A Reprise

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    A Reprise

    A Reprise  

    Of sorts … for the luckiest man alive.  I mean to say that fellow who fell into the managerial spot that was a championship team.  All he had to do was not mess it up.  
      

    I still cling to the hope, as unlikely as it is, that the Red Sox will make it to that second playoff spot.  But it is clear to me that having play off material on your bench doesn’t mean you have a play off team nor a championship team.
       But we have had several here that have insisted that all Tito had to do to win, basically, was to get hired.  The vitriol against Tito was so astounding I thought I was in a Yanqui dug out many times.   

    The Francona Era needs to be revisited and many of his outspoken attackers need to come to terms with their erroneous claims. 
       If injuries don’t hinder a team from top level performance, as so many here insist, then what gives as the steering principle behind two World Series crowns?  If the core players perform so much differently in the light of one manager over another, what is one to consider?  I liked the unassuming and untested Grady Little, but he did make a few mistakes that we might consider cost the team significant wins, play off wins.  And I hoped the baseball genius, Bobby Valentine, would live up to the hype.  Maybe he still will.  

    But the marvel of it all, to me, is what is lost here.
      What is that you might ask? 

    Oh, I know it could never be this simple.  The variables are way too complicated to come to this decision, but it certainly begs the question.
      

    Isn’t it time we all reprise the Francona Factor?  Some claim it was worth at least a dozen losses a year.  All the while, the same would never consider that the 90+ wins a season would be a part of that Factor.  For those of us who might say, “I blame this loss on Terry,” it is time to say, “I blame these 8 fabulous years on Terry.”  
      

    Yesterday, my wife spoke to someone of a diamond ring my older son gave her.  Trying to remember when he had, we recalled it was at the return from his first tour of duty in Iraq.    When was that?  Eight years back or so … I said 2005.  He went off to basic training at Ft. Jackson during the same time as the Red Sox ended the 86 year drought …. I mean the same time.  October.  We saw him off in Buffalo.  My son introducing me to another young fella who was also a Red Sox fan, a rarity in the city below Niagara Falls.  We are most thankful that he made it through two tours safely.   There is an ironic symmetry here for me… He was in Iraq for the end second World Series season and    

        
    well, all that to say, when Deb was talking about the ring, the memories of those days flooded back.  And the wonderful seasons as a Sox fan intermingled with the worrisome years of our son’s service – as well as the service of hundreds of thousands of other young Americans.  Dad was in his last days, or years, but to a man born in 1917, he got to see two World Series crowns before shuffling off this earthly coil.
     

    Mmmm…

     Emotional years to be sure. But it brings me back to the point.  Terry, Tito deserves a post-service series of “thank you”s from us on this forum.  Bobby Valentine has had it rough – but Tito had Manny, for all the good and bad, and all the other personalities and they … won.  Twice.   

    I have a second posting I am working on that handles another perspective of the Francona Era, the World Series Era, but this is sufficient for now.
        

    THANK YOU, TERRY FRANCONA.  YES, YOU WERE GIVEN THE TOOLS FOR THE JOB.  BUT UNLIKE ANYONE ELSE, YOU SHOWED YOU KNEW HOW TO USE THEM.  We will probably never see the like of your tenure for a very long time.  So, all the more, the richness of your seasons here is appreciated
     
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    Re: A Reprise

    Yes Bill, Francona's managerial Career in Boston.
    Nice post Yaz and I agree. Tito definitely used the tools he was given correctly...Not always, but enough to bring 2 WSC to Boston.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from LloydDobler. Show LloydDobler's posts

    Re: A Reprise

    It's amazing how two World Series championships in eight years, two more than this franchise had won since World War I, just isn't enough for some people. Tito's critics say the Sox should have had "a dynasty," apparently ignorant of how much the personnel changed over the years.

    Like many of us, I have a lot of friends who root for the Yankees. They're always telling me, you guys were insane to fire Terry Francona.

     
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    Re: A Reprise

    Nice opening post SinceYaz
     
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    Re: A Reprise

    Francona was definitely the right guy for the job and I always supported him.  But in 2004 the Sox had easily the best hitting in MLB with a big margin over the next best team, the Yankees, in runs scored and OPS.  Let's not forget the Sox FO believed in Bill James mantra that less managing is better.  Don't bunt guys over, etc.  The Sox also had the 3d best ERA in the AL.  Despite all those advantages the Sox needed that miracle steal and tying run late in game 4 of the ALCS to keep from being swept.  And it took not one but two bloody sock games by Schilling.   Still, it was Francona who had the wisdom to say, "we don't have to win four games.  We only need to win the next game." 

