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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:26 PM (#3945914)
I think some of the best sourcing we're going to get is the Epstein/Francona presser yesterday, but they were (properly and professionally) maddeningly vague. I haven't been able to find a full transcript, but the Full Count blog at WEEI.com has some partial transcripts. (1, 2, 3),NECN's live blog of the press conference has some good summaries and single-sentence quotes, and the Extra Bases blog at the Globe has complementary partial transcripts (1, 2). Some excerpts:
[Francona] suggested that the 2011 Sox did not appear to pull together as the season progressed, perhaps contributing to the groundwork for the season’s dissolution.

“There were some things I was worried about. We were spending too much energy on things that weren’t putting our best foot forward towards winning,” said Francona. “We spent a few minutes in the clubhouse that day talking about that. There were some things that did concern me. Teams normally as the season progresses, there are events that make you care about each other, and this club, it didn’t always happen as much as I wanted it to. And I was frustrated by that.”
“Ultimately you don’t need a team that wants to go out to dinner together. But you need a team that wants to protect each other on the field and be fiercely loyal to each other on the field,” [Francona] said. “That‘s what ultimately is really important. … I wanted us to handle things on the field a little bit better than we did. At times, we just didn’t get there and it was very difficult.”
...
Theo: "There were things that caught Tito's eye, caught my eye, that weren't quite right, even when we were winning."
...
Tito: "I don't think you can put it in a guy's contract that if he's going to make a certain amount of money he can't roll his eyes. I don't think the guys in the clubhouse have a problem with Lack, nor do I. I think we certainly wished it would have gone better on the mound. But I haven't had a problem with Lack at all."
Theo: Lackey's gestures on the field were something he also did in Anaheim "and we were aware of them when we signed him." Also said he always apologizes the next day. "He's a good teammate."
   2. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:32 PM (#3945921)
Give it a few days, Mikael, the dirt will slowly leak out.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:36 PM (#3945925)
Oh, certainly, this is just the beginning. My goal is to get everything collected in one place, for ease of analysis and discussion.
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:39 PM (#3945928)
Could you say that Lackey was a "cancer" in the clubhouse and the Red Sox should "divorce" him? I couldn't because it would be in bad taste, but someone else might.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:39 PM (#3945929)
A few more. Again, not endorsing anything cited here as fact, just trying to collect as much as possible.

Jon Heyman at SI, 9/28:
Sources indicate some Red Sox higher-ups question whether Francona is "aggressive enough'' with his players. Francona has gotten great mileage over the years from being lenient and doing whatever it takes to keep players happy, but there's a question whether the team is together this year. Some suggest that starting pitchers Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey have formed a clique that may sometimes include catcher Jason Varitek but few others. There is also some upset over Beckett declining to pitch to anyone but Varitek.
Joel Sherman in the NYPost, 9/28:
Now when I ask on Francona, I hear that his players’ manager style of staying calmly above the fray is not working. You hear words like “rudderless” used to describe these faltering Red Sox. There has been a lot of talk that many of Francona’s players are out of shape and that he has done nothing to stop that. There is worry that he has done nothing to extinguish veteran cliques that have made players feel over-privileged. That John Lackey has on several occasions felt empowered enough to show up Francona when he is being taken out of games is seen by some in Red Sox management as a sign of too little intervention by the manager, too much of the inmates running the asylum.
Jackie MacMullen at ESPN-Boston, 9/30:
Ellsbury is a 2007 alum and an MVP candidate, a magnificent player with the brightest future of them all. His teammates like and admire him, but he keeps to himself, confides only in Jed Lowrie.

Can you blame him? His teammate two or three lockers to his left continued, as recently as two months ago, to publicly question Ellsbury's decision to retreat to Arizona last summer for treatment for broken ribs. Kevin Youkilis has always been a hot button. On occasion, his intensity and his honesty were his biggest assets, but not this season. The injured Youkilis showed up every day the way he wanted Ellsbury to, but he turned so sour and cynical that his carping and insistence on inserting himself into other people's affairs turned him into a detriment.

