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Oct. 4 Terry Francona workout day interview

October 4, 2017

Q. Tito, you mentioned yesterday, I think, something about Trevor being a better teammate this year. Can you elaborate on that, maybe just in terms of how maybe he's relating to other guys compared to how when he first got here.TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I don't want to come out like

Q. Tito, you mentioned yesterday, I think, something about Trevor being a better teammate this year. Can you elaborate on that, maybe just in terms of how maybe he's relating to other guys compared to how when he first got here.

TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I don't want to come out like he was ever a bad one. I just got asked a question yesterday in ways that we've seen improvement. I think it was kind of like that.

I just think he's -- maybe he's more comfortable in his own skin. He just has done a pretty good job of assimilating -- please use that word -- like in the clubhouse.

I just think it's a guy that's more mature, as you see a lot of 20-something guys, as they get more comfortable on the field, off the field. And I think the guys in the clubhouse know that he's going to compete, and it's just taken a good direction, which we're pleased about.

Q. Terry, I think you joked yesterday that your preference for the Wild Card game is that they played 40 innings, the two teams, didn't matter who came out of it.

TERRY FRANCONA: I wasn't joking.

Q. For what the Yankees did was probably the next best thing, what they had to do to burn through their bullpen. How challenging is that? You've done a lot of lot of bullpen managing. Is that hard to figure that out, who needs rest, who's okay, who's the next man up?

TERRY FRANCONA: I think you find at this time of year not too many guys aren't available. We have a really healthy respect for their bullpen, and they showed yesterday exactly what they can do. I think ours is maybe the only other bullpen that could handle something like that. So you're going to see two of the better bullpens in all of baseball.

Theirs is, you know, the obvious names, but then the guys that have kind of burst onto the scene, Green and -- even like Adam Warren. I mean, guys, they have had some kind of year, and they have a lot of different ways to come at you. It's a deep and really good bullpen.

Q. Just to follow that up, is that the nightmare scenario for a manager, what Joe faced last night?
TERRY FRANCONA: Not really. Not really. I think it can be -- I mean, depending on how you look at it, it can also be your time to shine. It's certainly you don't want it to happen every game because it's going to take its toll, but when you're able to win a game like that, it can do a lot for your team because everybody's been involved and everybody feels a part of it. So you can use it to your advantage also.

Q. Last year you guys went into this, according to many people, you were the underdogs. This year some think you're the team to beat. Does it feel any different? Is there any satisfaction in the way that's viewed?

TERRY FRANCONA: No. I mean, I don't -- I don't think I've ever once cared because it doesn't affect how the game's played. There's a difference -- you know, we had a pretty special regular season. Now it's time to move on to the postseason, and everybody's even. So it just -- what's going to matter is who plays the best. It doesn't matter who thinks somebody should win unless it's the umpires. It's going to be who plays the best.

Q. What have your impressions been of Aaron Judge this year and what he's done?

TERRY FRANCONA: He's good for Major League Baseball. He's bad for the teams you're playing against. He's really good. From all accounts, he's a really special young man. I didn't get a chance to meet him at the All-Star Game because I wasn't there, but everybody came back raving about him as a person. I know, if you throw in the wrong place, he's going to hit it a long way.

So we spent a lot of time on him today, just because he is so dangerous. But I think as far as the game goes, I think he's really good for the game. When you have young players that are that good and seem to behave and act with a lot of respect like he does, it's really good for the game.

Q. Tito, when you had to have the meeting with Goody and Otero and McAllister, first of all, you spoke to it a little bit yesterday, but how hard was the decision, and how much does it speak to the strength of your pitching staff that you were put in that position?

TERRY FRANCONA: It was the one that probably caused me the most anxiety the night before and during the day because I thought all three were very deserving of being on a roster they didn't do anything to not be on, so it's a tough message to deliver. That's why we did it together because I thought all three were deserving.

And I know Chris followed up with them today just to make sure that they understand how we feel, and I wouldn't be surprised if one, two, or three, before it's all said and done, help us win. We've all seen the way that works.

But it's a tough one because you know that they're deserving, and I don't know anybody that likes delivering that kind of news.

Q. You preach versatility. You got to look at a new second baseman and shortstop yesterday, Antonetti and Chernoff. I was curious your feedback on their play on the field.

TERRY FRANCONA: It's a good thing they're smart. You know what, it was -- we wanted to do the SIM game, and players hate SIM games. So we were trying -- I really thought it was important that they get a couple of at bats and treat it relatively game-like. So we tried to have it the cage pulled back, and we had fielders out there. And I thought our players did a really good job. They each got a couple at bats, and they really -- they did a good job.

But we also didn't want to take it so serious that that's why we put those guys out there. I just thought it was another reminder that we take what we're doing real serious, but we don't take ourselves too serious. I thought it was great. I thought they had fun. Obviously, they're able to laugh at themselves, and I thought our players really enjoyed it.

Q. Tito, Brant said he really pushed the ankle the last couple days and it's responded well. Do you think he could be an option in the field in this series?

TERRY FRANCONA: We've talked about that a little bit. One, we're going to wait until we get through this workout -- I mean, we should do that. I mean, all intents are for him to be on the roster. If something during the workout presented itself and we had to revisit it, we could.

And we also spoke about starting the series off with him on the bench, but at some point, if he's able to do it, we'd love to put him in the field. Can't rush it because we still have an obligation to him too as his health. He's in the middle of a good career, and you kind of have an obligation to look out for him too.

Q. Have you guys discussed the weather forecast here much and the possibility of that -- of the rotation getting thrown off if the off day gets moved?

TERRY FRANCONA: The only thing I heard -- you know what, it changes here so much, but it seems like tomorrow is getting better, and it seems like Friday there's a possibility. Again, we tried to have contingency in our roster. We have Danny, we have Clevinger, we have Tomlin. So there's ways, if we have to adjust, we feel like we can.

Q. Tito, I was just wondering, if you watched the game last night and if that catch by Chris Antonetti made any difference in the 25-man roster.

TERRY FRANCONA: I thought it was a great play by Chris. I thought it was equally interesting Matt Forman, who was in right field, kept backing up because he didn't want any part of it. I think Cherny looked -- and Cherny played at Princeton. He looked like he had decent actions, but my guess is they probably weren't a powerhouse.

What was the other one?

Q. Did you watch the game last night?

TERRY FRANCONA: I did. Actually, I had one hot dog for every inning and a half thanks to John.