Terry Francona is still upset with the Red Sox for trying to smear his name

When the Red Sox celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park a week from Friday, it would only make sense to have one of the most successful managers in team history in attendance. Considering he brought two World Series trophies to Boston and broke an 86-year curse, Terry Francona meets the criteria. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Francona has declined an invitation to join the celebration because he is still upset with the organization for smearing his name.

“Somebody went out of their way to make me look pretty bad,” Francona told the Boston Globe on Tuesday. “It’s a shame. I’m sure they’ll have a great event and I was part of a lot of that stuff there, but I just can’t go back there and start hugging people and stuff without feeling a little bit hypocritical.”

Who can blame him? Rather than just accepting that the Francona era had run its course and it was time to move on, somebody had to paint him as a man with a painkiller addiction who had as many problems at home as he did with handling the Red Sox clubhouse. Red Sox executives Larry Lucchino and John henry insist they did not plant the information, yet they have done nothing to find out who did or show Francona they regret the story was run.

“Larry called me yesterday,’’ Francona said. “I was in a phone store in Arizona. I had three people standing around me. I was at a little bit of a disadvantage. He got a little perturbed at me, telling me I was being unfair to them. I called him back last night and left him a message. He called me back and we ended up getting into an argument. I just feel like someone in the organization went out of their way to hurt me and the more we talked I realized we’re just not on the same wavelength. They’re probably better off going forth and leaving me out of it.’’

Francona said he tried to reach Lucchino at the end of last season but his calls were ignored. They eventually spoke when Lucchino called Tito back in February, but Francona says the phone call was “five months too late.”

“When I spoke to John he made me think they were going to make an effort,” Francona continued. “John and Larry made it clear to me they weren’t responsible for what was said (in the Globe article). I thought they owed it to me to get to the bottom of it a little bit…For me to go back and start waving and hugging, I’m just not comfortable doing that. I made it pretty clear to John Henry. When I told Larry that, he said, ‘Well, I haven’t talked to John about it.’ I said, well then how (expletive) important could it be?

It certainly is a shame. Francona brought the Red Sox back to life by winning a World Series in his first season as their manager. For him to have been dragged through the mud like that on his way out the door is an embarrassment to Boston’s ownership group. If it were me, I wouldn’t be taking part in any celebrations either.

Photo credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

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  • Anonymous

    I don’t blame him… the team imploded at the end of last season yet the blame was laid on his shoulders. Mgmnt made a big mistake firing him…. it takes a team to play the game, he did his best for so many years and was kicked out because the team faltered. Francona’s personal life did not need to be desimated. Boo on whoever printed the stuff.. for all we know it’s a bunch of balogna (which, by the way, has a name… shame).

  • Anonymous

    As a lifelong Red Sox fan I have only one thing to say about the past year of Red Sox history: I  plan to live much  longer …as as Cubs fan, Go Cubs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gloruss Glo Tom

    Get over it Tito, its a done deal, history, getting old listening and reading about it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WW4SUGV5J6Y7R5MVPAWVIWAJFU Dennis

    He was kicked to the curb by everyone.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WW4SUGV5J6Y7R5MVPAWVIWAJFU Dennis

    Its ok to change clubs but don’t get to involved otherwise you will become very ill waiting for the Cubs to win anything.Actually i would like to see them go to post season.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WW4SUGV5J6Y7R5MVPAWVIWAJFU Dennis

    I liked Tito but he even knew it was time to move on,the team lost respect for him and kicked him while he was down,he coddled his players and it turned certain people into real pussy’s.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WW4SUGV5J6Y7R5MVPAWVIWAJFU Dennis

    I will say this,it was an organization too be proud of but no more.The only good thing is the players that played a while for Tito are almost gone and don’t care to much about the last eight years.

  • Anonymous

    Terry Francona’s legacy in Boston is ahead of him.  All of the bits and pieces of b.s. coming out of the end of last season will soon be a distant memory and eventually forgotten… Generations from now, Tito’s name will only be seen in a positive light and he will be held in extremely high regard because of his accomplishments…. not fried chicken and beer.  As a native Bostonian, I’ve followed the Red Sox since the early ’50s and have seen the best and the worst of times….. Tito will come out ahead of all this to take his rightful place in the history of the organization.  He broke the 86-year drought….. that alone is enough to seal his reputation and the fans’ regard for him for all time…… All the rest is nonsense… Am I a drum beater for Tito?  You bet… and I couldn’t possibly thank him enough for what he helped bring to all of the truly diehard fans of the Boston Red Sox.