Francona: 'Im not bitter or anything'

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Francona: 'Im not bitter or anything'

BOSTON Former manager Terry Francona, appearing at a Red Sox-related function Thursday for the first time since the release of his new book earlier this week, said the process of putting the book together had been cathartic after the bitter parting of ways following the teams disastrous finish to the 2011 season.Cathartic until this week, that is.This books been done for a while and we kind of put it on the back burner and Ive been working in Cleveland and being busy and all of a sudden theres a release date, which I probably lost track of, and then all of a sudden everything comes out, which I understand, Francona said. So I hadnt really been thinking about it very much.Appearing at the annual dinner for the Boston chapter of Baseball Writers Association of America, where he will receive an award for long and meritorious service to baseball, Francona said he hopes people take the time to read the book and not just the excerpts some of which are controversial that have been released.I think theres been a reaction to the excerpts, he said. I think thats the way it works. I think as people take time to read the book, which I hope they doI hope they buy itI hope they read it... if they have to choose one I hope they buy it. I think a lot of things are in context better. Once I decided to do it, since I wasnt manager, I had time to kind of dig in and get after it. It was fun. I tried to deal year to year and I knew at some point we would have to come to the end, so we had to touch on that, too. Its a tough subject for me. Its kind of a personal one.I dont think I wake up every morning anymore thinking about it. Im not bitter or anything but we certainly have to talk about it.Some of the excerpts paint the organization and ownership especially in a less than satisfactory light. Francona, who was named manager of the Indians earlier this offseason, said he is not worried about public perception.I can't help that, he said. I tried to word it really honestly. The end was really public and hurtful but I still thought they were good owners. When I made the comment that they didnt love baseball, I think they like it, but I dont view that as being critical. I was just comparing it to my perspective on the game. So maybe Im looking at it through a different lens. I dont know.Francona said he has not heard from anyone in Sox ownership regarding the excerpts from the book, which stated that he didnt think the owners loved baseball.I havent talked to them before that, he said. So, no.Nor does he expect them to reach out.No, again, Im still waiting to hear back on the first thing, he said. Probably not.I really havent talked to principal owner John Henry. Im disappointed in that. That was part of my disappointment. Im sure that probably showed through a little bit. I was disappointed. I wanted them to care more about me than maybe what people were accusing them of saying. Its like I probably cared more about that than who said it. I just wanted them to reach out. After being somewhere for eight years, that meant something to me. So I was really disappointed.But hes not looking at the book as a kind of payback, despite his bitter departurefiring following the Sox collapse in September 2011.I dont think thats how I intended it to be, he said. I can't ever help what are on blogs, nor could I ever. I do think if you read it, its how I feel so if its taken that way, I can'tagain I thought it was how I viewed it so its the only way I can say it. How people take it, maybe thats how they want to take it. I dont know.Asked if he had any advice for new manager John Farrell, Francona replied:"He does not need my advice. We were not as good a team when he left. Ive said this a lot of times: When he came back, the glass got half full again, with a lot of players here, as it should. So except for when were playing them Ill be a big fan. He knows that.

Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

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Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

BOSTON - Brian Johnson had quite a turnaround in his second time on Fenway Park's mound.

Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

The 26-year-old left-hander became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

"The last time I walked off the mound here was 2012 and I made two pitches," Johnson said. "Today I went nine innings. Today was pretty cool."

Johnson left Triple-A for a little over a month last season to get treatment for an anxiety issue.

"Obviously with some stuff that I've been gone through in my career, it's an awesome feeling" he said.

But despite the stellar outing, Johnson was optioned back to Triple-A after the game.

"That's the reality of the game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We had a chance to congratulate him and yet option him back to Pawtucket, with David Price coming here Monday."

Brought up from the minors for the start, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. His only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

"Their guy threw the ball over the plate. He threw strikes," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I won't take anything away from what he did, but we're not swinging the bat very well."

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

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Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

BOSTON - Brian Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway Park, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

Brought up from Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. The 26-year-old left-hander's only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw bullpen sessions. Hernandez said he "felt really good."... LHP James Paxton (strained forearm) is set to come off the DL and pitch at home Wednesday.

Red Sox: Pedroia was back at second base after getting Friday off to rest his sore left knee and not play on a wet field. He was hit by a pitch on the right forearm his first time up and went 1 for 3. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the DL with a sprained right knee, was expected to play nine innings Saturday night in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell didn't rule out that he could be activated next week.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Christian Bergman (1-2, 6.30 ERA) gave up 10 runs and 14 hits over four innings in a 10-1 loss Tuesday at Washington.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.35) has gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts.