Red Sox manager Terry Francona made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday afternoon and talked about the team's philosophy heading into the final days of the regular season with a playoff berth highly unlikely.
"It changes, but the philosophy of our games certainly don't change," Francona said. "Regardless of who plays, you try to play the game right and you try to win. Obviously, we're incorporating some younger kids in the lineup, and we're trying to get them to understand what a huge honor it is to play in these games. If you're a Lars Anderson and you're playing a couple of games instead of a Mikey Lowell, he needs to understand that, 'Look, man, this guy has had a long career and you're taking some of his at-bats, so get after it.' And I think they're doing that."
Francona praised the work of Ryan Kalish, suggesting that he viewed the 22-year-old as "a true center fielder" who is "a better outfielder than I ever thought he would be." He could not say whether Kalish would be an everyday player for the Sox in 2011, but suggested that his time in such a capacity might not be far off.
"He’s done a great job. And he probably got here a little quick because of all our injuries," Francona said. "I think the at-bats he’s getting are huge in his development. I don’t know if he’s ready to be an everyday center fielder on our team next year — maybe he is. But even if he’s not, this six weeks is going to be huge for him. And at some point in his career in the not-too-distant future, he’s going to impact our team. This is a keeper."
At the beginning of the season, when David Ortiz struggled through a miserable April, there were calls for the Sox to sit the slugger. Francona was asked if he now felt vindicated for sticking with the veteran, who hit his 30th home run of the season Tuesday night.
"I think we've stood by people when we think that that's the best thing to do," Francona said. "And I believe in loyalty, believe me. But there's a difference between being loyal and not being very smart. When we felt like [Jonathan Papelbon] should replace [Keith] Foulke, we did it. But when I feel like somebody's struggling, and to make a knee-jerk reaction, that's not, to me, a good manager. That's just making a reaction. You've got to let these guys play a little bit. David's a great example of that. He's maybe the only one who believed in himself. And I'll be darned, you look up later, he's got 30 home runs, he's going to drive in 100 runs. Good for him."
Francona gushed about the contributions of Jason Varitek, who made his first start Tuesday night since returning from his broken foot. "He's been the captain," Francona said. "He's never once not been there for somebody. He supports everybody. He's vocal — he's probably more vocal than he used to be. He's done a terrific job being the captain. He's worked hard to get himself back to being available. … He's taken all his positives and all his attributes and he's taken them into his therapy and his rehab. And the way he helps the players, it's fun to watch."
Asked if Varitek can contribute next season, Francona said: "Certainly. Certainly. He was having a very good year as far as a backup catcher. And then he got hurt. He got a broken bone. That happens. This wasn't something out of old age or something. He just got a broken bone. I think he wants to play."
The Red Sox' 2011 schedule was released Tuesday, and Boston will open the season in Texas before welcoming the Yankees for the home opener. "I love opening on the road," Francona said. "I think there's so much going on, the first couple of games, all the pageantry and all that stuff. I love doing that on the road. Then you get all that stuff out of the way. Then you can come home and play. I've got no problem with that. I don't care who we open with. I don't care who we play. You're going to have to play [the Yankees] a certain amount many times, I [couldn't] care less when we play them."
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Fauria is still down in Houston and calls live from NRG Stadium to give his take on what will go down later on in Super Bowl 51. He likes the Pats and gives his reasons why, but also gets into the scene in Houston all week, famous people he met and why he is tired out from a wild week.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Adrian Wojnarowski has been talking about the possibility of the Celtics making a trade with the Bulls to bring Jimmy Butler to Boston. He actually thinks it may be the the marquee deal to keep an eye on this week heading into the trade deadline. Pete and Jerry discuss and give their thoughts on if they would want Butler. Pete thinks it will happen, Jerry thinks Ainge will stay put. The guys get into more Celtics, present and future and if they can battle with the best of the NBA.
Anna Horford, sister of Boston Celtics Al Horford, makes her Boston radio debut. She talks about Twitter and reacting to mean tweets about her brother. She also gives us her thoughts on the city of Boston and racism.
Rob Bradford is joined by Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia to discuss the 33-year-old's longevity, his thoughts on Tom Brady's approach and what the real deal is when it comes to who is the leader in the Red Sox' clubhouse.
Rob Bradford talks with both Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes, and assistant pitching coach Brian Bannister, about the fascinating project the reliever undertook in the final month of 2016. Barnes explains how he, with the help of others, made a concerted effort to emulate Dellin Betances of the Yankees and how that exercise helped turn around the former No. 1 pick's season.
Bradford checks in from spring training to give us all the media dirt he can dig up...oh, and talk some baseball too.
Guys talk the Bruins season so far and the All-Star Break
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Hour 4. Mack Beggs should have been wrestling men. Gerry wants to put an end to women's wrestling.
Hour 3. Moonlight wins after a big mistake. Curtis's dad paid for his dog's plane ticket.
Hour 1. Reimer joins Kirk and Gerry on the Monday after the Oscars. A mistake leads to the best moment in Oscars' history.
The deadline for NFL team's to use the franchise tag is Wednesday, and the guys discuss the future of Jimmy Garoppolo and Dont'a Hightower.
Andrew Benintendi is one of the favorites to win the AL Rookie of the Year award, despite playing in 35 games last year.
Glenn, Lou and Christian recap the Celtics weekend and continue to lament the fact that Danny didn't get someone to help out on the boards.
Dale and MIchael discuss Mo Sanu playing the blame game for the Super Bowl loss, plus other Super Bowl related topics... for instance, will the Falcons EVER get over that loss?
Dale and Michael discuss the interest out there for Jimmy G, and whether the Patriots will move on from him.
Dale and Michael spend a good portion of the program discussing the Bruins. What are there chances going forward and what do they need to add?
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be. You will not find a better look behind the scenes of radio.
Kirk sits down with the legend Glenn Ordway to talk about when Glenn got fired here at WEEI, his start with the station, the controversial decisions he made when he was the Program Director, and he relationship with Eddie Andelman.
Kirk chats with David Duchovny about his current music tour, which takes him to the Wilbur on February 22nd, how David got his start in television, from his first stint on Red Shoe Diaries, becoming a superstar on the X-Files, and his hilarious appearances on the Larry Sanders Show. This is a fascinating discussion about show business and controlling your own career.
Ben, Russ, and Alex talk about the decision by the Leicester City to dismiss Claudio Ranieri just months after winning the Premier League and if Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez will sign with the MLS this summer?
Christian and Dr Gill talk about how baseball players need to stay in shape in the offseason, continuing maintenance during the season, and how Pablo Sandoval's health could be after missing nearly an entire season.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap a K&C Monday with Alex Reimer joining the guys for a post-Oscar themed show
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Hour 2. Mack Beggs, a transgender boy, won the girls' wrestling title. Headlines with Kirk.More from this show