Pregame notes from Cleveland

CLEVELAND – Terry Francona was asked what he would say if he were told that a team that started 0-4 never won a World Series?

“I would say we’ve got 158 games left. I don’t think we’re going to pack it in. We’ve had four bad games” Francona said.

Francona realizes that if the team had lost four straight during the season there’d be little made of it and he’s told his staff “That’s the one thing we talk about in meetings: Everything gets overblown and overanalyzed the first two weeks of the season.”

He said he hopes he’s the same way now as he would be in August if this had happened because, “If we don’t maintain consistency, that sets off a red flag in the clubhouse.”

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Francona said he’s seen good emotion in the dugout during this early drought.

Jason Varitek is in after Jarrod Saltalamacchia caught the first four losses. Francona said he knew all along he would have Varitek catch Daisuke Matsuzaka. He indicated Varitek may also catch Sunday vs. the Yankees. He didn’t seem to know too much about a report that Varitek had a sore shoulder and that’s why he hadn’t played.

“Tek is always very positive. He’s always there for everybody, myself included,” Francona said.

Francona continued to praise Matt Albers and said he’s been very good since the moment he stepped on the field in spring training. Asked whether he was surprised the Orioles let Albers go (good chance for Francona to exact some revenge on Buck Showalter and the Orioles after the Theo Epstein comments), Francona took the high road.