Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona made his return to Fenway Park this past weekend with the red-hot Cleveland Indians by his side.
Luckily for the Sox, the series didn’t go Francona’s way as Boston took three out of four games.
Nonetheless, Francona still found a little bit of time to play around with an old friend: Don Orsillo.
Check out what the NESN play-by-play man had to say about the incident and more as he empties out the mailbag.
What was it like getting beat up by Tito?
–Sasha C. Handelman
Pretty typical and definitely expected. I am so glad it is now just a once a year occasion. It was daily when he was the manager here. The worst was the middle of the night sneak attacks on the charter that were numerous. For those old enough to remember the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies, Cato was always attacking Inspector Clouseau. Same deal — just the manager of the Red Sox attacking the announcer when he least expects it. That said, he is a great friend who I miss being around.
If you didn’t live in New England, where would you live?
Probably Southern California. I went to high school in Palos Verdes, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles and very much enjoyed my time there. I guess anywhere close to the beach.
Do you think the Red Sox will trade for a starting pitcher?
That’s a tough one, and I may be better suited to answer that in a month. I think we need to wait and see if Ryan Dempster can turn some of his control problems around. I am hopeful that Felix Doubront can find his way, as well. Also, I think the Red Sox may try to get some starts for Franklin Morales.
What’s the Red Sox’ biggest need at the moment?
–Kirt Damon Jr.
To me the greatest need is health. That will always be the greatest need. They have put together a solid team with good depth and veteran leadership that I think can compete with anybody if healthy. I think the AL East will come down to who is the healthiest by year’s end.
Do you think Will Middlebrooks will hit 30 home runs this year?
It will be harder now with him on the disabled list to accomplish this. I think depending on how serious this back situation is, it remains possible. Despite not hitting for average, he had great power. His eight home runs were tied for the team lead with David Ortiz as of Monday, which is impressive.
How much time do you spend with Jerry Remy when you are not in the booth?
Thats the thing: We are always in the booth. We, on an average day, arrive at 2:30 for a night game and spend around nine hours a day together, depending on travel, for the better part of seven months a year. We also generally have dinner during off days on the road.
Do you have a favorite Manny Ramirez moment? If so, which is it?
There are so many, but for me, the night he went into the wall during what he thought was going to be a pitching change. Instead it was a visit to the mound and by the time Manny came out the next pitch was on its way. I remember saying “Come back Manny!”