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.”
Christian and Chris talk about overrated Pats players this season and in the past and then get into the QB issue on the team. They talk about all three guys, what they bring to the table and if they can keep their head above water without the best QB in the league for 4 weeks. Then...Karlos Williams was released by the Bills - should the Pats consider adding the overweight second year running back? Christian also brings up Dante Scarnecchia and gets Price's opinion on if this one man can truly improve a shaky offensive line.
Christian Arcand is in for Tanguay for NFL Sunday with Chris Price. The guys talk about the victory over the Bears, Jimmy G's progress and their expectations for the Pats defense this season. Arcand thinks that there are more holes on the D than some fans realize.
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Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
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Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1
David Price pitched a gem and Andrew Benintendi makes one of the top highlight catches of the year as the Sox take the first game of four against the Rays, 6-2. Christian Arcand recaps the game and takes all of your Sox calls.
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DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Minihane, Callahan and Mutnansky dive further into the Brady - Belichick dynamic as Tom's four-game suspension gets closer.
Gerry, Kirk, and Mut take NY Giants coach Ben McAdoo and SI writer Peter King to task for not addressing the Josh Brown domestic violence story.
Kirk and Callahan with Mut discuss the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick pressers from Tuesday and whether they reveal signs of a rift between the coach and QB.
NESN has hired a new anchor who has a history dating pro players. With the trend of that happening in Boston the last few years, does NESN need to keep an eye on Kacie McDonnell?
Now that center Bryan Stork has been cut, should we be concerned with the Patriots O-Line? Glenn, Lou and Christian talk about the Patriots O-Line and how Jimmy G will handle it in the first 4 weeks.
Sam Kennedy of the Red Sox calls in to talk to the guys about the proposed renovations at Fenway Park and if Jonathan Papelbon will ever sign.
We check in with the red hot rook of the Red Sox live from Tampa and talk to him about his first experiences in the big leagues.
We check in with John Farrell from Tampa for our weekly feature as the red hot Red Sox look to keep it going for two more wins at the Trop.
In honor of the announcement that the Sox will be among the team's at Tim Tebow's workout next week, we look at four pro athletes who tried their hand in a second sport and it didn't work out too well for them.
Kirk Minihane sits down with former producer Chris Curtis? Or is it current producer Chris Curtis? Either way, Kirk and Chris talk about what happened in their previous tenure together, where it went wrong, and why Curtis is now back with the show.
Kirk Minihane and Gary Tanguay sit down together on Enough About Me for the first time. These two divisive figures talk about Gary's career and his late evolution into a controversial broadcaster. Nobody is spared from Kirk and Gary's wrath on this episode and it will surely make some people at the two sports radio stations very uncomfortable.
Kirk Minihane sits down with Mut to answer questions from the fans. Kirk and Mut get into the issues with Dino, the other hosts at the station, Kirk's issues with drugs in the past, and the love fest between Kirk and Mut.
Jerry is joined by Red Sox legend Bill Lee to talk about his new biopic "Spaceman," Lee's unique philosophy, political beliefs, drug use and what makes him a cultural icon decades after he retired from baseball.
Christian Fauria and Dr. Gill talk about the process and steps football players have to take when rehabbing injuries during the off season. Focusing on Dion Lewis, Nate Solder, and Sebastian Vollmer
Week two of the Preseason is underway so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson of the “Fantasy Football Hour” to offer some mid-August updates and opinion. In today’s show Jim and Pete offer analysis from the Thursday Night Patriots game and discuss LeGarrette Blount and the Patriots Running Attack in depth. Jim and Pete key on some recent news surrounding lots of players including Seattle’s and Chicago’s backfield, then get into the incredibly deep Wide Receiver position. Make sure to tune in for more on Sunday morning at 8:00am for “The Fantasy Football Hour.” Enjoy!
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