04/16/07 7:02 PM ET
Notes: Sox overcome weather
Despite soggy conditions, club gets in finale vs. Angels
By Mike Petraglia / Special to MLB.com
Francona made his way through the puddles of water as workers scrambled to open the drains in right field and get the field playable, a minor miracle considering just a few hours earlier a nor'easter was rolling through Boston and New England.
"I got here at 6:30 [a.m.] and [Red Sox president/CEO] Larry [Lucchino] called me at 7 [a.m.]," Francona said two hours earlier in his office. "The decision was made then to back it up to from 10 to noon just because it looked like it [was] somewhat opening up or lessening up."
For the record, the game started at 12:18 p.m.
"The field's going to take some time to get ready and I think they think there's a legitimate chance of playing this game," Francona said. "That would be good."
Francona liked it even better when the Red Sox scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning against Angels right-hander Ervin Santana. Francona was more than comfortable watching from his perch in the dugout.
"They put something in the dugout [for drainage], so it's not coming into the clubhouse," said Francona. "The drainage is good. They would never start a game without thinking you have a chance to play the game."
Pitching, pitching, pitching: All of the concerns about playing the game for Francona centered around how another washout would affect his pitching staff. The manager would have been forced to juggle his rotation heading into division play against the Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
"That's why we prefer to play it because you're getting into an area now where it does back you up and you're going to have to multiple guys [pitchers] regardless, and it backs you up farther than you want to go," Francona said.
As it turned out, Daisuke Matsuzaka will start Tuesday, with Tim Wakefield going Wednesday and Julian Tavarez starting Thursday at climate-controlled Rogers Centre.
"Like with Beckett, there's no way we're going to talk to him right now," Francona said. "We want him thinking about pitching."
Had Monday's game not been played, Francona indicated that the make-up date would have likely been June 11, with the Angels forced to travel to Boston from St. Louis and then onto Cincinnati.
Regardless of what Mother Nature dictated Monday, one thing was for sure, Tavarez wasn't moving from his Thursday start in Toronto.
"You go farther than that [12 days], it's not fair to anybody," Francona said of Tavarez's rest since his last start in Texas on April 7.
Take care of your own house: Don't expect Francona to be overjoyed at the injury hardships that have hit the Yankees (Mike Mussina, Chien-Ming Wang, Carl Pavano) and Blue Jays (B.J. Ryan).
"I saw the guys hurt and put on the DL," Francona said of the four disabled American League East pitchers. "We just need to play like we can play. However, they handle it, they'll handle it. I never really get too concerned 'till it comes down to September. You get too worried about their DL and then you won't take care of your stuff."
That's not to say he won't mind not seeing the Blue Jays closer this week.
"In a short series, Ryan may not make a difference," Francona said. "I know how important he is to their cause, but in our series it may not come down to that. I know how it is. It seemed like every day last year we'd come in here and we'd be talking about someone going on the DL."
Jamie Vermilyea, a former Rule 5 Draft pitcher with Red Sox in Spring Training last year, was called up by Toronto to take Ryan's spot on the roster while Jason Frasor will assume Ryan's closer duties.
Makeup announced: Following Monday's game, the Red Sox announced the date of the makeup game from Sunday's rainout. The Red Sox and Angels will play a separate admission day-night doubleheader on Aug. 17, with tickets from Sunday good for the 1:05 p.m. game.
Jackie Robinson tribute: In addition to the Aug. 17 makeup with the Angels, the Red Sox also announced Monday the team's celebration of the Jackie Robinson Day activities will take place Sunday, when the Red Sox host the Yankees at 8:05 p.m.
Coming up: The Red Sox won't have to worry about the weather Tuesday at 7:07 p.m. as they open a three-game series in Toronto with Matsuzaka (1-1, 2.57 ERA) opposing Blue Jays lefty Gustavo Chacin (1-0, 4.91 ERA).
Mike Petraglia is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.