Late last night, while we were all in bed, or in the case of some, a wine induced pleasure coma, reports began trickling out that the Boston Red Sox and manager Terry Francona were parting ways. These reports have been confirmed this morning by Jon Heyman among others.
Francona’s contract has a team option for 2012, but we’ll have to wait until later today to find out the exact details of the dismissal or resignation, when the Red Sox are expected to make an announcement. There’s also the possibility that Francona requested to be let go so that he could take over in Chicago where he previously worked in the White Sox system.
For the time being though, let’s assume that he’s being bumped out by Red Sox management for 2011′s disappointing results. If this is the case, I’m sure you’d all be expecting me to call such a move out on its ridiculousness. Well, prepare to be disappointed. It’s the right move.
After all, as the team’s designated hitter, Francona only hit one home run in the entire month of September. As the team’s new left fielder, signing a seven year $142 million contract this past off season, he was massively disappointing, getting on base only 29% of the time all season, and missing a huge catch in the final game of the year to ensure their fate on the outside looking in to the MLB playoff picture.
As a starting pitcher, Francona was wildly unreliable, having the audacity to get injured on several occasions this season. Down the stretch, his sins were numerous, having an ERA above nine in the final month of the year despite signing a huge five year $82.5 million free agent contract just last season. Unforgivably, he also showed signs of shakiness during the final two weeks of the year as the normally resolute ace of the staff.
During his time in the bullpen, he also had a disastrous final week of the season, seemingly losing the control and command he exhibited all year as the team’s set up man, and then blowing the final game of the season as the closer.
Just horrible. Get rid of the bum. The sooner the better. This is not short sighted at all. Nope. Not at all.