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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: ‘€œPersonally, 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. ‘€œ

On managing to win and get as many players in during the All-Star Game: ‘€œI 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: ‘€œIt’€™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: ‘€œNot 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: ‘€œWe 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: ‘€œI 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:
‘€œNo, 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: ‘€œWe 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: ‘€œIf 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: ‘€œThose 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: ‘€œWe 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: ‘€œYou 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: ‘€œI 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: ‘€œI 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: ‘€œI 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. ‘€œ

On managing in the All-Star Game and getting as many guys in as possible: ‘€œA 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:
‘€œI 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: ‘€œI did not but I told him to leave a copy in my bathroom at the ballpark.’€

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