Terry Francona has changed course, and the Boston Red Sox should be thanking their lucky stars for it.
According to ESPNBoston.com, Francona has decided that he will, in fact, be at Fenway Park on Friday when the Sox celebrate their 100th anniversary.
The long-time manager-turned-ESPN analyst had originally opted not to attend the ceremony after the way he was smeared—presumably by Red Sox higher-ups John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino.
Instead, after giving it some thought, Francona's decided to take the high road and give the fans what they want.
That is, to see arguably the most successful manager in franchise history—a man who delivered two World Series titles to Beantown during his eight-year tenure—bask in the glory of the Green Monster.
Is Tito the greatest manager in Red Sox history?
It would've been tough to blame Tito for not showing up. After all, the Sox went to great lengths to smear Francona in the local papers, leaking reports from "unnamed sources" about his marital woes and alleged consumption of pain medications after the team's September collapse.
They painted Francona as a man who couldn't control his own life, much less the day-to-day dysfunction of a clubhouse in disarray.
They defamed his good name, and yet, Francona—who will always be hailed as the figure most responsible for breaking the Curse of the Bambino—was still cool enough to (eventually) brush it off and let bygones be bygones.
For the fans, of course.
Not for the ownership, which has cultivated a rather unsavory reputation for bashing and trashing former affiliates on the way out.
So bravo of Tito, being the bigger man in the end. Here's hoping the Sox seize the opportunity to meet him halfway and make amends.
They could certainly use some good will amidst the rough start to the Bobby Valentine era.