“Larry called me yesterday,’’ Francona said Tuesday. “I was in a phone store in Arizona. I had three people standing around me. I was at a little bit of a disadvantage. He got a little perturbed at me, telling me I was being unfair to them. I called him back last night and left him a message. He called me back and we ended up getting into an argument. I just feel like someone in the organization went out of their way to hurt me and the more we talked I realized we’re just not on the same wavelength. They’re probably better off going forth and leaving me out of it.’’
“It was pretty raw at the end of the year. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of moving on from that. At the same time, I’m never going to forget that. For me to go back and start waving and hugging, I’m just not comfortable doing that. I made it pretty clear to John Henry."
"There is no way you can be around people for eight years and not have loyalties that will never end. I want Pedroia to hit 1,000. I want Jon Lester to win every game he ever pitches. That’s kind of the shame of it. But I’m also not comfortable coming back. That’s the shame of it. It’s not a vendetta. I just don’t feel comfortable coming back because of what happened and that’s a shame because I do feel awfully strong ties to so many people there.’’
If you were holding out hope that Terry Francona was going to bury the hatchet with the Sox, you can probably stop now.
Two things were made clear in that article: First, Francona is still deeply hurt by the Globe's hit piece and the treatment he received from the Sox during his dismissal. To skip Fenway's 100th anniversary simply to avoid having to shake hands with Henry and Lucchino and put on a fake smile for the cameras is a pretty big statement. Second, Terry has no interest in trying to paint Henry and Lucchino in any type of positive light. He's being blunt and completely honest about this entire situation. Anytime he's asked about how he's feeling, or what's going on, he's firing from the hip.
If you look close enough, you can actually see the steam coming off the top of Lucchino's head each time Francona talks about last September.
And how about Lucchino? Is it me, or is that man becoming a caricature of himself at this point? Telling Francona that he's being unfair to the Sox? Are you kidding me? I wouldn't be surprised, nor disappointed, if Francona actually punches him in the face the next time he broadcasts a game in Boston.
At the end of all of this, you just have to feel for Francona. He lost his job. He got destroyed in the hit piece. He won't be able to attend the Sox gigantic celebration, despite being responsible for most of the recent positive history. The last 7-8 months of his life have to have been absolute hell.
And until the Sox get this 100th anniversary celebration over with, and people stop pestering him about attending, it'll still hang over him.
On Page 2, Beckett gets ready to face the Fenway crowd
No offense to any paying customer holding a ticket to today’s home opener at Fenway Park [map], but Josh Beckett [stats] hasn’t lost sleep over whether he will be cheered or booed as he loosens in the bullpen shortly before 2 p.m.
“I don’t know. We’ll see,” he said. “That’s nothing I can control.”
“I know everybody gets to see it driving up, but it’s really exciting to drive up and see all that stuff on the day you’re pitching,” Beckett said. “Driving up Boylston (Street), waiting at the crosswalks, everybody’s already down there. There’s probably not another place like it. It’s pretty neat.”
Herald - Josh Beckett not worried by greeting
If you plan on booing Beckett today, you're a jerk. It's your right as a ticket holding member of the Fenway crowd, but you're still a huge jerk. And, just so we're clear: If he had pitched well against Detroit, all would have been forgiven, but since he struggled in one game, he needs to feel your wrath?
It's tough to make Papelbon look smart, but you're doing a good job.
Rest of the links:
Herald - What happens in Vegas when Sox collapse ... | Fenway Park gets better with age | Pops & circumstance surround today | Globe - In this situation, they aren't helpless | Fenway Park's most memorable moments | WEEI - How (and why) the 2012 Red Sox were built this way | CSNNE - Red Sox - Rays Opening Day Series Preview | Examining the Francona-Red Sox 'crapstorm' | Francona regrets controversy over anniversary snub | ESPN - Video: As old as Fenway | Somewhere, is Tito smiling at 1-5 start?