"Show up and grind, show up and grind," he said when asked how you get through tough stretches in which the lineup is missing several key components.
The culmination of the four-game effort in Kansas City, which resulted in three wins, was perhaps the best example of the team's most necessary mind-set.
While Jon Lester picked up his 13th win with six very solid innings and will deservedly get plenty of credit, the most impressive aspect of the 6-1 win was how contributions came from everywhere.
No Jacoby Ellsbury, no Kevin Youkilis, no David Ortiz, no lineup as we've come to know it, but a relentless attack from all angles that was too much for the young Royals.
Even Lester said so.
"The guys that filled their spots stepped up," Lester said. "It's nice to know that when those guys are out we have other guys to fill in and do a good job."
Consider how each of Boston's runs was scored. There was an RBI triple from Jason Varitek to begin the scoring. Yes, folks, an RBI triple from Jason Varitek. George W. Bush was our president and we weren't all that familiar with the Kardashians the last time that happened.
The second run came on a solo homer by Darnell McDonald, who had his first three-hit game of the season while batting second for just the second time in 2011. Carl Crawford, the much-maligned left fielder who is slowly working himself out of another attention-grabbing slump, added another solo shot.
The other three runs were scored on a Jed Lowrie sacrifice fly, a run-scoring single by Adrian Gonzalez and an RBI double by Ryan Lavarnway, the first extra-base hit of his young career. Just goes hand in hand with the theme of the day, and the series.
Only Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia remained in the same spot in the lineup each day of the four-game set, batting third and fourth, respectively. After that it was a crapshoot.
Ellsbury started the first two games in his customary leadoff role. Marco Scutaro took the next two games in that role.
The second spot in the lineup saw Mike Aviles twice, Lowrie once and then McDonald on Sunday. The five-hole was split between Lowrie and Josh Reddick, the sixth between Lowrie, Crawford and Saltalamacchia.
Lavarnway hit seventh, sixth, eighth and sixth in the series. The No. 9 spot was held down by Aviles, McDonald and Reddick.
Day to day, there were almost no guarantees from Terry Francona. After Sunday's affair, he focused on one of the nomadic numbers.
"That right-handed bat, that presence against a left-hander, is big for us," Francona said of McDonald, whose three hits were a team high and who scored twice in the 6-1 win. "And when he can do that. He doesn't always have to hit second, but when he can hit the ball out of the ballpark, it's huge for us."
That's the mind-set Francona has to have with every guy he scribbled on every line, no matter how awkward it might look at first glance. The mind-set of those whose name he writes down is simple. Show up and grind.
Until the Red Sox get healthy, it's the only way to live.