As Terry Francona enters the 2010 season, there is an air of a man who is comfortable in his own skin.  Why not?  Francona has guided the Red Sox to a pair of World Series titles and will be the manager in Boston for as long as he wants.  At the Westin Hotel this Thursday for the annual Basebal Writers’ Dinner, Tito met the media and talked about a lot of different things.  He says there is a certain rhythm to his offseason, and he likes it  “There’s a lull every so often, but there’s always something going on.  Something to attend to.  Everybody has their own schedule, I’ve been here a while now, so I know what I want to get done.  I’ve known guys like (pitching coach) John Farrell for a long while now so we get it done when we feel like getting it done.”  Francona was optimistic about the club and his new players  “The more John Lackeys we go out and get, the smarter we’re going to look.  There’s a fine line Theo’s got to walk and I think he does a good job with it.  With a veteran team, there’s always the risk you’re going to go out there and look old.  I say all the time, ‘When you are winning, you’re ‘veteran’, when you’re losing, you’re ‘old’.  I’m real comfortable with the way our ballclub is set up.  I’m actually very excited.  I think every time you’ve heard me over the last six years about us having a good period where we’re playing good baseball, we’re playing clean baseball.  We’re pitching, we’re catching the ball.  I know we’ve got to score runs.”  Francona bases his theory on history.  “You go back to 2004, we kind of spun our wheels for three months, and then we started catching the ball and that’s when we were real good.”  According to Francona, history could repeat itself. “There’s a lot we believe in with what we’ve done this winter.  What happened to us in ’06 (not enough pitching) is going to stay with me forever.  We couldn’t survive and we were all miserable and we never want that to happen again.”  

     One way to ensure “survival” was the addition of John Lackey to a rotation that already boasts Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield.  Francona was like a kid with a new toy on Christmas morning as he described what Lackey brings to the table.  “An aces’ mentality and a resume to follow.  A competitiveness.  Regardless of whether he pitches on the first day of the season or second or third, you put him in with those other guys and that’s six pretty good pitchers.  You send a good pitcher out there every night…you run good pitching out there every night and you have always got a chance.  Trying to be competitive every year and also not mortgage,  I don’t know if that’s the right word or not…Theo’s the caretaker and looking not only at this year, but next year and the year after that, the next wave of players might not be on the direct horizon, so we have to do things that aren’t going to interfere with that too.”



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