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.

Comments (29)

  1. What if he wasn’t fired?

    • Yeah, I’ve heard that he chose not to join the club for 2012, thus it was a mutual separation.

    • Yeah, as I mentioned in the piece, it’s totally possible he’s leaving to take the White Sox gig.

      • Why do I keep hearing his name in connection with the White Sox? Do you really think that old, overpaid team is going to pay as much as Francona demands? Why is no one talking about Wrigley as a possible destination?

  2. He’ll fit right in as a top of the rotation starter for the 2012 Jays. Let’s do this.

  3. Asked Farrell before season at a Jays event what is the one thing he’d take from Francona, and he told me he had his players’ backs, and the players respected him for that and would walk through walls for him. I don’t think Francona was the problem here. But given the market that team evolves in, I think Francona is better off leaving Boston and go somewhere else. Your guess about the White Sox makes a lot of sense.
    Bias disclosure: Francona was one of my favourite players with the Expos when I was a kid.

  4. *Not short-sighted, i think you mean, Parkes.

  5. Selfish Francona.

  6. I would hire Francona a million times over if I was any GM in baseball. He’s one of the few managers who actually adds value to a team.

    • I’m not sure how you can back that statement up.

      I remember when he was hired by the Red Sox, the team was getting killed for their choice because the common belief was that he hindered the Phillies as a manager.

    • If the ChiSox rumours are true, Kenny Williams just had himself one heck of a week. Flipping Guillen for prospects and picking up Francona is a clear win.

  7. Regrettably, the Jays do not have a current opening for Manager.

  8. I’m curious if there’s a situation where Francona joins the Jays for a year or two to work with Farrell.

    Regardless of what happens with Dwayne Murphy today at the Jays’ meetings, there’s a fair chance that there is some turnover on the staff, as some of their current coaches could be up for other openings. In particular, I wonder if Buck Showalter moves to become GM in Batlimore (note: LOL!) if he would bring in his good friend Brian Butterfield to manage.

    Obviously Francona deserves to manage elsewhere, and it would be surprising if he didn’t get an offer to do so, but who knows – maybe he wants to step out of the spotlight for a year to refuel, come join his good friend Farrell, and together exploit the weaknesses on both sides of the Red Sox and take those f***ers down to fourth place.

  9. Or… if the Jays can trade Farrell back to the Red Sox for a good player under the thought that he can fix their pitching. And then just sign Francona to manage here.

  10. I don’t mind John Ferrell, but it’d be pretty awesome having Francona running the Jays.

  11. Your rationale for blaming the players’ performance for the collapse and taking the responsibility off of Francona is flawed b/c it’s his job to manage these under-performing players.

    Though I hate Joe Maddon (for completely unfounded reasons like arrogance, his glasses and the fact that he manages in the AL East) the man knows how to manage. Using unconventional lineups, riding hot streaks, shaking things up when his team is in a funk.

    Where Francona is to blame, is NOT benching the 142 million dollar man, running a Papi out there every game, despite his slump, letting Papelbon pitch with so little rest in the last week. By going out and running the team in a sound or “correct” way, he actually hampered the team. It was very “Cito” of him, to say the least. Deciding to live or die with “his guys” and in this case, he died. Proverbially.

    • Thanks for clarifying that his death was only proverbial and not literal. That did not go without saying, no sir.

      • I just feel uncomfortable saying that someone who is living, died. Plus, I sort of think it’s funny to point out something that is obvious.

  12. Francona with the Jays would make zero impact on the team.

    I’d much rather Boston’s budget than manager.

  13. Umm… all the issues you pointed out were Theo Epstein’s blunders not Francona’s. Unless you were being sarcastic? I just can’t tell anymore.

    • I would’ve thought the sarcasm was 100% obvious. I’m shocked anyone would even think otherwise.

  14. It seems a lot of the people at the score who have blogs about players or teams seem to have a Skip Bayless set of mind though the whole post. Then in the last paragraph or so they change it around so they don’t look like the bad guy, but it was all just a joke. That way they couldn’t get flamed because it would look like sarcasm.

  15. 8 years is long enough, time for fresh blood.

  16. What’s his WAR?

  17. Who is the best guess for new BOS GM? I would like to find early reasons to hate him.

    • carl weathers will be the new manager of the red sox and you can[‘t hate him because he was in predator

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