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'Tek gets night off

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  July 8, 2008 01:15 PM

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Jason Varitek and Kevin Cash will be splitting catching duties for the final two games against the Twins, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Tuesday during his weekly appearance on WEEI.

Cash caught Sox lefty Jon Lester Tuesday night and Jason Varitek will catch Josh Beckett in Wednesday's 1:05 p.m. series finale at Fenway.

Francona also commented on a piece in Monday's St. Petersburg Times criticizing Francona for leaving Rays manager Joe Maddon off his AL All-Star Game staff.

In the column, Times sports columnist John Romano writes:

"When it comes to the coaching staff, Francona has no excuse. Maddon deserves a spot in the game, and Francona owes him an apology for not realizing it. Seriously, which manager has had a better first half? Which manager has pushed more of the right buttons? No matter how it's measured, I defy anyone to find a more deserving candidate than Maddon.''

Francona explained he didn't base his decision on performance in 2008, because he announced Jim Leyland and Joe Girardi as his coaches in mid-May, and added that the selections had actually been made in January, long before Maddon had transformed the Rays into a first-place team.

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