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Toucher & Rich: Did Francona Lose The Red Sox?

The Red Sox season ended last week, and on Friday, the run of manager Terry Francona came to an end.

John Tomase of the Boston Herald spoke with Toucher & Rich about the Red Sox clubhouse atmosphere this season, and what exactly  happened with Francona.

Tomase was the first to report about some of the specific problems the Sox were having, such as pitchers drinking in the clubhouse on off days. He said Francona lost control of the clubhouse, and the problems went much deeper than a few pitchers enjoying a couple of adult beverages.

“I think there were two issues here simultaneously that sort of led to the combustion, or whatever you want to call it, that took the clubhouse down by the end of the year,” said Tomase. “On the one hand I think there were a lot of sort of spoiled, entitled players who felt like maybe the rules didn’t apply to them and they let their conditioning go and they drank in the clubhouse.”

“On the other hand, I think this was important as well, Francona got beaten down by it to the point where he lost the clubhouse and lost his ability to discipline the clubhouse and control the clubhouse,” he contined. “You put those two things together and I don’t think you can say that he’s totally blameless in all this. That he was just a victim of it because at the end of the day the manager’s job is to control the clubhouse and to keep things in line.”

They went on to talk about the players complaining about the buses and acting like “divas.”  Which one of the Boys of Summer was the worst offender on that team?

“I think it was across the board. Certainly from my understanding it was a lot of the higher priced guys, which on the Red Sox is half the team,” said Tomase. “But again I think (Josh) Beckett is a fair guy to go after here. We have already talked about how he put on the weight, we saw how his performance in September was not what it was early in the season. I mean really from I would say early to mid August on, Beckett was like a 4.50 ERA pitcher which is not what he was early in the year. You saw repeatedly he’d get into the sixth inning, he’d get around 90 pitches and then he would lose it, he didn’t have stamina anymore”

With all this going on behind the scenes was there ever a player who was the voice of reason and tried to get the guys back on track?

They also discussed John Henry and questioned his commitment to this organization, and talked about whether they think Theo Epstein will be returning next season.


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