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Francona feeling better

Posted by Adam Kilgore, Globe Staff  May 29, 2009 05:56 PM

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Terry Francona feels back to normal following yesterday’s health scare. Francona’s heart started racing during his confrontation with home plate umpire Todd Tichenor, and afterward medical personnel checked on his heart rate and wouldn’t allow him to board the team charter until it had slowed to a stable level.

“When I was on the field, I felt like I was going down,” Francona said. “I had to stop for a second. I thought I was going to pass out. I got into the clubhouse, and my heart, it just was going fast. I got settled down. I feel fine today.

“I just got a little over … over-whatever. They didn’t let me get on the plane until everything slowed down. That was probably smart. I was a little embarrassed, but I appreciated it.”

When Francona retreated to the clubhouse, he was given no extra medication. “The guy there told me to relax. I said, ‘Are you [kidding] me?’ Are you watching this game?”

Francona has felt his heart speed up during games and umpire confrontations before, but “not to that extent,” he said. “I’ve been checked before. I just couldn’t slow it down. I’ve been out there a couple times where I felt like I had to slow down, but not to that point."

Francona, as is typical for him, maintained his sense of humor.

"I almost felt like I had to reach out and grab" Tichenor, Francona said. "That would have great – going, ‘You [big jerk]. … Help me up.’ ”

As for players, Mark Kotsay may be close to finished with rehab stint with Triple A Pawtucket. Entering today, Kotsay has gone 5 for 17 in five games over seven days.

Kotsay will “play through the weekend, and then we’ll probably re-evaluate on Monday,” Francona said. “It’s starting to sound like he’s getting a little antsy, which is good.” Kotsay has had no setbacks and is showing good bat speed. He could be available for the Red Sox’ series Tuesday against Detroit.

“If he’s ready, we’d like to have him,” Francona said. “I think he knows that. Doing it before he’s ready doesn’t work. He’s got a lot of leadership on this team for a guy that comes in new. He’s come as advertised. Everybody talked about what a great guy he is. He’s lived up to that.”

Francona will check with Rocco Baldelli after tonight’s game to see how his hamstrings are feeling. With the Red Sox facing lefthanded starters Brian Tallet and Ricky Romero on Saturday and Sunday, Francona will likely want to use the righthanded Baldelli if he’s healthy enough to play.

“He’s doing better,” Francona said. I told him we’d check with him tonight. He thinks he’s doing much better.”

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