Francona focused on doing job, not losing it

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Francona focused on doing job, not losing it

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
NEW YORK -- In the middle of their worst September in modern memory and a late-season falloff in play that has threatened their appearance in the playoffs, the Red Sox have also had to deal with a report that suggested that manager Terry Francona's job security could be in jeopardy.

Baseball analyst Peter Gammons said on The Dan Patrick Show Thursday that a rift had developed between GM Theo Epstein and Francona and hinted that Francona's job might on the line if the Sox failed to reach the post-season for a second straight
year.

Francona was asked about the issue during his daily pre-game briefing with the media.

"I don't feel any different than I ever have," Francona said. "The organization not only has the right, but it's their obligation to get the right person they think is the best, if at some point they think it needs to be somebody else. Other than that, I think it's disrespectful to spend one waking moment thinking about my situation. We need to win games.

"If I spent any energy on me, that would be a disservice to the organization.''

Later, Epstein addressed the matter in the dugout.

"There is no disconnect between me and Tito, he said I think anyone whos been around the club on a daily basis can see that. We talk several times a day. We spend a ton of time together. I was in (Franconas office) today, laughing, joking, like I was yesterday, like I was the day before with him. Obviously, less laughing and joking this month than previously because of the way things are going but we're on the same page. For eight years, I've respected him and admired him. I believe the feeling's mutual.

"This is what happens when teams play poorly down the stretch. Theres a tendency to turn a stretch of bad baseball into a soap opera, and were not going to let that happen. Have we played good baseball this month? No. Are there any sort of deeper issues in our personal problems or dramatics around here? No. This is not a soap opera. This is a team that hasnt played well all of a sudden for two or three weeks, and we need to go out and win some games.

"But Tito and I are on the same page. There is not a disconnect.

The Red Sox hold an option on Francona for 2012, worth 4.25 million and another option for 2013 valued at 4.5 million, with buyouts for each year at 750,000.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

The Cardinals broke open a close game with four runs in the last two innings against Red Sox relief prospect Chandler Shepherd and went on to a 7-2 exhibition victory over Boston yesterday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Cardinals box score

The loss dropped the Sox to 1-3 for the exhibition season.

Boston had jumped on top, 1-0, on an RBI single by Mitch Moreland in the bottom of the first, but St. Louis countered with two runs in the second and one in the third, all against starter Brian Johnson. It remained 3-1 until the Cards touched Shepherd for two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. The Red Sox added their final run in the bottom of the ninth when catcher Jordan Procyshen, who spent last season at Single-A Salem, hit a sacrifice fly.

Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Young each had two hits for the Red Sox. who also got scoreless relief from Teddy Stankiewicz, Noe Ramirez, Robby Scott, Kyle Martin and Brandon Workman. It was Bogaerts' last game before leaving to compete for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

The Sox host the Yankees on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."