Terry Francona Fired
October 1, 2011 by staff
Terry Francona Fired, Terry Francona, was fired yesterday. The director of a lifetime and the bronze of the Red Sox used a lot of polite words and tried to make it sound mutual, but Francona is the first casualty of the biggest fall in baseball history.
In a rare and historic Friday at Fenway, the Red Sox and Francona produces more effect than the Harlem Globetrotters.
Francona blamed himself, worked hard to stay on message, but at the end of his farewell press briefing, that went off the rails and threw John Henry on the team charter.
“To be honest with you, I’m not sure how much support came from the property”, which offers Francona.” You have to be all-in in this work. Must be all together, and I wondered a little.”
Bingo. Francona Henry has had his sights on a couple of years. Ultimately, Francona was not enough the number of a type to meet the head of Boston Moneyball.
Throughout the summer, even when the Sox were rolling, the ball club flatly refused to cause Francona contract extension. 70-20 finish Francona made a perfect scapegoat.
There were a lot of real problems that led to the demise of Francona. With a 161 million payroll (the third highest in baseball) and 15 former All-Stars, the Red Sox finished in third place for the second consecutive season. Francona lost the clubhouse. He loved his players, covered by them, and became the Fenway Park Delta House. Pete Carroll was Redux. Treat them like men, there is all that about, and then say, “messed up. They trusted us.”
Francona is not based on denial, apparently it is true that some of the pitchers starting the Red Sox were drinking in the clubhouse during games that were scheduled to begin. A report in the Herald broke the story yesterday and Francona denied the opportunity to say that was false.
However, the Red Sox asked to create that Francona was not fired. They go with a fairy tale that the central office and the manager of eight years, just decided to leave. It was the subject of the press release announcing the change 5:30 pm, and team president Tom Werner and general manager Theo Epstein kept the farce going last night – less than an hour after Francona acknowledged that it was actually invited back.
It was ridiculous. As the catastrophic end of the season today it was ridiculous.
“It’s my decision,”Francona said.” I think it was time for a new voice here. . . I wanted our kids to care about others in the field and I do not think they were doing.”
Epstein said Francona “decided that there were certain things I had to do he could do… And this team would benefit from hearing a new voice.”
But ultimately, it was a disconnect between Henry and Francona that led to this change.
Henry failed to appear at a news conference last night. Lucchino and Werner, Henry said “I wanted to be here,”but said Henry had suffered a minor injury during the day.
Like everything in Henrytown, firing Francona had its roots in the numbers. Eight years is a long time for anyone to handle the same baseball team. A season of 162 games available to thousands of potential second-guessing of an owner crazy statistics. The Francona already achieved here over the decisions of Henry in doubt.
Certainly there were some head at the end scrapers. Maybe Tim Wakefield leaving to nine attempts to win No. 200 was a mistake. Lars Anderson pinch ran for Adrian Gonzalez on Sunday was very interesting. Francona’s decision to bat Ryan Lavarnway (second major league start at the receiver) in item number 5 behind Gonzalez Wednesday played right into the hands of the Orioles, Buck Showalter. Showalter Gonzalez intentionally walked three times and Lavarnway to the final three times, stranding six runners. This was not the will of God. This was a mistake by the manager of Boston.
Francona is a good mix of old school and Moneyball. He always had a computer on his desk, but the reverence and respect for pro-lifers who played baseball when his father played in the 1950′s and 60′s. But it was hard to deal with daily lineup delivered suggestions for each of the new Bill James statistics guru Tom Tippett. Epstein and followers were ruthless.
Francona knew this day would come. By forcing the situation, and then spoke from his heart. . . only once.
“I was puzzled by the fact that the comment,”Lucchino said.” I must confess I was a little puzzled by what was different than in previous years.”
Too bad Henry was not there to answer the charge.
Francona could go down as the best coach in the history of 111 years of the franchise. Only Joe Cronin already accomplished. Only Don Zimmer had a higher winning percentage (which reached here at least five years). And when you break a championship drought of 86 years old, won two World Series titles in four seasons, you do not have to worry about his legacy.
It will be interesting to see that the Sox can hire. Henry and company as well-known talent, but also as someone who will go in his book. Bobby Valentine will not let the sun-starved geeks dictate statistical alignment.
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