Terry Francona Returns To Boston
Terry Francona knows Fenway Park. He knows Boston. He helped bring the Boston Red Sox two titles in his eight-year tenure there, including a magical, curse-breaking eight-game run to the 2004 title. The Red Sox were relevant every single year with Francona at the helm.
Now Francona is someone else’s skipper. The Cleveland Indians hired him before the 2013 season, and so far it has paid dividends, as the Indians find themselves first in the AL Central division, a solid eight games over .500.
One can only imagine the emotions Francona felt upon walking back into Fenway Park, this time as the opponent. Without downplaying the good times he had in Boston, Francona strongly emphasized his loyalty to his current team.
[quote]”I think part of the reason I’m OK with this, is I’m really proud of coming here with this hat on, this uniform,” Francona said. “And that takes nothing away from the eight years I was here. It makes it easier to look back on some of the fonder memories, and now you start new ones in another place. And that’s kind of how I feel.”[/quote]
Francona was fired after the end of the 2012 season, when the Red Sox missed out on the playoffs in heartbreaking fashion. It was a September collapse like none before, and Red Sox management, with the timing of the firing, made Francona a scapegoat.
In hindsight, however, it seems that the move was right for both sides. It was time to move on, and now both Francona and the Red Sox are set to have plenty of success in the immediate and distant future.