Francona speaks as new voice at ESPN

DALLAS – Terry Francona held a conference call this afternoon to talk about his new deal as an analyst for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight and Sunday Night Baseball.

He addressed a few topics:

What happened in Boston? As the manager you’re responsible. That’s how I felt. I’ll always feel that way. When things don’t get properly, the guy in charge has to take the responsibility.”

How transparent can he be calling Red Sox games? “I would hate to give an opinion on a team or person and not tell the truth because I wouldn’t be doing my job very well. I think it’s my personality to be respectful and also honest. I have no problem watching the game and telling the truth.”

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What’s the difference between watching baseball as a manager and as an analyst? “I get to watch all 30 teams now. It’s what I enjoy. You’re not just desperately trying to win your game that night. You’re following a lot of teams and watching what they’re doing, not just with a team or two you’re going to play down the road. … I don’t think you can actually manage a game from the booth; you’re privy to so many things from the dugout that people from outside the dugout aren’t.”

On replacing Bobby Valentine: “Well, the one thing I knew well is I’ll probably sleep better than Bobby. From where I was last year, I probably needed to step back. This was a very refreshing way to step back. I love baseball and I enjoy people and I’m very excited about this new challenge, as I assume Bobby is excited for his new challenge. It’s probably win-win for everybody and that’s how it should be.”

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