Then we have Ortiz, who had a redemptive season on the diamond. He has long been credited for galvanizing the Latino players and justifiably so, but he didn't seem to grasp how damaging it was to publicly question whether Alfredo Aceves should be a starter instead of a reliever, and how it undermined both the manager and the general manager at a critical time of the year.
   6. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:46 PM (#3945939)
How's this for a theoretical: Tony LaRussa to manage Boston? If the old saw about needing the opposite kind of manager from the one who just left is true, TLR is your guy. The press conferences would be added entertainment for everyone.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:49 PM (#3945941)
The last time the Red Sox needed a manager, it came down to two guys with marginal reputations, a bench coach (Joe Maddon) and a retread (Tito). I expect this time around will go similarly.

The Red Sox have clearly prized the working relationship between their GM and field manager, and I highly doubt that a true great like LaRussa would accept the more limited authority of a Red Sox manager.
   8. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:51 PM (#3945945)
I wish the Sox could get Maddon. I know there's no chance.
   9. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:59 PM (#3945957)
I wish the Sox could get Maddon.


...Up until the point when he bats Dan Johnson in a crucial situation because he "has a feeling". Then Red Sox nation would crucify him.
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 30, 2011 at 02:03 PM (#3945966)
Francona's been very popular with Red Sox fans for almost all of his tenure. There are always vocal fans who don't like the manager, but they're not representative.
   11. Dale Sams Posted: September 30, 2011 at 02:06 PM (#3945974)
Heyman says it's over and he's gone. Could just be Heyman being Heyman.
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 30, 2011 at 02:08 PM (#3945977)
More... (hat tip to Dale)

John Tomase at the Herald, 9/30:
Management might not mind a fresh start, either, particularly after a 7-20 September that included the worst collapse in baseball history and showed cracks in Francona’s hold on a clubhouse that grew increasingly selfish.
...
According to multiple sources with knowledge of the meeting, Francona was in part annoyed over complaints about the buses to the ballpark and wanted players to focus their energy more positively.
...
Meanwhile, a number of players put themselves into a position to have their professionalism called into question. According to multiple sources, more than one pitcher drank beer in the clubhouse during games on the days he didn’t pitch.

While clubhouse imbibing is a tradition as old as baseball itself -— Kevin Millar and the Idiots memorably sipped Jack Daniel’s before beating the Yankees in the final two games of the 2004 ALCS — the Red Sox [team stats] also had a number of players break down during the season, suggesting that they weren’t taking proper care of themselves. Strength coach Dave Page, long considered one of the best in the game, was not a fully utilized resource.

By September it had become difficult for Francona to reach his team, which played lifelessly.
I find the "complaints about the bus" thing prima facie believable - it's exactly the sort of ridiculous, minor problem that could become weirdly nasty if tensions remained, day to day.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2011 at 02:23 PM (#3945994)
Just WAG - DeMarlo Hale. I see an internal candidate.

Or Bobby Valentine. That would be interesting.
   14. Dale Sams Posted: September 30, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3946001)
Bad enough when people who wern't following events would say "Why are you guys panicking? You'll make it in, you're too good not to."

The deluge of people holding Tito completly blameless is ridiculous. (not here, but they'll be more than a few). He's not particularly good tactically, and it's not like the players are going anywhere.
   15. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 30, 2011 at 02:37 PM (#3946009)
Meanwhile, a number of players put themselves into a position to have their professionalism called into question. According to multiple sources, more than one pitcher drank beer in the clubhouse during games on the days he didn’t pitch.

While clubhouse imbibing is a tradition as old as baseball itself -— Kevin Millar and the Idiots memorably sipped Jack Daniel’s before beating the Yankees in the final two games of the 2004 ALCS — the Red Sox [team stats] also had a number of players break down during the season, suggesting that they weren’t taking proper care of themselves. Strength coach Dave Page, long considered one of the best in the game, was not a fully utilized resource.


