As the Phillies were battling the Rockies in Game 1 of the NLDS, Terry Francona was in Boston addressing the team he managed to a 285-363 record from 1997-2000. Asked during his ALDS Game 1 press conference about the Phillies late-season run to the NL East title, and the feelings it evoked, the Red Sox skipper spoke well of his old friends in the City of Brotherly Love.
“When you go through four years like we did there,” said Francona, “they were tough. We didn’t win very many games, and when you don’t have much success, the manager takes a lot of that, and you don’t have a lot of fun. But you go through some tough times with some very good people. Bill Giles was at the top of that list, and there is nobody – nobody – I felt deserved it more. I mean, when they won that last game, the smile on his face made me feel good. I felt thrilled for a lot of those people. Those feelings may not be reciprocated on all avenues, but there are some people.”
Asked about his team’s success against the Angels — Boston won this year’s season series 6-4 and has won 18 of their last 26 meetings, including the post season — Francona made note of the other AL Division Series.
“Tonight it won’t matter,” said Francona. “I don’t think it will to them, either. You know what? I also know the Yankees have beaten Cleveland, what, six times? And Sabathia is pitching tomorrow; I bet you Cleveland feels good. This whole stuff takes on its own personality. Every game will be different, and the Angels won’t care about ’04 or May or April — neither do we.”