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Francona presser

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  April 11, 2007 04:00 PM

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We're coming to you live from the Terry Francona pregame press conference ...

Francona was just saying he's leaving the hype of tonight's Dice-K Fenway debut to the media and fans. He said his biggest project coming into the day was "trying not to spill the coffee" in his car on the way to the ballpark.

"I came to the ballpark not feeling any different," but Francona continued that as he heard people speaking about the anticipation, he understood what the buzz was all about.

"The game in Kansas City [last week] didn't hurt. He's got a disarming very infectious smile. He's a nice kid. He likes playing baseball. You can tell. He enjoys doing what he's doing. When you communicate with him, and it's hard, he puts you at ease with his body language and smile."

Francona thinks Dice-K realizes that pitching with one less day of rest than he had in Japan means he's more accepting of the Sox staff keeping an eye on his pitch count.

"There's a reason ownership wrote that check ... he's good," Francona said.

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