Terry Francona Out As Red Sox Manager

BOSTON (CBS) – Terry Francona will not be back as manager of the Boston Red Sox next season. The news comes two days after the team completed an historic collapse, and missed the playoffs.

Francona met with General Manager Theo Epstein and ownership Friday morning at Fenway Park, but the news wasn’t confirmed until a press release late Friday afternoon.

“It was my decision,” Francona told reporters in a press conference Friday night.

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He says over the season it grew harder to reach his players, and told ownership, “It was time for a new voice.”

Francona says he would like to stay in baseball, but wouldn’t comment on his future plans.

The Red Sox missed the playoffs despite holding a 9 game lead on September 4. The team finished with 7-20 record in September.

In eight seasons managing the Red Sox, Francona led the team to a 744-552 regular season record and won two World Series (2004, 2007). The Red Sox made the playoffs five times under Tito, posting a 28-17 postseason record.

Boston won 90+ games six times under Francona.

Francona released the following statement about his departure:

“We met this morning to look back on the 2011 season and to consider the future of the Boston Red Sox, including my involvement with the club.  I passed along my frustrations at my inability to effectively reach the players.  After many conversations and much consideration, I ultimately felt that, out of respect to this team, it was time for me to move on.  I’ve always maintained that it is not only the right, but the obligation, of ownership to have the right person doing this job.  I told them that out of my enormous respect for this organization and the people in it, they may need to find a different voice to lead the team.

In my eight seasons as manager of the Boston Red Sox, I have developed a tremendous appreciation for Red Sox Nation.  This is a special place with some of the most knowledgeable and passionate fans in all of baseball.  They packed Fenway Park for every game and because of them, I had a special sense of pride coming to work every day.  I want to thank John, Tom, Larry and Theo for giving me the opportunity to manage this team through some of the most successful years in this franchise’s history.  I wish the entire organization and all of Red Sox Nation nothing but the very best.”

Red Sox ownership released the following statement Friday:

“We met with Terry Francona, Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington Friday morning to discuss the 2011 season, ways to improve the club in the future, and Tito’s status.  During the meeting, Tito, Theo and Ben agreed that the Red Sox would benefit from an improved clubhouse culture and higher standards in several areas.  Tito said that after eight years here he was frustrated by his difficulty making an impact with the players, that a different voice was needed, and that it was time for him to move on.  After taking time to reflect on Tito’s sentiments, we agreed that it was best for the Red Sox not to exercise the option years on his contract.

We have enormous respect, admiration and appreciation for Tito and the job that he did for eight years, including two World Series Championship seasons and five playoff appearances.  His poise during the 2004 post-season was a key factor in the greatest comeback in baseball history, and his place in Red Sox history will never be forgotten.  We wish him only the best going forward.”

Statement from Theo Epstein:

“Tito and I didn’t know each other when he was hired eight years ago, but over time we developed not only a great working relationship but also a personal friendship that will always be important to both of us.  He proved to be an unflappable leader for our major league club, displaying consistency, calmness, hard work, thoughtfulness, a sense of humor, and faith in the players even at the most difficult of times.  Without Tito’s commitment over eight years, we would not be the organization we are today.  Nobody at the Red Sox blames Tito for what happened at the end of this season; we own that as an organization.  This year was certainly a difficult and draining one for him and for us.  Ultimately, he decided that there were certain things that needed to be done that he couldn’t do after eight years here, and that this team would benefit from hearing a new voice.  While this may be true, his next team will benefit more than it knows from hearing Tito’s voice.  I will miss seeing Tito every day in the manager’s office, and I wish him and his family nothing but the best in their next chapter.”

  • FireGuyFrank

    Tito has done a pretty good job in a difficult market. However, it seems in sports that players need a new face, new voice, new motivator from time to time.

    Thanks, Tito. Good luck to you.

    • Joel

      Exactly. Tito is very good at what he does, but every so often, a team needs new ideas, new blood. Managers can certainly work to reinvent themselves over time, keep up with trends, etc., but after eight years in one place, can hardly fill the need for a new face & new blood. All the best, Tito, and thanks for the memories!

    • gramps

      Both Tito & Theo will land on their feet in Chicago…..

      Theo with the Cubs & Tito with the White Sox….

      They’ll be in different leagues & probably meet for a steak every so often on the sly. Talk shop & swap scouting reports on the needs of the other….

      A marriage made in Base Ball Heaven!


      • supersniffy

        that’s right!! We’ll take anyone’s leftovers….why do you think we got Barry!

      • The Truth

        On a side note, it’s being reported that a man wearing a monkey suit was seen fleeing the dock by John Henry’s yacht….

      • macmum

        So far it looks like Theo is unscathed….sadly. He’s made So many mistakes with those that he has hired…..let’s talk about what a waste of money Dice K was and is. Want to complain about ticket prices???consider how much his contract is costing all of Red Sox Nation…thanks Theo! As for Tito, we were fortunate to have him…and the next team will be as well…Terry! you will be missed!!