I asked this in another thread, but what is the problem with drinking beers during the game? Don't some teams still include beer in the post-game spread (I don't know if the Sox do)? Is Tomase really suggesting that because a player has a beer on an off day they are incapable of staying in shape? It really seems to me it's just Tomase flailing around trying to make a story out of nothing (shocking action by a writer I know).
   16. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 30, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3946024)
I watched the press conference live yesterday, and both Tito and Theo were pretty vague about the problems they both acknowledged existed. There was one place where they got very specific, though - a specific game during the collapse where Tito said he had a meeting after the game because he didn't like what was going on. Theo acknowledged that game, as well, and said that he spoke to the team, also (though it is not clear if it was after the same game).

The game was, oddly, the only game after the pre-Irene doubleheader sweep of Oakland where the team put everything together in one game, scoring lots of runs, and allowing very few - the 14-0 win at Toronto, on September 6th. I remember that game, because I remember feeling like, "OK, we just had a lousy week, but we're back on track." Tito chose THAT game to talk with the team about how he didn;t like how things were going.

That is very odd, and it makes me think that some players were using that drubbing as an excuse for saying that everything was OK, we're going to be the big, bad Red Sox, and just leave us the #### alone.

The Sox then lost their next five, giving up 40 runs in their next five games. The day after the 14-0 game, by the way, was one of the worst losses of the season, an 11-10 loss to the Blue Jays. The Sox had an 8-5 lead going into the 7th, Wheelr and Morales were ineffective, and Tito surprisingly brough in Bard in the 7th inning. We all praised Tito for not waiting until the 8th, as he usually would have, because this was the key point in the game. He got through the 7th, and then was TERRIBLE in the 8th, and we were all yelling for him to bring in Paps to get four or five outs. Tito didn't, we scored 2 in the 9th to make it interesting, and then we lost, 11-10. I remember a lot of people feeling like that was the moment that people started to figure out that we might be in the middle of something very bad.

I can't connect all the dots, but that three game series in Toronto was the key point of the season (we lost the first game of the series, 1-0, in 11 innings). Tito and Theo acknowledged something big happened after the 14-0 game. THAT's what I'd like to hear a lot more about...
   17. booond Posted: September 30, 2011 at 02:42 PM (#3946025)
Just WAG - DeMarlo Hale. I see an internal candidate.

Or Bobby Valentine. That would be interesting.


Internal candidates in this scenario (inmates running asylum) won't work. Valentine or the "new flavor of the week" bench coach from outside the organization is whats needed. My concern with Valentine is he's a total asshat whose more about Bobby than the job.
   18. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 30, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#3946029)
I asked this in another thread, but what is the problem with drinking beers during the game? Don't some teams still include beer in the post-game spread (I don't know if the Sox do)? Is Tomase really suggesting that because a player has a beer on an off day they are incapable of staying in shape? It really seems to me it's just Tomase flailing around trying to make a story out of nothing (shocking action by a writer I know).

Might be that. I don't think he was suggesting that the beer wasn't about staying in shape - more about being professional. If guys were drinking in the clubhouse while the game is happening? That's unprofessional. You shouldn't do that, even if the effect on your performance is nil. If it was just guys having a couple after the game with their teammates even though they hadn't pitched that day - I agree that is grasping at straws.
   19. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: September 30, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#3946030)
I asked this in another thread, but what is the problem with drinking beers during the game? Don't some teams still include beer in the post-game spread (I don't know if the Sox do)? Is Tomase really suggesting that because a player has a beer on an off day they are incapable of staying in shape? It really seems to me it's just Tomase flailing around trying to make a story out of nothing (shocking action by a writer I know).

I don't think Tomase is suggesting anything other than it's clearly unprofessional to drink on the job whether you have work to do that day or not. Not to mention, it's baseball. You NEVER know when you will be needed, rotation schedule be damned. Sometimes a pitcher needs to be a pinch-runner to preserve the bats still on the bench. Sometimes there's a 15-inning marathon and a starter may be needed. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect professional athletes to not drink while their team is playing a game.

Beer in the post-game spread is having a drink after work.

