Somewhere, Terry Francona Is Laughing

Photo By Rubenstein (Terry Francona)

(Reposting from my old personal sports blog–which I mention only as evidence that this is NOT 20/20 hindsight! Link to the original post is below.)

Terry Francona got shafted

October 19th, 2011

So let’s get this straight: the Red Sox get a new manager, and in the space of less than a decade he not only presides over the breaking of the infamous “curse”–but he also presides over two World Series titles, the greatest postseason series comeback in baseball history (down 3-0 to the the Yankees, their hated rivals, who incidentally were fielding a hell of a team themselves), AND season after season of exciting baseball. Amidst it all, this manager shows grace and modesty, never turning on his players–or, for that matter, opposing players or managers–or the fans. Always mild-mannered, affable and diplomatic, with moments of good humor thrown in, he’s a great example of on-and-off-field managerial grace. They have an end-of-season collapse that, granted, was not only historic but quite epic…but still, we’re talking one month out of almost ten years.  And immediately the character assassination begins? I mean, it isn’t like we’re talking about some caustic loudmouth or two-faced manipulator, which could be said about many a ‘successful’ major league manager. This guy, by pretty much all accounts, was good to the fans, good with the media, and good to his players, a three-tiered balancing act that’s not to be taken for granted. And all of a sudden, because his easygoing managerial style finally wore off on the yahoos and knuckleheads that comprised much of his clubhouse–HE is the fall guy. And they don’t come to his defense. I think it’s just flat-out disgraceful the way Terry Francona was treated in Boston; he was one of the few reasons I was actually willing to root for them one some occasions (I’m a Met fan, and an unabashed detractor of most things Boston-affiliated–and the two facts are only loosely related), and if there’s one silver lining in all this where I’m concerned, now I can go back to more or less constantly rooting for the Red Sox to go back to stinking. I would LOVE if the Mets got him, and I think that I’ll be pulling for the next team he manages to do well. You know, unless it’s the Braves or the Phillies.

2012 postscript: Bobby Valentine? They chose Bobby Valentine to right THAT ship? The guy who got thrown out of a game and sat in the dugout with sunglasses and a moustache on? I’m a Met fan, and I think Valentine’s often a caricature of himself. And now the Bosox have begun a Marlins-esque fire sale…yipe. It was a good run while it lasted, Sox fans.

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