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Terry Francona’s updates from St. Lucie

03.11.10 at 1:57 pm ET
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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Here are some updates from Red Sox manager Terry Francona (starting with the approach his team was going to take toward former Sox’ Jason Bay. “We’re going to walk him three times,” Francona joked.)

On Bay: ‘€œHe’€™s a very popular teammate. Just because he changed unis takes away nothing from what he did. The day he walked into our clubhouse, he was solid. He’€™s a good guy. The business side of the game doesn’€™t change how you feel about people. I know that the business side isn’€™t always fun. there’€™s difficult decisions, that doesn’€™t change how you feel about people.’€

On Bay hitting in Citi Field: “You know what, the only time I saw that stadium was [at the end of spring training last year]. We couldn’€™t get a ball to the warning track. I know when it warms up ‘€¦ I’€™ll tell you what, when Jason Bay hits a home run, it’€™s a home run. He can hit anywhere. That’€™s not an issue.’€

On plan for Daisuke Matsuzaka’s bullpen session Saturday: ‘€œWe’€™ve got a couple of things Saturday. Daisuke is going to throw at, I think, we’€™ve got one thing going on at 10 and one thing at 11:30. We’€™re going to have some innings for some of the younger pitchers over at the minor league side. We’€™re trying to do both, where we can watch both, where theo can watch some of it. we’€™ll have a little bit better of a schedule.’€

On Jason Varitek, who won’t catch Friday in Jupiter as was originally planned: “Yeah, I was actually thinking about catching him tomorrow but I don’€™t think that’€™s gonna, the weather report is bad. I just don’€™t think that makes a lot of sense for him to be taking a three-hour bus ride. I called mikey over there and actually told him and Beltre both to stay back. I just don’€™t think that makes a lot of sense.’€

On Monday’s possible return of Mike Lowell: ‘€œMonday is sort of, I don’€™t know if it’€™s etched in stone, but I think that’€™s a realistic date. But we’€™ll see how he gets through the rest of the week.’€

Ellsbury won’t play in either East Coast game this week: ‘€œHe deserves it. He’€™s been on a lot of trips. And I’€™m sure he’€™ll be going on more.’€

On Alex Cora’s influence: “He’€™s good. He did a good job. You could tell his influence on bench guys. He had a special way of doing that, giving guys a nudge. A guy like carter, hey, go get loose, you never know what could happen here. He was a pretty special guy.’€

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