Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, in his first interview since the press conference to discuss his departure from the Sox after eight years, told The Big Show that he had reached a point where he was starting to doubt whether he was the right person to continue the job. That said, he also acknowedged that had the Red Sox picked up the two-year, $8.75 million option on his contract, he would not have fought the organization about the idea of continuing in Boston through 2013.
"No. No. No," Francona said when asked if he would have refused had the Sox picked up the two-year option. "[But] some of these were personal conversations and I hope you respect that, because there are guys, eight years together is a lot, and I have a lot of respect for [the Red Sox owners] and what they do. There were some things that were voiced in meetings that I viewed as maybe not being supported. Maybe they didn’t [view them that way]. Everybody has their own opinion. I don’t want to just throw these guys under the bus, because that’s not how I feel."
Ultimately, however, since the Sox did not pick up the two-year option and instead set up a meeting last Friday in which Francona met with GM Theo Epstein, Assistant GM Ben Cherington, principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and CEO Larry Lucchino, Francona and the team had time to reach what was characterized as the "mutual" decision to part ways.
"I think it was kind of mutual, and I think that’s what we said," said Francona. "I was asked about the support thing and I said you’ve got to be all-in. I think the fact that I was up there having a meeting meant that there were some questions. I understand that. I’ve said that all along. Ownership has not only the right, but the obligation, to get the right person. I understand that. I probably wished it was me for a long time, but I was starting to realize that maybe it wasn’t, even if we did win. Like I said, there were things that were probably bothering me that maybe didn’t bother me before, and if that’s the case, then I need to figure it out or maybe go somewhere else."
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