BOSTON (AP) -Red Sox manager Terry Francona has been swamped with good wishes from his Boston brethren during the postseason.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick e-mailed him twice. Athletic director Gene DeFilippo of Boston College, ranked second in the nation in football, called.
DeFilippo is quite a booster.
``We can't start a series without him calling,'' Francona said before Wednesday night's World Series opener against the Colorado Rockies. ``He's got a lot of stuff going on himself but he takes the time. It's nice. It's appreciated.''
Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers exchanged text messages with him.
``I hate to use the word touching because I don't want to be overly dramatic. It was really nice,'' Francona said. ``I don't want to pretend that I go to dinner with Doc Rivers, but he's a really nice guy. ``I appreciate him caring enough to do that.''
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ROCKIES ROOTER: Clint Hurdle's biggest fan is back home in Michigan, and she's 95 years old.
His grandma, Lucille.
``I talked to her today. She's turned into a media darling. I think she's been interviewed twice in the last few weeks. Grand Rapids Bugle, I don't know. She's gotten a little air play and she's quite happy and proud,'' the Colorado Rockies manager said Wednesday before the World Series opener against Boston.
``I still have a number of aunts and uncles that live in Michigan, quite a contingent. It would be too numerous really to go through. But Lucille, don't miss that one. If we can get that out and put her in play, she's 95 and she's my girl. She's my daddy's mama.''
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LITTLE BUT LOUD: Dustin Pedroia, generously listed at 5-feet-9 by the Red Sox, is a loudmouth in Boston's dugout.
So when he struggled early in the AL championship series, first baseman Kevin Youkilis - hardly reticent himself - noticed the rookie second baseman was quieter than usual.
``I can't really repeat in words what I said to him,'' Youkilis said. ``I just kind of yelled at him. He responded and he started hitting, but I'm not going to take credit. Dustin deserves all the credit in the world.''
Pedroia wouldn't say what Youkilis told him either.
``I can't tell you,'' he said. ``There's bad language and it's bad for kids.''
Pedroia went 3-for-5 in Boston's 11-2 win in Game 7 that clinched the ALCS against the Cleveland Indians. His two-run homer in the seventh gave Boston a 5-2 lead then he doubled in two runs in the eighth.
``Some guys need the push,'' Youkilis said. ``You just need to yell at them, get them fired up and get them going.''
Pedroia rarely needs more than a nudge. He hit .317 in his first season, fielded very well and played with enthusiasm.
``That's just who I am. I like energy drinks,'' he said. ``I try to have fun, keep everybody relaxed. I'd rather have a guy on our team think I'm insane so they're not worrying if something goes wrong for them.''
But Youkilis, a four-year veteran, still has the edge over Pedroia in emotional displays.
``Youk's got the title,'' third baseman Mike Lowell said.
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CATCHING PRAISE: Jason Varitek has been lauded by Red Sox managers and pitchers for his ability to handle the staff since his first major league season in 1998.
Yorvit Torrealba is in just his second season behind the plate with Colorado, and Rockies manager Clint Hurdle feels he's also done a solid job, especially with rookies Ubaldo Jimenez and Franklin Morales in the rotation.
``He communicates very well with anybody we have on the mound,'' Hurdle said.
Torrealba made his most noticeable postseason contribution in Game 3 of the NL championship series with a three-run homer in the sixth that broke a tie against Arizona. The Rockies won 4-1 then completed the sweep in the next game.
But Hurdle knows how valuable he can be on defense.
``His pitch selection has been so very, very good, his touch and feel with each individual pitcher,'' the manager said. ``He plays with a lot of emotion, which I think fits into our ballclub very well also. He plays with a bit of an edge and a chip, especially when we brought Morales and Jimenez into the rotation.''
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SERIES SHORTS: A total of 1,852 media credentials were issued for the World Series, according to John Blundell, manager of media relations for Major League Baseball. ... The last time teams from the AL East and the NL West met in the World Series was 2001 when the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees. Boston's Curt Schilling, who will pitch Game 2 Thursday night, was co-MVP of that Series with Randy Johnson.
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