    In 2007 the Sox had the best ERA in the AL and very good hitting, but not the best in the AL.  Even then they were behind 3 games to 1 to the Indians in the ALCS before sweeping the rest and then the Rockies.

    Francoa deserves credit, no question, but let's not overstate it.  When the Sox pitching faded, as it did in 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011, so did his ability to win games.  I defended him endlessly, but after the September debacle and his own admission he had lost control of the team, I thought not renewing his contract was the right thing.  His great strength was his ability to relate to and defend his players--to say nothing of managing Manny being Manny.  For that alone he deserves our everlasting thanks. 

    If the OP means to suggest Bobby V gets all the blame for this year, I vehemently disagree.  The rotation has killed the Sox this year, and the injuries--affecting every position except C, 1B, and SS--have been almost as bad. Does anyone honestly think not having an OPS of 1.024 in the DH slot, batting 3d, is inconsequential? Or MIddlebrooks out with his .850 OPS? Ells ain't Ells. Pedroia is subpar.  Ross is overall an improvement over Drew, but he has fits with breaking balls from a righty. Ditto Salty with breaking balls from a righty or lefty. 

    Peter Abraham wrote a couple of days ago or that the Sox players who purportedly loved Francona sure had a funny way of showing it last year. Not just the epic--worst in the history of MLB--collapse in September, but the shenanigans in the clubhouse.

     
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    Re: A Reprise

    In Response to Re: A Reprise:
    Did someone die here ?????
    Posted by Bill-806



    lol.
     
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    Re: A Reprise

    Excellent again, SY. And Tito is a HOFer, in my book.
     
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    Re: A Reprise

    Yaz,

    You write beautiful prose.  Not just about Tito and your son, but you have a great style.  You should write more often.

    And tell your son that joey says thanks.
     
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  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: A Reprise

    In Response to Re: A Reprise:
    "If the OP means to suggest Bobby V gets all the blame for this year, I vehemently disagree. " Where was that said in the OP?
    Posted by Clamshack1


    It's implicit, especially as it comes now.  My argument is that, while Francona deserves credit for the first two WS wins after 86 years of frustration, he was like other managers in needing players who could produce.  When they didn't, he was less successful, both in Boston and in Philly.  And Bobby V is no different.  He too needed/needs players who can produce.  Right now his three best starters with pretty good track records have ERA's right around 5.  

    The time to write the OP was last year after Francona's contract was not renewed.    The end of an era, the most successful, really, in Red Sox history.  Francona had the right stuff for most of those 8 years.  The complaints about when to take a pitcher out or how good was the lineup, etc were all baloney.  He was absolutely the right guy for those 8 years, which was why he lasted so long.   
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hetchinspete. Show Hetchinspete's posts

    Re: A Reprise

    In Response to Re: A Reprise:
    Francona was definitely the right guy for the job and I always supported him.  But in 2004 the Sox had easily the best hitting in MLB with a big margin over the next best team, the Yankees, in runs scored and OPS.  Let's not forget the Sox FO believed in Bill James mantra that less managing is better.  Don't bunt guys over, etc.  The Sox also had the 3d best ERA in the AL.  Despite all those advantages the Sox needed that miracle steal and tying run late in game 4 of the ALCS to keep from being swept.  And it took not one but two bloody sock games by Schilling.   Still, it was Francona who had the wisdom to say, "we don't have to win four games.  We only need to win the next game."  In 2007 the Sox had the best ERA in the AL and very good hitting, but not the best in the AL.  Even then they were behind 3 games to 1 to the Indians in the ALCS before sweeping the rest and then the Rockies. Francoa deserves credit, no question, but let's not overstate it.  When the Sox pitching faded, as it did in 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011, so did his ability to win games.  I defended him endlessly, but after the September debacle and his own admission he had lost control of the team, I thought not renewing his contract was the right thing.  His great strength was his ability to relate to and defend his players--to say nothing of managing Manny being Manny.  For that alone he deserves our everlasting thanks.  If the OP means to suggest Bobby V gets all the blame for this year, I vehemently disagree.  The rotation has killed the Sox this year, and the injuries--affecting every position except C, 1B, and SS--have been almost as bad. Does anyone honestly think not having an OPS of 1.024 in the DH slot, batting 3d, is inconsequential? Or MIddlebrooks out with his .850 OPS? Ells ain't Ells. Pedroia is subpar.  Ross is overall an improvement over Drew, but he has fits with breaking balls from a righty. Ditto Salty with breaking balls from a righty or lefty.  Peter Abraham wrote a couple of days ago or that the Sox players who purportedly loved Francona sure had a funny way of showing it last year. Not just the epic--worst in the history of MLB--collapse in September, but the shenanigans in the clubhouse.
    Posted by maxbialystock



    Max and Yaz, 

    Yaz, a great job and Max you're spot on with your follow up. The manager gets all of the credit and all of the blame most times. Francona was here and gets credit for two titles as he should and was the best in RS history in recent decades, but he also shoulders much or at least some of the blame for losing control and it led to his unfortunate downfall. As for those who say Terry was in the right place at the right time that can be said for almost any successful manager. It's as much luck or good fortune that goes into winning it all.

