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Thursday’s Mashup: Terry Francona’s pitching mixup leads to Indians’ collapse in huge loss

Lucy Burdge
July 12, 2018 - 7:15 am

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Oakland at Houston, 2:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: NY Yankees at Cleveland, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Toronto at Boston, 7:10 p.m. (NESN)


-- Terry Francona apologized on Wednesday for a pitching change mistake that led to a disastrous loss for his Indians.

Cleveland had a 4-0 lead going into the ninth inning on Tuesday night before closer Cody Allen gave up three runs to the Reds. Francona finally pulled him off the mound with two outs and the bases loaded.

Francona told Carl Willis to call the bullpen and get O.P. (lefty Oliver Perez) ready to go. Willis thought Francona said O.T., which is Otero's nickname. Otero had to enter the game and face at least one batter, who happened to be Joey Votto. Votto hit a double and cleared the bases. The Reds won 7-4.

"I actually talked to the team today and told them that I thought I messed up," Francona said. "I apologized because I don't like messing up. I think inadvertently I came in last night and took responsibility, but I think I also put OT (Dan Otero) in a tough spot and I didn't want to do that. I told the guys that was not my intention. I thought that was the best way for me to move on. It was a tough night. I didn't sleep great."

Willis took some blame, saying he should have double-checked with Francona, but the manager took the total blame for the mistake.

"This is one that I needed to just (own) ... I'm not perfect,” Francona said. “You want to be, and it hurt, there's no way around it."

-- Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka held a press conference on Wednesday explaining why the team signed their most recent acquisitions, including LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, and began the presser with a nod to James.

Pelinka opened by reading from The Alchemist, which James was seen reading on the sideline during the Eastern Conference Finals in May.

“But the young boy was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision,” Pelinka read.

He explained it was actually Kobe Bryant who first gave him the book when he took his job with the Lakers.

Pelinka also said the team signed James to help shape the young players and signed Rondo for help in the playoffs.

“We all know when you’re hanging around youth, it’s exciting,” he said of James. “I keep thinking it’s gonna add fuel to his rocket pack, just to be around young, energetic guys that play fast and play hard. There’s an innocence to being able to shape them and mold them. I think that a player at LeBron’s career stage, it’s gonna be really incredible for him to feel like he’s giving back to the game and helping shape these young guys.”

Of Rondo, he said, “We wanted to add basketball IQ and playoff toughness to our roster, and he brings that. He’s a player that has thrived in playoff moments, and we see this as a playoff roster and a playoff team, so he was essential for us to add.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I feel great moving forward for the rest of the season and great facing the Yankees again, whenever that may be.” -- David Price, to Dan Shaughnessy, on pitching against the Yankees

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