As a die-hard Red Sox fan, I am definitely sad to see Terry Francona leave as manager. For a team that hadn’t won a World Series in 86 years, winning twice in 8 years is pretty damn good. I understand that the Sox choked this year in September, blowing a 9-game lead while going 7-20. But was this really his fault?
Major League Baseball is a game played by grown men. The manager may set the line-ups, but he can’t go out and hit homeruns or throw strikes. It’s on the players to do this, and they didn’t do it.
It has also been said that he lost control of the locker room, and that players were drinking, eating fried chicken, and playing video games during games. Again, can you really blame Francona for that? These players are getting paid tens of millions of dollars to play a game, and Francona is getting paid millions of dollars to manage a baseball team, not babysit his players. Had the story ended a little differently, with the Red Sox going to the playoffs and maybe winning the World Series, Francona would have been praised for allowing his players to be themselves and not trying to over-control the locker room. But the fact is that they did choke, so there must be someone to blame.
In the end, maybe its better for Francona that he moves on. He managed the second most number of games of any Red Sox manager ever, and maybe there is a reason for that. Maybe you can only manage for so long under the pressure of Red Sox Nation before you need to move on. I’m sure Terry Francona will find another managerial job, and wherever he goes, that team is lucky to have him.
I’m curious to see who the Red Sox get to replace Terry Francona. Whoever he is, he will have some big Sox to fill.