IT SEEMED LIKE Terry Francona was always mad at me.Of course Shank was willing to let bygones be bygones; there's money to be made here!
For eight years.
My cellphone would ring and it would be a Red Sox publicist calling: “Terry wants to talk to you.” And we would talk. The manager would dispute and clarify things I’d written in one of my Globe columns. He’d explain why he left Pedro Martinez in the game after Pedro exceeded his pitch limit. He would defend using Coco Crisp over Jacoby Ellsbury at the start of the 2007 playoffs. He’d challenge the notion that he was panicking by having Jon Lester ready to pitch on three days’ rest in the 2009 postseason.
“What I wrote is just an opinion,” I’d offer.
“Well, not having information hasn’t prevented you from having an opinion” was a familiar retort from Francona.
Fortunately, he didn’t carry a grudge. I enjoyed the give-and-takes with the Sox skipper during his successful eight years (five playoffs, two championships) in the corner office on Yawkey Way. He was a baseball lifer, almost as old as I. He told great stories and he was funny. I believed that if we’d had different jobs, or more time together, we’d have gotten along great.
I was right. The former Sox manager and I spent the last year writing Francona: The Red Sox Years, which hits bookshelves Tuesday. The project was thoroughly collaborative, exhausting, and hilarious.
Friday, January 18, 2013
The Terry Francona Project - II
Terry Francona's book is out on Tuesday. Shank's pre-release column on the book is out today.