Re: A Reprise
posted at 8/19/2012 5:55 PM EDT
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 prose SY...but I disagree with the premise. I think that in all fairness Francona for most of his tenure was a very good clubhouse manager but a very poor tactician on the field. Countless times when it was evident to all that a pitcher was tiring Francona remained on the bench only to see that pitcher get shelled. No, its not an easy decision to determine when to remove a pitcher, but when the same mistake is made over and over and over again the pattern becomes evident. He also failed to utilize the full offensive arsenal at his disposal: bunting, hit and run, pinch hitting etc etc. To his credit he managed IMO much better in the playoffs than he did in the regular season, and he did win a couple of rings. I thank him for that. But in my mind he was not an outstanding manager; he was just so-so.