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Friday, September 30, 2011

Thank You Terry Francona

It appears that, per NESN, Terry Francona is out as the manager of the Boston Red Sox. Someone had suggested that we have a “Thank You Terry Francona” thread and that sounds like a good idea. Thanks Terry, you were at the helm during the most successful period for the Red Sox during my lifetime. It couldn’t have been easy, and for whatever small criticism I might have had over the years, you deserve the credit for those accomplishments. Good luck in whatever you choose to do next.

Have at it.

Darren Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:25 PM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. tfbg9 Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:34 PM (#3946688)
"Small criticism(s)?"
   2. tfbg9 Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:34 PM (#3946692)
Thanks Tito. God bless, all the best.
   3. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#3946706)
I think the Sox are making a grave mistake

Best of luck to Mr Francona
   4. plink Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:45 PM (#3946728)
Best Red Sox manager I've ever seen. Sad to see him leave.

Also, he still looks a lot like my grandfather.
   5. ray james Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:48 PM (#3946732)
Well, it appears like it wasn't totally a management decision. Francona was growing a bit tired of the job and opted out.

Nevertheless, he is a good man and he did a fantastic job for the lion share of his tenure and I wish him well, either in another manager position or in whatever he chooses to do from here on out.
   6. cminsf Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:49 PM (#3946733)
Class act. Sad to see him leave because he seems like such a thoughtful, sincere guy.
   7. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:52 PM (#3946736)
Also, he still looks a lot like my grandfather.


Your grandfather was Donald Pleasence?
   8. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:56 PM (#3946741)
Thanks Tito. I think he was very good at the stuff that mattered most (at least until the end). Obviously the best Sox manager of my lifetime, and an immensely likable one to boot.

While I suspect it was time to go, I doubt they'll be getting an upgrade.
   9. plink Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:59 PM (#3946745)
Your grandfather was Donald Pleasence?

Sure, I can see that. Imagine Donald Pleasance taking a nap on a La-Z-Boy with his mouth open. That's my grandfather.
   10. booond Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:01 PM (#3946751)
It was a great run, good luck, Tito.
   11. karlmagnus Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:03 PM (#3946752)
While alive, I wasn't around to watch it, but I think Dick Williams was probably the best Sox manager of my lifetime, at least for that one year.

But Francona was pretty good and a class act; some times nice guys really do finish first -- twice in eight seasons!
   12. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:20 PM (#3946781)
I think the Sox are making a grave mistake


Cosigned. I'll miss you, Tito! Thanks for everything!
   13. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:20 PM (#3946782)
Farewell news conference on MLB Channel now.
   14. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:27 PM (#3946797)
Two things:

1) Tito is awesome and I think the Sox might regret this
2) Dick Williams is the best manager of any franchise he has worked in
   15. tfbg9 Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:33 PM (#3946810)
11, 14:

Not sure how Williams would work-out with jillionaires with guaranteed, multi-year deals.
   16. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:37 PM (#3946816)
Thank you, Tito.

As many have said, the best Sox manager of my lifetime. While his strength was probably the off-the-field stuff, his tactical work in games 4-7 against the Yankees in 2004 (principally his management of the pen) was close to impeccable.

I am very sorry to see him go.
   17. The Mighty Quintana Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#3946822)
Sad to see him go.....for a while there he really got the most out of this club. Nuthin' he tried worked for the past month, though....
   18. Fourth True Outcome Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:45 PM (#3946830)
It's hard for me to know as an outsider if this is a good move or a bad one, but I can't think of another manager I would have preferred over the past eight years. I hope Tito lands where he wants next year, whether that's managing another squad or spending time with his family. (I wouldn't mind seeing him in a television studio, but that seems pretty unlikely.) Thanks for everything, Terry.
   19. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:53 PM (#3946840)
Thanks for the run Tito. I always wanted to see one World Series in my lifetime and you were part of the reason I saw two in four years.

I think this may genuinely have been a mutual decision and I hope both the Sox and Tito land on their feet. If he chooses not to manage I think he'd be a great studio guy on TV, he's got a dry humor that kills when he's relaxed.
   20. tfbg9 Posted: September 30, 2011 at 11:55 PM (#3946843)
Eight WS games...eight WS wins. Love the guy. Will miss him, he was also funny as hell.

And the 04 ALCS was a virtuoso performance.
   21. Joel W Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:05 AM (#3946850)
As classy on the way out as he was during his 8 years with the team, "I thought it was time for a new voice. It’s not an easy thing to say, but I thought it was the right thing to do."

