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.”

Comments (124)
  1. Richard Balbaton says:

    Just imagine all the money that will be saved on buying “bubble gum”!!!

  2. Tennessee3501 says:

    The only justification for firing Terry would be if physicians and scientists can establish, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the September collapse was caused by the fumes from Terry’s chewing tobacco. It certainly was not caused by his managing!

  3. T. Burns says:

    This is why Boston did not win anything for 86 years. Stupidity. I am a Yankee’s fan and do not like the Red Sox. However Francona is one of the best managers in baseball. He only lead the Red Sox to two world series titles after 86 years of futility. The GM goes out and signs overrated players, especially Carl Crawford and John “lackluster” Lackey, and then you fire Francona . Theo Epistine is the one who should be fired especially after paying Carl Crawford and his 18 stolen bases 142 million dollars. The Red Sox may NEVER win another world series with this kind of management. Then again as a Yankees fan i’m loving it.

    1. Flashman1854 says:

      t. Burns, Flashey is right with you.

      I am not a Red Sox fan either, I’m a Giants fan (God, if only we had some of your Yankee bats!), but first and foremost I am a FAN.

      Francona, by his record, is one of the best managers Boston ever had – and ownership let’s him go? Or, fires him?

      Utterly insane!

  4. karen s says:

    thanks for so many good memories terry. you added a level of class to a profession that will be the poorer for your leaving it. it’s a sad day for parts of the nation. hope your future is happy and rewarding.

  5. KT says:

    Thank you, Terry, for helping Red Sox Nation experience two world championships. I’ll be a fan of whatever team you end up working with- you were the heart and soul of this team for the past 8 years. Best of luck.

  6. Ronald Ballard says:

    I’M SAD TO SEE THAT THE SAME OLD “FIRE THE MANAGER” CULTURE’S STILL IN PLACE IN BOSTON. IT’S HARD TO SEE TERRY LEAVE THE SOX AFTER THE TEAM’S MISERABLE COLLAPSE UNDER LOUSY PITCHING, LOUSY FIELDING AND LOUSY EFFORT THIS LAST PART OF A SEASON WHICH STARTED OFF PRETTY POORLY TO BEGIN WITH. I THINK THE TEAM WAS BURNED OUT AND I THINK THAT BETWEEN LOUSY PITCHING AND TREMENDOUS PRESSURE TO DELIVER ANOTHER PLAYOFF SERIES-IT WAS JUST TOO MUCH FOR A BANGED UP, DISHEARTENED TEAM

  7. dogsweat1 says:

    What a genius move.

    The Manager of the 2004-2007 World Series Champs.

    The Manager of the greatest playoff team comeback- 3 games to 0 and losing in game 4 of the 9th.

    Do you remember whom the Bosox beat in that series? (Yanks)

    I hear Dave Trembley is available.

  8. Ann says:

    Terry Franconia your still be with us i dont care if your not going to be hear anymore but you will be missed.
    next year when they start the ball game we will still be thinking of you.
    have good year what ever your going to do,

  9. Conor says:

    How ungrateful can you get?

    I have been a general fan of the Red Sox but firing a good guy who pulled the stinking franchise out of the mud really makes me sick.

    How would all the complainers in Red Sox Nation like to be treated like that by their boss? After doing so much for that team, that city.

    Your memories are too short.

  10. David Rodden says:

    How can you let a guy with Francona’s track record go…Almost 200 games over .500, 2 world championships…That is just for starters…Take a good look at our President, Barak Obama’s,, record…He’s still got a job…

  11. john hand says:

    i,m a lifetime yankee fan who has always respected tito for his tenacity and driving desire to win,i,ll tell you who blew it,self loving players like papelbon,beckett,and crawford. PAPELBON BLEW THE GAME NOT TITO!!!

  12. Anthony Summers says:

    From the ‘greatest team evah’ to the ‘greatest collapse evah’….love it!

    Sincerely, The Yankee Nation

  13. Daniel Staggers says:

    being a devout Yankees fan, I have only one thing to say; the Red Sox really are insane. They don’t deserve the players they have, and should have NEVER won a World Series, they have absolutely NO class. Tito will bounce back, the Sox? Not so much. Who’d want to work for them now? And the Yankees side of me is cheering! Way to go Red Sox, shoot yourself in the foot again! When your team reveals how shallow it is, meaning the loss of Yuke, was enough to end your wins, getting rid of one of best managers in the game is a giant step backwards. Way to go, thanks!

  14. bbruin says:

    Thanks Terry from all that saw a WSC before death. Many double skunks in the future

  15. pontes says:

    I think this is one of the worst decisions that has been made by this organization in a long time, we will see how to move on.

