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“Francona was not at Friday's news conference announcing the signing of Marco Scutaro as the new Red Sox shortstop. He'd made a point of coming here to David Ortiz's charity golf event, having missed the inaugural event last year. "Went to Pookie's wedding last year," Francona said, referring to Sox clubhouse man Pookie Jackson. "Now, that was something." But Francona, when he wasn't joking about how poorly he'd fared on the golf course or how much tropical sun he'd taken on the top of his bald head, talked up Scutaro and what a good fit he will be with the Red Sox. "I'm thrilled," he said. "He's reliable. He gets on base. He knows how to play the game. I've always kind of been a big fan. I've always had him up there, and I think Theo always thought the same. When I talked to Theo, you could hear the excitement in his voice, which was nice to hear. "I know how he values his draft picks, but this was a good get." Signing Scutaro cost the Red Sox their No. 1 draft pick, but they recouped that pick, and with a better draft position, when they received Atlanta's first-round pick as compensation for the Braves' signing of free-agent reliever Billy Wagner. Francona made it clear that his plan is for Scutaro to open the season at short, regardless of whether Jed Lowrie is able to play. "The biggest thing for Jed is to get healthy," Francona said, alluding to the wrist woes that limited Lowrie to 32 games last season. "We all think he's a pretty good player, but we're trying to win, and you don't want to come into spring training where you just don't know (whether he's healthy).
I'm thrilled. He's reliable. He gets on base. He knows how to play the game. I've always kind of been a big fan. I've always had him up there, and I think Theo always thought the same. When I talked to Theo, you could hear the excitement in his voice, which was nice to hear.” -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona
|"He's a good player, and a good friend of mine,'' said David Ortiz of Scutaro, between drives on the golf course in Punta Cana.|