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Francona and Theo chat with Coco

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  March 13, 2008 10:13 AM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Willie McGinest used to say "You can't make the club from the tub." In the case of Coco Crisp, "you can't make a trade from the shade."

If Coco Crisp wants an exit out of Boston, teams want to see that he's healthy and playing before trying to swing a deal. The Chicago Cubs have had some interest in Crisp, but won't do anything until they see him play.

That wasn't the purpose of Terry Francona and Theo Epstein's conversation with Crisp this morning. It was more to gauge where he was with his groin problems. Crisp is making progress, taking a few swings. It's also getting down to the last six days before the team leaves for Japan and the Sox wanted to make him aware of the timetable so he understands the season starts soon.

Francona also addressed Julio Lugo and his back woes. Lugo could be ready for game action by Friday or Saturday.

Josh Beckett, who had treatment this morning, is feeling better. Francona said they're now trying to determine when they might get Beckett out on the field to play catch.

Francona said he conferred with Dustin Pedroia's wife Kelly before inserting him into the lineup. "Since I knew she wears the pants in that family, I asked 'Do I have your permission to put him in a game?' (She said) 'Yeah, I have to get him out of here.'"

Lots of Bartolo Colon talk this morning. Francona is really pleased with how Colon's throwing and is eager to see him in the game against a pretty good Rays lineup. Colon's next start after today is slated against the Yankees next Monday in Tampa.

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