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Transcript of Terry Francona with D&H

02.12.09 at 5:47 pm ET
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Transcribed by Drew Scott

The following is a portion of an interview that took place between Terry Francona and Dale & Holley this afternoon on Sportsradio 850 WEEI. (To hear the full interview, click here.)

D&H: Technically, this is the first day of spring, this is the beginning of Spring Training, pitchers and catchers report today, [and] joining us on the AT&T hotline, AT&T your world delivered, is the manager of the Boston Red Sox, Terry Francona. Hey Tito!

Francona: Good morning guys or good afternoon, how are you doing?

D&H: Good afternoon. What’€™s going with you? How have you been?

Francona: (Laughs) I’€™m doing fine. I’€™ve had a couple long days of meetings, but it was OK.

D&H: Now see I figured, first day of spring training, it’€™s an hour at the park, and then off to the golf course or something, huh?

Francona: Well, I actually did go to the golf course yesterday afternoon and played my one round of golf for the year and I’€™m probably done.

D&H: Well, give us some scores, man. How’€™d you do?

Francona: I can’€™t, you know what rather than give you a score because it wasn’€™t that great, I did have a hole-in-one.

D&H: You did!?

Francona: How bout that? So I figured it bodes well for the rest of the year.

D&H: Did you have witnesses?

Francona: Yeah, I actually did, and it wasn’€™t just Millsy (Brad Mills). I was out with Beckett, and Beckett as much at probably pains him to admit it, he was there and he saw it so I have some people that actually did witness it.

D&H: All right, now how far away was it and what’€™d you hit?

Francona: It was 215 yards and I hit a 9-iron (Laughs)

D&H:
(Laughs) Yeah let’€™s wait for the gap there for the laugh track.

Francona: You know what? It was about 160 yards and I hit a seven iron. And you know when it left my club I was kind of yelling, ‘€œGo in!’€ because I do that on every hole. And when it went in, Beckett started screaming and it was actually kind of fun. That was about one of the few highlights of the day, but it certainly made it worthwhile.

D&H: Now, you said you were in meetings, do you have meetings with the team? Well, you can’€™t have meetings with the team because they’€™re not all there. Is it just meetings about spring training protocol or policy? How would you characterize these meetings?

Francona: No, the policy and the protocol that’€™s already been taken care of. What we do the first day, is we went over the position players with the staff, and today we went over the pitchers. Just to make sure, basically so the staff can have as much knowledge about every single player that comes through our doors. What we try to say to the staff on the first day is, regardless of whether it’€™s one of our mainstays, or a young kid, or a six-year free agent we kind of have an obligation that when they come through that door, we know who they are, we know as much about them as possible, so we can get the most out of them. So these first two days were an important first step in that process.

D&H: I saw you coming home from Tampa on the last day of the season when a new season was the furthest thing from your mind. When you finally walked back into the park today and it’€™s back on for real, are you anxious to get it going again?

Francona: Yeah, it never, the clock works, it’€™s unbelievable, when the seasons over you are just out of gas. It probably takes me a little bit longer each year to get that feeling of coming back and the excitement, but once you do its unbelievable. I mean you see guys you haven’€™t seen in a long time, you get back in that flow of wanting to get on the field. I mean tomorrow’€™s the first day we’€™ll put our uniform on, it is an exciting day, and you feel energetic. I wish I could find a way to keep that feeling in August and September because it feels good now, but the season wears on all of us, I guess that’€™s just the way it’€™s supposed to be, but this is certainly an exciting time of year for us.

D&H: It’€™s an exciting time of year for fans and media too, but sometimes for not all the right reason. Already, it has been a tough PR hit for baseball in 2009. What did you think of the A-Rod revelations, and basically A-Rod’€™s confession, and just the story when it broke initially?

Francona: You know Michael, I need to plead the fifth a little bit on this. I haven’€™t seen, I’€™ve seen bits and pieces, and I think it’€™s a little bit dangerous to make comments on things that you don’€™t know enough about, and I guess that’€™s how I feel about this one. You know obviously I care about the game, a lot, and I just don’€™t know enough about it, you know maybe we never will, who knows.