EDIT - Coke to Joe C.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 30, 2011 at 02:49 PM (#3946036)
I don't think Tomase is suggesting anything other than it's clearly unprofessional to drink on the job whether you have work to do that day or not. Not to mention, it's baseball. You NEVER know when you will be needed, rotation schedule be damned. Sometimes a pitcher needs to be a pinch-runner to preserve the bats still on the bench. Sometimes there's a 15-inning marathon and a starter may be needed. I don't think it's irrational to expect professional athletes to not drink while their team is playing a game.

Beer in the post-game spread is having a drink after work.


Concur. My question is why is beer available before/during the game?

I mean, places I've worked in will serve beer/wine at late afternoon social events in the office, but they don't have a fridge of beers there for you to help yourself.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3946046)
I assume the players brought their own, right?
   22. Greg K Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3946052)
I mean, places I've worked in will serve beer/wine at late afternoon social events in the office, but they don't have a fridge of beers there for you to help yourself.

You've clearly never worked as a high school janitor.
   23. Greg K Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3946057)
mlb.com is reporting that he'll be out.
   24. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:07 PM (#3946058)
Without knowing how the Sox clubhouse is set up I can't imagine accessing the beer is that tough. I used to work in an office where my boss would occasionally break out the scotch at the end of a long day. We all knew where he kept it and while we never dug in at 2 in the afternoon finding it wasn't that tough. It wouldn't shock me if the Sox had the beer in a fridge with the rule that these guys would be adult enough to not drink it until after the game.
   25. tfbg9 Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:08 PM (#3946059)
Hell, the B & L boys (starters Beckett and Bucholz, Lackey and Lester) even appeared together in a dopey country music video called, IIRC, "I Like Beer".
   26. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3946060)
Heyman says it's over and he's gone. Could just be Heyman being Heyman.


Is Tito a Boras client?
   27. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3946062)
Does the second set of quotes in #1 about how it's not Lackey mean it's (in decent part) Lackey?
   28. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:20 PM (#3946072)
My question is why is beer available before/during the game?

Players bring it in themselves, I suppose. It's not like it'll be confiscated it at the door. And I'm sure many have personal mini-fridge in their lockers. Have you ever seen a big-league clubhouse? It's downright luxurious.
   29. tfbg9 Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:28 PM (#3946087)
This is like Kremlinology...
   30. TomH Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:31 PM (#3946091)
It would be one thing if everyone stopped hitting and pitching; you know, batters struck out, pitchers gave up tons of hits, etc. But the REALLY strange thing about their September is that somehow the Sox managed to have a higher OPS than their opponents (804 to 803 allowed).... and go 7 and 20. I wonder if there has ever been a set of that many games with more poorly-timed stats in a pennant race.
(not blaming it all on bad luck; baserunning, errors, etc. all contributed)
   31. Chip Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:34 PM (#3946097)
Re: comments in some of the threads about Tito looking uncomfortable during the press conference with Theo, and then hightailing it out of there as fast as he can. The times when NESN shows a postgame press conference to the end, he ALWAYS hightails it out there as soon as the Red Sox press person signals it's over.

Also curious about his overall relation with the press corps, and how that plays out in the rumormongering over the next few days.

One minor source of tension with them that I've seen from time-to-time: he can be pretty sarcastic toward them when the media does something that annoys him. Like when reporters get a cell phone call in the middle of his press conferences and actually take it—to the point that he will stop the press conference and deliberately embarrass them for doing so with barbed comments. It's a little thing, but even though the people who do this are in the wrong, you could see some of them getting annoyed with his response.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#3946100)
It would be one thing if everyone stopped hitting and pitching; you know, batters struck out, pitchers gave up tons of hits, etc. But the REALLY strange thing about their September is that somehow the Sox managed to have a higher OPS than their opponents (804 to 803 allowed).... and go 7 and 20. I wonder if there has ever been a set of that many games with more poorly-timed stats in a pennant race.
(not blaming it all on bad luck; baserunning, errors, etc. all contributed)


I wonder how much this was caused by it being Sept. Totally unscientifcally, I would expect more blowouts in Sept. as teams throw minor league call-ups into hopeless games.