  16. Tiger Fan says:

    Francona is one of the very best managers in baseball, and the owners/management of the Red Sox must have been drunk to let him get away. His record with the perennial loser Red Sox was nothing short of amazing. Two world championships? Now one bad month, and Francona will probably manage the White Sox next year. Such impatience. When the Tigers collapsed in 2006 and didn’t win the division title, and when they collapsed again in 2009 ( up four games with four games to go ) and didn’t make the playoffs, even the feeble-minded Tigers’ management did not fire Leyland. Now it has paid off. The Yankees suck!!! Go Tigers!!!

    1. BaseballFan says:

      Your last line is reversed.

      1. Tiger Fan says:

        You’re right. It should read: Go Tigers!!! The Yankees suck!!!

  17. john says:

    I agree with many replies. John Hnery is a spoiled rotten rich guy. He’s even took BREAKING NEWS away from MASS Soldier dying and SYCHO from Ashland..What a waste of tv air time. He had an “incident” on his yacht…Maybe slipped on Tito’s old contracts.. Tito and his team of players brought TWO world champions to the city of Boston and we will never forget that…Good luck Tito whatever you do, wherever you go….You will ALWAYS be a fan of RED SOX NATION

  18. BaseballFan says:

    They fired the best winner and best person on the team and kept all the ones who choked.

  19. henri says:

    We have to see then. how to move

  20. Jack Blood says:

    Well we got our world series finally – guess my grandkids can watch the next one. BAD MOVE! We love ya Tito! FIRE JOHN HENRY

  21. Jim says:

    The arrogance of the Red Sox and the Red Sox fans has been partially vindicated by the epic collapse of the team this season. Karma is a real pain in the rear end, folks. I can only hope for many more disastrous seasons for the team and their supporters, perhaps then a little class and humility will be injected into an otherwise vapid wasteland of hubris.

  22. mrunpc says:

    Pitching, pitching, pitching. Just like the days of old revisited, September for the Sox brought me back to ALL of the frustrating days, weeks, months, and years of good hitting teams and LOUSY pitching staffs!!!

    WHAT the H is up with keeping Wakefield? Do they feel sorry for him or something? And Lackey…perfect name for him.

    1. Suze says:

      You are 100% right. While we’re at it lets get rid of Pap who blames players for his incompetence.

  23. Chris says:

    Joe Torre welcome to Red Sox nation. I love Torre and he or someone like him in the managers role is what’s needed in Boston.

  24. sam says:

    Theo, get out of Red Sox Nation and take your bum players with you. Rock on Terry! You will be missed.

  25. Tos says:

    Tito – you ended 86 years of misery in 04, and then put a cherry on top in 07, this city and ALL Sawx fans everywhere thank you boss. The players had their heads up their @sses, and all that “greatest team ever” hype got to their heads. You’re the best skipper this club’s seen and possibly will ever see. Good luck where ever you go.

  26. Orenthal says:

    He wasn’t so beloved here in Philadelphia, so I’m happy to see he earned the love of the fans in Boston. He’ll land on his feet.

  27. Tee Kay says:

    There’s an old saying that goes “It’s hard to follow a class act”. Terry is a class act and will win another championship with another team. I see 2012 as the year the consecutive sell-out games end. Some fans won’t want to pay the highest ticket prices in baseball anymore to see other teams in the post-season.

  28. SerfCityHereWeCome says:

    Well, as brutal as that was it still didn’t dethrone the 2004 Yanks as the most epic gag-fest in history, or even match the triple-choke of the 2006-08 Mets, really, IMO. While I’m mortally ashamed to admit that I was born in NYC before fleeing to TX, I think I’d consider selling my soul to see the Yanks get kicked to the curb by the Rays after they dragged them into the playoffs just to flip the bird at Red Sox Nation. I just wish they’d saved blowing a 7-run 8th-inning lead for a game 7 instead… A particular year always has at least some redeeming value if the Evil Empire loses their final game in it…better yet their final 162 games.

  29. Don says:

    Annual salary of Lackey, Crawford, and Youkilis = $43 Million

    Annual payroll for the entire TB Rays roster = $41 Million

    For the price of the Sox you could have FOUR entire Rays teams.

    Down here we respect Tito, are jealous that you get to play in baseball’s cathedral, and congratulate you on a fine 5/6th of a season. I hope we can offer you some console by the Rays getting in Yankees face again and knocking their bloated lineup out of the playoffs as well.

    But when looking for a new coach, don’t look south. We love Maddon and the players do as well. He’s pure quality.

