According to a survey by North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling, 50 percent of Red Sox Nation wants Terry Francona to return as the Boston Red Sox manager.
Twenty-four percent did not want him back, and the rest weren't sure.
It has been a tumultuous season for the Red Sox and manager Bobby Valentine, who succeeded Francona as Boston's skipper. The data says that as this season wore on, fans longed more and more for the return of Tito.
Here are the numbers on how respondants answered this question: "Would you like to see Terry Francona return as manager of the Red Sox someday, or not?"
Nostalgia for ex-skipper Terry Francona has ... risen steadily over the course of the last five months. Toward the end of spring training, 39 percent wished Tito were still managing for the 2012 season, and 28 percent preferred their new field general, with a third of fans unsurprisingly still not sure. Then in June, almost at the midway point of the season, we asked if fans would like to see Francona ever return at all: 46 percent said yes, 27 percent no. When we asked the same question this month, that had bumped up a hair to 50-24.
Other tidbits from the poll:
- Fans are split on a separate question as to whether Valentine should be fired with 35 percent saying keep him and 34 percent wanting to let him go.
- Seventeen percent of those asked said the Red Sox still would make the playoffs. But the poll, taken of 1,115 likely Massachusetts voters from Aug. 16-19, happened before the blockbuster trade of Aug. 24 that effectively raised the white flag on the 2012 season.
Of course, no one has surveyed Francona, now working as an ESPN baseball analyst, to see if he would like to return as manager of the Red Sox someday. Or not.
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Matt Pepin, Boston.com sports editor
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer