Former Red Sox and current Indians manager Terry Francona, in an interview on WEEI’s Big Show on Wednesday afternoon to discuss his new book (“Francona: The Red Sox Years”), co-authored with Dan Shaughnessy, suggested that while he was unhappy with the fashion in which his Sox career came to an end after eight years, he still believes the Red Sox have a strong ownership group. While he suggested in the book that the group of principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and CEO Larry Lucchino represent a group that likes but does not love the game, he said that he did not mean for that statement to come across as disrespectful.
“I think they’re real good owners. In fact, I said that in the book. I wouldn’t have written the script – the way it ended, I wouldn’t have written it for me, personally. That doesn’t mean they’re not good owners,” said Francona. “I actually think they’re really good owners. I was disappointed in some of the things, in my communications with them, I was very disappointed. That doesn’t mean they’re not good people or good owners.
“Where some people said it was critical, I didn’t view it that way. I think I went out of my way and called them good owners. They’re not bad people. I had some issues with the way some things were handled. That doesn’t mean they’re bad people nor does it mean they’re bad owners,” he added. “I don’t think that’s saying anything that is disrespectful. … They’ve come in the game and they’re going to leave the game. This is what I’m going to do the rest of my life. I also said in that statement that they’re very good owners. I don’t view that as disrespectful.”
In the book, Francona did suggest that there were times when the team seemed to place greater emphasis on marketing and revenues than winning, as when the team flew back-and-forth across the country to play an exhibition game in Arizona prior to the 2005 season, when the team opened the 2008 campaign in Japan and when batting practice turned into something of a circus as throngs of fans started standing on the warning track between the dugouts.
All of that said, whereas former GM Theo Epstein described the emergence of a “Monster” that started to influence the team’s roster decisions and put a premium on “name” players (as when the team added first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder Carl Crawford in December 2010), Francona said that to his knowledge, personnel decisions were driven by a desire to win.
“I don’t’ think we ever brought players in because of ['the Monster]. I think they wanted to improve the ratings and things like that. They did some surveys. But I know Theo always tried to bring in players he thought could win. That was what our job was,” said Francona. “When they asked me a question, going to Japan, or going to Phx to play an exhibition game, I wanted to give an opinion based on winning baseball games.”
Among the other topics addressed by Francona:
On whether he knows the identity of the individuals in the Red Sox organization who leaked personal information about his last year in Boston after his dismissal: “I actually don’t. I stopped trying. I stopped trying because you hear too much stuff. It wasn’t helpful. It wasn’t helping me get over and get past it. I think there are a lot of people with the Red Sox trying to find out a lot of stuff. It wasn’t doing me any good and it wasn’t healthy, so I just stopped.”
On whether it will be awkward to interact with Red Sox owners: “I don’t know. I haven’t really talked to them anyway. It probably would be a little awkward. … Larry Lucchino, when I got the job in Cleveland, sent me a real nice text message. When they hired John Farrell, I sent him one back. I think Larry likes a good fight. You can throw a punch at him and he’ll throw one back, and the next day you’ll wake up and he’s good to go. I’ve always kind of admired that about him. The other guys, I haven’t really talked to anyway, so I don’t know how it will be.”
On whether he will have a relationship with Red Sox owners going forward: “Probably not. John stopped answering my emails and stuff like that a long time ago. Probably not. I’m not really sure why that happened, but it did, so you move on.”
On his suggestions to Doc Rivers early in 2011 that something was missing with a roster that appeared loaded: “I just never felt, the ’11 team, we never got that personality, that stuff you’re just dying for as a team. We had talent, and that showed for a while, but we never had that team that cared about each other on the field. That was right from the beginning. We worked at it as a stuff. We just never got there. That fell on me. That’s why I was disappointed in myself.”
Patriots DB Duron Harmon joined Glenn, Lou, and Christian, and he discussed the team needing to come together after losing Gronk, and the turnovers in the Jets game can propel them to create more turnovers.
We check in with former Patriot Heath Evans, now with the NFL Network, for his complete analysis on the win over the Jets in NY.
Dale and Michael talk with Patrick Chung after a win over the Jets on Sunday.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about what the Celtics will need to do in order to be considered one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference along with the Cavs.
WEEI's Mike Petraglia talks with Josue Pavon about how the Celtics are looking better with Al Horford back on the court and the overall toughness of this team.
Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen preview the Celtics season. Will Jaylen Brown be an impact rookie and prove he was the right pick at #3? Will the Celtics win the Atlantic Division? Is the season a failure if the Celtics don't advance past the first round of the playoffs?
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase talk with Curt Schilling to get his reaction to Dan Shaughnessy and Jon Heyman's comments about not voting for Curt for the Hall of Fame again based on some of Schilling's comments on social media.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are taking some calls and reaction to their interview with Curt Schilling in regards to Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame voting. We also hear about Rob's upcoming working vacation to the Dominican Republic for the David Ortiz Charity Golf Classic.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are talking about Dan Shaughnessy's column about how he would no longer vote for Curt Schilling for the Hall of Fame. They then talk with Curt Schilling getting his thoughts on the whole situation and whether he would rather make the HoF or the Senate.
Hour two of Saturday Skate after a Bruins 2-1 over Buffalo, with Ken Laird and Rear Admiral debating the status of Krejci, Chara, Krug and Bergeron.
The first hour of Saturday Skate starts up against the third period of Bruins - Sabres, so Ken Laird and Rear Admiral give some Red Sox hot stove and Rob Gronkowski thoughts before moving into Bruins - Sabres game reaction
Ken Laird and Ty Anderson chat Bruins after a 2-1 win in Florida improved the team's record to 5-4.
Damien Woody joined K&C and shared a story regarding a conversation he had with Bill Belichick in the training room in Foxboro.
In the 9 am hour Gerry and Kirk mocked the Belichick press conference and took a call from Jim the Wrestling Goon who is not a fan of Amani Toomer.
In the 8 am hour Gerry and Kirk talked about a brutal answer by Dan Shaughnessy regarding Bill Conlin'sn spot in the Hall of Fame.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian are less than surprised that Bill Belichick won't comment further about Gronk than the released statement. Speaking of statements, how weird is it that the Gronkowski family is releasing joint statements with the Patriots?
Orthopedic surgeon to the pros, Dr. Thomas Gill of Steward Health Care joins Glenn, Lou, and Christian in the wake of Gronk's back injury. He talks about different types of disc injuries, and one type of fusion which could potentially prevent Gronk from playing football. He also commented on the unique situation of a joint statement between the Patriots and the Gronkowskis, and clarified his role in Gronk's arm surgeries.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian wonder how the man who shot former NFL RB Joe McKnight can be free of charges and walking around the streets of New Orleans.
Dale and Michael check in with the playmaker Michael Irvin on a Friday.
We open it up in the final portions of hours 3 and 4 on a Friday.
Hour two in it's entirety.
Kirk Minihane, WEEI Podcast King, talks to the Podcast Godfather Adam Carolla about his new documentary about Le Mans, the backlash from the Election, and his time with Donald Trump on the Apprentice. The audio quality isn't great but the conversation is.
Kirk Minihane is a non-believer, Larry Johnson is a preacher, when Larry found Kirk doesn't believe in God he challenged Kirk to allow him on to the podcast to talk about religion and faith. Kirk and Larry have a tremendous conversation about God and Larry tries to convert Kirk into a believer.
Kirk Minihane sits down with Barstool Sports contributor and podcast host John Feitelberg. Kirk and Feitelberg talk about the rise of barstool, the sale of the website, what it is like to work for Dave Portnoy, and their live podcast shows at the Wilbur Theater.
Ben, Alex, and Russ talk about how Toronto winning the MLS cup will be best for the league, the FIFA Player of the Year award, and the tragedy in Brazil.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis finish out the week recapping the Friday edition of Kirk and Callahan, with critiques of Dale & Holley's Keefe announcement and more.
Kirk & Callahan producers Ken Laird and Chris Curtis are back together after a few days apart to dish about all things K&C show, this after a Thursday Reim-Job.
In the 7 am hour Gerry and Kirk discussed the hiring of Rich Keefe and the announcement yesterday on Dale and Holley.More from this show
In the 9 am hour Gerry and Kirk mocked the Belichick press conference and took a call from Jim the Wrestling Goon who is not a fan of Amani Toomer.More from this show
The worst kept secret in the city is now official - welcome aboard Rich Keefe.More from this show
In the 6 am hour Gerry and Kirk discussed the latest season ending injury for Gronk and the joint statement released by the team last night.More from this show