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.”
Dale and Holley with Matt Chatham discuss the details.
Michael McCann of SI.com joins the Dale and Holley show to talk about the latest news surrounding the legal case Brady vs the NFL
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the return of LeGarrette Blount to Patriots training camp on Saturday, the first day of full pads practice for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
Rob Bradford is joined by Weei.com’s John Tomase to talk about what the Red Sox might do now that Sam Kennedy has been named President of the team. Tomase raises the very interesting possibility of the Red Sox bringing in a veteran executive to call the shots when it comes to player acquisition.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox rookie, who had four hits, hit two home runs, and scored five runs in the win over the Rays at Fenway
Joe and Dave are joined by Pedro who was at the game and had his number 45 retired by the Red Sox in a very touching pregame ceremony. Pedro talks about going into the Hall of Fame, his time in Boston and love for the game of baseball.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
The one and only El Prez from Barstool on deflategate.
The top stories of the day.
The great Michael Wilbon joined us.
Greg and Lou defend some points they made yesterday about the Patriots defense.
Although Christian has all the power in NFL media circles, he's got NO game in his own relationship.
Chris Mortensen finally deleted his inaccurate tweet from January when he wrote that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs were underinflated by 2lbs. Mort made the decision after speaking to Christian on the phone shortly before. Listen to Christian, Merloni and Dickerson tell the story here.
Dale, Matt Chatham and Butch Stearns start the show by discussing the news of the day... THE deleted tweet.
We close out the day with some of the best in sound that you may have missed.
We discuss the induction of Big Will, and what he meant to this team for over a decade.
Mikey rants about Sandoval's weight, his lack of extra base hits, and his overall poor production in the month of July. Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani join in.
Mikey Adams lets the Red Sox have it and welcomes callers who do the same. The Red Sox (stink)!
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola get 36 glorious minutes between games of a Monday doubleheader, and after an 11-1 Red Sox loss, to vent about the declining state of the team.
Michael McCann of SI.com joins the show to talk about the latest news surrounding the legal case Brady vs the NFL
Mort finally talks about snubbing WEEI, Jay Pharoah imitates athletes, and Ronda Rousey kicks some ass.
Its Tom Brady's 38th birthday and we look back at some of his biggest milestones.
Mike Florio gave us his thoughts on Brady's appeal.More from this show
The one and only El Prez from Barstool on deflategate.More from this show
Chris Mortensen finally deleted his inaccurate tweet from January when he wrote that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs were underinflated by 2lbs. Mort made the decision after speaking to Christian on the phone shortly before. Listen to Christian, Merloni and Dickerson tell the story here.More from this show
The top stories of the day.More from this show