Tag:Terry Francona
Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:52 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 3:25 pm
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Bobby V. fires back at Terry Francona

Bobby Valentine

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Well, earlier Monday former Red Sox manager Terry Francona said the Red Sox ban on alcohol in the clubhouse was a "PR move." Current Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine didn't give a "PR" or "PC" response.

"Remember," Valentine told reporters, including the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber, "you're getting paid over there for saying stuff. You get paid over here for doing stuff. I've done both."

It should be noted, Francona's done both too -- and has two more rings than Valentine.

Valentine continued -- "How was it PR?" he asked. "It means like 20 teams are looking for PR and that's why they're making good decisions."

Valentine did say he had the same rule in his last big-league managerial job with the Mets.

With ESPN's penchant to overblow everything Red Sox and Francona on its payroll, it's safe to say this won't be the last time Francona is asked about a Boston controversy -- and Valentine will object to whatever is said. Valentine is always entertaining, and with Francona in his new gig and a microscope on both, there should be plenty of fun for onlookers this season.

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Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:10 am
 

Francona says Boston's beer ban 'a PR move'

Terry FranconaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

As an analyst at ESPN, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona is in a bit of an awkward spot when asked about his former team -- especially Monday when he was asked about Bobby Valentine's new ban on alcohol in the team's clubhouse.

Appearing on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" show (via ESPN), Francona said he wasn't surprised the new manager nixed postgame beers after last season's late-season collapse that was blamed, in part, to starting pitchers drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games.

"I don't think it's a surprise that they put this in effect, or the fact they announced it," Francona said on Monday. "It's probably more of a PR move just because, you know, the Red Sox [took] such a beating at the end of the year."

He's right, it's mostly a PR move -- but one that probably had to happen. Francona also said he wasn't sure it would curb players drinking.

"I think if a guy wants a beer, he can probably get one," Francona said. "You know, it's kind of the old rule … If your coach in football says no hard liquor on the plane -- I mean, you serve beer and wine -- somebody's going to sneak liquor on the plane. If you furnish a little bit, it almost keeps it to a minimum."

Francona, though, stopped short of criticizing Valentine's decision.

"You look back at this, these are guys that earned my implicit trust," Francona said. "You know, guys that we had won World Series with.

"So I probably felt different about it than a new guy coming in. And he certainly has the right to do what he wants, because he is new, and that's why you get different people."

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Posted on: December 27, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Voting for the 2011 MLB Bloggies, Part II



By C. Trent Rosecrans


With just a few days left until 2012 brings us a whole new year, it's only fitting to look back at the year that was. Sure, there's an actual baseball season, including spring training, the regular season and the postseason, but things happen nearly every day throughout the entire calendar year. So we're going to create a fake award and call it a Bloggie. 

We'll set the table with some nominations and let you, our readers, vote for the winners. We did Part I on Monday and this is Part II: Electric Boogaloo. Friday, we'll post the winners and our staff picks. Without further ado ...

Best Twitterer
• @JGuthrie46 (Jeremy Guthrie): The Orioles starter loves his Air Jordans and often gives updates on his newest kicks, but he also trash talks with his teammates in an entertaining feed.
• @BMcCarthy32 (Brandon McCarthy): The A's right-hander may be the most prolific tweeter of English Premier League analysis in baseball. He also shows off a great sense of humor.
@LoMoMarlins (Logan Morrison): The Marlins' brass may disagree, but Morrison is candid and entertaining with his tweets, even if it got him in trouble with the front office.
@DatDudeBP (Brandon Phillips): Phillips not only engages with his fans on Twitter, but also brings them into his real life. He's held contests to give away not just merchandise, but also a trip to spring training and even asked fans what to do on a day off, and when a kid invited him to his baseball game, Phillips showed up.
@str8edgeracer (C.J. Wilson): The off-season's most sought-after starter tweeted during the season, throughout the World Series and even in free agency.



