This morning, the Boston Globe’s Bob Hohler put out all the dirty laundry on the Red Sox and what might’ve caused the September collapse. The accusations in the article are flat out disturbing. Players tanking because they weren’t too fond of management rescheduling games due to Hurricane Irene? Pitchers drinking beer, eating fried chicken (probably Popeye’s since it’s down the street), and playing video games? Ortiz openly suggesting using Alfredo Aceves as a starter is a disrespectful act? All covered in this article.
But probably the most disturbing of them all, as Chuck mentioned earlier, is what they had to say about Terry Francona. It pretty much suggests that Francona was addicted to pills, albeit in a roundabout way. A flat out ridiculous claim in itself. But then this article puts together a three punch combination in order to knock out Francona’s credibility as a manager:
Here’s the straight right:
Francona spent the season living in a hotel after he moved out of the Brookline home he shared with Jacque, his wife of nearly 30 years. But he adamantly denied his marital problems affected his job performance.
Really? Is this another necessary topic that we as fans need to know? How come this wasn’t mentioned at ALL throughout the whole season? But of course this CLEARLY affected Francona, just like it affected Lackey on the mound when his wife was going through chemo earlier this year. And how it affected him again in the summer when he decided to file for divorce, but that’s neither here or there.
Before I can say anymore, the left hook is coming this way!
In the face of his team’s corroded spirit, Francona became increasingly ineffectual, according to team sources. Francona was burdened not only by the frustration of coping with the least dedicated group of players of his Boston tenure, but by the likelihood that Sox owners would not exercise his contractual option for 2012.
Yes, I’m sure that Francona was totally thinking me first in this situation. Like when he tried to rally the troops in a players only meeting after laying a 14-0 beatdown on the Blue Jays. He was trying to save his ass! Had nothing to do with the fact that he didn’t like the pitchers drinking beer and playing video games on game days when they weren’t throwing! TITO ONLY CARES ABOUT TITO!
But wait for it… wait for it….
Here comes the uppercut:
While Francona coped with his marital and health issues, he also worried privately about the safety of his son, Nick, and son-in-law, Michael Rice, both of whom are Marine officers serving in Afghanistan.
So not only was he popping pills and trying to save his marriage and job, but he was also worried about his son and son-in-law because they were deployed. That explains why Crawford couldn’t catch that ball in left field that tied the final game of the season. Or how Robert Andino made everyone in the Sox bullpen his bitches. Or the fact that these group of guys who are paid a good chunk of change couldn’t act like professionals and take their job seriously. Nope it was all Tito’s fault.
Now it’s bad enough that Francona is no longer the manager of the Sox, but what has he done that merits these disgusting accusations? Why stab him in the back like this?
WEEI’s Mut and Merloni tackle the subject head on and they’re right: no one gets away scot free.
The Sox front office and PR staff have become credibility serial killers. If they have someone on payroll that isn’t happy and following their way, they will do whatever it takes to make that person look like they’re the scum of the Earth. They did it to Nomar after they flirted with A-Rod in the offseason and after the Sox won their first title, nobody seemed to care. Then they did it to Manny, because they didn’t want to deal with his attitude so after a second title and a statistical slip on his part, they somehow got fans to accept the notion that trading the greatest hitter that my generation will ever see was not only necessary, but the right thing to do.
Now they’re trying to do the same to Tito and they went in for the kill. They left no stone unturned. They dug out every last skeleton that was in his closet for the fans to see and so they can shout from the top of 4 Yawkey Way that they have started to right the ship. That this organization will be back on top again.
This time the ownership isn’t getting away scot free. You don’t attack the most successful manager in this franchise’s history and get away with it. Very few are sipping the Kool-Aid anymore and now the only way for people to believe in this team again is when the ownership takes that knife out of Francona’s back and puts it into their dark heart.
Good luck trying to spin this into something positive.