Francona’s Thoughts: May 31 vs. Athletics

On the All-Star Game:

A: “We set out to win every day. That’s our No. 1 priority. But, I’m happy and I’m proud of, whether it’s our fans, which I’m sure are doing some of the damage, and maybe because we played [in the World Series], so people watched our guys and realized they are really good players. But, I’m really happy about that and I hope that trend continues. The one thing that I never want to get lost for one second is, I get the honor of managing the All-Star Game. The reason I get the honor is because of our players. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t hit. I didn’t pitch. They did all this, and I’m going. So, I hope we can take about 10 guys.”

On the Larry Doby Youth Fund:

A: “I don’t remember a group ever doing something like that. The amount of cooperation and the want to and the pride that they took in Cleveland, knowing that they’re helping some kids in Cleveland, because a lot of guys do stuff, I think more than probably people are aware, which is nice, but this was just something that was just for the youth in inner city Cleveland. And, like I’ve said many times, it’s probably the proudest moment in my baseball career. I think that group is probably the only group that you ever could pull something like that off with.”

On Michael Brantley potentially being an All-Star selection:

A: “I’ve talked about it often, but I felt compelled to do that. He has worked so hard. And I mean, not just… He was working during the playoffs, during the World Series, when it probably wasn’t a whole lot of fun to do that. In the offseason. And he worked so [darn] hard that, when he came back, he’s actually the same player as before, which is not easy to do. Believe me, we were happy to get him back. But now, to have him back, and to have him be that same player, and it’s because he worked so hard. Now, we have good medical people, too, and I’m happy about that. But, his work ethic, it was off the charts. His dedication was just off the charts.”

On the medical staff:

A: “Well, it always helps. I think our medical department has proven — in a small market, sometimes you don’t have quite maybe what other teams have. But we don’t cut corners in the medical department, and I’m happy about that, because that’s not a good place to do it. I’d say we’re almost cutting edge in some areas and it starts with the people. I think our guys know that they’re going to get taken care of.” 

On Brantley’s throw from Tuesday:

A: “When you’re up 3-0 already, it tends to maybe be like, ‘Oh, we’re being aggressive. It would’ve been nice.’ For us, it’s almost like taking a run off the board. They’re getting to a point where they’re trying to spread that game out. Not only did they not score, but the inning was over. They would’ve still been hitting and a runner would’ve been on second. So, it’s a really big play.”

On Corey Kluber pitching on Thursday:

A: “He’s not going to pitch all day. I guarantee you that. The key is to win tomorrow, but also set him up for the rest of the year. We’ll keep an eye on him. We’ll probably aggravate him a time or two by asking him how he’s doing. But tomorrow isn’t the last day of the season, so we need to monitor him. The goal with Kluber is to at some point have him going just about every five days. We need to build to that and we’re not there yet.”

“I hope so. If he does, that means he’s feeling good. We’ll see where we’re at. If a guy is trying to talk his way into staying into a game, that means he feels pretty good, so that’s always a good sign.”

On Lonnie Chisenhall, Abraham Almonte and Brandon Guyer:

A: “All three guys are increasing their activities, all different stages. Hopefully tomorrow we can update Lonnie a little bit more. All of them are increasing at different stages of baseball activities.”

On Danny Salazar:

A: “He’s going to go out to the ‘pen tonight. I want to talk to Mickey and JB before the game. Potentially tonight. Definitely tomorrow. Either way, want him to go out to the bullpen and get situated tonight because that hasn’t happened for a while. It’ll be a little different for him.”

On the starting rotation turning it around:

A: “I hope so. We’ve got accustomed to getting strong pitching. It’s a good way to play. When you’re not just knocking the ball all over the ballpark, you still have a chance to win. The first couple months, there have been some inconsistency. It’s nice to see a turn through the rotation where everybody is throwing the ball well. But, like anything, you’re never too quick to say, ‘We have it figured out.’ It’s fluid and every day is different. That’s why we talk so much about paying attention to detail today and then turn the page and go to tomorrow, not until then.”

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

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