BOLTON (CBS) – Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona has pulled out of a charity golf tournament in his honor.
The tournament in Bolton, originally scheduled for Oct. 24, was going to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital. When Tito said he couldn’t come, organizers canceled the whole thing.
Francona initially said he was going to attend, but the recent toxic atmosphere surrounding the Sox has apparently changed his mind.
“We received the news through his agent that it was not in the best interest for him to participate at this time. We certainly understand. We’re disappointed, clearly, because all we wanted to do was say thank you and end his career in Boston on an extremely high note,” said International Golf Club general manager Brian Lynch.
The event was expected to draw as many as 200 golfers who had paid $225 to enter. They will now get a refund after the club sent them an e-mail saying Francona withdrew “due to the current hostile media environment.”
“It’s a shame. But we totally respect Terry. This is not a reflection on Terry,” said Francona.
Club members who had signed up for the event don’t blame Francona.
“I think there would have been a feeding frenzy, and it would have been hard for him. I think he would not have enjoyed the day as much. I don’t blame him for not wanting to do this,” said Larry Rybacki, a club member.
Many believe fan outrage over the Red Sox collapse is totally justified, but that anger appears to have created a golf course hazard that Francona wanted to avoid.
The golf tournament could have raised more than $40,000.
The International Golf Club is extremely active in charity events, raising more than $5 million per year for various causes.