    I could say that this was payback for your Bruins last year, but I think the Bolts will take care of that business themselves this year.

    Happy in Tampa

  30. Robin says:

    I am saddened by this news and hate to see Francona go….

  31. Orlandoeagle says:

    I am a Yankee fan but I have always respected Francona. I think he is a class guy who did a masterful job over the years. Whatever happened this month was a deeper problem beyond anyone’s ability to fix.

  32. kcsparky says:

    I have said and thought for years that if a manager/head coach’s game plan got their team to the playoffs, that they have done their job very well. After that it’s up to the over paid beef on the field to get the job done. The Red Sox players let Tito down….HARD….and should be ashamed to the man. Management is equally ignorant by accepting his resignation as it WILL bite them in coming seasons. Same thing happened to the Seattle Sonics when they fired George Carl…..Office boys just aren’t that bright and players today are totally spoiled brats. If I had the team, Tito would still have a job (would insist on it) and players would face a 15% season payroll fine for lack of give a SH@#. The whole roster needs to be looked at in terms of a complete overhaul. Players don’t care…..fine…..conference with all other owners and let this bunch find work elsewhere. But with all quitters and egotistical “individuals”, they’ll be luck to be flipping burgers in the real worldl

  33. gameczar says:

    it seem to me when your players will not listen to the manager no more,
    because the player are being undermined by some else, other than terry
    i would have to agree with terry, it time to move on.

    i recall a movie called any given sunday, a football movie. where the coach played by al pacino. his player were being undermind by the owners of the club
    that when al said it time to move on. hey terry smart move

  34. Boston_Jarred06 says:

    If you listen to Terry, Theo, and the rest of management’s explanation of why this happened, it’s pretty clear Tito was asked to leave without actually being asked to leave. They didn’t ask him to comeback, but they did ask him to look in the mirror and make the decision for himself, which seems like a cop out for Sox management. Terry has way to much class to ask for another season after the boys upstairs gave him the implication that he wasn’t needed anymore. These are the same guys that paid $103M in total for some lousy Asian pitcher. Oh well…another 86 years I guess.

  35. john henry says:

    do’nt blame me terry wanted to go . i did not fire him in spite of what you may
    have herd or read . it was terry’s call the orgination will sorely miss him.

  36. jack coyote says:

    The guy brought two WS titles to the BoTox, an orgainzation that has been the definition of futility. Tito should have been made part owner. As a Yankee fan, glad to see Yanks have to face a Francona prepared team in Boston anymore.

  37. tonyoyz says:

    Right on to Tiger Fan. That reversal comment was sweet. As a transplanted fan myself I have only one regret about the Tigers and Rays—only one can go to the big show.
    I have to say that the Sox fans are easily the most annoying at any game I’ve attended at the Trop. The taunting and bragging that always goes on are in direct contrast to how Rays fans now say almost nothing to Sox fan in deference to his humiliation.
    PS: It never would have been pronounced ‘Dice K’ if not for the comedian Andrew ‘Dice’ Clay. It was cute in the beginning but got increasingly stupid sounding as time went on.

  38. redsoxnationNOMORE says:

    *****The redsox blew all the games for one simple reason*****
    they didnt care. They were too busy drinking before the games in the clubhouse and dugout, too busy staying out late partying before next day early games. Team was so disrespectful especially to the fans who paid all this money to see them. Working as a clubhouse support staff it was disgusting to see these over paid adults act like 19 year old college kids

  39. tonyoyz says:

    There you have it! Do the fans get that attitude from the players or is it the other way around?

  40. cinque says:

    First of all, it wasn’t “his decision” to leave the Red Sox since that decision was made 2 weeks ago and not by him. Any manager of any team is supposed to get his team ready for the season. Francona didn’t as witnessed by their horrendous April. Add on the record setting month of September and while it’s easy to blame most of the players, once again, it’s Francona’s job to motivate. I just think it’s fantastic that a team whose payroll equals just 3 of Boston’s overpaid non-performers, is now in the play-offs. But then again, I guess it was “God’s will”. haha

    1. john henry says:

      how do you know what decided were you in our meetings
      with terry, theo ,larry and I ? i’m telling you it was terry
      who decided to leave .we wanted him to stay DON’T
      BLAME THE OWNERSHIP FOR TERRY LEAVING!!!!!!
      BLAME US FOR THE FAILURE ON THE FIELD.

      1. gramps says:

        If that’s your position, then let ‘Theo’ talk to the “Cubs’!

        gramps

  41. Terry F. says:

    Just to let everyone know, the new “Red Sox Suck” t-shirts will be on sale Monday.

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