I mean again there’€™s … I don’€™t know that everybody is ever going to know everything about everybody, you know there is a lot of ambiguity in a lot instances. You know I hope that it doesn’€™t hurt the game because you know, that’€™s not a very good answer, but I don’€™t know if there is a good answer out there and that’€™s a shame. I do think our game is wonderful and when you talk to the players, I hope the game doesn’€™t get a black eye because there are so many good things going on in this game that I just hope this doesn’€™t tarnish it with the fans.

D&H: Well, I’€™ll ask you this and we know that a manager has many hats to wear, there’€™s the game itself and then there are the personalities that you have to manage, different personalities, do you feel like it is your job if you saw something going on, I’€™m not even going to refer to any player by name just in general. If you saw something going on that was bad for baseball, if you saw or your heard rumors that a player was doing some things that he shouldn’€™t be doing, do you feel like it is your job to go up to that player and set him straight? Or is that out of bounds for a manager?

Francona: Well Michael … you know what? I guess maybe I would take it a step further, I think it’€™s my responsibility as someone who is supposed to care about these guys, that not just as baseball or as far as rules go, but as far as someone who cares about somebody who might be doing something bad to themselves, I think I have a responsibility morally not just following the rules of baseball. You know, back ten years ago, however many years ago, I don’€™t know, you know what I think, I think and when I say we I mean baseball in general, I think everybody can take some guilt on this subject and probably wear it just about equally and other than that I just don’€™t know really how to answer it.

D&H: Terry, fans go in to spring training every year with questions on their mind you know: Who’€™s going to be this? And who’€™s going to be that? You’€™ve got a bigger information base than we as fans have, but what are some of the things you’€™re curious to find out in this spring training?

Francona: It is going to be a little different spring in the aspect that we’€™ve invited a lot more young kids into camp and that was by design, and I think it’€™s exciting. You know, kind of the Lars Anderson’€™s of the world, the Daniel Bard‘€™s, young kids that aren’€™t on the roster yet, but we’€™re bringing them in to let them take up some of the innings that maybe we’€™ve had in the past some veteran minor league players and I think that really excites the staff, I know it excites the organization, but really I think we will enjoy that to see how they handle their first taste of a major league camp, and again you learn a lot but that’€™ll be fun.

Certainly the shortstop situation will be interesting to watch how that unfolds and to see how those two guys handle somewhat of some competition involved there. You know to see how our bullpen plays out, to see how the health of our pitching staff, and to see if we do have as much depth as we think.

D&H: I was going to ask you about that, when last we saw Red Sox players, you had several guys who were hurting, and some in a pretty good way. You’€™ve got physical questions at the end of the season with Mike Lowell, David Ortiz, and Josh Beckett. What are your initial reports on how everyone is doing coming to camp?

Francona: Well, the guys you just mentioned, Ortiz, the reports are really good, now I haven’€™t seen him in a while, since before Christmas, but the reports are really good. Some guys have laid some eyes on him in the Dominican and they said he looks tremendous, so I’€™m excited to see David because that would be great news for us.

Mikey Lowell, he is going to be on a little bit of a slower program at the beginning of camp. I don’€™t think that is earth shattering, again the idea is to get him ready for, and I say opening day and that’€™s a pretty legit timetable it doesn’€™t have to be that day or the day before. The idea is to get him back and then once he is back to get him playing consistently like he can, so I hate to put an artificial date on it. But I think he’€™s going to be OK.

Again, the pitching staff getting guys like Smoltz here and Penny it’€™s exciting because initially the reports coming in are very favorable so again we’€™ll have them work hard and we think we have a good medical staff and we believe in our guys and we’€™ll see what we can do.

Afternoon Links

02.12.09 at 2:28 pm ET
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WE’VE SLASHED OUR PRICES TO THE BONE! EVERYTHING MUST GO! I love the Chad Pennington jersey for $9.99. Jose Offerman is being sued for his 2007 bat attack. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese with a Taiwanese dialect? Love baseball? Willing to move to Houston? Have I got a job for you! Nothing says Valentine’s Day like having a guy in a bull outfit delivering a gift basket to your significant other. The Onion weighs in with the definitive A-Rod story. This picture made me laugh, even though I’m not wild about Duke. And this made me laugh even harder, even though I’m not wild about Joaquin Phoenix.

