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.”
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after he provided the big hit in the 10th inning driving in 3 runs as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-1. Mookie talks about playing behind a pitcher like Chris Sale, and the amount of strikeouts from Sale lightens his work in the outfield.
In the final hour Christian talks about the Celtics and their poor performance and how they can not let a player like Rondo beat them. The Aaron Hernandez saga in Christian's opinion is similar to a TV show. In the late night low light a mystic has predicted that WW3 will be starting in a few weeks and Christian wonders how do you become a mystic and can you make a career out of it.
Christian talks about the Patriots visiting the White House and Gronk interrupting Sean Spicer during his press conference. Aaron Hernandez was the big story of the day and alot of people had their theories of what happened and why now. The Bruins lose another close one to the Senators and Christian talks about how the offense needs to perform better because they got a great game from the goalie and defense.
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.
Hour 2. Mut, Gerry, and Kirk compare LeBron to Bird. Is he the second best player of all-time if he wins a fourth title? Headlines with Kirk features sound from “Hot Chocolate.” Rear Admiral broke down the B’s playoff series with Arcand.
HOUR - The last hour of the show was all over the place as the guys did a dry rehearsal of a wacky video they're supposed to record next week. They also look at the biggest games in the NFL next year, and Fauria rips off "Keefer Madness" with his "Fauria Euphoria."
HOUR 3 - The guys get into expectations for the Celtics who are down 2-0 to the Rajon Rondo-less Bulls. They also wonder how much the Celtics are listening to Brad Stevens. Christian is excited for Caitlyn Jenner's nude spread.
HOUR 2 - News breaks that Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. Rondo was dynamite in game 2. The guys discuss whether or not the Celtics now stand a chance.
Last two hours focused on our winter teams as they struggle in their first round match-ups.
Finish out the week on Freestyle Friday talking mostly about the Aaron Hernandez suicide and how it will affect his family in hour #2.
Hour One of freestyle Friday focused mostly on the Celtics and their matchup vs the now Rondo-less Bulls.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ben sits down with Diego Fagundez to talk about Diego's rise through the ranks of the academy, his accomplishment of reaching 10,000 minutes as a homegrown player, and how he has evolved his game.
Rich and Ben discuss the Celtics poor performances in Games 1 & 2, how we have to change our predictions, Rajon Rondo's thumb injury, and who is to blame for the terrible start to the series.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the entire week of K&C shows in one mega Friday edition
Michele McPhee joins Kirk, Gerry, and Alex to talk about Hernandez’s suicide and the accusation that she may have contributed to his suicide.More from this show
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.More from this show
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.More from this show
Hour 1. Mut believes Hernandez may have killed himself because of a threat. Trump is “done” with Brady after the quarterback skipped the White House visit.More from this show
Hour 2. Mut, Gerry, and Kirk compare LeBron to Bird. Is he the second best player of all-time if he wins a fourth title? Headlines with Kirk features sound from “Hot Chocolate.” Rear Admiral broke down the B’s playoff series with Arcand.More from this show