Red Sox manager Terry Francona will stop getting questions about win No. 1,000 soon enough — but the topic is still fresh today. More on that and other notes from Francona’s pregame press conference:
** On the response Francona has received after his 1000th managerial win:
“The prevailing thought seems to be people are surprised I’m still here,” Francona said, laughing. “I got some nice messages from people that mean a lot to me, so that was nice.”
** How his milestone compares to others:
“There are some guys with some pretty big numbers who are still managing,” Francona said. “It’s actually kind of humbling. It makes you realize how long they’ve been doing it and how hard it is to win.”
** Clay Buchholz is still on track to throw off a mound tomorrow.
** On his team’s success in the seventh inning this year (Red Sox are outscoring opponents 93-33):
“I saw the stat, and I don’t have an answer,” Francona said. “There can’t be just one answer. When we’ve gotten rallies going, we’ve prolonged them pretty well.
“Maybe you get to a point in the game when they’re changing pitchers and you have a lead, so they’re not going to their top-tier guys. Maybe. I don’t know. I really don’t know. Maybe it’s just coincidence.”
** On Marco Scutaro‘s ground-rule double last night (fan appeared to grab the ball before it bounced over the wall):
“There’s a good point for it being interference,” said Francona.
** Francona was asked what his history was with the three men who will be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame today: Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, and Pat Gillick.
He said Gillick interviewed him in Seattle. Francona said he played winter ball with Alomar when he was young and got to know him pretty well.
“Saw Bert pitch in 1970,” Francona said. “I was 11 years old. I went on a road trip with my dad. He threw like a two-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers. That’s when I think my dad knew I was paying attention.
“After the game, I came into the clubhouse and said, ‘Dad, you got no chance hitting that curveball.’ He was looking at me like, OK, you’re watching. Then I faced [Blyleven] in the big leagues a little bit.”