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Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Way Tito Was Treated Will Never be Forgotten

Am I the only one that remembers that magical season in 2004? The one that saw the Red Sox beat all odds and adversity on their way to first World Series title in 86 years--does anyone else remember that, or was it just something I dreamed up in my baseball ridden mind? I'm inclined to think that it really happened and it's sad that no one else remembered it after the 2011 season. 

After eight years of managing the rigors that come with a team like the Boston Red Sox, Terry Francona and his team had a bad string of luck that left them looking back on an epic September collapse in which they went from a 9 game Wild Card lead to the odd man out in the '11 playoff picture. To say that a change was warranted would be an understatement but the way it happened was nothing short of tragic.
 

Just days after the regular season ended Tito Francona seemed to assume responsibility for the worst collapse in franchise history by stepping down as the manager of the Red Sox but even those out of touch with the situation knew there was more to it than that. Terry Francona had been asked to step down from the position he held with pride for more than 8 years without so much as a thank you from anybody. 

By stepping down instead of waiting to be fired by Red Sox ownership, Tito had essentially taken responsibility for the collapse and taken care of the dirty work for Tom Werner, Larry Lucchino and John Henry. If the owners had publicly fired Francona it would have caused an outrage from the fans in Boston and rightly so--Terry Francona brought the city of Boston something it hadn't seen in close to a century--the fans wouldn't have taken lightly to his banishing. 

This is all in the past though and there wouldn't be much to say about it now if it weren't for comments that Tito made to the press this week concerning the 100th Anniversary Celebration at Fenway Park on Friday, April 20th. 

Tito said that he won't be attending the celebration and a few days later revealed that he and Larry Lucchino got into an argument on the phone because Lucchino said he was "being unfair" to them by not going. 

My first reaction was "You gotta be bleepin' me". 

I think its quite obvious that Tito's still not over the way he was kicked and dragged through the mud on his way out of Boston. Can you blame him?

 Not once did you see any member of the Red Sox ownership group go to bat for him when the Bob Hohler story came out and cited unnamed clubhouse sources as saying that marriage problems and an addiction to prescription medication affected his ability to manage the club in 2011.

Never did Henry, Lucchino or Werner offer a call to the Cardinals to let them know that Tito wasn't that kind of guy or just to simply offer a professional reference--as if he need's one--but you get the point. 

Hell, he didn't even get a call back until Larry Lucchino conveniently wanted to extend an invitation to the celebration at Fenway "In case there was a mix up". 

The way Red Sox ownership treated such an important part of franchise history is an utter travesty. The fact that Red Sox Nation will be deprived of the presence that Tito brings to Boston lies solely on the shoulders of these three men and it's tragic. 






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