Sunday, January 20, 2013

Francona gets his revenge on the Red Sox

They say living well is the best revenge. If that’s the case, Terry Francona’s payback against the Boston Red Sox seems to be going beautifully.

Francona is back in the manager’s seat where he belongs after a short respite in the ESPN booth to recover from the negative end to his Red Sox tenure, with the manager being made the scapegoat for the team’s epic collapse in 2011 and a nasty hit put on him in the Boston media. The former Saux manager gets to start over with a new team in the Cleveland Indians in a town with a sports media that is not as demanding and vicious as Boston. Plus, his new book is being released and promises to tell his side of the story of how and why he left the Red Sox despite leading the team to two World Series titles.

Interestingly enough, Francona seems to put most of the blame for the collapse of the Saux in recent years on their image-obsessed owners. It’s hard to tell from just reading an excerpt, but he seems to imply that many of the personnel moves that sunk the Red Sox were directed by a marketing strategy rather than a baseball strategy. Francona also suggested that former general manager Theo Epstein, who protected his manager from much of the non-baseball nonsense, was frustrated by this type of thinking and bolted the first chance he got.

I’m planning to read the Francona book as soon as possible. I’m dying to know the details of how it all went wrong for the guys who finally ended the curse of the Bambino and pushed past the New York Yankees on their way to two titles. And even if Francona is disappointed by the excerpt published by Sports Illustrated, it’s not going to hurt his book sales one bit, which won’t make his former bosses very happy.  

Thanks to Keith Allison via Wikipedia for the photo.

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