Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
In the days and weeks after the disclosure of Lester’s cancer, Francona protected Lester’s privacy furiously, admonishing any reporter who attempted to reach Lester’s family. The manager guarded the pitcher and his family as he would have protected his own family. Before starting treatment in September, Lester visited Francona at Fenway. Then, after a single treatment at Mass. General, Lester went home and was treated at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
“Tito was great with me,” said Lester. “I don’t think with any other manager I could have had that comfort level.”
The manager and the cancer-stricken pitcher cut a deal. Francona didn’t need a lot of information or detail, but he wanted to hear from Lester after every treatment.
Another juicy excerpt from the Francona/Shaughnessy book. This one is intended to tug at the emotions, as it focuses on Jon Lester's cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery (albeit in a pretty short section) and Terry Francona's role in it.
It confirms the most disappointing thing about Francona's departure: Jon Lester was once very close to him, but for whatever reason didn't really stick up for him when Francona left Boston. For all Francona did for the team -- and for Lester personally -- it was surprising to see some of the players not come to more of a defense. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz were the only ones I recall (and what I found revisiting the infamous Hohler smear campaign) taking responsibility and defending Francona.
I haven't read the book yet, but I've enjoyed the excerpts provided. Francona has been interviewed virtually everywhere about it, and it sounds like he didn't break any major stories, but it should still provide a recap of the best run of Red Sox baseball in the club's history.