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Francona, Red Sox meeting this morning; he will be out as manager

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  September 30, 2011 09:04 AM

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What seemed evident yesterday is expected to become final today with the Red Sox and Terry Francona parting ways after eight seasons.

The manager will meet with GM Theo Epstein and ownership at 10 a.m. today and the expected resolution according to major league sources will be a mutual agreement for Francona to leave the organization.

The decision is coming from the ownership level according to sources. While Epstein was careful to say yesterday that he did not blame Francona, owner John Henry has remained quiet on the subject.

During the team's September collapse, Francona said several times that he had no communication with Henry.

Francona would not necessarily be fired. His contract has expired and he has two one-year, $4.5 million options. The team would simply elect not to pick up those options, a decision he would support given his apparent desire to move on and his displeasure with the team's chemistry.

Asked yesterday whether he wanted to remain with the Sox, Francona's answer was strikingly non-committal.

Theo and I talked today a little bit. I think well continue to talk tomorrow. Maybe its best today to stay with where were at, Francona said. Its still pretty fresh and pretty raw. Its a fair question.

The Red Sox, given their status in baseball, would not lack for candidates. Bench coach DeMarlo Hale would be the only internal possibility.

Francona would be considered by the Chicago White Sox, who are seeking a new manager in the wake of Ozzie Guillen going to the Marlins. Francona's calm approach would be seen as a tonic on Chicago following the tumult that often surrounded Guillen. He is a former minor league manager in the White Sox organization and has the respect of owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

More to come.

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