    • Mama Brat

      Tito: I have so much respect for you. By not hiding behind a gorilla suit and trying to escape the media like someone else did! Best of luck, you will surely be missed here in Boston

      • Change, We Can Bereave In

        @ Barry’s CT. SSN…

        How dare you tell the Truth about “THE ONE” – Consider yourself duly reported to http://www.AttackWatch.net

      • Barry's CT. SSN 048-68-4425 FAILS E-VERIFY; Media Silent

  • Good Job Guys

    Good plan. Pin the losses on the guy that’s not swinging a bat. Send a message to the players that “It’s ok, it’s not your fault that you struck out swinging on four pitches or that you got hurt, I’m sure you’re in great condition. We’ll just get rid of that nasty, incompetent manager. You know, the guy that won a couple of Series and spent most of his day covering your ass. We’re sorry?”

    I don’t know anything about baseball but when I’m reincarnated I want to come back as the relief pitcher for any team playing the Sox with a lead. 8 pitches should get me out of any inning.

    I never saw Francona swing at any pitches that bounced on the way to the plate.

    • Geoffrey Britain

      When a team blows a nine game lead, it’s the players… not management.

      But the buck stops with the team culture that ownership establishes. When ownership backs the player over the manager, even when they know the manager is in the right…it’s the beginning of the end.

      When ownership won’t allow the manager to bench a player out of short-sighted concerns over fan anger and money invested in the player, along with front office unwillingness to look bad at bringing on board players with attitude problems…it becomes a ‘cancer’ that destroys the team.

      Francona’s leaving because he recognizes that the prima dona, babied players are backed by management and they don’t have to listen to him. Once that happens there is no longer a team but just 9 players on the same field. And that’s a guaranteed prescription for losing.

      • Allie

        Preach it. You’re absolutely right. I don’t see how this team is going to come back from this. I wish we could just cut Lackey – I think he’s the biggest problem in that clubhouse. Gonzalez doesn’t seem that much of a puss, but then again he blames God for them loosing and not the team. So I don’t know. I know Crawford took full responsibility for his poor play, so maybe he’s the only one of the new guys who actually takes accountability. Ortiz has been complaining all year about his contract, so maybe, sadly, it’s time for him to go. I miss the Sox team that used to have each others’ backs, like back in ’04. What happened to THAT club environment? It’s sad. Really is.

      • Susan Mclaughlin

        Couldn’t agree more…

    • FireGuyFrank

      Agreed — the players are to blame. That said, if Francona can no longer reach them, then for Terry’s sake, as well as the organization’s, it is time to move on.

      I think Tito’s departure is more HIS idea.

  • Tee Kay

    Thank you Terry for many years of exciting baseball. This over-paid under achieving team is not your fault. EVERY free agent should be thrown out the door behind you, and then some, including the GM. You deserve better. However, I don’t blame you for wanting out.

    • RalphSchmalph

      Well said Tee Kay….management has saddled a good manager with a collection of overpaid, entitled, layabouts who don’t play for the uniform.

  • Glass Half Empty

    There is plenty of blame to go around, so I hope Francona isn’t going to be the fall guy. Start with the players. Some pretty incompetent people earning mega-millions for contributing absolutely nothing. Who negotiated those contracts…hmmm. I can’t even afford to go to a game, the ticket prices are so overpriced to support those salaries!! And Crawford should have caught that ball!!!

  • Vincent Lee

    In a recent Sports Illustrated poll MLB players were asked which manager for whom they would like to play. Francona finished second only to Joe Madden of the Rays, and we know what his leadership meant in the team’s September surge to overtake the Sox. And it’s no coincidence that Joe was a finalist back in 2003 when the Sox were interviewing for Grady Little’s replacement before Tito was hired or that both of these men have similar personalities and styles. If Tito wants to take a year or two off from one of the most demanding managing jobs in any sport, I wouldn’t blame him. Maybe the Sox could hire an interim manager – which would be a whole lot cheaper and more productive than signing free agent stiffs like Lackey and Crawford. But if Theo Epstein or anyone else in the Sox hierarchy thinks that there is a better fit than Tito for this team, he’s just plain wrong. (We don’t need some spotlight-grabbing egotistical know-it-all like Bobby Valentine, whose name has come up for God knows what reason.) And if there are any players now on the team who are tuning Tito out or who think a lack of leadership is to blame for their overpaid and underachieving performances, they’re invited to ask be traded or released.

    • smokehouse56

      Let me remind you that Tito was a complete failure in Philly and the fans celebrated when he was shown the door.

      • Jim Panyard

        Smokie – Tito was very popular in Philly and did well with a mediocre team. Check it out!

      • Flashman1854

        Maybe so, but he was a complete success in Boston.

        Two world championships in 8 years, 6 times in playoffs, very nice win/loss record.

        And this with a team that had not won the World Series in what? 80 years.

        No, the wrong guy was let go.

