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It’s happening: Terry Francona is leaving the Red Sox

Sep 30, 2011, 9:50 AM EDT

Terry Francona

The reports from late last night are apparently true. Jon Heyman reports that Terry Francona has managed his last game in Boston.  No sense yet if it will be couched as a resignation or the Red Sox deciding not to pick up his 2012 option or Francona requesting that they not do it or whatever.  There will be an announcement from the team later today, though, so we should get the story then.

Matthew touched on the ridiculousness of the Sox wanting Francona gone here and the lack of readily-identifiable replacements here. I did some of that yesterday and I talked a bit about Red Sox’ team chemistry — the reported basis for the Francona-hate today — here.

We’ll obviously have more on this as people in official capacities begin to speak and leak about it.

  1. APBA Guy - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    That was nice, Mark-Fred.

    I argued yesterday that Tito was not to blame, primarily due to injuries. How much of this clubhouse stuff we’re hearing today is actually true we don’t know yet. It’s also unclear if Tito initiated the departure or not.

    But it is a law of nature and baseball that first the manager takes the fall. Next some of the players will get weeded out. I don’t think John Henry is going to look at this mess and think that replacing Tito will cure all ills. There’s more to come.

    The Red Sox have $ 121M committed to 2012, with arbitration for Ellsbury, Buchholz, Salty, and Lowrie upcoming. So they’ll be at close to $ 145M after arbitration. That doesn’t give them a lot of play, especially with Papelbon and Ortiz as FA’s. They’ve got to fill their RF spot, provide depth in the OF and at catcher, and most of all, shore up the rotation and the bullpen. All for under $ 20M.

    That can’t be done, so somebody expensive will have to go.

    • markfrednubble - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      Thanks, APBA. Two options could be trading Youkilis or Ellsbury.

      People will scream at those ideas but hear me out. I love Youk and they need more guys like him, but he’s on the wrong side of the aging curve and he gets hurt too much. We assume he’ll succeed Papi as DH, but what if you could good talent in return? Worth exploring.

      Ellsbury was the best all-around player in the league this year. His agent is Scott Boras and he will be a free agent next fall. I would do everything within reason to get him signed long term but if they can’t, move him this winter for as much young talent as you can get. By young I mean young major leaguers or top prospects who are ready for the bigs (Matt Moore/Brett Lawrie types).

    • marinersnate - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:36 PM

      All good points APBA. I did want to point out that Buchholz signed long term in April and is signed through 2015 with options for 2016 and 2017. He won’t be eligable for arbitration this winter.

  2. lgwelsh1 - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    Terry did what no manager could do for years in Boston… World Series titles. If he left on his own, he has nothing to be ashamed of and best of luck to him. If he was fired……big mistake..BIG mistake.

  3. cba456 - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    This whole conversation is insane. Just like the Lackey thing last week – we have no idea what is driving this. We don’t know if the red sox fired him, if Francona wants out, if the clubhouse was a mess, if it was a tightly run ship, if the red sox have a replacement lined up, or if he was just a scapegoat for a bad situation. I’m sure some details will come out in the future, but jumping to conclusions based on unnamed sources in the heat of the moment is dumb. As a red sox fan, I will miss him, I think he was a great fit for 7 years, and I am indescribably happy about 2004 and 2007. On the other hand, maybe a change isn’t a bad thing (I know i’m ready for a job change every 5 years or so), I wish him the best, and hope for the best for the red sox in the future.

    • patsandsox - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      If they made him the scapegoat shame on the Red Sox I think this is totaly on Theo. He signed these losers (lackey, Crawford, Drew) and Terry had to play the hand he was dealt. Terry never complained he just did the best he could.

      If anyone should be held accountable it should be the wonder boy in the GM chair.

  4. stackers1 - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    I remember a few years back after the Yankees gave Torre his walking papers. They had 2 main candidates – Girardi & Mattingly. Donny, the quiet, much beloved legend in New York was the fans & the media choice. But they went with the former catcher (often just a backup) and former manager of the Feesh, Joe Girardi. Yankee management knew this was not the popular choice, but they also knew that Joe would know how to run the clubhouse. He wouldn’t take any crapola from a player, no matter how much money he made or how long he’s been there. If they hired Donny Baseball back then, I don’t believe they win it in 09 & they wouldn’t be where they are today either.

    My point is this “team chemistry” thing is important, especially in cities like NY, Bos. & Chi. where the players make a ton of cash & think that their cocky doesn’t stink.

  5. honkerdawg - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Another stupid move by the Red Sox, sure the mgr gets some blame, but what about ALL the high priced no show players had and acquired they’re the ones who didn’t hit or pitch

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