Morning Links

02.12.09 at 10:51 am ET
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A-Rod, just days before his steroid admission. Who has the best Jewish linebackers in the NFL? New England! For those of you still doubting that Favre’s retirement is for real this time, check out this story. That would appear to clinch it ‘€” our long national nightmare has come to an end. Not everyone is applauding A-Rod for admitting his steroid use, especially this guy. Erin Andrews loves her some Bret Michaels. And sorry, Curt ‘€” looks like Donald Fehr isn’t going to allow anyone to see the other 103 names.

S.I. Swimsuit gets a touch of Green

02.12.09 at 9:38 am ET
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Let’s be honest, the delivery of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition was always a circled day on the calendar for many adolescence  – mainly for the fact that you wanted to grab it out of the mailbox before your parents knew it was even there.

The annual edition has come along way since the Kathy Ireland days. Not only is there more skin, but millions can now access the world’s most beautiful women with a few clicks of the mouse at SI.com. As a guy in the industry, I would love to see the amount of page views and advertising revenue that the online feature rakes in.

This year’s publication supposedly features the next budding star in the modeling industry, Bar Refaeli (pictured right), who has been romantically linked to Leonardo DiCaprio. Hard to imagine, but I think Leo actually traded up from another familiar face who he had previously dated. Some would say blaspheme, but I say everyone wins here.

A local beauty shares the pages of the mag with Refaeli – Alison Preston. Alison is a member of the Boston Celtics Dance Team. Congratulates to Allison for representing Boston and the Celtics organization, even though some would still say Red would be rolling in his grave (In February 2004, Auerbach told the Globe, “They’re just waiting for me to die so they can get cheerleaders.”).  Well Red, I think your franchise has done just fine with the girls in green.

You may have seen Alison at the Celtics games, but if you haven’t, check out her S.I. Swimsuit photos & video by clicking on the image below:

Read More: Alison Preston, Bar Refaeli, Sports Illustrated,

Are You Sure It Wasn’t For That Terry Dehere Pick?

02.12.09 at 12:16 am ET
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Elgin Baylor sued the Clippers and the NBA Wednesday, charging racial and age discrimination.

I’m sure that he could be right and this suit could be loaded with merit, but I think the defense could just pull up this page and call it a day.

Do steroids make you grow wings?

02.11.09 at 11:46 am ET
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I have a confession to make ‘€” I’m a huge fan of Ichiro. The way he plays the game, his aggressive style at the plate, the way he puts opposing teams on their heels. Love everything about his game. I also love his approach with the media. The best of his quotes can be found here. (In the wake of the A-Rod news, I thought this quote about performance-enhancers was particularly interesting: “When you take steroids, it’€™s not as if wings grow out of your back, and you start flying all over the place and stealing home runs from hitters.”) There’s also a great video out there of Bob Costas interviewing Ichiro, when Costas asks him his favorite American expression. Google it. Anyway, when I saw this news, I was intrigued. The thought of Ichiro bringing 92-mph heat is kinda awesome.

Morning Links: The Curse of Guitar Hero

02.11.09 at 10:22 am ET
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Call it the Curse of Guitar Hero. The first, third and fourth guys to slide into the frame have now all been busted in some form or fashion. (Stay clean, Tony Hawk! Stay clean!)

via The Insider

Since we have this, I don’t see any need to proceed with the season. Playoff tickets will go on sale tomorrow down on Yawkey Way. Bye! So long! Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you! Seriously. I can’t let you off that easily. We shared so many great times together ‘€” there were all the ill-thrown interceptions. (Type “Brett Favre” and “interception” into a Google search engine, and your computer starts smoking. You get roughly 241,000 responses.) There was the fake retirement. And the throwing of other teammates under the bus. Good times.

Phelps next to be smoked out?

02.10.09 at 4:35 pm ET
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According to a WIS News 10 report out of South Carolina, eight arrests have been made stemming from the photo of Michael Phelps smoking marijuana from a water pipe.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Leon Lott in particular,  has been under fire from fans of Phelps all over the world for continuing to pursue this matter. Lott says the picture (seen to the right) in question indicated a law was being broken in his jurisdiction. He said he couldn’t ignore the violation just because Phelps is rich and famous.

WIS News also learned that the County Sheriff has located and confiscated the bong in the Phelps photo. The station’s sources say the owner of the bong was trying to sell it on eBay for as much as $100,000.

Phelps is not one of those charged at this point, but the sheriff’s department has strong evidence that matches the photo to the house where the party occured.

