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Red Sox

Epstein: Nobody Blames Tito

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Red Sox manager Terry Francona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Red Sox manager Terry Francona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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Boston Red Sox

BOSTON (CBS) – After a September collapse, the Boston Red Sox have to face the fact they are done playing baseball.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for excuses, we did this to ourselves. We have to take full responsibility,” said general manager Theo Epstein on Thursday. “We can’t run from this, it happened.”

Blame for the monumental collapse will not be put on just one person either. It will be taken as a team and as an organization.

Epstein also went out of his way to say the blame is not solely on manager Terry Francona.

“Nobody blames what happened in September on Tito. That would be totally irresponsible and totally shortsighted and it wouldn’t recognize what he means to the organization and all our successes,” said Epstein.

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“We take full responsibility for what happened, all of us. Collectively it was a failure. I’m the general manager, so I take more responsibility,” he said. “I know we don’t believe in scapegoats, and in particular no one blames Tito. We all failed together.”

While Theo said the blame will not be placed on Francona, he would not talk about the manager’s future with the team. Francona has an option in each of the next two seasons, and discussions about picking up the one for 2012, or not, will continue soon.

“We are going to get together, ownership, Larry and I and Tito, over the next few days and talk about the season and the future,” said Epstein.

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After eight seasons on the bench, Francona was asked if he would want to return after the way things ended Wednesday night.

“Theo and I talked today a little bit. We’ll continue to talk tomorrow,” said Francona. “Maybe it’s best today to stay with where we’re at. It’s still pretty fresh and pretty raw.”

The Red Sox became the first team in major league history to enter the month of September with a lead of nine games, and not make the playoffs.

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