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It’s official: Terry Francona is out as Red Sox manager

Sep 30, 2011, 5:29 PM EDT

Terry Francona AP

There was a lot of uncertainty as the day went on — first he was out, then things got quiet — but now it’s official: Terry Francona is out as the manager of the Boston Red Sox. According to Alex Speier of WEEI.com, the team will not exercise its two-year, $8.75 million option on Francona’s contract. Instead, he’ll get a $750,000 buyout and will be free to pursue a job elsewhere.

The strong sense of this is that it was a mutual decision, with Francona voicing displeasure — or at least some fatigue — at the state of the current Boston Red Sox team. There were challenges in the clubhouse this year, he said yesterday, and with two straight years of missing the playoffs, the external pressure has been ratcheted up as well.  Frankly, it’s probably just not that fun anymore.

I would bet my first born that Francona will be at some TV desk doing commentary during the playoffs in the month of October, and that his name will be the first one mentioned for every managerial opening there is for the foreseeable future.

  1. jeffw - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    Sometimes it’s just time to move on. He’ll get a new challenge and the team can bring in new perspective. Could be good for both sides.
    Doesn’t diminish the accomplishments over the past 8 years!

    • no1sportsfan - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:54 PM

      Hey kenny williiams get on the phone to francona now! he is your guy!

    • wikidpissah - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:22 PM

      Sox ownership hung him out to dry. They failed to pick up his option and left him to manage a collection of overpaid players with long term contracts. When the trouble hit in September the players knew who’d be there next year and who wouldn’t. Typical of the Red Sox, suddenly leaks start today letting the press know about situations that occurred during the season, to make them look better. I’ve lived in Boston my entire life but I’ll root alot harder for Tito than I will for this disgrace of an ownership group.

      Good luck and best wishes to Tito.

  2. j0esixpack - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Francoma isn’t fully to blame for the swoon – yet at the same time, its clear he was unable to get all the players pulling in the same direction. That’s the job of the manager and he didn’t get it done.

    The question remains whether Eptsein has earned the right to make decisions on who the next manager is as well – not to mention the player personnel moves to follow.

    • yankeesgameday - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      just like the end of Any Given Sunday, Francona quits, then Theo takes the job running the Cubs and his first hire us Francona as the manager.

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:59 PM

        Ha! I actually really like that movie. Highly-entertaining, and the ending was great.

        Epstein and Francona would go down in history as a ALL-TIME LEGENDS if they managed to bring titles to the Cubs AND the Red Sox.

      • bigharold - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:00 PM

        “Epstein and Francona would go down in history …”

        I agree that if either or both of them go to the Cubs and the win the WS they’ll be baseball Gods. But, I get the feeling that Francona might want to branch out on his own. He couldn’t have been happy with the way the RS were put together and that clearly was Epstein’s end of the stick.

        If I were Francona, I’d go to the Cubs only if Epstein wasn’t going there. If he is, than I’d angle for the WS job.

    • bigharold - Sep 30, 2011 at 7:53 PM

      “The question remains whether Eptsein has earned the right to make decisions on who the next manager is as well – not to mention the player personnel moves to follow.”

      Isn’t that the exact definition of the GMs job?

      I agree that while Francona is culpable he’s the least of the problem. Epstein is the guy the constructed a clearly flawed team. In the beginning of the year I was sure that they were overrated, especially their pitching. If they aren’t going to give Epstein the authority to pick the manager and players he might as well split too because those decisions will determine whether or not he keeps his job.

  3. Old Gator - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Francona will be just fine. He’ll pocket the three-quarter million dollar buyout and sit back and let a bunch of other teams bid up his plum for 2012.

    And we got stuck with Slobbering Ozzie…..

    • bigharold - Sep 30, 2011 at 7:55 PM

      You must not be living right Gator. At least you’ll have plenty of material with Ozzie being the manager.

    • cur68 - Oct 1, 2011 at 2:01 AM

      Damn OG, missed out on Francona with the Feesh. Still, would you want to do that to Tito? Sic Loria on the poor guy? Cold, man. Real cold.

  4. oldpaddy - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    Boooooooooooooooooo!!!!!
    Maybe the upside will be the mass exodus of the pink hats. I’ve missed the true sox fans, you know, the ones who boo’d EVERYONE! They vacated around the time the new ownership came in. I blame francona for their disappearance and I blame him for the current economy too!

  5. tuftsb - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Hmmm. I saw the press conference with Francona and Epstein yesterday and the main quotes were Epstein saying that it wasn’t Francona’s fault, it was an organizations failure and as GM I take most of the resonsibility.

    The next day Francona is effectively fired. Odd.

    I hear Chicago calling for Epstein in 3…2…1…

  6. ahmiller21 - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    As a Red Sox fan this just plain blows…..how many players will we lose with him leaving???

    • jimbo1949 - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:03 PM

      not enough

  7. aceshigh11 - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    I have a lot of fond memories of Terry Francona, and I wish him well.

    Frankly…I’m happy for him. He deserved better than the arrogant, half-assed effort his “team” gave him this year. With his health issues, he’s better off managing in less of a pressure-cooker situation.

    No, he’s not a perfect manager, and he was blessed with owners with BIG checkbooks, but the W/L record and two World Series titles speak for themselves.

    Good luck to him wherever he lands.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:01 PM

      Well said. Very few managers have won 2 World Series.