    As for your commentary about needing players to produce, that I don't understand. Every manager of every club in MLB wishes for and needs his players to produce because without them even a genius wouldn't win. 

    Hetch 
     
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    Re: A Reprise

    In Response to Re: A Reprise:
    In Response to Re: A Reprise : Troll: Debate, but don't attack. In a community full of opinions and preferences, people always disagree. Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com encourage active discussions and welcomes heated debate in our Forums and on our Articles. But personal attacks are a direct violation of this Agreement...
    Posted by 2004Idiots


    Idiot2004, 

    You're are the biggest troll here so for you to call me a troll gives me reason to laugh aloud. If Bill would engage in conversation or debate once in a great while I wouldn't leave my comments, but all he does is leave assinine lines of garbage or joke and you seem to ignorant of the fact that most of us who write on this site feel the same way. We all like Bill personally but wish he would comment or engage in conversation rather than just leave his silly comments. You continually support him which is fine but in case you haven't noticed the vast majority of others on this list find your support of Bill a bit comical. 

    Hetch

     
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    Re: A Reprise

    In Response to Re: A Reprise:
    Did someone die here ?????
    Posted by Bill-806


      Yes, Bill.  MY dad.  But not until he had the joy of seeing two Red Sox WS crowns.  


      But his joy wasn't limited to that.  Just frosting on the cake.

       
     
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    Re: A Reprise

    In Response to Re: A Reprise:
    Yes Bill, Francona's managerial Career in Boston. Nice post Yaz and I agree. Tito definitely used the tools he was given correctly...Not always, but enough to bring 2 WSC to Boston.
    Posted by southpaw777


    I can only hope that his feelings for the team isn't clouded too much by the wau he was canned.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from SinceYaz. Show SinceYaz's posts

    Re: A Reprise

    In Response to Re: A Reprise:
    It's amazing how two World Series championships in eight years, two more than this franchise had won since World War I, just isn't enough for some people. Tito's critics say the Sox should have had "a dynasty," apparently ignorant of how much the personnel changed over the years. Like many of us, I have a lot of friends who root for the Yankees. They're always telling me, you guys were insane to fire Terry Francona.
    Posted by LloydDobler


    Agreed Lloyd.

    The same is true with me ... many of my NYY fan friends can't believe what happened.  They often include the way Torre was messed with in the comments.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from SinceYaz. Show SinceYaz's posts

    Re: A Reprise

    In Response to Re: A Reprise:
    Nice opening post SinceYaz
    Posted by 6k42lt913c


    Thanks. 
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from SinceYaz. Show SinceYaz's posts

    Re: A Reprise

    In Response to Re: A Reprise:
    Excellent again, SY. And Tito is a HOFer, in my book.
    Posted by nhsteven


    A good subject helps ... :o)  Thanks, granite state friend.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from SinceYaz. Show SinceYaz's posts

    Re: A Reprise

    In Response to Re: A Reprise:
    Yaz, You write beautiful prose.  Not just about Tito and your son, but you have a great style.  You should write more often. And tell your son that joey says thanks.
    Posted by Joebreidey


    Thanks Joe.  I will gladly pass on the thanks.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from SinceYaz. Show SinceYaz's posts

    Re: A Reprise

    In Response to Re: A Reprise:
    Francona was definitely the right guy for the job and I always supported him.  But in 2004 the Sox had easily the best hitting in MLB with a big margin over the next best team, the Yankees, in runs scored and OPS.  Let's not forget the Sox FO believed in Bill James mantra that less managing is better.  Don't bunt guys over, etc.  The Sox also had the 3d best ERA in the AL.  Despite all those advantages the Sox needed that miracle steal and tying run late in game 4 of the ALCS to keep from being swept.  And it took not one but two bloody sock games by Schilling.   Still, it was Francona who had the wisdom to say, "we don't have to win four games.  We only need to win the next game."  In 2007 the Sox had the best ERA in the AL and very good hitting, but not the best in the AL.  Even then they were behind 3 games to 1 to the Indians in the ALCS before sweeping the rest and then the Rockies. Francoa deserves credit, no question, but let's not overstate it.  When the Sox pitching faded, as it did in 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011, so did his ability to win games.  I defended him endlessly, but after the September debacle and his own admission he had lost control of the team, I thought not renewing his contract was the right thing.  His great strength was his ability to relate to and defend his players--to say nothing of managing Manny being Manny.  For that alone he deserves our everlasting thanks. 

