Roche: Francona Firing Talk Laughable

A blog by WBZ-TV's Dan Roche

BOSTON (CBS) – Terry Francona was named manager of the Boston Red Sox on December 4th, 2003. His body of work since that day is pretty impressive.

Courtesy of the Red Sox media guide:

–The Red Sox have recorded 90 or more wins 5 times during his tenure, the most under any manager in team history (Bill Carrigan and Don Zimmer each had 3)…

–Has guided the Red Sox to the playoffs 5 times in his 7 seasons (2004-05, 2007-09), the only Boston manager to reach the postseason more than twice…

–Since 2004, is tied with the Angels Mike Scioscia (5) for the most postseason appearances by an American League manager…Over that period, Joe Torre (6) is the only Major League skipper with more…

–Is 28-17 (.622) in 45 career postseason games, the 2nd-best record in Major League history (minimum 25 games) behind Joe McCarthy’s 30-13 (.698) mark…

–Led Boston to World Series victories in 2004 and 2007…

–Has won all 8 World Series games he has managed, the most wins without a loss in the history of the Fall Classic…George Stallings (1914 Braves), Hank Bauer (1966 Orioles), Lou Piniella (1990 Reds) and Ozzie Guillen (2005 White Sox) were all 4-0 in their only Series appearances…

–Became the 8th manager to earn championships in at least his first 2 World Series trips and the 20th to capture more than one overall world title…

–Joins Bill Carrigan (1915-16) as the only skipper to win 2 World Series with the Red Sox…

You can add to those numbers when the Sox win their 90th game this season and if they make the postseason.

He also was able to guide his team to 89 victories last season with the likes of Darnell McDonald, Daniel Nava, and Ryan Kalish seeing significant playing time because of injuries. A team that was devastated by injuries.

As for this season? It’s been strange to say the least. Huge expectations…an 0-6 and 2-10 start….then an 81-42 amazing stretch as the best team in baseball….and then a “fall on your face” September where they were 5-16 as of Friday night.

And, through it all Terry Francona has been himself. A manager that is more than fair with his players. He’s been loyal almost to a fault, but time and time again has watched players come back and produce. He’s also dealt with a front office that gives him statistical input on a daily basis and plenty of feedback.

He’s also held down arguably one of the most difficult positions in all of sports because of the rabid fan base and the stress of the position. He also keeps things “in-house” rarely allowing leaks to the press.

And, now as the Sox try to somehow find a way to get into the playoffs, we have to listen to a bunch of idiots talk about whether or not he should be fired.

Are you kidding me?

I know Boston sports fans have become spoiled by just how good they have had it since 2001 around here, but really?

What has Terry Francona done to deserve to be fired?

He’s taken a pitching staff that has had injuries and sub-par performances and patched it together to notch 88 wins so far. It’s not his fault that John Lackey has a 6.49 ERA. Or, that Andrew Miller has been woefully inconsistent. Or, that Clay Buchholz and Daisuke Matsuzaka have been non-factors due to injuries.

It’s also not Terry Francona’s fault that Carl Crawford has been a major disappointment in year one.

And, who should the Sox get to replace him?

Francona has options for 2012 and 2013…..options that should have been picked up this past spring. They weren’t, and I think I remember how much Francona complained about that too, eh?

If the Sox do indeed miss out on the play-offs and fire him, it would be a shame. As for Francona, it would probably be a blessing for his health and blood pressure. And, by the way, how long do you think it would take for teams to line up and offer him a job?

To be honest, I think any of this talk is an embarrassment. Same goes for the talk that maybe the Sox would be better off if Theo left too.


Be careful what you haters wish for…….

  • toosoxy

    I should hope so. Thanks for publishing this. One bad slump does not a bad manager make.

  • nighthawk

    Nice guy…terrible manager !! With supposedly such high quality players and that huge payroll….results should be much better. However, Epstein needs to be bounced out before Tito !!!!!

  • Chuckjones

    Pulleze!! Haters are, in all likelihood, not Red Sox fans. Firing Terry or Theo would be awful. They are great. The Sox have been plagued with injuries and under-performance by a few players. Terry, for one, is a class act. He’s a great human being who has manged the Sox to 2 championships. Good grief. May he retire as our manager. If anyone should go, it’s players (a few) who are not performing.

  • dan

    Feel the same way, Dan! I am shocked that anyone would want him fired. He’s not perfect, but by far the best manager they’ve ever had.

  • Walt Gekko

    Phillies has a similar situation to what the Red Sox had in 2000 when a threat of a large number of season ticket holders not renewing forced the Phils to fire Francona (the Phils admitted such as I recall) and hire Larry Bowa to help get the Phils their current ballpark (Citizens Bank Park, which opened in 2004), which has allowed the Phils to now have the #1 payroll in the National League and second only to the Yankees (of course, Charlie Manuel now has the Phils in the postseason for a fifth straight year and they are the heavy favorites to win the National League Pennant as they have been all season).

    The Red Sox would be fools if their fired Francona, who would get another job in a heartbeat if he wanted to manage again right away.

  • hopeimwrong

    FOR 2012!!!!!!!! GO SEE MONEY BALL THEIO

  • mikey

    Better luck next year.

    GO PATS!

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