BOSTON -- Terry Francona's memorable run as manager of the Red Sox, during which he guided the club to its first two World Series championships since 1918, came to an end.I heard the rumors earlier today and was dismissive of them. It was inconceivable to me the organization would let the manager who coached them to two World Series victories, and the greatest comeback of all time in the 2004 ALCS, walk away. But, there he goes.
"We met with Terry Francona, Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington Friday morning to discuss the 2011 season, ways to improve the club in the future, and Tito's status," Red Sox owners John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino said in a joint statement. "During the meeting, Tito, Theo and Ben agreed that the Red Sox would benefit from an improved clubhouse culture and higher standards in several areas. Tito said that after eight years here he was frustrated by his difficulty making an impact with the players, that a different voice was needed, and that it was time for him to move on. After taking time to reflect on Tito's sentiments, we agreed that it was best for the Red Sox not to exercise the option years on his contract.
Terry, you have the thanks of a grateful (Red Sox) nation. We're going to miss you. Whatever you decide to do next ... ESPN is always hiring, right? ... I'm sure I join a chorus of voices in wishing you all the best.