Biggest bonehead move
• A-Rod's popcorn snafu: Usually having a famous actress feed you popcorn is a badge of honor -- unless you're Alex Rodriguez. Not only did Fox cameras catch then-girlfriend Cameron Diaz feeding A-Rod popcorn during the Super Bowl, but then Rodriguez made it worse by allegedly was upset about the shot.
Mike Leake's shopping spree: The second-year Reds pitcher was arrested for taking $60 worth of shirts from a downtown Cincinnati Macy's in April. He eventually pled guilty to a lesser charge.
• Distracted baserunner: The Reds and Phillies went 19 innings on May 25, but the game could have ended earlier -- with a different winner -- had Phillips been playing more attention to pitcher J.C. Romero than to his conversation with Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. While gabbing with Rollins, Romero picked Phillips off at second. What made it worse was that the Reds had two on and one out -- and were a ball away from loading the bases -- before Phillips got picked off. After walking Scott Rolen, Romero walked Jay Bruce to load the bases with two outs, but David Herndon replaced Romero to get out of the inning.
Beer and chicken: Beer and fried chicken are great things -- unless you're consuming those two in the clubhouse as your team is playing on the field. The backroom hijinks got Terry Francona fired and may have cost the Red Sox a shot at the playoffs.
Tony La Russa's communication breakdown: If the Cardinals hadn't come back to win the World Series, Tony La Russa's gaffe in Game 5 would go down as one of the worst of all time. La Russa claimed the crowd noise at Rangers Ballpark prevented him from communicating with his bullpen. He said he wanted his closer, Jason Motte, to get warmed up, and instead Lance Lynn was told to get warm. When Lynn came into the game, his manager was surprised and the Cardinals went on to lose the game.



Best celebration:
Brewers: Milwaukee's "Beast Mode" was inspired by Prince Fielder's kids and the movie Monsters, Inc.
Diamondbacks: Was the team's "Snake" inspired by the movie Dodgeball?
Yadier Molina: The Cardinal catcher either did a "cry baby" or motorcycle celebration during the NLCS.
Rangers: Texas' "claw and antler" started in 2010 and started the signaling to the dugout trend.
None, they're all lame.



Weirdest injury:
Jeremy Affeldt: The Giants left-hander suffered a deep cut that required surgery on his right hand when he used a knife to attempt to separate frozen hamburger patties.
Sergio Escalona: The Houston reliever suffered a spraining ankle when he tripped over a glove during batting practice.
Matt Holliday: The Cardinals left fielder left a game after a moth flew into his ear.
Zack Greinke: The Brewers' ace debuted on the disabled list after he broke a rib in a pickup basketball game before spring training started.
Chris Narveson: Another Brewer pitcher with an odd injury, the left-hander cut himself while fixing his glove.

 

Most Impressive home run:
Juan Francisco

Justin Upton

• Prince Fielder

Mark Trumbo

Mike Stanton




Best defensive play:
Asdrubal Cabrera

Brandon Phillips

Ben Revere

Jeff Francoeur

Sam Fuld




So, cast your vote and check back Friday for not only the winners, but also the choices from our staff.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:36 am
Edited on: December 6, 2011 2:38 am
 

Francona replaces Valentine at ESPN

Terry Francona Bobby Valentine

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Not only did Bobby Valentine replace Terry Francona with the Red Sox, Francona will now replace Valentine with ESPN.

Monday night the network announced that the former Red Sox manager will take over for Valentine as an analyst for ESPN's Sunday night baseball telecasts, joining Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser in the booth. He will also appear on the network's other news shows and will call the Little League World Series.

Francona, 52, filled in for Tim McCarver for two games durning the ALCS and by all accounts was a smashing success.

The Red Sox did not renew Francona's contract after the team's epic September collapse and then last week hired Valentine to replace him.  

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 25, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Jays asked for Buchholz in exchange for Farrell



By C. Trent Rosecrans

How much is a manager worth?

If you're the Marlins, it's worth two minor-leaguers in exchange for Ozzie Guillen, a manager with a .524 winning percentage over eight years and a World Series title.

If you're the Blue Jays, you seem to think your manager with one year of experience and a .500 record is worth a 27-year old starter with an All-Star appearance under his belt. The Boston Red Sox, apparently, don't agree.

According to several reports, including one from the New York Times, the Red Sox passed when the Blue Jays asked for Clay Buchholz in return for John Farrell. And wisely so.

While some may get up in arms about this trade possibility (or, really, non-possibility when you think about it), it makes sense from both sides. It's part of doing business -- the Red Sox needed a new manager after getting rid of Terry Francona, and in Farrell, there was a known commodity inside the organization (Farrell had been the Red Sox pitching coach) with major-league managing experience. He was a perfect fit. Except, you know, for that part about him already having a job and being under contract for the next two years.

That's where the Blue Jays had leverage -- if the Red Sox wanted Farrell, they could have him for a price. Asking for Buchholz is probably as close to saying "no" as you can without saying that word -- the Blue Jays didn't want to give up their manager that they like just fine, so the price was high. If they had to get a new manager, that manager would love to have Buchholz in the rotation, that's for sure. 

While the Blue Jays seem to think their manager is worth quite a bit, the market tells us differently. So far this offseason, there's been a run this off-season on first-year managers. The Cubs, White Sox and Cardinals -- three marquee openings -- went to first-time managers, the White Sox hiring a guy who has never managed at any level. The market, it seems is saying experienced managers are not worth the money they command. If you have a Tony La Russa, it's fine to pay him a lot. But if you don't, go out and storm the Wal-Mart for your next manager and get him at a discount.

