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Terry Francona: “I’m still trying to stop the bleeding”

Mar 23, 2012, 9:40 AM EDT

File image of Boston Red Sox manager Francona leaving the field after being ejected from the game by umpire after arguing a controversial call with officials during the fourth inning of their American League MLB baseball game in Seattle

Terry Francona was in Ft. Myers to cover a Red Sox game for ESPN.  And yes, the topic of his unceremonious departure from Boston and the subsequent crap anonymous Red Sox front office people shoveled on to him came up.

Francona tells the Boston Herald that, as far as all that goes, he is moving on, but no, he’s not over it. He said that “it’s a little awkward for me,” being around the Sox. And he talked about a recent phone call he had with Sox owner John Henry:

“It was probably five months too late. We talked. It doesn’t matter anymore. That’s what I kind of told him. I said, ‘We should have had this conversation a long time ago because anything you say now doesn’t matter.’ But he was good … I’m not quite ready for the hugs yet. I’m still trying to stop the bleeding … When I left, I thought I would just leave.  What happened after that hurt me a lot. It probably always will … That hurt me a little bit.”

I probably wouldn’t have fired Francona if I ran the Sox, but Henry had the right to if he wanted to, especially given the collapse.  What didn’t have to happen, however, was for people in the organization to throw their most successful manager ever under the bus like they did, so Francona’s feelings are totally understandable.

  1. phukyouk - Mar 23, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    As a Yankees fan i don’t think that there is a manager i despise more than Tito
    As a baseball fan i don’t know that there is one i admire more.

    • marshmallowsnake - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      I am a Sox fan, and I lost a lot of respect for this administration group. Seriously, if something goes wrong they are quick to send their manager packing (Little and Francona). It is like there are juveniles running the team.

  2. shaggylocks - Mar 23, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    [insert cheap and lazy beer and chicken joke here]

    • shaggylocks - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:00 AM

      Man, I’m sick of those cheap and lazy beer and chicken jokes.

      • bigharold - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:15 PM

        I’m not!

        Beer and chicken jokes are going to become a staple of baseball humor, .. like “no crying in baseball” rants.

        It is well on its way to become as ubiquitous as knock knock jokes, .. and that’s a good thing!

  3. brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    He deserved a much better ending than he got.

    • phukyouk - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      A happy ending perhaps?

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:40 AM

        From John Henry? No thank you very much!

      • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        That would be a walk-off shot on any other site but it’s just considered picking low hanging fruit here

  4. belichickrulz - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Stories like this make it hard to be a Red Sox fan. The current ownership is a vast improvement over the previous one, but they have a disturbing tendency to scapegoat people when they dump them (Nomar, Manny, now Tito). I much prefer the Patriot/Belichick way… keep quiet and keep everything in-house. It’s not as much fun for the media guys, but it’s a lot less sleazy.

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      Ever hear of “Spygate”? I like the Patriots but they engaged in very sleazy behavior.

  5. cur68 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Prediction: Tito gets the last laugh, because Valentine will have lost his clubhouse by July, playoff chances by early August, and his job by September…All with Francona in the booth 2nd guessing him. This is going to be good theater.

    • paperlions - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      Baseball teams with talent win regardless of who the manager is. True story.

      It is baseball, you pitch the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball. The is a reason the guy is called a “manager” and not a coach. Head coaches in football, hockey, and basketball have a huge effect on a team. Managers, not so much.

      • whatthehellisansky - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:47 AM

        Im calling bullshit on that paperlions. The manager decides the lineup – the manager manages a bullpen and a pitching staff over 162 games – your telling me that doesnt have a HUGE effect on a team?

        Would the Tamba Bay Rays would be even half as good as they are without Joe Maddon? No way. Hes the heart and soul of that team..but oh yeah..hes just the lowly manager..

      • cur68 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        There you go again with that anti-manager propaganda. What are you, an anti-Manadite?

        Perhaps I’m implying that BV will be the cause, eh? Ok, then, but nothing I’ve committed to cyber space states that Valentine will be the cause of the Sox’s epically bad performance this season. Such an implication might be there, but it is my contention that only the anti-Manadites will see just that in what I’ve said.

