Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported last night that the Red Sox and manager Terry Francona are expected to part ways, as soon as today.

Francona expected to leave Red Sox

The Chicago Sun Times reports today that Francona wants out, and would be interested in joining the White Sox:

Terry Francona wants out of Boston; White Sox are logical landing spot

It would be tough to see the best Red Sox manager ever leave town, but you knew something had to change with the team after that dreadful final month. Could Theo Epstein be gone too? The Sun Times also reports that the Cubs are going to make a run at Epstein – Cubs will make run at Theo Epstein for GM job.

That would be quite the shakeup. Stay tuned.

A few quick links before handing things over to Ryan later this morning:

Media Roundup: Did The Boston Globe Take Pleasure In Red Sox Collapse? – My SBNation Boston media column looks at whether the Globe and Boston.com treated the Red Sox elimination as something to celebrate.

Rice no match for Eckersley – Chad Finn says that it’s a shame that Dennis Eckersley wasn’t available for NESN after the Red Sox elimination.

Red Sox fans have Dan Shaughnessy to blame – Bill Doyle’s media column puts the blame for Wednesday night on the Globe columnist.

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24 thoughts on “Francona Gone? Theo Too?

  1. The funniest thing I heard while flipping back and forth between EEI and TSH was the use of the Big Show stealing the Carmine the Computer bit from F&M. Do they think people don't flip back and forth between the two stations?

    The Big Show is pathetic.

    1. As I said yesterday…most bizarre press conference since the Parcells post SB one. So Tito will be gone later today and Theo most likely leaves by the end of the week…what do they leave A club house that is a mess, a team in disarray, and $150 mill worth of bad contracts. Thanks Guys!

      1. What makes you think that? Theo's still under contract for one and winning 90 games is actually pretty good (subjectively). Missing the playoffs the way the Sox did is grounds for a manager getting fired but not necessarily the GM.

        1. I think someone other than Tito has to take the fall for spending $180 mill and failing to make the playoffs in such spectacular fashion. In the end I think it has to be Theo. I think he already has an enemy in Larry Luciccino and this year's unmitigated disaster doesn't help at all. I could be wrong…but if it was my money wasted…he would be gone…and as I have said…especially with Brian Cashman on the market.

      2. I can't believe this is happening. This is catastrophic.

        I'm glad the message that they're sending to the players is "don't worry, if the new manager rubs you the wrong way, just wait him out because we'll fire him as soon as he inevitably fails to motivate you."

        For all my defense of Theo, if the choice was between firing him or Francona, I'd fire Epstein in a heartbeat. He's a talented GM, but he's VERY replacable. Who the hell is going to manage this team better than Francona? Bobby Valentine? Um… we SAW what he could do with a big payroll and lenient ownership. It's called the Trainwreck Mets of the Turn of the Century. Yeah, sign me up for that at $120 a game.

        Unbefrickinlievable.

        1. You have not really known me long enough to know how much I really hate Tom Warner and John Henry. That attitude starts with them. I am thinking it comes from Warner's experience in dealing with Hollywood “talent” such as Bill Cosby and Rosanne Barr…both of whom forced changes on their shows management during their long runs. But that is an argument for another day. The fact that the 5 of them (I am including ben Charrington in this) met today and could not release a statement any better than…we met…now we are thinking and will have something to say in a few days… tells me there isn't just division and finger pointing in the lockerroom…there is some serious divisiveness in management. It looks like Tito wants out too…my guess is he reads the tea leaves and sees next year as having $100 + mill in dead payroll with unrealistic bounce back expectations…it is a recipe for disaster especially for a coach with no job security (team held 1 year option following 2012). Why would he want to come back? I am not sure he is being fired as much as it is he is being left. I agree the message is if the players roll over…don't worry we will get a new manager…would not want to hold the players accountable. Which is why…Theo did not have a plan, does not have a plan, spent a ton of money and is now needs to be held accountable. I don't see why he should be allowed to stay. Has he made some good moves…sure. Did he oversee two rings…absolutely. Did he then oversee the worse September collapse ever…Yup. This is Boston…what have you done for me lately. He needs to go.

          1. Theo did have a plan. His plan was for Dice-K and Buchholz to be healthy, Carl Crawford to hit and steal bases at his career averages, Jenks to not suck and go out with injury, Lester not falling apart in Sept, not having to rely on guys like Weiland, Miller and Wakefield, and having his team hold on to a nine game lead with a month to go.

            The plan is sound. The players are the one's who didn't carry it out. Make no mistake, this season's failures rest at the feet of the players.

          2. I really don't feel like arguing this again. I believe that Theo knew the Sox did not have any developmental arms close to ready for this year so if he ran into pitching problems he did not have the depth in the organization to overcome it. He said as much in Feb. and did not fix it. He had no plan.

            By the way I am not buying all this hooey that is now coming out that Franconia lost the clubhouse and he needs to take the fall for all of this. I find it incredulous to believe that no one in management whether it be Franconia or higher up saw the issues in the clubhouse and didn't address them. I take Tito at his word that he did address them…in which case the chemistry of the team falls squarely on Theo's shoulders as he put the roster together. he should be the fall guy.

          3. I'm starting to turn on Henry. I thought he was smart enough to just focus on managing the brand and leave the baseball ops to people who know better. But if he is the driving force behind the club's anti-Tito sentiment…. I'm not confident in that assessment at all. Werner's just a money guy; I don't think he has any real pull with respect to, or possibly any interest whatsoever in, the baseball operations. (I don't think he did in San Diego, either.) Lucchino is Lucchino, but Theo got Henry to effectively neuter him. Nope — this (the Francona issue) is 100% on John Henry.

        2. "Unbefrickinlievable."

          Very believable. Somebody had to get fired after this historic collapse, no? Tito's the easiest target because his contract is up (Theo's still got a couple of years).