I came around to thinking that he was not the right guy for this team anymore, but I really do think he was a very good manager during his 8 years. The best thing about 2004 was that when I had no energy left for a stressful world series, and I don't think any of us did, the Red Sox swept the Cardinals. They were 11-3 in that year's playoffs. Then, in 2007, when I really didn't have the energy to stress in the world series against the Rockies, well, they swept the World Series again. 2 rings in 8 years at a time when winning 1 in 10 requires a lot of luck even if you're making the playoffs every year is a great accomplishment and he deserves his share of credit.
   22. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:09 AM (#3946851)
8:15 management presser on NESN
   23. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:10 AM (#3946853)
I doubt the next Red Sox manager will win the WS in his 1st year, or win 2 in his first 4 years [or even 8].Francona will be missed.
   24. tfbg9 Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:12 AM (#3946855)
The odds of the next Red Sox manager being as good as Francona are indeed long.
   25. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 01, 2011 at 12:46 AM (#3946903)
How could any Red Sox fan not appreciate Francona? He was their manager when they won the ####### World Series, after 86 years, with the last 20+ years with us being subjected to ridiculous curse bullshit talk. For that, he deserves eternal gratitude, whatever his role was. I think he deserves as much credit as any manager, for being their manager when they won.

Whether the Sox are making a "grave mistake" or not is academic. It seems as if the decision was mutual, so there was no avoiding his departure. Good luck to him. Except when his team plays the Red Sox.
   26. Toby Posted: October 01, 2011 at 01:00 AM (#3946928)
Terry Francona will be seen as the best Red Sox manager ever. And deservedly so. I am sorry to see him go, because I loved the selfless, classy way he handled himself. If he had Billy Beane's vocabulary, he might have said, "my #### doesn't work in this clubhouse.". And maybe he's right. But your #### is good ####, Tito, so go knowing that you did great, and we appreciate it.

A few years ago I had a job I loved and did well but that was starting to feel stale. I was offered another challenge. I told my wife the biggest reason for staying put was, "it is just so cool that I can tell people I do X. I would miss that.". She said, "But wouldn't it be even more cool to say, Yes, I did X, I did it well, I climbed that mountain, and I looked for bigger mountains.". She was right.

Terry climbed the mountain, he led us up the mountain. Then he did it again. The view up there was spectacular, unforgettable. THANK YOU. You will always have 2004 and 2007. May your next mountain be grand.
   27. Jay Seaver Posted: October 01, 2011 at 01:07 AM (#3946942)
I am going to miss the hell out of him; even when he did things that frustrated me, I always felt like it was more because he was thinking of the long term than because he was foolish. And I love that he's hilarious without being a class clown looking for attention.

I don't blame him for moving on; eight years is a long time in any job. And if he comes back to Fenway in future years heading up another club, nobody had better boo him.
   28. Mattbert Posted: October 01, 2011 at 01:40 AM (#3946991)
Tito should never buy his own drink in Beantown as long as he lives. I don't care what happened this year, 2004 put him in the pantheon and 2007 confirmed he wasn't a fluke. He was the right guy for this team and this city, and the fact that he's wise enough to now realize that he's no longer the right guy just proves one last time that he was the right guy all along.

I can't fathom how Francona would leave with anything but the eternal gratitude of the Red Sox and their fans. Happy trails, Tito.
   29. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: October 01, 2011 at 01:57 AM (#3947010)
He always struck me as an immensely thoughtful and smart man. He'd be a real easy guy to have a beer with.

I miss him already. I hope most of this decision was his--if mgmt thought he wasn't the right man for the job, that's either mgmt stupidity or player stupidity.
   30. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: October 01, 2011 at 01:58 AM (#3947011)
Does this guy get email or use Twitter or something? I want to send him a thank you.
   31. Ron J Posted: October 01, 2011 at 02:43 AM (#3947042)
#15 I think it would be as it always was with Williams. Sweetness and light initially. The man obviously knew what he was doing and that matters.

And then after a while he'd lose the players. Because he always did and that's not going to become less likely in the days of guaranteed contracts.

Oh yes. He'd also try and make Rodney Scott his second baseman and whine when management wouldn't let him.
   32. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 01, 2011 at 03:05 AM (#3947064)
Double Bubble also thanks you Francona
   33. Koot Posted: October 01, 2011 at 04:45 AM (#3947127)
I wish Tito the best. I think he was a great manager, but, I think this is probably a good move for both the Red Sox and Tito. With Tito's dry sense of humor, I hope he ends up on TV.
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 01, 2011 at 05:02 AM (#3947136)
It seems as if the decision was mutual, so there was no avoiding his departure.

Perhaps, but Francona indicated the Sox never told him they'd exercise his options or offer him a new deal. Depending on the substance and tone of the discussions, he may have concluded that the Sox weren't that interested in committing to him for the future, so they'd both be better off with a change. Would he have stayed if the Sox clearly said early on that they wanted him to help fix this team and offerred him a 3-year deal? Not sure we know that.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 01, 2011 at 10:48 AM (#3947177)
If Francona had wanted to go, and the Red Sox had offered an extension which he refused, the decision wouldn't be "mutual". It would be Tito's unilateral decision. I guess you can deny the existence of mutual decisions in high-stakes business, but the fact that there wasn't an extension offered is actually a necessary part of the analysis you quoted, not a refutation of it.
   36. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 01, 2011 at 11:42 AM (#3947182)
Terry Francona's accomplishments as a manager are undeniable. He bears significant responsibility for most of the happiest memories of my life as a baseball fan, and I'll always be grateful for it.

I'm really happy that, in the middle of this vortex of shittiness, Tito and the front office have handled things the right way and allowed this dignified and good man to leave his position with grace and without recrimination. It's the least he deserves

I don't know Francona, and I certainly won't begrudge him the opportunity to manage in baseball again - he can probably have just about whatever job he wants - but I kind of like to think that he doesn't need the stress and the schedule and the travel anymore, that he can now relax into whatever life he wants to make for himself, having accomplished as much in ten years of managing as most anyone ever.
   37. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 01, 2011 at 11:46 AM (#3947184)
An elegy to Francona that I hope Red Sox fans aren't singing by next June.
   38. toratoratora Posted: October 01, 2011 at 01:56 PM (#3947232)
6 90 win seasons
93 wins averaged per year
.574 Winning Percentage
2 pennants
2 World Series titles

And for a few days in 2004 Tito transcended, and it seemed as if everything he touched became gold.
Thanks Tito, for everything, including the happiest baseball memories of my life.
The end was ugly, but there were moments sublime along the way.
May you never pay for a beverage in Boston.
   39. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: October 01, 2011 at 04:21 PM (#3947323)
[reposted from other thread, thanks for taking my suggestion Darren!]

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.
   40. plim Posted: October 01, 2011 at 05:25 PM (#3947377)
Instead of retiring his number, they should put up that red sweater/shirt he wears every game.

While one of my earliest memories of the Sox was Morgan's Magic, Tito definitely takes the cake. He's definitely in the inner circle of Boston sports lore, along with Auerbach, Belichick, Larry Legend, Ted Williams, Brady, etc.

Sad to see him go, but also good to see that at best, he left on his own terms, or at worst, the brass let it look like he did. Certainly a lot better than the way the Yankees handled Torre's departure.
   41. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 01, 2011 at 05:51 PM (#3947393)
Let's add Dustin Pedroia's voice to the thank yous:
"It’s hard, man, with the way we played this year, but by no means is it Tito’s fault. We get paid a lot of money and the biggest thing that I am upset with, and I think a lot of guys are upset with, is the accountability of each other. It’s not the manager’s fault. We need to hold ourselves more accountable as a team, as players. There are a lot of things that went on that was disrespectful and we played like it. That’s basically it, but Tito’s had every single guy’s back in that clubhouse from Day 1.

“This is tough. He’s had my back, he gave me a chance when I was struggling as a rookie. I was hitting .150 and he stood by me and helped me become the player that I am today. I’ll forever remember that. I’m sure there will be tons of offers for him because of what’s he’s accomplished and what kind of guy and manager he is. He’s going to move and I’ll definitely be following him.

“I wish him the best and I hope he gets a job in the National League for a team that we don’t get a chance to play because it would be like playing against one of my family members.

“I love him. He’s given me every opportunity in the world and given me the respect to play the game with a freedom, and that’s what he allows us players to do. Geez, man, he’s done everything for me and everything for my family ... he’s done everything for me in the five years I’ve been in the big leagues. My heart’s broken for him and I wish he was back and I wish I could have played my whole career for him. It’s going to be hard. I’m sure he’ll come back a better manager and a better person for it. Us, as an organization, we’re going to move forward together.”
   42. tfbg9 Posted: October 01, 2011 at 06:06 PM (#3947404)
Loyalty like Pedey's makes me tear-up.

/sniff-sniff
   43. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 01, 2011 at 06:09 PM (#3947408)
Man, that is one hell of a tribute from Pedroia.

I'm gonna miss Tito. Seemed like one hell of a decent guy. Confident yet self-effacing really was the perfect personality for Boston.
   44. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 01, 2011 at 06:25 PM (#3947425)
He’s going to move and I’ll definitely be following him.



Pedroia wants out?
   45. tfbg9 Posted: October 01, 2011 at 06:37 PM (#3947438)
I tried to get some reactions in the CHB thread, but it seemed to escape notice, so I'll try again here; What do we make of this Tito quote from yesterday's presser:

“To be honest with you, I’m not sure how much support there was from ownership,’’ Francona offered. “You’ve got to be all-in on this job. It’s got to be everybody together, and I was questioning that a little bit.’’
   46. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 01, 2011 at 06:46 PM (#3947453)
I don't know. It's definitely another piece of the story. Did Tito want to discipline particular players and get overruled? Did Tito feel that his authority was undermined by not having a contract for 2012? Was it just a feeling that there wasn't unity in the front office, wasn't the sort of day-to-day support he expected? Something else we haven't heard about yet? It's hard to say at this point.
   47. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: October 01, 2011 at 06:54 PM (#3947460)
Any backbiting and discord belongs in pretty much any other thread but this one.
   48. tfbg9 Posted: October 01, 2011 at 07:12 PM (#3947477)
47-I am as pro-Tito as anybody in ST. Maybe more so than anybody.

46-Shanks seemed to think it meant that Tito had known for a while, years?, that Henry had soured on Tito, on his
ability to mesh "numbers concerns" and "people concerns", the two areas of input/output that the Red Sox manager would need to, let's say, properly juggle, in Henry's view.

To me, in 20-20 hindsight, my two glaring 2nd guesses are:

1) How the hell does it take 5 weeks to properly diagnose Buchholz*? They catch the real injury earlier, he's back pitching,
perhaps for as many innings as 10 days of relief and 20-25 days in the rotation. It was six weeks, IIRC, between the announcement that Buch was headed for the DL and correctly identifying the injury.

2) Why not start Aceves instead of Weiland or Wakefield, or both. (2A-I question the wisdom of the whole lets give Timmy 9 chances to get number 200 debacle). Did the brass want Tito to start Aceves?

Of the 2 major things that could be argued to have been approached differently, only one can be perhaps pinned to Tito.

*the guy was only the 2010 AL ERA+ leader, no reason to get an MRI right away--those things are expensive!!!
   49. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 01, 2011 at 07:18 PM (#3947490)
I'm really going to miss Francona. He seems like a thoroughly good guy, and was a great manager. I'm really sad to see him go - I wish it was on a happier note, but managers almost never go out that way. I hope he's happy and appreciated wherever he ends up.
   50. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 01, 2011 at 07:24 PM (#3947504)
EDIT: I'll take it to the wild rumor thread.
   51. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: October 01, 2011 at 07:38 PM (#3947522)
To me, in 20-20 hindsight, my two glaring 2nd guesses are:
*sigh*
   52. tfbg9 Posted: October 01, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#3947545)
To me, in 20-20 hindsight, my two glaring 2nd guesses are:

*sigh*


Explain?
   53. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 01, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3947560)
Not this thread Teddy, any other thread, let this be "Thanks Tito." I think we have ample places to dissect and discuss the other stuff.
   54. UnclePab Posted: October 01, 2011 at 08:25 PM (#3947594)
Instead of retiring his number, they should put up that red sweater/shirt he wears every game.

Yes. I'll miss that sweatshirt, and I'll miss his dry sense of humor. But mostly, I'll be forever grateful for 2004 and 2007. The other six years weren't too shabby either. Thank you Terry Francona. Good luck, and good health.
   55. MunsonIsMyFavoriteYank Posted: October 02, 2011 at 12:26 AM (#3947867)
I am a Yankee fan living in Boston. Francona comes across as a good guy and I can't help but feel bad for the team and the fans in this city. No championship for 80+ years and his teams deliver two in four years. What more could you ask for? Good luck, man.
   56. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: October 05, 2011 at 05:40 AM (#3952040)
[8] sums it up for me in fewer words than I could have used to express the same perfect sentiment.

Does this guy get email or use Twitter or something? I want to send him a thank you.


I like this idea as well. Buying a full-page ad in a newspaper is something of a typical gesture on the part of an outgoing athlete or sports exec in semi-analogous situations? Could RSN do something similar for Tito? Maybe this is a lame idea. But I'd contribute to anyone taking up a collection for such an endeavor.
   57. Something Other Posted: October 05, 2011 at 06:39 AM (#3952049)
Bravo. I only followed from a distance, but he seemed like a good man and a fine manager. I envied you guys having a manager like Francona heading up your ballclub.

... at a time when winning 1 in 10 requires a lot of luck even if you're making the playoffs every year is a great accomplishment and he deserves his share of credit.
Sorry, but this caught my eye. Wouldn't random luck in an eight playoff team environment bring you the WS every eight years? Just sayin'.
   58. Morty Causa Posted: October 20, 2011 at 12:56 AM (#3968707)
"I stood by Grant when he was a drunk and he stood by me when I was crazy, and we will always stand by each other." William Tecumseh Sherman
   59. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 20, 2011 at 01:44 AM (#3968814)
Pedroia's tribute is a pretty good testimony as to why no matter what his flaws, Francona's going to be very hard to replace. Total class act.

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