As the Boston Red Sox season came to an abrupt end Wednesday night, so did the eight-year tenure of their manger, Terry Francona.
In the time Francona managed the Sox, he led them to two World Series Championships, the first broke the 86-year Curse of the Bambino that haunted the city.
The BoSox went 7-20 in September and failed to get the wildcard spot the last night of the regular season. Two days later Francona met with Red Sox ownership and the front office and revealed in his press conference later that day he left the meeting uncertain of his future.
He then went on to admit working for the Red Sox has definitely taken a toll on the 52-year-old.
“The job certainly aged me,” said Francona, “I came here and I thought I was kind of weathered. When I look back, I was like a teenager. (Boston) is a wonderful place, but it’s a difficult place to be the manager and it does wear on you — and when it wears on you to the point that it affects you, time to move on.”
Principal owner John Henry explained what unfolded during the meeting meeting went down and how the decision to let Francona go was made. “During the meeting, Tito (Francona), Theo and Ben agreed that the Red Sox would benefit from an improved clubhouse culture and higher standards in several areas. Tito said that after eight years here he was frustrated by his difficulty making an impact with the players, that a different voice was needed, and that it was time for him to move on. After taking time to reflect on Tito’s sentiments, we agreed that it was best for the Red Sox not to exercise the option years on his contract.”
In regards to his successor, Francona mentioned a few by name press conference including current Red Sox coach Demaro Hale. “DeMarlo — I hope he gets serious consideration, if not here then somewhere else,” Francona said. “I think he’s a tremendous manager-in-waiting. He’ll manage somewhere and be very good.”
Only time will tell what is next for the Red Sox. As for Tito, his legacy will live on no matter if he is there or not. Rocco Baldelli said it best on Twitter in response to the news: “It was a great pleasure of mine to spend a year with Terry Francona. He is and always will be a hero to the people of New England.”