MLB Notebook: Francona on edge, but 'I love doing this'

2013-04-04T00:00:00Z MLB Notebook: Francona on edge, but 'I love doing this'The Associated Press The Associated Press
April 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

From the sleepless nights to the gut-wrenching decisions in the dugout, Terry Francona couldn't be happier to be back managing again. Even if it doesn't always sound that way.

"I love doing this," the new Cleveland manager said before Wednesday's game at Toronto. "Sometimes it kills you, but I don't want to do anything else. That's the best way I can put it."

Francona, a former Arizona Wildcat, said he's been through the emotional wringer in the past few days after a year away from managing.

"It's funny, because I've been telling everybody I took the year off to get perspective," he said. "I have no perspective."

Francona said he slept less than three hours before Tuesday's 4-1 victory over the Blue Jays. He acknowledged after the game that he'd been so nervous he went through three packets of chewing tobacco.

• Indians left-hander Scott Kazmir will miss his first scheduled start of the season because of a sore abdominal muscle on his right side. Kazmir said he felt fine after a 30-pitch bullpen session Wednesday, but manager Francona decided to play it safe rather than start Kazmir at Tampa Bay on Saturday.

• David Ortiz is on a timetable to rejoin the Boston Red Sox in the middle of the third week of April. The designated hitter plans to travel today to the team's extended spring training in Fort Myers, Fla. He has been sidelined nearly all spring with heel inflammation after missing much of the second half of last season with a right Achilles tendon injury.

• Boston shortstop Stephen Drew, sidelined since he was hit on the helmet by a pitch during a spring training game on March 7, played four innings and had four at-bats in extended spring training Wednesday. Drew is on the seven-day concussion DL.

• The already banged-up New York Yankees lost pitcher Hiroki Kuroda after just four outs against Boston on Wednesday night when a line drive bruised the middle finger of his right hand. The Yankees said Kuroda will have X-rays and additional tests.

Shane Victorino's drive hit Kuroda's hand leading off the second inning. Kuroda stayed in the game but was taken out after is issued a walk and hit two batters.

• Ben Francisco, Travis Hafner, Shawn Kelley, Lyle Overbay, Vernon Wells and Kevin Youkilis made their Yankees' debuts Monday, the most in a game for the franchise since the transformed Baltimore Orioles began play as the New York Highlanders on April 22, 1903.

• Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick is expected to miss at least three months following surgery on Wednesday to repair torn cartilage in his right shoulder.

Ludwick dislocated his non-throwing shoulder while sliding into third base in Cincinnati's opening 3-1, 13-inning loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

• Mets manager Terry Collins says Shaun Marcum is coming to New York to have his pitching shoulder and neck examined by team doctors and that Aaron Laffey would likely make a spot start in place of the right-hander Sunday.

Marcum was unable to pitch a simulated game Tuesday at the Mets' spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., because of discomfort running from his shoulder up his neck.

• The Philadelphia Phillies have claimed outfielder Ezequiel Carrera off waivers from the Cleveland Indians. To make room on the team's 40-man roster, outfielder Ender Inciarte was designated for assignment.

• Marlins first baseman Casey Kotchman left Miami's game at Washington with what appeared to be a left hamstring injury. Kotchman clutched the back of his upper left leg as he ran through first base when he grounded into a double play in the fifth inning Wednesday night, when the gametime temperature was 45 degrees. After crossing the bag, he tumbled to the ground. He was listed as day-to-day.

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