    If the OP means to suggest Bobby V gets all the blame for this year, I vehemently disagree.  The rotation has killed the Sox this year, and the injuries--affecting every position except C, 1B, and SS--have been almost as bad. Does anyone honestly think not having an OPS of 1.024 in the DH slot, batting 3d, is inconsequential? Or MIddlebrooks out with his .850 OPS? Ells ain't Ells. Pedroia is subpar.  Ross is overall an improvement over Drew, but he has fits with breaking balls from a righty. Ditto Salty with breaking balls from a righty or lefty.  Peter Abraham wrote a couple of days ago or that the Sox players who purportedly loved Francona sure had a funny way of showing it last year. Not just the epic--worst in the history of MLB--collapse in September, but the shenanigans in the clubhouse.
    Posted by maxbialystock


    Max, not blaming Bobby V.  I have not spoken against him a singular time.  I cannot say that about Tito - I spoke out very few times against him be 
    cause some posters never gave him any credit. I did however question several times he left pitchers in too long. A pet peeve of mine. 

    I have written about the injuries as a major problem and so many cried out against it.  Thus in this thread I mentioned that "if they were not an issue..."  I certainly consider them to be a major issue.  The tongue-in-cheek reference there was directly targeting the issue, not Bobby V.  

    I even spoke of how much the loss of Big Papi at the very worst thing at the very worst time. I have long been a strong Papi proponent ...not that it really matters if I was.


     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from BOSOX1941. Show BOSOX1941's posts

    Re: A Reprise

    Sealed  He was a managerial moron....
     
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    Re: A Reprise

    In Response to A Reprise:
    A Reprise    Of sorts … for the luckiest man alive.   I mean to say that fellow who fell into the managerial spot that was a championship team.   All he had to do was not mess it up.        I still cling to the hope, as unlikely as it is, that the Red Sox will make it to that second playoff spot.   But it is clear to me that having play off material on your bench doesn’t mean you have a play off team nor a championship team.     But we have had several here that have insisted that all Tito had to do to win, basically, was to get hired.   The vitriol against Tito was so astounding I thought I was in a Yanqui dug out many times.      The Francona Era needs to be revisited and many of his outspoken attackers need to come to terms with their erroneous claims.      If injuries don’t hinder a team from top level performance, as so many here insist, then what gives as the steering principle behind two World Series crowns?   If the core players perform so much differently in the light of one manager over another, what is one to consider?   I liked the unassuming and untested Grady Little, but he did make a few mistakes that we might consider cost the team significant wins, play off wins.   And I hoped the baseball genius, Bobby Valentine, would live up to the hype.   Maybe he still will.    But the marvel of it all, to me, is what is lost here.     What is that you might ask?   Oh, I know it could never be this simple.   The variables are way too complicated to come to this decision, but it certainly begs the question.     Isn’t it time we all reprise the Francona Factor?   Some claim it was worth at least a dozen losses a year.   All the while, the same would never consider that the 90+ wins a season would be a part of that Factor.   For those of us who might say, “I blame this loss on Terry,” it is time to say, “I blame these 8 fabulous years on Terry.”        Yesterday, my wife spoke to someone of a diamond ring my older son gave her.   Trying to remember when he had, we recalled it was at the return from his first tour of duty in Iraq.     When was that?   Eight years back or so … I said 2005.   He went off to basic training at Ft. Jackson during the same time as the Red Sox ended the 86 year drought …. I mean the same time.   October.   We saw him off in  Buffalo.   My son introducing me to another young fella who was also a Red Sox fan, a rarity in the city below Niagara Falls.   We are most thankful that he made it through two tours safely.    There is an ironic symmetry here for me… He was in Iraq for the end second World Series season and   …         well, all that to say, when Deb was talking about the ring, the memories of those days flooded back.   And the wonderful seasons as a Sox fan intermingled with the worrisome years of our son’s service – as well as the service of hundreds of thousands of other young Americans.   Dad was in his last days, or years, but to a man born in 1917, he got to see two World Series crowns before shuffling off this earthly coil.   Mmmm…   Emotional years to be sure.   But it brings me back to the point.   Terry, Tito deserves a post-service series of “thank you”s from us on this forum.   Bobby Valentine has had it rough – but Tito had Manny, for all the good and bad, and all the other personalities and they … won.   Twice.      I have a second posting I am working on that handles another perspective of the Francona Era, the World Series Era, but this is sufficient for now.       THANK YOU, TERRY FRANCONA.   YES, YOU WERE GIVEN THE TOOLS FOR THE JOB.   BUT UNLIKE ANYONE ELSE, YOU SHOWED YOU KNEW HOW TO USE THEM.   We will probably never see the like of your tenure for a very long time.   So, all the more, the richness of your seasons here is appreciated
    Posted by SinceYaz


    Great post. I've long-since simply ignored the mindless Francona bashers.
     
