Okay, Terry Francona didn’t really say that (at least to my knowledge). But he did decline their invitation to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, also known as the “how can we milk more money out of this miserable team?” event.
A year ago the Red Sox were the model of a modern, well-run sports franchise. At least from the outside looking in. The truth was something much different. By the end of September, Terry Francona the only Red Sox manager in living memory to win a World Series title (which he did twice, of course) was let go, then thrown under the bus by the team, smeared in the pages of the Boston Globe. He was followed out the door by Theo Epstein — much less of a loss to the organization. Then came a surreal winter:
- The new GM, Ben Cherington, was publicly embarrassed by the front office when his choice of new manager was summarily rejected and he had to pretend to go along with the hiring of Bobby Valentine.
- They lost the best closer in team history when Jonathan Papelbon signed with the Phillies.
- They pretended to replace Papelbon with Andrew Bailey, a closer with a history of injury problems they got for cheap from the Oakland A’s.
- The throw away player added to the deal by the A’s, Ryan Sweeney, is the Red Sox starting right fielder — and (at least so far) seems the best part of that trade for the Sox.
- They did nothing serious to build starting rotation depth, which was their biggest issue in 2011. And what they did do, moving Daniel Bard to the rotation, only weakened their bullpen further.
- They traded their starting short stop and installed a Kansas City Royals reject in his place.
- When Jason Varitek was forced to retire, they lost all his knowledge and experience. They replaced him with perpetual journeyman Kelly Shoppach, who has already demonstrated why the Tampa Bay Rays didn’t want to re-sign him.
- They could not come to terms with the White Sox on compensation for the Red Sox giving permission to Theo Epstein to take their front office job. Instead they were “awarded” a fringe pitcher with a bad arm by the commissioner.
In short, the team is now a joke. And they had the arrogance to think Terry Francona would come back to help them make money off of us gullible fans. When Francona left, it seems he took all this organization’s integrity with him.