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:19 PM

        Let alone back-to-back titles like Cito Gaston. ;)

    • bigharold - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:39 PM

      Maybe it was the right time. It seems as if it’s clearly as much his decision as it was the RS management.

      It seems that there are a lot of parallels between Joe Tore and Fancona except that perhaps Francona saw how messy it got between the Yankees and Torre in the end and he learned from it. He decide it would seem that he was leaving on his own terms, so more power to him.

      • jimeejohnson - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:57 PM

        Bullseye!

  8. 6ball - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    .

    I pity the fool who replaces Tito. He’s going to be compared at every turn. And let’s face it. Francona had a pretty successful run.

    .

  9. rsox3fan - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    The carpetbagger’s that bought the club in 2003 have to go.Sell the club to Robert Kraft PLEASE and send John Henry and Tom Werner back to where they came from.Enough is enough with these clowns,they turned Fenway into an amusment park where teams just happen to play baseball,i can’t stand going there the place suck’s.2 or 3 vendor’s in your face the whole game.People walking up and down the narrow aisle’s the whole game.Time for the carpetbaggers to go.Good luck Liverpool fc fan’s this is what happen’s eventually with these money grubber’s.Oh and by the way enough with consecutive sell out bullshit.I go to games and there’s ton’s of empty seat’s.

    • southofheaven81 - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:21 PM

      This guy needs to be brought up on charges of apostrophe abuse.

      • drakost - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:20 PM

        Funny but not nice. Try to play nice with the other boy’s and girl’s (;

  10. royalsfaninfargo - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    It’s kind of sad when a manager that has 2 WS titles in 8 years is basically run out of town. Granted, choking in the wild card race was bad but the man still won 90 games! I would give my left arm for the Royals to win 90 games and miss the Playoffs. Just goes to show how spoiled Red Sox nation is. I can see the “curse of Francona” being the new excuse.

  11. offseasonblues - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Sad day in New England.

    Tito, you should never have to buy dinner or a beer anywhere up here ever. Thanks for everything, good luck and good health! .

  12. oilcanjim - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Damn it. This sucks.

  13. ob1canobie - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    I have no idea who could replace him… Thank you for the greatest years that arguably the Red Sox have ever had. You helped form the Red Sox nation into a nation from the small tribe it had been for years. I am personally sorry to see you go and you will be missed dearly. Not that you will be around to take me up on it, but the free dinner and beer idea stands with me. Thank you again Mr Francona for all you have done. You are a class act that will be hard, if not impossible, to follow…

    • sparkycon - Oct 1, 2011 at 5:20 PM

      I know who will replace him: Grady Little

  14. 8man - Sep 30, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    This is crap. Head on a plate crap. Who is better than Tito for this team? Two titles! Undefeated in World Series games. Who thought we would ever say that about a Sox manager in our lifetime?

    This is ridiculous. Tito, we already miss you. Red Sox Nation, you got your head on a plate. Was it the right one? I doubt it. It’s the new curse. We really do eat our own.

  15. patsandsox - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    Theo is responsible for this mess he signed these bums and gave them the long term contracts so they can act like jerks to the manager (picture Lackey everytime Terry came to the mound).

    Lackey needs to go to send a message, please!!

  16. raysfan1 - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    The Red Sox let go one of the top 5 managers in MLB. This is certainly good news for the Yankees, Rays, and Jays.
    .
    Zero doubt Tito will be successful wherever he goes. Good news for the Cubs, White Sox or whoever’s smart enough to hire him.

  17. dirtyharry1971 - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    As a redscum hater i am thrilled over this news cause Terry is a good manager and it would piss me off i couldnt bring myself to dislike the guy. Why boston is blaming him is beyond me but thank you thank you!! Now lets see Theo go next!

    • cur68 - Oct 1, 2011 at 2:05 AM

      Aww. Puttin’ the love out there for Tito, eh? You really are a good person, aren’t you ‘harry?

  18. DarthHoodie - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    A really good manager and The Red Sox are crazy to let him go.

  19. newpairofsox - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Best of luck, Terry. Thanks for a great run…

  20. leerosenthall - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Tito’s a class act.

    I’ll confess to not following the Sawx all that closely; what exactly was going on in that clubhouse? Somebody spill the beans, please!

  21. paperlions - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Wait a second…you mean running Manny out of town didn’t solve the club house problems? It is that time of year: “easy target” practice.

  22. rsox3fan - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    When the Whitesox hire Terry i hope to find a Model’s with whitesox tee’s for sale.Done with Redsox untill the carpetbagger’s John Henry & Tom Werner sell the club. they love the fucking soccer team ……….assholes

    • jimeejohnson - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:06 PM

      Soccer has the potential to make these owners a lot more money than even the Red Sox. Soccer, as you know, is followed by a heck of a lot more people than baseball. It’s all about the money for owners; ask Boston’s own and soon to be run out of Los Angeles Frank McCourt. He’ll tell ya!

  23. huggyfuzzleton - Sep 30, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Hats off to you, Tito. Thank you for the championships we waited generations for and for your part in making baseball relevant in the great city of Boston again.

  24. tashkalucy - Sep 30, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    I’ll say it again,

    Neither Francona nor Epstein seem to be able to handle pitchers.

    John Farrell saved them and made them both look good.

  25. cactusranger71 - Sep 30, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    Chowda blah blah blah wicked blah blah blah airah, my life is ovah blah blah blah the Sawks lost blah blah Haaavaaad blah blah. Airah.

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