Red Sox manager Terry Francona joined The Big Show Wednesday, discussing Josh Beckett's knee, which kept him out of Tuesday's All-Star game. He also offered his thoughts on the game, which many have criticized.
On the subject of Beckett, Francona said that the team believed he would be good to go Sunday, but that he was glad Beckett didn't take any chances.
"He assured me that he felt great," Francona said. "[Pitching coach] Curt Young watched him and said he felt great. Our trainer was with him and said he looked fine. Josh is really team-oriented. He went out there, he was going to throw the second inning. Everything was coming fast, and I think he was a little out of sorts to begin with. By his 10th pitch, he felt something in the back of his knee, and he was like 'OK, I'd better cool it,' and I'm glad he did."
Francona said he felt bad that the team sent Beckett when he ended up being unable to help the American League, but that he was proud of the right-hander for not putting himself in a bad position.
"I actually told him, 'Josh, you deserve to pitch in this game.' I feel that way with all our guys," Francona said. "I said, 'Just promise me if it's not right, you'll use your head' He did, and I'm proud of that. He didn't take this lightly. He respects the game. … He respects this game a lot, and at the same time, if he can pitch, he should. That may not help us, but I think it's good for baseball and I think he deserved it."
The manager said that he believed the body of work over the regular season should determine home field advantage rather than the All-Star game.
"Maybe the significance of this game has run its course," Francona said. "I don't know. [David] Price couldn't pitch the other day, but he's going to open up against us, so that turf toe must be getting better. I understand. These guys get beat up during the year, and they probably all do have nicks and things, including David Price. It's just the idea -- I know what they were trying to do with the game, and I think they accomplished it, but maybe it's run its course. There's maybe better ways to figure out home field [advantage]."
Francona said the game is "probably unfair to a lot of people," including managers, given that the game is played like an exhibition, yet has major implications.
"I just think the way they're playing the game, with the fan voting, they want interviews in the dugout, they want a lot of things to make it not like a regular season game, and then at the end you end up treating it like the most important regular-season game of the year," Francona said. "It's just not real consistent, and there is a lot riding on it."
Francona has been a manager in the All-Star game twice, but said it is such a busy time that it's hard to enjoy.
"It's so corporate, there's so much going on," he said. "I know that it's needed, but it's tough. I know for me, you fly in Sunday night, and you're already kind of tired. You get up early Monday morning for a breakfast, then a news conference, then you finally get to go to the ball park, and you sign probably two hours worth of things for the game.
"Every time you turn around, somebody's in your face. You don't get to enjoy very much just the game itself or the players. I know the most fun time I had was when I locked myself in the room with Jim Leyland, and we told stories. Now, it didn't get to last very long, but that's the enjoyment of getting to meet these players and watch them play, and the relationships, but it's not very much because there's always somebody tugging at you."
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Greg and Chris talk with Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston in hour 2 of NFL Sunday to discuss a variety of offseason happenings with the Pats and throughout the league. Greg and Chris also get into the NFL Draft and where Mariota and Winston will go.
Mike Reiss calls the guys to talk about the offseason news for the Pats. He talks about the Pats/Jets tampoering fiasco, free agency, where he sees Ridley and Connolly ending up, if the Patriots would be interested in Reggie Wayne and more.
In the first hour of the show, Greg and Chris discuss the news coming out of the owners' meetings this week and rule changes. Belichick's blow-up over the league not wanting to spend on endzone cameras was well documented and the guys react. They also talk about the Jets ridiculous tampering charges, free agents still lingering out there, where Stevan Ridley will land and the RB position in New England. Dickerson and Price briefly discuss the adventures of Tom Brady before being joined by WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia to talk all things Pats in the offseason.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Joe and Alex talked with the Sox AGM about the state of the team as Opening Day approaches.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
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Ben and Adam finish the odyssey that is the history of Wrestlemania. Wrestlemanias 21-30 are discussed and analyzed.
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