BOSTON -- With the sons of Victor Martinez and David Ortiz engaging in a game of clubhouse soccer with Clay Buchholz, Terry Francona remembered his days in a Major League clubhouse with his father, Tito."My dad's last three or four years, I went to the ballpark just about every day," Francona said on Sunday, which was Father's Day. "My punishment was not being able to go early, and it happened once. It wasn't that I was a great kid, I just wanted to go to the ballpark." Francona, whose father played for nine teams in a 15-season career, said he wasn't allowed in the clubhouse as much as the children of Martinez and Ortiz. But with his players away from home so much, his policy is a little looser. "I used to sit in the back and listen to the conversations," Francona said. "I guess when I see Victor's kids or David's -- it seems like we bend the rules a little bit sometimes, I really don't care." Francona said he "wasn't a picky kid" and rooted for any team his father was on. As for his favorite players, anyone who would play catch with him met his approval. "In Milwaukee, it was Al Downing," Francona said. "To this day, I love Al Downing. He was a left-handed pitcher, which wasn't what I wanted to be, but he would play catch with me. All it takes when you are 8, 9 or 10 years old is for someone to say hello to you." In Tito Francona's last season, an 11-year-old Terry got to accompany him on a 10-day road trip. "My mom bought me a suit to go on that trip," Francona said. "Dressed me up with a tie on and got me on a plane. When I came back after 10 days, I was like an unmade bed. It was the best 10 days of my life."
Red Sox hope to get Drew back Tuesday
BOSTON -- The Red Sox remain hopeful that J.D. Drew, out since leaving Friday's game with a hamstring injury, will be ready to play when the team opens a three-game series in Denver against the Rockies on Tuesday."Talking to the trainers, it's actually pretty good," manager Terry Francona said before Sunday's game. "I don't think anyone even remotely thinks it's a DL situation. So we'll stay away from it tonight and get the day off tomorrow and see how it is." Drew injured the hamstring when charging to make a catch on a line drive in the third inning of Friday's win over the Dodgers. Including Sunday's game, Drew has missed six of the team's 71 games. "That's a big outfield in Denver, but if he's healthy enough to play, he plays," Francona said. Francona, who has dealt with outfield injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron as well, has been happy with the play of his reserves. With Cameron back in center field on Sunday, Darnell McDonald moved to right and pushed Bill Hall, who made two errors on Saturday, to the bench. Daniel Nava has been seeing regular time in left field since his Major League debut on June 12. "I do think I said in Spring Training that someone will come up help us, we just don't know who it is," Francona said. "I think this falls into that category."
Cameron returns to center-field duties
BOSTON -- After sitting out Saturday's game as he still deals with the effects of a lower abdominal injury, Mike Cameron was once again penciled in at center field on Sunday against the Dodgers.Red Sox manager Terry Francona talked at length with Cameron on Saturday to check in on his health and how he is feeling mentally. We know some of things he can't do right now are frustrating him, Francona said. We just don't want him looking back on this time and worry so much about being healthy that he didn't enjoy it. Francona said he knows if Cameron had it his way, he would be playing every day. The center fielder said he has seen his body continue to recover at a quicker pace as the season has gone on. Yet, Cameron feels no need to rush things thanks to the production from outfielders Daniel Nava, Bill Hall, Darnell McDonald and J.D Drew. "I just have to keep trying to get better and make adjustments according to how things go. Everyone knows it is there, we just have to be able to go from there," Cameron said. "We have had guys the whole year who have been outstanding. When you play well, it makes it easier for guys to settle in and not do too much."
Red Sox prepare for 'Football at Fenway'
BOSTON -- As the Dodgers and Red Sox warmed up before Sundays contest at Fenway Park, the grass in center field looked a little different than usual.Instead of the customary stripped pattern, a soccer ball was etched behind the second base grass. The soccer ball, along with a banner hung over the Green Monster entitled "Football at Fenway," is a promotion for the July 21 soccer match at the ballpark between Celtic F.C. of Glasgow and Sporting C.P. of Lisbon. Also with the banner and grass design, soccer nets were situated in the same location as on the day of the match and a Football at Fenway trophy was unveiled. Before Sundays game, Red Sox executives, players and families also participated in a soccer kick-around on the Fenway Park field. "I just had a lot of fun with the fans and my son at the kick-around," Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez said. "I think the fans are definitely going to enjoy the match in July."
Thomas Boorstein is a reporter and Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.