The Red Sox had a decent number of 10+ run games, that might have been more subdued in other circumstances.
   33. booond Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#3946103)
Like when reporters get a cell phone call in the middle of his press conferences and actually take it—to the point that he will stop the press conference and deliberately embarrass them for doing so with barbed comments. It's a little thing, but even though the people who do this are in the wrong, you could see some of them getting annoyed with his response.


If he'd scolded the players about their habits we may be in a completely different thread.
   34. AndrewJ Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:42 PM (#3946107)
I mean, places I've worked in will serve beer/wine at late afternoon social events in the office, but they don't have a fridge of beers there for you to help yourself.

I worked at one publishing place, a relatively small office, where we often held lunch parties where beer was provided. You could even take the bottle(s) back with you to your desk. If you've ever tried proofreading ad copy while slightly inebriated...
   35. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 30, 2011 at 04:02 PM (#3946133)
Hell, the B & L boys (starters Beckett and Bucholz, Lackey and Lester) even appeared together in a dopey country music video called, IIRC, "I Like Beer".


It's called "Hell Yeah, I Like Beer", by the mediocrity Kevin Fowler. "I Like Beer" is a Tom T. Hall song that's as much a classic as a Tom T. Hall song can be.

And, yeah, as long as we're mongering rumors, that's our off-day beer drinking group right there.
   36. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: September 30, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#3946159)
And, yeah, as long as we're mongering rumors, that's our off-day beer drinking group right there.

And I hear Bucholz pours out the rest when the others aren't looking and pretends to drink from the empty!
   37. villageidiom Posted: September 30, 2011 at 04:22 PM (#3946162)
mlb.com is reporting that he'll be out.
More precisely, mlb.com is reporting that Heyman is reporting that he'll be out. In other words, they're reporting nothing we didn't know.
   38. AndrewJ Posted: September 30, 2011 at 04:26 PM (#3946171)
   39. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 30, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#3946173)
Couldn't he wait till I finished by three day bender before John Henry made him quit...

####### hell

edited above
   40. Lassus Posted: September 30, 2011 at 04:57 PM (#3946200)
Can I monger a runmor that it's going to be Bobby Valentine?

Because that would be the most awesome thing for the Sox chatters that has ever happened in the history of ever.
   41. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 30, 2011 at 05:05 PM (#3946209)
Here's a somewhat weird one - Mike Lynch of ABC-5 reporting that the Red Sox management had planned to get rid of Tito even before the unpleasantness.
Sources told Lynch that team general manager Theo Epstein told management six weeks ago that Francona wasn't working out and they voted him out by a 3-0 vote a few weeks after that. It was said that a "lack of urgency" was the primary reason behind the decision, because Francona is not known as a disciplinarian.
   42. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 30, 2011 at 05:06 PM (#3946212)
On Sportscenter this morning Valentine was pretty coy when talking about Boston, and about the potential that they might be interested in him. He clearly wants the job.
   43. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 30, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#3946214)
I don't know if there will be a "Thank you Tito" thread, so if there isn't:

Thank you, Tito. You were a big part of the best time to be a Red Sox fan in generations. You handled the Boston microscope as well as any manager ever has, you were smart and seemed to enjoy the job, at least until the very end, and you frankly just seem like a good, decent man who wants to do the best job he can. I wish you the best in whatever you do next (with the exception of managing against the Sox of course); you'll be missed.
   44. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 30, 2011 at 05:11 PM (#3946219)
The last time the Red Sox needed a manager, it came down to two guys with marginal reputations, a bench coach (Joe Maddon) and a retread (Tito).

Hiring Francona was thought to have aided the quest for Schilling, so are there any manager and free agent/no-trade waiver combos this year?
   45. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 30, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#3946228)
Tony LaRussa to manage Boston?

And Red Sox Nation will fondly remember those comparatively crisp 4-hour games before LaRussa came aboard. Might help the Quest for Pujols (although I don't think he'll consider not playing 1st unless paid a lot more).
   46. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 30, 2011 at 05:20 PM (#3946232)
Has there been a job Valentine didn't want?
   47. Fat Al Posted: September 30, 2011 at 05:27 PM (#3946240)
Hiring Francona was thought to have aided the quest for Schilling, so are there any manager and free agent/no-trade waiver combos this year?


