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Francona's daily briefing

Posted by Chris Forsberg, Boston.com Staff  February 24, 2009 11:53 AM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona spent part of his 10-minute Q&A session with the media today talking about being ready to dive into spring games with a doubleheader on tap tomorrow. They play Boston College at 1:05 p.m., followed by the Twins at 7:05 p.m.

"The clock never changes," said Francona. "You get excited for the first day, then it's, "Oh, when do the games start?' " I could have done without a doubleheader on the first day, but, yeah, it'll be fun. I'm sure everybody will have an extra step in their movements tomorrow, you can see it. I wish we actually played BC and Northeastern. I like the fact that the games ease us into Grapefruit League play. I think it's a great way to start, but with conflicting schedules, we're not able to pull that off. It's right into the Mayor's Cup, which is difficult."

Francona finished those remarks with a smile and continued to joke about having to play the "rival" Twins on the first night.

"It's hard to go from practice to the intensity of the Mayor's Cup, but we'll do the best we can," he said.

Asked if he was going to talk with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, Francona said he would and joked he'd bring the Mayor's Cup with him. Catching himself, Francona then wondered aloud if the Sox had indeed won the trophy last spring.

"We do have the trophy don't we?" Francona wondered. "Don't we? I hope so. That'd be a bad mistake."

For the record, the Red Sox won the Mayor's Cup in 2007 and 2008.

Other topics of interest:

  • David Ortiz's health after quite the fireworks display during Tuesday's practice. ("Now that's he's healthy, I think he'd like to go back and have some Ortiz-esque numbers," said Francona.)

  • Why Jason Varitek is not in the starting lineup for either game tomorrow. ("We didn't want to catch him back-to-back on the first two days," said Francona.)

  • His communication with Mike Lowell during the offseason, particularly during the Mark Teixeira pursuit. ("There were days I tried to keep the lines of communication open, even when he probably didn't feel like hearing from me," said Francona.)

  • Loading up with pitchers during the offseason. ("You can't just go out and sign 10 starting pitchers, but I thought our front office got creative," said Francona.)

For all of that and more, check out the full video above.

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