Francona’s Thoughts: May 30 vs. Athletics

A: “No. He’s going to hit. He’s too good of a hitter. I just felt like when you’re not hitting and you’re sitting in that cleanup spot, it’s a little more glaring. There’s not a whole lot of difference. He’s still hitting fifth. He’s right in the middle of the order. He’s too good of a hitter. It’s the same thing with Kip. It might have given Kip a little nudge that first day, kind of a little energy, but he’s too good of a hitter. You can hit these guys anywhere. They’re going to hit.”

On players starting slow:

A: “I just think that, you know, first of all the season is different than spring training. As a hitter, one, if it’s cold, that doesn’t help anybody. Because as you get into the summer, you start to feel good, the at-bats can carry over. You might feel good for a week or two or more than that, some of the good ones. In April, you might take a really nice swing and you’re next at-bat is another (situation). You’re heating up your bat handle, you’re gloves, you’re putting on the heater. Every at-bat is an event. Nothing carries over. Sometimes, guys need a certain amount of at-bats to kind of feel like they want to. It just doesn’t happen.”

On Danny Salazar moving to the bullpen like Carlos Carrasco did in 2013:

A: “I think there’s a lot of things. One, it just wasn’t getting done well enough. That being said, you can kind of banish somebody to the bullpen, put them in the penalty box, that’s not what we want to do. We sat down and talked to him at length about here’s what we’re going to do. This is how we’re going to get you back. I don’t think he has a ton of confidence going right now. OK. How do you build confidence? Your catch game, your work ethic, your paying attention to detail, so you have something to kind of fall back on or build as you’re going forward. We kind of talked about all of that.”

On the fight between Paul Byrd and Eddie Perez in 1999:

A: “We were in Atlanta, I was with the Phillies managing. Paul Byrd had hit Eddie Perez like three times, they were roommates. He wasn’t trying to, he was just having a tough time. So when Byrd came up to hit, him and Eddie were going back and forth. They’re shoving and I was the first one out of the dugout because I’m right – I’m like, ‘Woah.’ I’m like in the middle of it. It was so funny, Scott Rolen said somebody just spit me out of the pile. Like I was down underneath and I just rolled over there. I was like, ‘What am I doing?’ Rolen was like, ‘That was the funniest thing I have ever seen.’”

On getting nervous when punches are thrown in a baseball fight:

A: “You know what, that’s the one thing that as you gain more experience or get older, you think twice about because it’s easy to tell somebody to do something. It’s a lot harder, or it takes a lot more maturity to say ‘hang on a sec,’ because you have some responsibility for your players and what can happen in situations. So you always have to think about that.”

On players getting hurt during fights:

A: “I think it’s more dangerous than people realize. Guys come running and you might not be looking. There’s a lot of stuff. It’s not good.”

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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