Tito: 'Don't think we're going to pack it in'

April, 6, 2011
CLEVELAND -- Terry Francona is a huge sports fan, especially of the Celtics and the NBA, so when he says he hasn’t turned on the television, you understand he’s making a sacrifice.

“I never watch 'SportsCenter' when we’re not winning,’’ he said Wednesday. “I can’t help it. I never have.’’

So no, he said, he hasn’t heard the constant refrain of how no team that has begun a season 0-4 has gone on to win the World Series.

(Wait till Francona sees what ESPN’s Jayson Stark noted, that in the wild-card era, of the 25 teams that have begun the season 0-4, only one -- the 1999 Diamondbacks -- has gone on to win 90 or more games.)

How would Francona respond to being told that?

“I guess I would say we’ve got 158 left,’’ he said. “I don’t think we’re going to pack it in. I think it means we’ve had four bad first days of the year.’’

Having to answer such questions underscores why losing streaks at the start of the season are such a bother.

“You don’t get asked that in August,’’ he said. “You’re aggravated, but you’re not answering those questions. That’s one thing we talk about in our meeting. Everything gets overblown and overanalyzed the first two weeks of the season.

“Saying that, I wish we were playing better. You just have to deal with it.’’

Francona was asked if he deals with the current streak differently than he would one that came in the middle of the season.

“I hope I deal with it the same because that’s the whole idea, being consistent," he said. “Regardless of what my personality is or the coaches’, if we don’t maintain some consistency, I think that’s going to send a red flag up in the clubhouse. I think that the best thing we can do is be consistent.

“The players know we want to win. I know they want to win.’’

Francona said part of his job is to assess the temperature in the clubhouse, and he’s satisfied with what he sees.

“I think they care,’’ he said. “I see good emotion in the dugout. Guys are trying. It hasn’t translated into a win yet. I don’t want to downplay it because that’s why were here. That it hasn’t worked out doesn’t mean guys aren’t trying or the effort isn’t good. We’ve had guys doing extra hitting, doing all kinds of stuff. It just hasn’t translated onto the field yet.

“We've got our team, now it’s our responsibility to go win, not to evaluate maybe why we’re losing. OK, let’s figure out how we’re going to win.’’

Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



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