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    Re: A Reprise

    In Response to Re: A Reprise:
    Francona was definitely the right guy for the job and I always supported him.  But in 2004 the Sox had easily the best hitting in MLB with a big margin over the next best team, the Yankees, in runs scored and OPS.  Let's not forget the Sox FO believed in Bill James mantra that less managing is better.  Don't bunt guys over, etc.  The Sox also had the 3d best ERA in the AL.  Despite all those advantages the Sox needed that miracle steal and tying run late in game 4 of the ALCS to keep from being swept.  And it took not one but two bloody sock games by Schilling.   Still, it was Francona who had the wisdom to say, "we don't have to win four games.  We only need to win the next game."  In 2007 the Sox had the best ERA in the AL and very good hitting, but not the best in the AL.  Even then they were behind 3 games to 1 to the Indians in the ALCS before sweeping the rest and then the Rockies. Francoa deserves credit, no question, but let's not overstate it.  When the Sox pitching faded, as it did in 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011, so did his ability to win games.  I defended him endlessly, but after the September debacle and his own admission he had lost control of the team, I thought not renewing his contract was the right thing.  His great strength was his ability to relate to and defend his players--to say nothing of managing Manny being Manny.  For that alone he deserves our everlasting thanks.  If the OP means to suggest Bobby V gets all the blame for this year, I vehemently disagree.  The rotation has killed the Sox this year, and the injuries--affecting every position except C, 1B, and SS--have been almost as bad. Does anyone honestly think not having an OPS of 1.024 in the DH slot, batting 3d, is inconsequential? Or MIddlebrooks out with his .850 OPS? Ells ain't Ells. Pedroia is subpar.  Ross is overall an improvement over Drew, but he has fits with breaking balls from a righty. Ditto Salty with breaking balls from a righty or lefty.  Peter Abraham wrote a couple of days ago or that the Sox players who purportedly loved Francona sure had a funny way of showing it last year. Not just the epic--worst in the history of MLB--collapse in September, but the shenanigans in the clubhouse.
    Posted by maxbialystock


    Of course, the same things that are hurting Bobby V. this year that you point out -- rotation, injuries, etc. -- hurt Francona last September.

    For all the noise about "clubhouse shenanigans," I'd still like someone to explain to me how any of it was the reason that after Beckett and Lester, the Sox had crp for starting pitcher the last 3 1/2 months of the season; how it was the reason the Sox had a hole in the lineup when Youk went down; how it was the reason Papelbon blew two saves that month; how it was the reason Bard fell apart the last six weeks.

    If there were no "clubhouse shenanigans" would Lackey have pitched better. He had a bum elbow regardless. Beckett was fine until the last eight innings of the season (seventh and eight of his second-to-last start and the sixth of his last start). And for all the talk of how bad Lester was in September, he was decent to very good in three of his six starts. What's never mentioned is that he could have gone nine innings, allowing just three runs (3.00 ERA) and still been just 1-3 with two ND because the Sox score more than three runs for him just once, and less than three runs three times.

    And Lester has struggled this year but there hasn't been any talk of him not working or of him drinking during games etc. So why did he has he struggled? It seems to me those two things are seperate. If he's having the same problems this year while doing the "right thing" then maybe his September had nothing to do with any sort of unprofessional behavior.

    Someone tell me who the player or players were who did not hit in September because of the "clubhouse shenanigans."

    That's why I feel Francona was scapegoated. People say the team quit on him. OK -- someone go through the line and tell me who quit.
     
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    Re: A Reprise

    "I did however question several times he left pitchers in too long. A pet peeve of mine.  "

    Ahh, but not quite as long as Grady Little eh? Correct me if I'm wrong but Bobby V seems to have done the same thing a fair amount this year...

    Anyhow that was a great post Yaz and that's awesome your Dad was able to see the Sox win it all before he passed.

    This post is hidden because you are ignoring BOSOX1941

    Ahh the sweet sounds of silence. Amazing how the anti-Francona trolling is ongoing.
     
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