Trades for a manager are rare -- as the Guillen trade was the first since the Rays sent Randy Winn and a minor-leaguer to Seattle for Lou Piniella in 2002. That one didn't pay immediate dividends, but there are at least two trades for managers that did seem to be worth the price. The Mets sent right-hander Bill Denehy to the Senators for manager Gil Hodges after the 1967 season and the Mets went on to win the 1969 World Series. The Pirates got their own World Series-winning manager in a trade, sending veteran catcher Manny Sanguillen to the A's for Chuck Tanner following the 1976 season. Tanner led the Pirates to the 1979 World Series title (with Sanguillen, who was traded back to the Pirates after the 1977 season).

It's hardly out of the question for Guillen -- or Farrell -- to lead their team to the World Series, but it's more likely Buchholz will contribute more value than any manager, so the Blue Jays were right to ask for Buchholz and the Red Sox were right to say no.

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Posted on: November 17, 2011 5:29 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 6:43 pm
 

Would expanded playoffs change past results?



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Commissioner Bud Selig wants one more team in the playoffs as soon as the 2012 season, with the two wild card teams facing off in one game to decide which team moves on to the next round. The idea is to expand the playoffs and at the same time giving division winners an advantage over a team that doesn't win its division.

Not only does the extra team mean there's more playoffs, but the wild card teams will have to juggle their rotation to try to get their best pitcher pitch in the one-game playoff.

2011

American League: No baseball fan will forget watching Game 162 for the Rays and Red Sox -- a once-in-a-lifetime finish to the regular season that wouldn't happen under the new format. Of course, it was there only because of the wild card -- something that many people were against when Selig first introduced it. There will still be fantastic finishes -- just not one exactly like there was this year. Not that I was expecting to see anything like that ever again. If the new format eliminates the rule barring teams from the same division playing in the first round, the first-round match ups would have been different, with the Tigers and Rangers meeting in the divisional series instead of the ALCS.

National League: The Cardinals and Braves would have faced off in the one-game playoff, with the winner going on the face the Phillies. Chris Carpenter wouldn't have had to pitch the final game of the regular season and could have been held back for the wild card game.

What would have changed? Maybe Terry Francona would still have a job, but other than that, who knows? The Cardinals wouldn't have had Carpenter for the wild card game, but if they were indeed a team of destiny, who's to say they don't go on and win the whole thing? The American League is a tossup, really, it's tough to say exactly what would have happened.

2010

American League: The Red Sox beat out the White Sox for the second playoff spot and set up yet another Yankees-Red Sox showdown in the one-game wild card.

National League: Atlanta and San Diego would face off for the right to face the seemingly unbeatable Phillies, while the Giants and Reds would have met in the other division series.

What would have changed? Instead of facing the Yankees, the Twins would get the Rangers, but the result probably wouldn't have changed. As for the National League, San Diego was reeling at the end of the season and probably wouldn't have challenged the Braves. However, the Phillies wouldn't have played the Reds in the first round and we wouldn't have gotten Roy Halladay's no-hitter. Or maybe we would have, the Reds had the National League's best offense, so maybe the opponent didn't matter that day.

2009

American League: Instead of just one one-game playoff in the AL, in 2009 there would have been two. Boston and Texas would have been the two wild card teams, but both teams had better records than the Twins and Tigers, who met in a one-game playoff to determine the American League Central champ.

National League: The AL East isn't the only division that can squeeze three teams into the playoffs -- the Rockies and Giants would face each other for the right to play the Dodgers in the NLDS.

What would have changed? Probably little, the Yankees and Phillies would likely face off in the World Series no matter what other teams were in the mix.

2008

American League: The Twins would have been the extra wild card team, facing the 95-win Red Sox for the right to face the Angels

National League: The Brewers and Mets would have had to face off in the wild card game, with the winner getting the 97-win Cubs, while Philadelphia would face Los Angeles in the NLDS instead of the Cubs.

What would have changed? The Red Sox beat the Angels 3-1 in the ALDS, so it's not a stretch to see Boston burning a pitcher and still beating the Angels in that series. The Phillies likely would have gone on to the World Series, but the Cubs may have had a better shot to advance to the NLCS and break some more hearts by failing to reach the World Series.

2007

American League: One one-game playoff not good enough for you? How about a playoff for the playoff? The 94-win Yankees would have to wait a day to see who they'd play in the wild card game, as Seattle and Detroit both finished 88-74.

National League: This time we have a pretty good idea what it would look like -- the Rockies and Padres would face off in a one-game playoff, just as they did anyway. A 13-inning thriller, the Rockies beat the Padres to advance to the NLDS. But instead of playing the Phillies in the first round, the Rockies would have faced the Diamondbacks, who had the best record in the National League with 90 wins.

