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Oct. 5 Terry Francona workout day interview

October 5, 2016

Q: A couple of weeks ago you said Yan was that 1 percent guy that might be able to come back, and he did. Were you surprised?TERRY FRANCONA: I was never good with percentages and stuff like that, you know that.Yeah, I'm surprised. I think we were being really honest

Q: A couple of weeks ago you said Yan was that 1 percent guy that might be able to come back, and he did. Were you surprised?
TERRY FRANCONA: I was never good with percentages and stuff like that, you know that.
Yeah, I'm surprised. I think we were being really honest about his chances and things like that. I didn't think it was fair to ever put it out there that there was a possibility, because by all rights he shouldn't have had a realistic possibility.
I think yesterday that's part of why I was talking about some of the trainers and medical people. And Yan, I think he willed himself to be a part of what's going on. The other day in Kansas City when he hit the home run, to see the reception in the dugout for him, I'm guessing that made a lot of the work worthwhile, and now to be a part of this, too.
Q: This might be tough to know right now, as far as his usage, do you know how often you will use him, can use him?
TERRY FRANCONA: I don't know that we're going to be able to script it out. I don't think it's probably fair to ask him to be a starting catcher and catch nine innings. I think what we'd usually try to do during the season, and try to do now, is take what the players do well, try to maximize that, which is certainly catching and throwing, knowledge of the staff, so we can use that. He's not limited there. And we can use that. If it grows into more, that would be good.
Q: It seemed like after the Cavs won you guys kind of fed off that energy. But does that title take any of the pressure off of October, since the city's drought is over?
TERRY FRANCONA: Oh, maybe for the fans. I mean, we can't play for -- I was telling the group a couple of weeks ago -- it's not my fault my dad didn't win. This is hard enough to win when you're playing good teams. But to go back 50, 60, 70 years, it's not fair to anybody.
Being a fan, I understand that it's been a while. For the city I was thrilled when the Cavs won. It was hard not to get caught up in all of that.
And then the timing was kind of unique where we went on that 14-game run right after that. But other than that, I just think -- I don't think it's fair to the players to go back 60, 70 years. We try to not even go back much past yesterday. We're trying to stay in the moment because that's the best way to go about doing good things.
Q: Speaking of your dad, can you talk about how proud you must be that he's throwing out the first pitch tomorrow night?
TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah, I talk all the time about being here in Cleveland, it's about as close to a family feel you can get in a professional setting. And so it will be family. He's going to -- I'm going to walk him out to the mound, or he'll walk me out, and he's going to throw the pitch to Brad Mills who is as close to family as you can get. So it will be a very special moment.
Q: I know you want to stay in the moment and you don't want to look in the past, but you know a lot of guys in the opposing dugout and you have a long history in Boston. Is it easy for you to ignore all that or is that something that's --
TERRY FRANCONA: No, I don't think I'd want to ignore it. There's a lot of history there, a lot of people I really care about. But I've been here four years and you get every bit as close to -- it's not a bad thing when you move on. Sometimes it's just time to move on.
And I think anybody that's spent two minutes with me here knows how fulfilled and happy I am here. I think that makes it a lot easier to look across the field and see some of those guys and remember the good, maybe not so much the wasn't good.
Q: How would you describe the personality of your team?
TERRY FRANCONA: I don't know. I don't know about personality. I think the one thing I do -- I think they're very resilient. I think that the fact that we never lost more than three games in a row all year speaks to their resiliency. My goodness, I hope it doesn't start now. That wouldn't be good.
But their willingness to show up on the first pitch and play until the last pitch, I think that has served us well because you're going to go through a lot of good, bad, and in between, but if you keep fighting, you give yourself a chance.
Q: What's the number one thing Andrew Miller brought to you guys when you acquired him in August?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, it wouldn't just be one. One is he's one of the most dominant left-hand relievers in the game. But even more important than that, it's not just his numbers, but it's his willingness to pitch whenever you give him the ball, so you can leverage him, which also means because he's facing some of the better left-handers it's allowed us to pitch Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw and Otero in different spots, too. So it's taken a little bit of a load off them. And I think if you look, all their numbers are probably better since Andrew has been here.
Q: You've been going against, your team against Porcello now since 2009. Obviously he's raised his game a level or two. From your perspective, going against him a lot, what have you seen this year?
TERRY FRANCONA: Command. Command is off the charts. He's throwing -- not only throwing strikes, but he's using all four quadrants of the plate and he's not walking anybody. His stuff has always been good.
Q: You guys scored nearly 130 runs more at home than on the road. What do you think the reason is for that, why you play so successful here, aggressive?
TERRY FRANCONA: I'm not going to have a good answer for that. Last year we didn't. I think -- and I've told the local guys here, I fell back on when we played good, I'm not sure it matters where we are. And when we don't, for whatever reason -- I do think it's easier to use your bullpen at home. That doesn't account for the runs.
I would think it's always easier for hitters to hit at home, because you have the majority of your at-bats in your surroundings. It hasn't always worked that way. It has this year.
Q: Trevor sat up there and kind of said that he admitted that he's tough to work with at times and he really appreciates what you and Mickey and the entire staff has done. Does naming him the Game 1 starter put in perspective all that's gone into him and the relationship you guys have?
TERRY FRANCONA: It's been evolving, that's for sure. I don't think there's any -- Kluber is our undisputed ace of our staff. Everybody knows what he's been through, and it's easier to pitch him in Game 2. It's probably more realistic for him. I don't think anybody has any trepidation about letting Trevor pitch Game 1. I think he's been waiting for this his whole life. And we also think he can bounce back and pitch on short rest and do just fine.