Terry Francona and Dan Shaughnessy joined Gresh & Zo Wednesday morning to discuss their new book, “Francona: The Red Sox Years.” The guys asked the former Red Sox manager about past relationships with players and how ownership affected his tenure in Boston. Also, Francona and Shaughnessy give a look into how they built their unlikely relationship.If you're inclined to equate letting certain players booze in the clubhouse with losing control of the team, that doesn't quite square with this, does it?
Francona, on Tom Werner saying the manager admitted to losing the clubhouse
I don’t think the front office ever said that. I think Tom Werner made that comment that I said that I had lost control, which I had never said. I don’t think I ever lost control.
Based on Francona’s non-denial, it’s apparently true that some of the Sox’ starting pitchers were drinking in the clubhouse during games they were not scheduled to start. A report in yesterday’s Herald broke the story and Francona rejected an opportunity to say that it was untrue.Next:
Francona, on the challenges of BostonSo Francona, who cites putting out the daily fires as part of his job, asked one of the arsonists to help him write this book?
Part of being a manager in Boston, or probably a coach in Boston for that matter, is trying to put out the daily fires. There are enough of them to begin with, and the ones that aren’t there are made up. It’s part of the daily regimen. Trying to make it easier for the players to play was part of my responsibility.
Francona, on Manny Ramirez taking a public beating for taking three strikes against Mariano RiveraMaybe my brain's shot, but I distinctly remember one of those first two strikes with Manny's bat resting firmly on his shoulder, but not the last one.
I tried to always stick up for Manny, I think that’s probably the reason people didn’t believe me. We had asked him to pinch hit that day and he was ready. He was back in the tunnel, he was engaged. He never got a pitch he thought he could handle, and he never offered.
Now, I don’t think he lost sleep over it. But he didn’t go up there and mail it in. He took a beating for that one, and I didn’t think that was just.
The rest of the Gresh & Zo interview is at the first link. The best parts of the two segments are Shank's infrequent interjections.