What does Albert think of Tony?
   48. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 30, 2011 at 05:41 PM (#3946254)
Thank you, Tito. Two championships, and another game 7 of an ALCS. Classy guy, found a way to keep it real in what may be the most difficult baseball city to do so. One of 22 managers in history with two or more World Series rings. One of only two that are active (Larussa has two). He's currently 55th all time in managerial wins, and he's plenty young enough that he could move way up that list.

It was probably time to move on, but Red Sox fans should not take for granted how good a job he did in Boston.

By the way, who will be on the 2012 payroll that was part of the 2004 team?

Probably not Wakefield or Varitek.
Not Francona.

Ortiz and Youkilis? And that's if they resign Ortiz.

Wow, time goes by fast...
   49. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#3946270)
Here's a somewhat weird one - Mike Lynch of ABC-5 reporting that the Red Sox management had planned to get rid of Tito even before the unpleasantness.

Sources told Lynch that team general manager Theo Epstein told management six weeks ago that Francona wasn't working out and they voted him out by a 3-0 vote a few weeks after that. It was said that a "lack of urgency" was the primary reason behind the decision, because Francona is not known as a disciplinarian
.


And if they had won the pennant or WS?
   50. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#3946272)
I'm not really buying the report. It doesn't fit with most of our other information, and as you say, it's weird in baseball terms. but I'm just trying to collect everything - you never know what the story might be.
   51. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:04 PM (#3946277)
If the Sox win their last six games, and make the wildcard by 4 games, or something, we're hot having this conversation today. So, I tend to think Lynch's report is wrong. Lynch, who has been with WCVB forever, is generally a well-regarded reporter, so I do not disreagrd his report lightly, though...
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#3946284)
I'm not really buying the report. It doesn't fit with most of our other information, and as you say, it's weird in baseball terms. but I'm just trying to collect everything - you never know what the story might be.


In another recent thread, Darren claimed that it was clear that the front office was unhappy with Francona before the events of September '11. Is Darren our front office mole? Is he really Theo's twin brother posting under an alias?
   53. booond Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:13 PM (#3946286)
Makes sense that they have this discussion as they had to pick up Tito's option. The vote is what seems weird but it might've been a vote not to pick it up unless the Sox went to the WS. What they were voting on exactly is what's missing.
   54. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:13 PM (#3946287)
ESPN now reporting that they met today, and that no announcements about anything are imminent.
   55. villageidiom Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#3946300)
ESPN now reporting that they met today, and that no announcements about anything are imminent.
Y'know who is also reporting it? Theo Epstein.
John Henry, Tom Werner, Larry Lucchino, Ben Cherington and I met with Terry Francona this morning at Fenway Park to exchange thoughts and information on the 2011 season and discuss areas for improvement going forward. We all plan on taking some time to process the thoughts expressed in the meeting. There are no immediate plans for an announcement.
   56. The District Attorney Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:28 PM (#3946304)
Is Darren our front office mole? Is he really Theo's twin brother posting under an alias?
Maybe a new Darren was brought in midway through his BTF run, without any explanation?
   57. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#3946306)
Sources told Lynch that team general manager Theo Epstein told management six weeks ago that Francona wasn't working out and they voted him out by a 3-0 vote a few weeks after that. It was said that a "lack of urgency" was the primary reason behind the decision, because Francona is not known as a disciplinarian.

That's the cover to ward off the charge of "scapegoating."

"It wasn't what happened in September; it was a collection of things that started building up way before September, yadda, yadda, yadda."
   58. Dale Sams Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#3946307)
If the Sox win their last six games, and make the wildcard by 4 games, or something, we're hot having this conversation today


If Girardi uses Rivera for one inning, if Papelbon throws one splitter,...we might not be having this conversation.
   59. Dale Sams Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:32 PM (#3946312)
The definitive article on Tito's strengths and weaknesses here.
   60. Dan Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:35 PM (#3946319)
Maybe I'm crazy and all alone over here, but I don't find that report by Lynch unlikely at all. Obviously they still could have changed their minds in the case of a deep postseason run, but it really wouldn't surprise me if the preliminary plan was not to pick up Francona's option.