A couple of thoughts come to mind after reading this story:

Read More: Michael Phelps,

Transcript of Curt Schilling with D&C today

02.10.09 at 4:01 pm ET
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transcribed by Drew Scott

The following is a portion of the Q&A between Curt Schilling and Dennis & Callahan that took place this morning on Sportsradio 850 WEEI. To hear the whole interview, click here.

D&C: Curt Schilling joins us on the AT&T hotline, AT&T your world delivered, Good morning Curt how are you?

Schilling: Slow news day.

D&C: (Laughs) Oh no it’€™s not. Beyond the obvious, and I tend to agree with what you say, he didn’€™t go down the road of perdition that Bonds and Clemens have and that would be deny, deny, deny, were there any items that he talked about or left out that gave you pause to think that’€™s not exactly the truth or that’€™s not exactly probably the way it worked out for him.

Schilling: I can’€™t help but feel like and wonder if it’€™s a lie with everything given what’€™s happened. I didn’€™t expect him to go down the road he went, based on what I think about him in the past. I mean, it’€™s someone who I’€™ve always felt like had an incredibly, skillfully, carefully crafted image and you know he basically put that to rest last night. I wasn’€™t expecting that.

D&C: The fact that he said he didn’€™t know what substances he used’€¦

Schilling: Yeah, Yeah.

D&C: And he didn’€™t know that he truly failed until that Serena Roberts lady approached him in the gym this weekend were two red flags that were like blowing in the wind for me.

Schilling: Yeah, you know you just can’€™t leave well enough alone it feels like. You know I mean both of those things to me scream: Oh come on! I mean what else are you [kidding] about right now then?

D&C: (Laughs) Well hey do you think he’€™s still juicing Curt? Because the question that I’€¦

Schilling: I have no idea. You know, I don’€™t even go down that path, just for the simple fact that I just haven’€™t been able to believe anybody.

D&C: Right, but the thing that I can’€™t get an answer to Curt really is: Why stop? I mean he won three straight home run titles, he won an MVP, clearly it helped his game, and then he expects us to believe that his neck hurt one day so he decided to go clean.

Schilling: Yep. I mean maybe the 2003 positive was something that forced him into saying ‘€œI’€™m done,’€ but I find almost no reason besides that, that he would quit.

D&C: Let’€™s back it up a few more years before that ‘€” and I’€™ve had this conversation with people before, before the very public downfalls of Bonds and Clemens and now A-Rod, and before the Mitchell Report, and before the Congressional hearing, all of that stuff sort of put this sort of dark cloud over people who were associated with steroids, and being that the culture is what it was back in 2000, 1998, and 2001, and the evidence was clearly in favor of juicing because you could set records, you could have untold riches, why would guys not juice Curt?

And by the way, it would seem that every single subset in Major League Baseball would have a reason to do it. If I am Manny Alexander and just trying to hang on by my fingernails then I do it to hang on. If I am in the middle of the pack and want to get a bigger contract and stick for a longer period of time, I would do it. And if I am one of the greats like Bonds and Clemens and A-Rod, and wanted to be one of the all time greats than that’€™s a reason to do it too. Why wouldn’€™t you do it?

Schilling: Ummm, give me a minute.

D&C: Yeah, exactly. I can’€™t sit here in good conscience and say given those situations if this were my life, I know I’€™d be tempted, I definitely know that I’€™d be tempted, and I’€™d have to think long and hard well why wouldn’€™t I do this?
Schilling: Well, the unfortunate part is that, I think as a sport we send such a powerful message to the kids, which is being great with God’€™s given abilities, is just not enough. Go ahead and push yourself to that next level because it works. You can hit the ball farther, you can run faster, you can throw harder, you can be a fresher guy as long as you pay attention to the steroids and HGH that you put into your body, but hey it works.
D&C: We asked a question yesterday: ‘€œWould anyone surprise you if anyone came out, and anyone got caught and came out and tested positive?’€ And my answer was yeah one guy: Curt Schilling.

Schilling: Yeah, well. I think that might be one of the reasons why I’€™m pretty comfortable with saying: Hey, you know what? Throw the 103 out there, let’€™s get this over with, and do what we have to do and move on.

D&C: If your name is on that list we’€™re going to call you Curt. Who can do that? Obviously the union knows the 103.

