Sep 21, 2011; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona (47) prior to a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Terry Francona Still Bitter, Won't Return For Fenway Celebration

When the Red Sox organization celebrates Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary next Friday an important part of history won’t be there and it’s tragic.

Terry Francona gave the Red Sox two World Series titles in ’04 and ’07–the first coming after 86 years of heartbreak in Boston–and he will play no part in the Red Sox’ celebration of the last century.

This all comes after Francona and the Sox endured a historic collapse to end the 2011 season which resulted in his firing two days after the regular season ended, but it didn’t end there. Arguably the best manager to inhabit Fenway Park’s home dugout had his name smeared by “unnamed sources” on his way out the door–which was inexcusable to him and rightly so.

This is what Tito said about his decision not to attend the event.

“It’s a shame. I’m sure they’ll have a great event and I was part of a lot of that stuff there, but I just can’t go back there and start hugging people and stuff without feeling a little bit hypocritical.’’

The first three words our old friend said described the situation perfectly. It is a shame, but who could blame him? Bob Hohler of the Globe reported just days after the season ended that “unnamed club sources” told him an addiction to pain killers may have affected Terry Francona’s ability to manage the team.

Tito said Larry Lucchino called him to extend an invite for him to come back and celebrate the teams historic day.

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.

The fact that the situation has resulted in this is tragic to say the least. Maybe Tito wasn’t in the place in 2011, maybe he did take painkillers, maybe he was in pain? No matter what the situation, Terry Francona should not have been disrespected the way he was. To kick the guy–who brought us a World Series title after 86 years–while he’s on his way out the door is unfathomable to me.

Because “unnamed club sources” decided to leak information that was likely skewed, we now get to celebrate Fenway’s 100th Anniversary without the most integral part of the century.


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Tags: (2007) 100th Anniversary 2004 Bob Hohler Century Fenway Park Globe Red Sox Tito

  • cpasitesolutions

    Definitely too bad.  I don’t really buy into the pain killers thing.  I watched pretty much every game of the season and didn’t think he looked any different on the very last game of the season than he did on the first.  It’s tough because clearly there needed to be some big-time changes for the Sox.  Their demise at the end of the season was embarrassing.  If Terry Francona was the person at the center of that I don’t think pain killers were what made him an ineffective manager.  He’s managing a lot of personalities, THAT was probably the cause of it.  He’ll definitely be missed during the celebration.

  • John Green

    I agree, I think a change was certainly warranted but the kick on the way out wasn’t necessary. Not everybody agreed with his style of managing but for the most part it was successful. Tragic that it went down this way. One of the best to ever manage the Red Sox.

  • Derek Stykalo

     @cpasitesolutions I personally think that Tito not attending is a complete travesty.  Here’s a guy who was so instrumental in the two championships and he’s been cast as a scapegoat by the owners.  The three headed monster are a joke and should be ashamed the way they treated Tito.  He should be there and quite possibly throw out the first pitch.  It’s a damn shame, but I can’t say I blame him either.  The wound is still fresh. 

  • EarlNash

    Don’t go away mad, Tee-Doh, just go away…
    Francona won’t be at the 100th anniversary game?  Cancel my tickets!