The May through August performance was great, but April still had meaning as well. The apparent lack of readiness for the season to begin already reflected poorly on Francona and his staff. The fact that it all fell apart in September is obviously the bigger issue, but I don't think it's right to ignore the start either.
   61. tfbg9 Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:49 PM (#3946330)
if Papelbon throws one splitter


IIRC, the pitch that was hit to LF and ended Game 162 for the Sox was clocked at 90 mph--so either Paps was really, REALLY gassed, or that was a splitter...that didn't split.
   62. plim Posted: September 30, 2011 at 07:04 PM (#3946346)
IIRC, the pitch that was hit to LF and ended Game 162 for the Sox was clocked at 90 mph--so either Paps was really, REALLY gassed, or that was a splitter...that didn't split.


i asked this as well during the game thread. i'm in nj, so i don't get to watch the sox that often, but i thought earlier this year, he re-introduced his splitter, which i always thought was more devistating than his slider.

but he seemed to have abandoned it...
   63. Dale Sams Posted: September 30, 2011 at 07:19 PM (#3946358)

Boston's mayor had a more measured response.

"The manager always get blamed. We have ballplayers out there who are making $7 million a year for eight years, and what is their incentive to be out there working hard every day? I think it's difficult for a manager of a baseball team," Menino said



$7 mill? No one tell Menino.
   64. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 30, 2011 at 07:22 PM (#3946363)
Gameday says it was a splitter. He threw Andino a slider to start the AB, and also got two swinging strikes on splitters to Jones leading off the inning.
   65. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 30, 2011 at 07:22 PM (#3946364)
Tend to agree with Dan. They're not talking about firing Tito, just not picking up his option. Making the playoffs didn't save Torre's job. Didn't save Dierker's job, or any number of other managers' jobs.

Roughly three weeks ago is when ST started heating up. Why shouldn't the FO be talking?
   66. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 30, 2011 at 08:21 PM (#3946424)
Latest from PeteAbe. I'd say this sounds like a guy cleaning out an office that was effectively a second home for eight years;

Terry Francona returned to Fenway, stayed 40 minutes, and left.

So there's that.

UPDATE, 3:14 p.m.: Francona is back at Fenway. He's putting some miles on that black Escalade today.
   67. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: September 30, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3946474)
I'd say this sounds like a guy cleaning out an office that was effectively a second home for eight years


40 minutes? Hell, it takes me hours to clean out an office I use for only a year. But I guess I use a lot more paper than Tito. And I'm disorganized.
   68. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 30, 2011 at 09:06 PM (#3946486)
Hence the "back at Fenway" a little while later.

Or maybe he's just having a little go-round with one of the secretaries.
   69. Morton's Fork Posted: September 30, 2011 at 09:38 PM (#3946554)
It's official - Tito's gone:

NESN report
   70. tfbg9 Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:03 PM (#3946617)
Tito leaving makes me sad. I'm grateful for the success he was able to have. Thanks for my best Red Sox seasons ever, Tito. Best of luck, God bless.

PS-don't work for the NYY's!
   71. karlmagnus Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:06 PM (#3946625)
Had to fire someone and they fired the wrong one. A Duquette/Tito duo would have been the best possible solution and would have changed the team's makeup and chemistry.
   72. Fourth True Outcome Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:15 PM (#3946652)
I hope to one day have someone love me with the devotion and fervor that karlmagnus has for Duquette.
   73. The District Attorney Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:19 PM (#3946660)
I've heard of "this will hurt me more than it hurts you", but this is ridiculous!
Sox owner John Henry escorted off his yacht at Rowe's Wharf, wearing a neckbrace. He's been hospitalized.
   74. Dread Pirate Dave Roberts Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:20 PM (#3946664)
Had to fire someone and they fired the wrong one. A Duquette/Tito duo would have been the best possible solution and would have changed the team's makeup and chemistry.


The same Dan Duquette who was so wrongly fired that he hasn't held or even been considered for another GM post for the last 10 years?

