Terry Francona won two World Series titles with the Red Sox, compiling a 744-552 record in the process. But after a 7-20 September that led to the greatest September collapse in baseball history, Tito and the Red Sox have parted ways.
A major league source has confirmed that Terry Francona and the Boston Red Sox have agreed to part ways.
Francona is meeting with team ownership at 10 a.m. The team has two options on Francona's contract, for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, which it has chosen not to exercise. Francona, however, is also ready to move on, and is in agreement with the decision.
Francona will go down as the greatest manager in Sox history. And while people have railed on him for not pubicly challenging his team enough, it's that level-headedness with the media and trust in established stars to work themselves out of funks that has earned him great respect within the clubhouse.
However, something beyond our crappy September led to this. This is the most telling bit of news
The Daily News has been told by sources that Francona is out as Red Sox manager in a meeting this morning with team owner John Henry. The sources said that the decision to end the Sox' relationship with Francona was Henry's call, not general manager Theo Epstein's...:
It starts to add some perspective to why a respected manager of a major-market team that can simply buy its way out of trouble would agree to leave. It's not to say meddling ownership is the only cause, but the signs point to that being part of it. Whether the owners meddled in the day-to-day management or the signing of certain players... we don't know for sure yet. But I get the feeling we're going to find out.
And don't thing the players are blame-free. That's the next shoe to drop in all of this.
This collapse was as ugly as it gets. A lot of people are going to want to wash this stink off of them as soon as they can... so get ready for an avalanche of "it wasn't my fault" stories.
Meanwhile, Tito will hook on somewhere else. People are talking about the White Sox. Imagine the shit-storm around here if he leads the White Sox to a title.
Stay tuned for updates as this meeting between Francona and the Sox continues.