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Tito's take

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  May 6, 2009 01:29 PM

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Red Sox manager Terry Francona had his weekly conversation with WEEI's "The Dale and Holley Show" this afternoon. Here are some of the Red Sox manager's comments about the two-game sweep of the Yankees and other matters:

On the rainy weather in New York, which appealed to no one but Jason Bay:

Francona: "You know what, we get on him all the time [about that]. He's the one guy, he comes out of the dugout and pops his head out, it's like half-snowing and he goes, 'God, is it beautiful out here' He doesn't like the sunshine in spring training when we are in Port Charlotte (Fla.) and he's losing the balls in the sun and it's 95 degrees. He was happy as could be last night."

On whether the Red Sox, who are 5-0 against the Yankees this season, have New York's number:

Francona:"You know, I think it's a lot of things combined into one. The first game we played them, Mo [Mariano Rivera] gives up the home run to Jason and we're a pitch away from losing that game. So I think it's always good to keep some perspective. We've played in some good games and we've played some long games. I thought in New York the last two nights were difficult nights to play. One is a big delay and the weather is nasty, and we didn't even get a chance to be on the field, and right away from the get-go we had good energy and we stayed with it. We did a lot of good things, our pitching has come through in the bullpen. Like last night, we didn't have Pap [Papelbon] and Ramon [Ramirez] available, other guys come in and do their jobs. It's been probably a number of different things like it always is, and the same thing when you lose, there's always probably more than what you see on the surface."

On whether he thought Joba Chamberlain intentionally hit Jason Bay with a pitch:

Francona: "Oh man, you know what guys? How'd I know that was going to be asked? It's real hard for us to see into someone else's head, and so probably most of the time try not to. Our big concern is winning the game. You know, the game has a way of playing itself out. It's a long year and we play them a lot of times and I'm sure there's times when we do stuff and they're over there yelling like a couple of nights before. . . . I don't know, you'd have to ask him. I guess that's the better way you'd have to ask him, and see what he says. I know that I don't think it bothered Jason Bay. It probably hurt him a little bit, but I don't think it bothered him. He'll come back and he'll probably be even better."

On whether the Rays have figured out the Sox in some way:

Francona: "I hope not. They're just good and they've played us really well. I guess we don't feel really different about playing them than playing the Yankees. We just haven't done some things in certain parts of games to get over the hump and because of that they've won some games."

On whether he has seen signs that David Ortiz is coming around at the plate:

Francona: "I saw a relaxed guy in New York. He was willing to take a walk, he wasn't rushing at the plate. The first night he took some real good swings, he pulled those balls down the right-field line and they weren't pitches over the middle of the plate. He had good at-bats and if he has good at-bats, he's going to be fine. He was starting to get out ahead of himself and [try to get] get three hits in one at-bat, which is normal. We've all done it, and the last couple nights you saw a relaxed David, which was good."

On Ortiz saying he has a father-son relationship with Francona:

Francona: "That's a compliment to me. David is saying we are pretty close and we have been able to tell each other a lot of things. I want these guys to know that we care about them. Not just when they're hitting, or not just when they're pitching good. When they're hitting, they don't need me patting them on the back. But sometimes when they're struggling, you've gotta be there for them."

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