Sad to see Terry go. The quotes were all classy and I hope it really is true that he is quitting rather than being let go. While certainly he wasn't the best regular season tactician, he was the Red Sox' best manager in my lifetime and I have a hard time believing that the next manager will be better than he was. I guess to the point of the other thread, while the next manager may not be better than Tito, let's hope the next manager is better for this team.
   75. Jittery McFrog Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:25 PM (#3946669)
I'm sad to see Francona go. He's one of my favorite baseball people. I'm glad we had him.

Thanks Tito!
   76. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:28 PM (#3946677)
It's official - Tito's gone:

NESN report
Someone's going to call me naive, but it sounds like this really may have been a mutual decision.
   77. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:30 PM (#3946684)
I hope to one day have someone love me with the devotion and fervor that karlmagnus has for Duquette.
You realize that either karlmagnus *is* Duquette, or there's a restraining order involved, right?
   78. Fourth True Outcome Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:45 PM (#3946724)
You realize that either karlmagnus *is* Duquette, or there's a restraining order involved, right?


Fair point. I guess there is something behind the old chestnut "don't general manage crazy".
   79. tfbg9 Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:52 PM (#3946734)
I laughed really hard at #72.

(sorry km)
   80. karlmagnus Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:59 PM (#3946744)
It's fine, Teddy; 71 was a rock deliberately dropped into the water to watch the splash!

I flame, therefore I am!
   81. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:23 PM (#3946787)
Ozzie Guillen's available!
   82. Pingu Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:30 PM (#3946806)
Havent been around in awhile, so have no idea if its been suggested. I certainly havent heard it...

but next Sox manager really ought to be Jason Varitek. No idea if he'd take it. Hell, a player-manager for a year might even work in this case, but I'd prefer if he just managed full time and kept his bat out of the lineup.

Is this crazy talk????
   83. plink Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:36 PM (#3946815)
but next Sox manager really ought to be Jason Varitek.

This is arguably the most likely scenario.
   84. The District Attorney Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:43 PM (#3946826)
next Sox manager really ought to be Jason Varitek.
So he did a good job as the captain?
   85. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:44 PM (#3946827)
Yeah, Diapers. It's crazy. He has no managerial experience. Then again, the Yanks hired Yogi in '64.

EDITED BECAUSE I CANNOT TYPE
   86. tfbg9 Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:45 PM (#3946828)
73-apparently, the crew mistook him for the mast.
   87. Joel W Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:13 AM (#3946857)
Valentine is a career 22 wins over his pythag record. With a team like this, a big personality who is a good tactician might be great.
   88. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:16 AM (#3946863)
John Henry in minor accident, OK but not at presser.
   89. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:17 AM (#3946864)
Werner "enormous respect for Terry Francona"
   90. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:18 AM (#3946865)
Lucchino "we owe him a debt of gratitude...he leaves with our appreciation for his accomplishments."
   91. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:19 AM (#3946868)
Lucchino was "puzzled" that Tito felt he didn't have support of ownership
   92. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:20 AM (#3946870)
Werner : we asked Terry to think about it over the weekend."
   93. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:21 AM (#3946871)
Theo "we talked about an improvement in clubhouse culture....asked Tito if he could be that guy...Tito thought it was time to move on"
   94. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:22 AM (#3946875)
Theo "Tito doesn't hate these players, Tito said I love these guys, I just couldn't reach them."
   95. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:25 AM (#3946877)
Theo: "Tito told me there were guys I reached in the past that I couldn't reach is year"
   96. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:25 AM (#3946878)
Theo: team that gets him next will be very lucky"
   97. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:27 AM (#3946880)
Theo the only one who didn't speak at the start,he has only responded to direct questions.
   98. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:27 AM (#3946881)
Werner " this could be a good day for Tito and a good day for the red sox because we can go in a positive new direction."
   99. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:29 AM (#3946883)
Theo: "coaching staff...I've contacted (most)...not everyone will be back...they'll get my strong recommendation in many cases...no timetable."
   100. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:30 AM (#3946885)
Theo " previous MLB managerial experience is preferred but not required"
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