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Oct. 8 Terry Francona pregame interview

MLB.com

Q. Tito, Encarnacion out of the lineup to start. Is he available tonight?

TERRY FRANCONA: I doubt it. I don't think, you know, the trainers are encouraging him to go down to the cage, probably like as we speak. Kind of see how he feels, get the blood flowing. But unless you see him pulling a Willis Reed, you know, he's probably not going to be available tonight.

And we'll kind of still go by the day-by-day thing and see how that goes tomorrow.

Q. Terry, as an opponent here against the Yanks for many years, how do you compare this stadium to the old Yankee stadium?

Q. Tito, Encarnacion out of the lineup to start. Is he available tonight?

TERRY FRANCONA: I doubt it. I don't think, you know, the trainers are encouraging him to go down to the cage, probably like as we speak. Kind of see how he feels, get the blood flowing. But unless you see him pulling a Willis Reed, you know, he's probably not going to be available tonight.

And we'll kind of still go by the day-by-day thing and see how that goes tomorrow.

Q. Terry, as an opponent here against the Yanks for many years, how do you compare this stadium to the old Yankee stadium?

TERRY FRANCONA: You trying to get me in trouble?

Q. Not really. I'd tell you if I was trying to get you in trouble.

TERRY FRANCONA: I was a big fan of the old one. It was just so much personality. You swallow a little asbestos, that's not the end of the world, is it? You stand out there for the Anthem, and by the time the Anthem was over, people were just berating you.

Now you look sometimes in the lower bowl and people aren't really there. Now, it's a gorgeous stadium, and the clubhouses are wonderful. I just thought the other place had an unbelievable amount of personality. That All-Star Game in '08 was one of my biggest, greatest memories of -- I mean, my goodness sakes, when they trotted all those Hall of Famers out on the field, it was really something.

Q. Terry, the opposite side of that issue, designated hitter, how does someone like Brantley, how does he gain his timing in this context, this time of year?

TERRY FRANCONA: He came in and hit early today. I thought the at-bats off of CC, although difficult, were good for him because he's facing a left-hander.

It's not ideal. I think he'd say that. But if anybody can find his swing, it's Brantley. There's not very many moving parts. You say simple swing, I don't think that's probably the right term because he puts in a lot of work, but there's not a lot of moving parts. And he can fend balls off if he needs to. He can fight for himself.

I think if we have an injury, it's awful nice having him able to slide in there. We hit him 7th tonight just because he hasn't been playing much. He's not a 7 hitter.

Q. Speaking of cleanup hitters, how has Jay Bruce been able to make such a seamless transition to you guys?

TERRY FRANCONA: Hitting doesn't change. I mean, he's going to hit wherever he is. We liked it because it was in our uniform. But, I mean, I think we were talking about it yesterday. Our clubhouse is an easy clubhouse to assimilate into and -- I used a big word. Now I forgot where I was going.

Our guys are easy and Jay's obviously easy and he's been through it once. Once you go through it once, it's a lot easier second time around.

Q. Terry, Yan Gomes, obviously, has a great arm. How much of a weapon is that for you guys?

TERRY FRANCONA: I would say both of our guys, I feel strongly about that. I don't know the stats. It would be easy to look up. I betcha we're towards the bottom of the league in pitching out. It's not because we're not paying attention, but we respect how our guys throw so much that we don't feel like we have to put our pitchers potentially in a hole because they throw so well.

I mean, we've all seen places where maybe a guy can't throw so he's a little hesitant to call breaking balls or just for whatever reason. And these guys, both of them throw -- not just throw, but their feet are quick and they're accurate. It's been a big weapon for us the last couple years, and it's one we value a lot.

Q. Going back to Jay Bruce a little bit, what were your impressions of him coming in? What do you feel like you've gotten from him and what's he brought to your club?

TERRY FRANCONA: A lot of offensive numbers. I knew him a little bit because they train -- we share the complex out in Goodyear. And you can't spend all these years and not run into guys. So I'd see him at the Mexican place or the, what do you call it, the hamburger -- Majerle's or whatever. So you get to know him a little bit.

And through the course of going to clubhouses and clubs and trainers, you kind of get to know who people are. There weren't many surprises. We knew he was a good kid.

Q. Terry, you know plenty about the situation the Yankees find themselves in now, and Joe was saying the mindset for their clubhouse was just win tonight's game and that's it.

TERRY FRANCONA: He stole that from me (laughter).

Q. Do you think that among your players, that they feel exactly the same way?

TERRY FRANCONA: Exact same way. Exact same way.

Q. I mean, is that part of the character? Are they always like that?

TERRY FRANCONA: Always. We strive very hard to stay in the moment, and this group has done a really good job of that. And the reason we do is because it's just not productive not to.

If it was, we'd do it. But the best way to be a good team is to stay in the moment. So that's -- and our guys do a good job of that.

Q. Will you manage it that way?

TERRY FRANCONA: Um-hmm.

Q. Will you have full use of your bullpen tonight?

TERRY FRANCONA: Yeah. Trevor will be back available tomorrow. Everybody else is, yeah, available. Day off helps a bunch this time of year.

Can I expound on that? Our bullpen guys all came out yesterday, on the day off, and did their throwing. And it's not by luck that they're available. They take a lot of pride in being ready and they could have very easily taken yesterday off, because everybody was exhausted. But they came out and got the throwing, their stretching, and it will help them not only stay good but stay healthy. Thanks.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.