And would he ever have any fear about going to a sports venue?
“Fearful of going to the park, but not for those reasons,” he said. “Seen some of those Philadelphia pitchers out there? No, no. You kidding me? I can barely get to the ballpark as it is.”
(That was a reference to Francona getting lost on his way to the park on Opening Day in Cleveland.)
He said that taking a year off allowed him to deal with life after Boston so much better.
“A lot,” he said. “And the fact it’s in Cleveland helps me a lot, too. I’m sure going back to Fenway will bring back a lot of memories. It’s not just another series, but at the same time, it’s not that I woke up and that’s all I thought about. The idea is to beat them, and if we do, good.”
Francona kidded with Dustin Pedroia and Farrell before the game.
“The day [Farrell] got hired, I said the glass became half-full,” he said. “I hope for the next three days everything goes wrong for them, but he’s one of my best friends in baseball and in life, and they got a good hire.”
Yes, life goes on. Back to work the day after one of the worst things we’ve ever experienced in our lifetime. Sorry, neither a ballgame nor anything can erase the images we all saw Monday. They will live in all of us forever.
Nick Cafardo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.