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Francona: Good manager, poor prankster

Jul 5, 2009, 7:26 PM EST

Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona tried to pull a prank on veteran pitcher Tim Wakefield on Sunday.

The 42-year-old pitcher had just been named an All-Star for the first
time in his 17-year career, but Francona called him into his office as
if to deliver bad news. As Wakefield described it …

“It was pretty funny. I was actually in the weight room doing my
work and (pitching coach John) Ferrell had come in and said, ‘Tito
wants to see you after he talks to the other guys.’ I didn’t know what
other guys. Then I got to his office and the office was closed. When it
opened, he called me into the office and I saw all the other guys
walking out with their all-star packages. He sat me down and tried to
play it off like it wasn’t good news. He couldn’t hold the laughter.”

Francona seems like a nice guy. Maybe that’s why he couldn’t pull it
off. Or maybe he didn’t have the heart to do that to Wakefield, a guy
who’s been around forever, pitched in any role asked, and never
complained. Regardless, Francona should avoid the poker table at all
costs.

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