Schilling: Yeah, well. Obviously someone writing a book can do it. You know the hard part for me, and obviously I’€™ve never been a big Alex fan, is that this guy is being put on the cross by himself. I find it very hard to believe that the amount of work needed to put names to numbers on those tests was done for he and he alone, and there is 103 people that are still, you know, their test results and names are scattered around. I think there is a master list, I think someone deciphered all of it, and I think it’€™s out there.

D&C: Yeah, but the suspects are teammates and friends, because each player, despite what A-Rod said last night, each player was told by Orza by the Union that they failed. The 103, 104, knew that they failed so they could have told their friends, their wives, their teammates, and the world could have spread from there. SI claims that they have four sources, so it is pretty well substantiated, and now Rod has confirmed it. But did you ever hear guys say: ‘€œYeah, I tested positive’€?

Schilling: No, no and I’€™m still trying to remember back to exactly how they explained it to us. I just know that there were a couple key pieces to the entire thing which were complete and total anonymity, no one would even have a clue as to the name of the player that tests positive, you would be notified, the only people that would know about a positive would be, I think it was, the club owner or the club president, the player, and there was a third person who I guess was someone at the MLBPA or something like that. I was one of the very vocal guys who said this is just not going to work, there is just no way that they are going to guarantee us this confidentiality.

D&C: Curt this may be a question for another today, but what does all of this do for the relationship between the players, the Players Association, Major League Baseball, ownership, management, the viability of that whole loosely defined relationship going forward to the next CBA and working together in the future.

Schilling: Unfortunately, I think this almost ensures of a work stoppage just because I can’€™t imagine the players union acquiescing to any of this stuff going forward. You know we spent years listening to them promise things and lie about it and be wrong about it, and now you can bet that the owners are going to go into the next labor negotiations and expect a triple thick testing process. They are going to go to the mat, and in the Players Association I think there is going to be an intense amount of concern when it comes to anything.

Schilling: Listen ‘€” the three greatest talents of our generation are cheaters and you know as much as that sucks, as players what do you say? How do you defend that? You can’€™t, I mean we’€™re stuck. The repercussions of this are going to be what they’€™re going to be, but there can’€™t be a situation where any player says, ‘€œThis is just not fair.’€ We brought it on ourselves and we’€™ve damaged the sport in a way that if you really look back at 97, 98, or 99 when Sosa and McGwire were doing what they were doing did anyone fathom that we could piss all that goodwill away in ten years? That being said, from an ownership standpoint, you know what my coffers are full.

What it means to be a Yankee

02.10.09 at 1:05 pm ET
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compiled by Drew Scott

Curt Schilling took a passing shot regarding what it means to be a Yankee yesterday when he blogged about A-Rod’€™s admitted PED use:

“It doesn’€™t make him any less guilty, any less accountable or any less of a Yankee (subtle Yankee jab) but it’€™s refreshing as hell to see someone say ‘I f’€™d up, I made a mistake and I’€™ll have to deal with it.’ He’€™s fricking human, he made a horrible choice and he’€™ll have to deal with it.”

Members of the Yankees organization always seem to carry themselves with a certain heir of importance. Playing for the New York Yankees is supposed to have a certain cachet that resonates throughout Major League Baseball. Almost every player who puts on the pinstripes mentions the history of the franchise and discusses what an honor it is to continue that tradition.

With A-Rod‘€™s admission yesterday, and with Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi coming forward before this past season, isn’€™t it safe to say that being a Yankee isn’€™t what it used to be? One of the most historic franchises in all of sports currently has a dark cloud hanging over its head.

So with that in mind, here are some moments that truly encompass what it means to be a Yankee:

‘€¢If you are a Yankee pitcher, you practice throwing broken bat shards just as often as your split finger fastball.
‘€¢If you were a member of the 2004 Yankee ball club, you were part of the biggest choke in sports history. Congratulations!
‘€¢If your name is Randy Johnson, you might enjoy throwing a cameraman to the ground on the streets of New York.
‘€¢If you are a member of the media that covers the Yankees, there are two people that you love more than anyone else on earth: Joe Torre and Roger Clemens.
‘€¢If you happen to be a 72-year-old bench coach for the Yankees, maybe you should take part in a brawl with a pitcher who is about 40 years younger than you.
‘€¢This article explains that although you have to be impressed with the Yankee greats of old, the Yankees from 1996-Present are another story.

Mr. Rodriguez may have helped us to realize that being a Yankee isn’€™t all it’€™s cracked up to be.