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Pregame: Red Sox vs. A's

Posted by Ben Collins, Today's Soundtrack  July 28, 2009 05:09 PM

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The acquisition of White Sox outfielder Brian Anderson has Terry Francona, a fellow former University of Arizona attendee, excited.

"He's athletic. Defensively, he's very gifted, and he's a University of Arizona guy. That helps," said Francona.

Francona also referenced Anderson's high draft selection -- he was taken 15th overall by the White Sox in the 2003 draft, but was unable to flourish on a short leash in Chicago.

"It's one of those moves where we're trying not to look at the small picture," said Francona. "It's important to look at the big picture sometimes."

Francona is also happy to see new Mark Kotsay back on a Major League Baseball team with the White Sox, after the acquisition of Adam LaRoche forced the Sox to designate him for assignment.

"On the flipside, Kotsay is back in the bigs where he belongs," said Francona. "I hope he never beats us."

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Adam LaRoche, who has a hit in every game as a member of the Red Sox and has four extra-base hits already, won't be in the lineup today, but will most likely play tomorrow in place of David Ortiz.

"We're obviously pleased with the way Adam is swinging the bat," said Francona. "I don't want to slow him down."

George Kottaras will also start in place of Jason Varitek tonight. It's a move meant to simulate Varitek's usual day off on a Tim Wakefield outing, despite Wakefield's DL stint.

"We're trying to do things more conventional even when you can't be all that conventional," said Francona. "With two lefties coming up the next two day, I want to make him available for that."

Francona is comfortable with Kottaras catching Clay Buchholz because he's done so before.

Last night, Josh Beckett made reference to how bruised Varitek has become, but Francona said that isn't the primary reason for the rest.

"It's probably a good thing to get him some rest, though. We take for granted that he's gonna be beat up," said Francona.

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