Terry Francona will be back in Boston Thursday when his Cleveland Indians begin a four-game series against the Red Sox.
The Indians manager – (how weird is it to say that?) – will be returning to Boston for the first time as a competitor after working the past year as a broadcaster for ESPN. He had spent the prior eight years to his stint in the booth as the Red Sox' manager, winning two World Series championships before unceremoniously departing in 2011.
Francona joined the Dennis & Callahan Show on WEEI Wednesday morning to talk about what it means to return to Boston and compete against his old team.
"It was probably healthy the way it worked out, having a year in between," he said. "It was probably healthy in a lot of aspects. I had probably lost some perspective. I mean, eight years in Boston – I think I've been pretty honest about it – it's one of the most awesome jobs you can ever have. But it's difficult and it wears on you. And sometimes when it wears on you, some of your warts start showing. Maybe it's the stubbornness or losing patience. And that's not healthy either. So having a year to kind of reflect and just recharge and actually miss the game was actually good for me."
Francona was asked which job was more difficult, managing the Indians or the Red Sox.
"Probably depends on what day you ask me. I mean the job in Boston is one of the most difficult jobs – and like I've said I've been pretty honest – it's one of the most awesome jobs. But it entails a lot. You have a lot of people coming at you from a lot of directions. And then you have the players that you want to protect so they can go play the game. And you probably have to do that a little bit more in a place like Boston."
Of course, Francona's book with Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy was a topic of discussion. The hosts were interested whether or not since the release of the book, "Francona: the Red Sox Years," he had spoke with Red Sox ownership in its aftermath.
"I haven't talked to 'em. I was kind of disappointed because I was expecting to talk to them. That was kind of where some of my frustrations came from. So, you know what, it kinda just is what it is, using the Bill Belichick term. I haven't been in touch with them. I was disappointed. I wouldn't have scripted the ending in Boston the way I did.
"Saying that, as time moves on, the Red Sox are in a really good place right now. They got a very good manager, they got to feel good about things. I'm thrilled with where I'm at. It allows you to kind of look back and remember the some of the good times as opposed to some of the things that hurt, a little easier."
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer