Cleveland – 3, Toronto – 0
TERRY FRANCONA: Before we take questions, I just really wanted to congratulate the Blue Jays. Gibby, Ross, Mark, I mean, not only did they have a phenomenon year, but they’re phenomenal people and first class people. And just wanted to say that because they had a heck of a year.
Q. I wanted to ask you, how satisfying is this, or maybe that’s not an appropriate way to phrase it? Clearly it’s satisfying. But considering what happened to your starting rotation going into the series, for your ballclub to make it all the way to the World Series?
TERRY FRANCONA: When the game starts it really doesn’t matter what happens. Nobody is going to feel sorry for yourself. They’re not going to give us an extra run or an extra out. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that watching Ryan Merritt go out and do what he did, the only person that really got in his way was me. And I thought that he had gotten us to a point where the bullpen could take over. But what he did was above and beyond his years.
Q. Reasonably could you have expected that from Merritt today?
TERRY FRANCONA: One hit?
TERRY FRANCONA: I don’t think that you’d ever go — what I hoped would be that he would be himself. Because I thought that was a tall task just for that, under the circumstances. If he was just himself then you let the chips fall. And he threw strikes. He worked ahead, even with an 85-, 86-mile-an-hour fastball, you saw him beat their barrel a number of times. He didn’t let the noise get to him. He was phenomenal. And I’m sure when all is said and done a game like this will go light years in his development, in his maturity.
Q. Given the hurdles you faced with the injuries to your starting rotation and the way you shut down a good hitting team in Toronto, what does it say about the pitchers you have at your disposal?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I mean, I think you have to have some depth because things happen over the course of a year. I also think our bullpen did some phenomenal things. They answered the bell time after time after time. And they’re going to have to continue to do that.
But everybody chips in wherever they’re asked and they do the best they can. And to this point it’s been good enough.
Q. There are very few people that have ever managed two teams to a World Series. Does that mean much to you to join a pretty elite —
TERRY FRANCONA: No, really, I’m honored that we’re going to the World Series because to do it with — we always said if we could do it with this group it would be so special because this is as close to a family feel as you can get in a professional setting. So for that part of it, it is beyond feeling good. But not for — only personal things are the relationships. Other than that, just want to talk about the players and what Chris and Cherny did acquiring Andrew Miller. I think those are the things I’d rather talk about.