometimes guys just, for whatever reason, he went through a little bit of a rough stretch. I bet you every manager out there wishes they could start him in Game 2. That's kind of how I feel about it.
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