Boston Red Sox

Terry Francona: Red Sox Lose the One Manager That Got the Job Done

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 26: Manager Terry Francona looks on from the dugout during the second inning of the Red Sox game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 26, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterSeptember 30, 2011

Well, I never saw that coming. 

It wasn't too long ago that Terry Francona was hoisted into the upper echelon of Boston sports history. On Friday, he was trying to rid himself of the mess that was made in September. 

I always thought that the man who broke the curse would be enshrined forever in a bronze statue. I never understood why fans didn't just give Francona the Han Solo frozen carbonite treatment so they could remember him forever. 

Times, they have changed. The Red Sox are no longer the lovable losers, playing the part of big-money spenders. They are more in tune with the Yankees than they ever would care to be. 

That kind of transition demands some fallout. You can't continue with the same regime that got you to the top. The hunger, passion and message begin to meander. At least, that is what looks to be happening in Boston. 

The Red Sox held a nine-game lead going into September, a lead that seemed insurmountable. We were then privy to the most epic collapse in wild card history. 

The Sox just lost, and lost...and lost. The one thing that didn't help matters was that the Rays gained. So after an explosion of that magnitude, there is bound to be some fallout. There has to be a scapegoat for such a tragedy. 

The BoSox have that in Terry Francona. The beloved manager is reportedly just as fine with leaving as the management is with him departing. 

The fans are not placing blame on Tito, but there is the thought of everyone involved that a move has to be done. It is far too easy for a franchise to sip into that killer of great teams. I am talking about complacency. 

The Red Sox were the "Cowboy up" team that took the curse and tore it to shreds. Francona got the most out of his players. That just wan't the case in 2011. 

This team was picked by nearly every analyst to win the division, and by a large margin. We all lauded the Sox as a behemoth with talent at every part of the field in April. By September, we were left to stare that the still burning embers. 

Francona will enjoy a long lasting legacy as the man that brought Boston a title, then another. But it was time for a change of the guard. There will never be another like Tito in Boston. Not even Terry Francona could recapture that charm. 

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