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Francona pregame

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  April 4, 2007 06:44 PM

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KANSAS CITY - Terry Francona held his pregame briefing with the media moments ago in a room full of Boston, national and international media in the visiting manager's office.

Francona answered a few Dice-K questions. He said that the righthander will be on a pitch count on Thursday, like every one else. He said Dice-K threw a side session Tuesday and is ready to go. The game will be broadcast back in Japan at 3 a.m. on Friday.

Francona wasn't sure how often Dice-K hasd pitched in cold weather. While it should get down into the 30s tonight, he'll be pitching in temperatures in the 40s tomorrow.

Francona also outlined a four-start program at Greenville, S.C. for Jon Lester. He'll have two starts of four innings and two starts of five innings before he advances to another level - perhaps Pawtucket. The Greenville Drive are managed by former Sox outfielder Gabe Kapler.

Francona, who likes to get his bench into games as soon as possible, figures there might be a 10-day stretch here at the start of the season where it might be difficult to find time for Wily Mo Pena and Eric Hinske in particular.

Francona said he spoke to Hinske about the topic earlier in the day.

The Sox brass - Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer - were also in the clubhouse watching the Colorado-Arizona game on the tube. Curt Schilling was chatting with Epstein.

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