What would have changed? Probably not too much -- every series was a sweep, meaning the best teams were more or less identified.

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Posted on: November 16, 2011 4:22 pm
 

The 2011 Anti-Managers of the Year



By Matt Snyder


Some of the best managers in baseball for 2011 were listed on ballots that were revealed Wednesday. Joe Maddon and Kirk Gibson came out on top in a completely unsurprising movement. But what about the other end of the spectrum? Who were the worst managers? We'll exclude guys who were fired during the season because they've already suffered enough. But what about the managers who kept their jobs well into September despite failing to meet preseason expectations? Let's check them out.

AL Anti-Manager of the Year candidates

Terry Francona, Red Sox. No, he wasn't fired during the season. He walked away after the season, so he's "eligible" in this fun little exercise. And with the fallout of the historic collapse we've already heard far too much about, you have to question everyone in the Red Sox organization. Francona built up a ton of credibility throughout his years at the helm in Boston and rightfully so, but in looking at just 2011, the awful September is a real black eye on his resume.

Ozzie Guillen, White Sox. He wasn't fired either. He walked away to take a new job after having a colossal disappointment of a season. The White Sox were picked by many to win the AL Central with what looked like a stacked offense and very good starting pitching. Instead, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios were albatrosses, Gordon Beckham took a step backward in his development and the back-end of the bullpen was a mess for the first several weeks of the season. There were some positives, but the negatives far outweighed those on a high-priced roster that failed to meet expectations.

Ron Gardenhire, Twins. It's hard to completely blame Gardenhire for the disaster that was the Twins' 2011 season, considering all the injuries, but, frankly, I needed a third name here. And with the Twins getting 31 games worse in one season, Gardenhire has to shoulder at least some of the load.

The pick: It's gotta be Francona with that monumental collapse. And the funny thing is, I'd hire him in a heartbeat if I was running a team with a managerial opening. He just had a bad month, along with many of his players.

NL Anti-Manager of the Year candidates

Fredi Gonzalez, Braves. His ballclub lost a double-digit lead in the NL wild card in one month. That's not always on the manager, as the offense was sputtering just as it had most of the season, but I'm placing a lot of blame on Gonzalez because the back-end of his bullpen started to falter down the stretch. All season, people had been pointing out the overuse of Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters. And all season, Gonzalez just ignored it, and continued running the duo out there, even with three-run leads. Just because the save rule says a three-run lead means a save opportunity doesn't mean you have to use your guys. What was wrong with using Scott Linebrink and George Sherrill with a three-run lead in the middle of July, for example? Plus, there were times Gonzalez used either Venters or Kimbrel with a lead bigger than three. That's just unexcusable.

Dusty Baker, Reds. The Reds got 12 games worse in a mediocre division (yes, there were two good teams, but three pretty bad ones) with very similar personnel to their division-winning team in 2010. In four seasons, Baker has only had a winning record once.

Mike Quade, Cubs. Flawed roster? Yes. Injuries? Sure. But Quade was still pretty overmatched and appeared to lose control of his locker room by July. This was coming from a guy many players endorsed prior to the season.

Jim Tracy, Rockies. The Jorge De La Rosa injury hurt, just as some underperformance from a few players, but the Rockies entered the season with far too much talent to end up a whopping 16 games under .500. Manager of the Year voting seems to always use performance versus expectations, so it's only fair the Anti-Manager does the same. Thus, Tracy's inclusion here.

The pick: Gonzalez, and I'd actually think about firing him due to the aforementioned overuse of Kimbrel and Venters. It cost his team the season. Hopefully the wear and tear doesn't alter the career paths of the young fireballers.

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Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:49 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Francona won't manage in 2012

Terry Francona

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Although nobody seemed to be asking him to manager in 2012, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona says he won't manage this upcoming season.

Francona told Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com that he's taking the year off "for my benefit."

Francona interviewed for the Cardinals job, but St. Louis went with first-time manager Mike Matheny instead.

"When I interviewed in St. Louis, I was genuinely excited about it," Francona told McAdam. "St. Louis was such an exiting opportunity. But we were all beaten up at the end of the year, and after [interviewing] I took a step back and began to look at things realistically."

With the Cardinals job filled, the Red Sox and Cubs are the only current openings. He certainly won't get the job in Boston and he said he won't be following Theo Epstein to Chicago.

"I've talked to Theo numerous times," Francona told McAdam. "We both know each other well enough where we can be honest with each other. I don't think it's the right opportunity."

Francona said he will "take a step back and re-energize," but may work in television. He said he's been contacted by Fox, ESPN and MLB Network. He filled in during Fox's ALCS coverage and was very good.

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