NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Taking his turn among the 30-minute managers' media sessions at the baseball winter meetings Wednesday afternoon, a jovial Terry Francona talked openly about his departure from Boston.
"I think it’s a little bit of a misrepresentation," he said. "If you really think about it, all of September (2011) wasn’t like me and you guys were feuding. We had an awful September. It was a tough, uphill battle for us. We were like leaking oil every day. But our biggest concern was trying to get to the playoffs.
"We didn’t deal with any of those issues until after the season. It’s kind of weird. I didn’t have a chance to sit back and think about not having that job. Two days later, I was defending myself. It was hurtful. And where it went from there was disappointing. Time does have a way of … I don’t want to go through life being, I don’t know if vindictive is the right word, but that’s not healthy. I had too many people there that are too special.
"I was disappointed in the way it ended, and I’ll probably always feel that way, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great seven years and five months."
Francona also talked about the book he has coming out, chronicling his eight years as manager of the Red Sox.
"Fallout? I hope people buy it," he said of book he co-authored with Dan Shaughnessy. "I spent a lot of time. No, I think it's more‑‑ it's eight years of a lot of funny, some emotional, a couple sad things. I think Dan busted his rear end on this thing. The fact that, first of all, me and him were together doing it was a shock to me." He then elaborated on doing the book with Shaughnessy, saying, "First time I picked him up, I told him, you have to blackout the windows because I don't want people to see you driving me around. It ended up being probably‑‑ I had a year where I could do it because under normal circumstances, you can't do it. And it ended up being kind of fun.
"I think, for the most part, if somebody ends up being bent out of shape, that was not ever the intent. It was just to kind of tell the story, and I hope that people take it that way because I think it's a really good story."
Francona also touched on his return for the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park.
"I was conflicted,” he said. “I wasn’t planning on doing it. I talked to some people who told me maybe I was being a little self centered. I wasn’t too thrilled about that. I was glad to be there and I was glad to leave. ... Besides that one guy in the third row that used to scream at me, Boston is a wonderful place. If you care about baseball, it’s a wonderful place. Sometimes things happen in that city. You can’t have all that good without having some of the bad, and I got caught up in it."
Francona talked about his Indians' failed pursuit of free agent Shane Victorino, who turned down Cleveland's offer of four years, $44 million to sign with the Red Sox at three years, $39 million.
"You know what, it's kind of hard to fault a guy like Shane Victorino for going to Boston," he said. "When guys get to be a free agent, they earn that right to go wherever they want, and it's a great baseball town.
Again, I have a lot of respect for him and the way he went about his decision. So it's kind of hard to fault somebody for that."
The Indians' manager also joked when asked about his perception of John Farrell's coaching staff with the Red Sox, saying, "I want to be careful on rating everything that Boston does. That's not my job anymore. I'm a manager of another team. I think, being totally honest, I think Boston's biggest weakness is their manager. I want to kind of stay away from that. I don't need to rate everything John does. That's not going to work."
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Greg and Chris talk with Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston in hour 2 of NFL Sunday to discuss a variety of offseason happenings with the Pats and throughout the league. Greg and Chris also get into the NFL Draft and where Mariota and Winston will go.
Mike Reiss calls the guys to talk about the offseason news for the Pats. He talks about the Pats/Jets tampoering fiasco, free agency, where he sees Ridley and Connolly ending up, if the Patriots would be interested in Reggie Wayne and more.
In the first hour of the show, Greg and Chris discuss the news coming out of the owners' meetings this week and rule changes. Belichick's blow-up over the league not wanting to spend on endzone cameras was well documented and the guys react. They also talk about the Jets ridiculous tampering charges, free agents still lingering out there, where Stevan Ridley will land and the RB position in New England. Dickerson and Price briefly discuss the adventures of Tom Brady before being joined by WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia to talk all things Pats in the offseason.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Joe and Alex talked with the Sox AGM about the state of the team as Opening Day approaches.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
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It's a big hour #2 for the Sunday Skate dudes - they talk about the B's defenseman and what the future looks like at that position, with both moves the team can make and younger guys in the AHL. They also get into the Bruins philosophy on bringing guys up and sending them back down and how players deal with that. Finally, the boys are joined by Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to discuss EVERYTHING.
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Mike Mulloy joins Chris in the studio to talk Raw and Wrestlemania.
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Scott Cordischi and John Rooke take your calls, texts, tweets and emails on the week's hot topics. The boys are back together in studio! It’s a bittersweet reunion due to the end of the NCAABB Tournament run for the PC Friars, so we say “see you next season” to the play by play team of John Rooke and Joe Hassett. We don’t waste time looking ahead with the issues confronting the men’s basketball program at URI and PC. On the table is the argument over the validity of RPI, outgoing coveted players, incoming recruits and whether Coaches Dan Hurley and Ed Cooley will remain after their successful 2014 season. Some time is spent on the NFL owners meetings, with the whiny Baltimore Ravens and a ranting Bill Belichick. We close March in all it’s madness, with “Three Things” where we celebrate the open mic and a young man’s passion .More from this show