        Allow me then, to be perfectly clear: I think the Sox are perfectly capable of being in 4th place this season regardless of BV, but it will be BV that bears the blame. And Terry Francona will have the last laugh.
        As to your “true story” allow me to weigh in (again) that I, contrary to you, feel that Managers DO have a noticeable impact on the game and its outcome. Much the same way that Bernard Law Montgomery had a noticeable effect in Africa, though he fired no bullets, a manager will have a noticeable effect in a clubhouse and on results.

        Yeesh. You Anti-Manadites…

      • paperlions - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:04 AM

        Yeah, because there is a lot of science to managing a lineup or bullpen…there is a little, and most managers manage to fuck that up anyway (sometimes, badly).

        Pretty much all managers make the same decisions, they are mostly interchangable…you can just hope your team doesn’t wind up with a guy that is totally clueless or an over-manager.

      • paperlions - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:06 AM

        …and I am not anti-manager, I am anti-“let’s over rate the effect managers have on teams winning baseball games”.

      • stuckonwords - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:55 PM

        So Boston didn’t have talent on their team last year? Obviously it’s not as simple as that.

      • paperlions - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:22 PM

        They started with the talent…than a lot of that talent got hurt. It really was that simple. Look at the guys that were starting games for them the last month of the season, plus they had a couple of position players hurt or playing with injury.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        paperlions: They started with the talent…than a lot of that talent got hurt. It really was that simple. Look at the guys that were starting games for them the last month of the season, plus they had a couple of position players hurt or playing with injury.

        You mean like every team in MLB?

        While I don’t want to make too much of the beer/chicken stuff that happened in Boson, there were obviously some rifts in that clubhouse that seemed to contribute to poor performance. There needs to be someone on the team to MANAGE such things. Not necessarily be the police, but provide guidance for the overall good of the team. Francona thought he was dealing with grown men who did not need a daddy around, but he was apparently wrong.

        As for in-game strategy, there are high-percentage decisions (at least that is how they are perceived) and low-percentage plays. Most times, most managers will go for the high-percentage play, which ends in many of the making the same decisions. It does not mean the decision is wrong, or that the guy making it doesn’t have his own brain.

  6. sanzarq - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    Ditto! Too much bohunk chatter from the Bosox Front Office. I like Terry. I’m going to enjoy listening to him in the ESPN booth for a while. I thought he did a pretty good job filling in for McCarver in the playoffs last year.

    (I guess that’s sort of a backhanded compliment for Tito: ANYBODY, including the Janitor, could do a pretty good job filling in for McCarver).

  7. philly4lyfe - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    It’s ok, another vicodin and I’m sure he’ll love him in the morning.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 23, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      Keeping it classy, I see.

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    I can’t help but wonder how big of a bus Red Sox ownership will drive over Valentine when his time (quickly) comes.

  9. j0esixpack - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    As a sox fan I respect both Francona as well as the management for recognizing the need for a change.

    Francona’s biggest fault is that he treats ball players like adults. His game management and baseball IQ is excellent.

    When those players act like little boys instead of grown men, the wheels come off the operation.

    Seeing as the Red Sox have a lot of players acting like children instead of men, since getting rid of the players is more difficult than the manager, a change was needed.

    The players need to man up and accept responsibility for Francona’s predicament… Not the management

    • belichickrulz - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      But who needs to man up and accept responsibility for the ugly smears against Francona after he left? Who was in a position to know? He seems OK with Epstein and the players, and at least cordial with Henry, so that leaves Lucchino.

  10. randygnyc - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Marshmallow snake- saying “something went wrong” in describing the most devastating collapse in baseball history isn’t exactly accurate. Tito lost control of his team. Players acted like 13 year olds. He had to lose his job. No one else really disputes that. What is foul is how the front office acted without grace and honor in doing so.

  11. 13yrsmlbvet - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    That whole operation is a shit show. Cherington is as arrogant an asshole as there is in baseball. He is just quiet about it. Lucchino will run that club off the cliff like he did with the Orioles and Padres. Book it. Mike Hazen, Cherington’s assistant is hated by all field staff. Valentine was Lucchino’s choice and his alone.

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