Thursday, November 06, 2003

Boston Tito Party?

Former Phillies manager Terry Francona interviewed for the Boston manager's job yesterday, and the Associated Press reported he "came away from the meeting enthusiastic about the chance to manage the Red Sox." In fact, it sounds as Francona has done everything except buy full-page ads in the Boston Globe that scream "PLEASE HIRE ME!"

As AP's story points out, Francona's four-year tenure in Philadelphia included not one winning seasons. He came to the Phils during the beginning of a rebuilding campaign, and left under criticism for not being hard enough on players who were dogging it. (See Abreu, Bobby.) The need to counteract his laxity was a major factor in the hiring of hard-ass extraordinaire Larry Bowa. Francona seems like a good guy, but one wonders what he'd do the first time Manny Ramirez loafed after a base hit in left.

Francona never was given the tools to win here, and was cashiered too soon to enjoy managing with players who could compete. Still, he's diplomatic about his time in Philadelphia, saying, ""I was very young. I was learning kind of on the run. I had a goal back then to be a major league manager. Now I have a goal to be a successful major league manager. I think it can be done." Uh, Terry? Your goal should be success wherever you are, regardless of your age.

(Pop-culture aside: Could anyone else play Francona except the guy who's Charlotte's husband on Sex and the City?)


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