          1. No, not at all. Who did the Bruins fire after their historic collapse? Nobody. Boy, that turned out to be a stupid call…

            But yes, if you're a reactionary who just fires away without any regards to, you know, what the actual problem was, I guess you fire everyone.

  2. There were chemistry problems in the clubhouse!? Funny how that wasn't reported during the season. I thought those problems finally vanished when they eliminated those clubhouse cancers named Manny and Pedro.

  3. Right after the loss, NESN went to the locker room for post-game interviews. Right smack in the middle of the Papelbon interview they broke away to the studio. I mean, I like Tom Caron but please NESN I'd rather hear what Papelbon has to say!! Same exact thing happened to Terry Francona and Adrian Gonzalez; middle of their interview they'd break back to the studio so we could hear Caron say, "Well, there you go. That's Jonathan Papelbon (or Adrian Gonzalez) blah, blah, blah". Yea, no kidding. NESN please take note. We'd rather watch and hear the interviews for awhile longer, not TC and Rice.

  4. So we have a manger that has been here for 8 years, and won 2 world series. So the team has a bad month (2 if you count the bad start in April) and the Red Sox want to clean house. Wow! During the last month we were pinning our hopes on Ryan Lavarnaway, Mike Avilles, Josh Reddick, and an underperforming Crawford. It’s Tito’s fault that Papelbon blows 2 saves in the last week of the season? It’s Tito’s fault that Aceves is the only reliable bullpen pitcher. Imagine if he inserted him in the rotation, who would have bailed out the other 4 starters? If (when)he leaves can’t wait to see the replacement. Big mistake coming if he is free to leave.

  5. Meanwhile, it's good to see….

    (a) Boston.com providing us with a hard-hitting man-on-the-street-talking-with-no-knowledge-about-stuff video of the kind we all know and love from them on the subject of Tito, and

    (b) Shank pulling someone else's rumored whispers, asserting them as fact, and insinuating that he's known it all along, and how it's nice that the rest of us slow, naive pink hats are now catching on to the real truth.

    1. to add on:

      c) Tony Mazz spending an entire baseball Reporters show upset at how the players do not respect the fans…as if this is something new. And its not like Tony respects them…well least not Pats fans.

      d) Mike Felger buying hook line and sinker the spin that all the problems this year belong at the feet of Tito. Never once asking why the stories are being circulated and covered now. The same Felger who spends most of the past season ripping the BBWA for its blind following of the Sox PR…now he blindly accepts what people like Tomasse are being fed. Priceless.

      e) The Big O trots of Buckley as his third man in…after all when you think baseball you think Steve Buckley. When the discussion turned to news cycles and when the Sox would announce the firing of Tito Buckley says "Its like when I was thinking of making my little announcement…I wanted to do it the day after Thanksgiving when no one would be paying attention". The Sox of course confirmed Tito's firing 15 minutes later. Leave it to Buck to again remind all of us he is gay and that he once announced it on a radio station…oh wait today was not all about Buckley…my bad.

  6. "Why do you hate these owners so much?? They commit tons of money and resources to the Red Sox."

    Ever hear of Dan Snyder? Sorry it looks like they're relegating Fenway to Coney Island and it's all about money. Welcome Pink Hat nation. Maybe if they just focused on baseball instead of hooking up to market with Lebron, buying an EPL team that hates them and running a NASCAR team that most of New England does not really care for.

  7. I don't believe that Warner and Henry are interested in the team…I think they are interested in the entertainment. I think the way they got the team was suspect (although in hindsight Dolan and McCourt would each have been disasters also). I think their promise of a new Fenway when they knew they had neither the cash, the land nor the political clout was the first sign of snake oil salesmen. I think what they have done to NESN is indicative of how they view the fans and the team. They are not about baseball…they are about the casual fan. I do not begrudge the money they have spent nor their need to make money…I begrudge the fact that they do not have passion for the game or the team. As such I hate them as owners.

  8. NESN/CSNNE (and I assume both radio shows) air'd both confs. Interesting analysis on CSNNE after and I am looking forward to the Baseball show on CSNNE tomorrow morning.

    Another thought since Henry wasn't there: there were reports he was headed off in an ambulance after "an injury on his yacht" — did he come down with J.D. Drewitis?

    You've got every right to dodge the media, facing all the ramifications on the decision, but basically shirking one of the most important press conferences? You have a big no confidence vote from me.

  9. I have no respect for the team for not playing hard for their manager.
    In future contracts, should be incentive laden for hard play and intensity.The best of
    luck Tito, You deserve better.

  10. redits to Felger on Sports Sunday/CSNNE for this. Didn't even think to check this one.

    Linda_Pizzuti Linda Pizzuti
    Happy John is home! He slipped down stairs, injuring his neck. Kept at hospital as a precautionary measure, but was home for the derby.
    1 Oct
    (source: http://twitter.com/#!/Linda_Pizzuti/status/120142

    Nice job, hun. Right on the day you fire Tito, what are they publicly caring about? The derby. Wait, Derby? What?

    For those who don't follow EPL: The Merseyside derby is the name given to any football match contested between Everton and Liverpool football clubs, the two most successful clubs from the city of Liverpool in England. It is the longest currently running top-flight derby in England, having been played at that level every season since 1962–63. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merseyside_derby)

    Remember, folks, it's not about a quality team anymore but ZOMG LOL!!!!!!!! FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Linda_Pizzuti Linda Pizzuti
    MT @BizballMaury: @RedSox surpass 3 million fans on Facebook –2nd largest MLB Facebook fan base. Increased 1.2 million fans since January 1
    19 Sept (source: http://twitter.com/#!/Linda_Pizzuti/status/115807

    Pink Hat Nation embraced!

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