      • John

        A reminder for you dude…Belichick, Cleveland

  • Barleysdad

    What’s said above is all too true. Think Theo not Tito for leaving. Almost like Bill Parcells when he commented on “you want a gourmet meal from me, but you don’t let me buy the groceries.” And Tito brought more to this town than The Tuna ever did. Try TWO World Championships. For the money spent we came up way shortm,,that wasn’t Tito’s fault!!!!

    • RedSoxFaninFL

      Tito was 8-0 in World Series games…almost as good as Undertaker’s 19-0 record at Wrestlmania!

  • http://thebostonjam.com/2011/09/30/smell-ya-later-francona/ Smell ya later Francona? | The Boston Jam

    […] BOSTON (CBS) – There are several reports that Terry Francona may be on his way out as Red Sox manager after eight seasons. […]

  • http://thebostonjam.com/2011/09/30/smell-ya-later-francona/ Smell ya later Francona? | The Boston Jam

    […] (CBS) – There are several reports that Terry Francona may be on his way out as Red Sox manager after eight […]

  • Rocky Stallone

    What other RED SOX Manger still alive has 2 WORLD SERIES Championships? I wish him nothing but the best!

  • Paul Martin

    now john henry grow a pair an fire theo

    • Dennis Smith

      Exactly I blame this season on Theo more!

  • Dave Ballum

    Big mistake! Wake up Red Sox! Throwing money at a problem doesn’t work, ask the Federal Government. IMO Theo Epstein made this mess. Tito will come back to haunt them. Watch!

    • smokehouse56

      Just how will he “haunt” them?

      • Ron Langevin

        prob by getting hired by another division team and beating their ass everytime they play, IDIOT YOU!!

  • Phil Kenney

    This is one of the worst decisions that has been made by this organization in a long time. As a long time Sox’s fan this is very disheartening. It will be interesting to see who they feel is qualified to run this club and put them in the right direction. Thanks for all of the great years Tito and good luck in your future endeavors.

  • hopeimwrong


    • smokehouse56

      Do you really need attention?

  • Ann

    i dont think they should lose terry yes they had bad year
    but i dont think terry falit .
    i saw all the game on tv they had lots of player did get hurt.
    They need better pitchers but dont blame on terry.
    they just got some bad luck this year and i dont like to say this but its only a game it all ways next year.

  • bigswingin

    had to happen. ever since the Tito-Hazel-Tek scandal, team has lost respect for their leader. can’t lead and expect respect when you are romping around with a babe like Hazel while one of your players is doing the same

  • B's Fan

    Wow this is ridiculous they should have never let him go it wasnt his fault god while henry is at it why doesnt he fire all the fat and lazy players we have they were way to out of shape and have no one to blame for the lose then themselves. Lester threw 85 pitches and looked like he was going to have a stroke give me a break bad move henry bad move!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Happy in Florida

    Rays manager Joe Maddon would have won the division by 10 games if he managed in Boston. Enjoy the off season, Sox fans.

  • AceMaster

    I could be wrong, but from Tito’s comments, even if the team did want him back, I don’t think he wanted to be and probably would have declined his option or just flat out resigned. He had grown tired of his players attitude and lack (Lackey) of respect for himself and the game. I hope he finds himself a team who actually cares about the game



  • KB

    Hey, just where is Larry when you need him? Oh, sorry I forgot he was out shopping for a new manager – you’re all a bunch of fools. This is looking more and more like a Polo league – just for the rich and famous.

  • denmom

    With so many overpaid primadonnas (each one thinking it’s all about him) how can there be any sense of teamwork? The fools who are handing out the big contracts to underperformers are the problem. Francona has to work with what he’s handed – I wouldn’t blame him if he walks.

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/09/30/patriots-belichick-red-sox-francona-a-great-manager/ New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Red Sox Terry: Francona A 'Great Manager' « CBS Boston

    […] {{url}}"}};}BOSTON (CBS) – It is not even official yet, but Terry Francona’s departure from the Boston Red Sox is already sparking conversation among his coaching […]

  • Arlene

    Tito you will be sorely missed. Under your watchful eye, you made watching the Red Sox play exciting (even on those days we lost). The Boston Red Sox will never be the same without you. I guess this day was to come sooner or later (and we all hoped it would be later). Tito, I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Bye, bye!!

  • Lori

    Have to look at the players, not Tito. And he as much said it. Compare the dugout of 2004 with 2011. No comparison, evident from the start. A bad mix, many with attitude, Lackey leading the pack. No loyalty, no chemistry, no teamwork, or love of the game, and as Lackey clearly showed in his last outing when he walked off the field, no respect for the manager. With some exceptions, such as Ellsbury, it seemed few cared about winning and teamwork, more about where’s my check and who’s carrying my luggage. Would have kept Tito, and if rules allowed, fired atleast half the team and started over.

  • gigi

    Team sports are exactly that – a team. To blame one person is just plain ignorant. The team had some rough spots and a rough month, just like any other city’s team. One any given day you can name certain players (or management) that didnt do as well as they could; its the nature of being a team, you have to rely on other players.

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