Terry Francona's tenuous exit from the Boston Red Sox in October was apparently enough to overshadow all of the great things he was able to do as manager of that team for the previous eight seasons. While his former employer searches for a replacement, there is an opening in St. Louis that would be a great opportunity for him.
There was some speculation that Francona would be interviewing with the 2011 World Series champions last Friday, but for whatever reason that did not happen.
According to a major league source, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona is scheduled to interview for the St. Louis Cardinals' vacant managerial position Tuesday.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday that Cardinals GM John Mozeliak was planning on interviewing at least one candidate Tuesday, with the hope of having a manager in place by next week.
Francona is a great manager and would be perfect for this Cardinals team. He understands how to manage personalities and motivate his players in a way that very few big league skippers are able to, which would be a great contrast to Tony La Russa's business-like approach to managing.
For Francona, this would be a great job because he walks into a situation where the team is capable of contending for years to come.
The National League Central is one of the weakest divisions in baseball, so even if the Cardinals lose Albert Pujols in free agency they should still be able to compete in the division. (For the record, I don't think Pujols is going anywhere.)
Francona is not La Russa in any way, shape or form, which is probably a good thing. As much praise as La Russa gets from the media for being one of the best managers in the game, he hurt the Cardinals a lot more this season than he helped them.
In fact, there were a number of stupid little mistakes that La Russa made in the regular season that cost the Cardinals a game or two.
Francona, for all the blame that he got on the way out of Boston, is a great tactical manager and knows what players need to hear over the course of 162 games.
The Cardinals need Francona and they are going to have their chance to get him when he comes to town later today.