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Transcript of Terry Francona on Dale & Holley

07.15.09 at 12:56 pm ET

Thanks to Greg Cameron, here are the highlights from Sox manager Terry Francona’s weekly interview with “Dale & Holley” Wednesday afternoon (CLICK HERE to listen to the complete audio interview).

On if Francona is disappointed that Tim Wakefield did not appear in last night’s All-Star Game: “Personally, sure. I thought Joe did a great job last night. The way that the game is constituted, it puts the manager in a tough spot. It looks to me like he did a good job. He held Wake back because he was rested and a knuckleball pitcher. I thought Joe did a great job. “

On managing to win and get as many players in during the All-Star Game: “I think that the way they set this game up, it certainly makes the outcome more interesting. Different people probably feel different. We’re going to try to win the game and get as many guys in a possible, and we appreciate your co-operation. If the bottom line is winning the game, you can’t put yourself in a position to lose.”

On how Joe Maddon managed the AL All-Stars last night: “It’s not easy. It’s harder in a National League city. I thought he did a good job. As a fan of the Red Sox or Wakefield we probably want to see them, but I thought Joe pulled it off really well.”

On how the team’s pitching lines up for the second half: “Not much, really. We set it up for our staff to not have to sit around. We’ll have a lot of other pitchers throw their side tomorrow night when we get to Toronto.”

On Clay Buchholz’s start on Friday night: “We really wanted to line up our pitching after the break. It can give you a lot of rest. You’re feet can get a little heavy. What you can do is, Buchholz is going to be excited. Maybe he absolutely deals. This kid has gone down and done everything that we’ve asked of him. And there’s something to be said about that.”

On the team being in first place: “I think we evaluate everyday where we are. If you’re in first place, it makes the three days that much better. When we get to the end of the year that’s when we care about being in first place. We’ve had some ups and downs, we have a good team effort. And things haven’t been perfect. But we like where we are.”

On the teams’ slim three-game lead in the division:
“No, we can’t control that the Yankees won 15 out of 17. We went on a road trip and went 6-3 and didn’t make up ground on the team chasing us. Sometimes to you lose games, sometimes you get good pitching performances from your opponents.”

On Mike Lowell’s impending return to the team: “We certainly have some decisions to make. Theo and I have talked a bundle. We’re either going to activate Lowell on Friday or Saturday and Lowrie on Saturday. Not having Lowell was tough for us. Kotsay has filled in great, Bates gave us a big day the other day. Youk filling in all over the place gives us our best team.”

On Lowrie’s playing situation upon returning from his wrist injury: “If he comes back Saturday, he’s not going to be in position to help us every day. We’ll try to give Jed a day in between starts.”

On the impending roster moves that face the Sox with Lowell and Lowrie returning from the DL: “Those are things when we make the decision. We talk to players and tell them our thinking. I don’t want to say it in the media, that would be a mistake”

On if the Sox bullpen is fatigued in any way, shape or form: “We had a blip, a hiccup. If you look at our bullpen, we’re the only bullpen without any dl issues. Nobody’s hurting.  Nobody’s been under or over used. I think our bullpen has been outstanding.”

On the bullpen’s success and having guys like Hunter Jones and Michael Bowden help in spots: “You have to have good pitcher for it to work. We could’ve easily lost that game. We were fortunate that those kids pitched well.  As the season progresses, you’ll see our guys pitch well, nobody will be worn out.”

On Dustin Pedroia’s decision to stay home with his ailing wife and skip the All-Star Game: “I agree with that. When it came down to it, there wasn’t a decision. In the end he decided it wasn’t a decision, he showed the game of baseball a lot of respect.”

On if Pedroia will be able to make the trip to Toronto despite his wife’s pregnancy issues: “I think so, they’ve got some things in place. I think it’s her 34th week, this baby’s in a lot better place that about 10 days ago. Petey will be okay.”

On being involved with his players and their issues: “I think it’s my responsibility to do those things. Lugie [Julio Lugo] and I have had some really tough conversations. But I think that we need to have a relationship where we can talk about things. “

On managing in the All-Star Game and getting as many guys in as possible: “A lot of preparation, a lot of conversations, everybody who watched last year’s All-Star Game, knows how tough it was with pitching. I looked at Leyland, and thought this kid [Guillen] deserved to be in the game. I was willing to take the chance because I thought he deserved to be in the game. You do what you think is right”

On how the Red Sox skipper spent the All-Star Break:
“I took the girls to dinner, other than that I did nothing. I sat out in the backyard did a crossword puzzle. I’m going to buy a watch.”

On if Francona has read Dustin Pedroia’s new biography: “I did not but I told him to leave a copy in my bathroom at the ballpark.”

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