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Francona's daily briefing

Posted by Chris Forsberg, Boston.com Staff  February 16, 2009 01:58 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona had the unenviable task of trying to immediately follow David Ortiz's wide-ranging chat with the media this morning, but the skipper touched on a number of subjects, including a more positive report on J.D. Drew's back than what the outfielder himself had revealed the day before.

Here are some more highlights from Francona's Q&A:

(On lineup decisions)

"To be very honest, I haven't thought about the lineup much. I know that's surprising to people, but there's just not a real reason to do that in the winter. You get down here and, the people that have been around me enough know the lineup in spring training mean nothing to me. There are days we want to get the catchers an extra at-bat, we'll move guys up in the order. I don't think there's a lot that plays into who leads off on the 1st of March."

(On David Ortiz's injuries last year)

"Again, we pretty much knew what we had... Our medical people were pretty right-on about how he would be. He didn't get to every pitch he used to, but still having him in the middle of the batting order means a lot. His numbers, if you pro-rate them out over a year, they're pretty good. Maybe not the monster numbers from a few years before, but having him there is better than not having him there.... It makes your lineup a lot better when his name is in there."

(On the competition at shortstop)

"I don't know yet, we'll talk to all the players tomorrow and I'll feel a little bit better talking about it after we talked to those players... that's probably a little better way to announce things. I need to talk to both of them, as we'll talk to every position player, then I'll feel a little more comfortable.

"We'll meet with every player before they come out, five minutes at most, just what to expect. For some of these guys, not a whole lot has to be said... but just so there's no confusion."

(On if he thinks competition is a good thing)

"Yes. I really do. If we have a real tough decision to make because both guys are playing really good, that's a great position to be in."

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