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Sports Then and Now

Terry Francona Takes Fall For Red Sox Collapse

Posted on October 01, 2011 by Marisa Ingemi

Tito deserved better.

Watching Terry Francona and Theo Epstein talking on Thursday afternoon, I felt a pit forming in my stomach. No, not because the Boston Red Sox would miss the playoffs. That feeling had come and gone more than a week before. It came now for another reason.

The players had driven off the best manager in Red Sox history.

This is no longer idle speculation. Francona confirmed what we all had thought and said. The Red Sox were out of shape, they were arrogant, and they felt entitled. Because of that, Francona was forced to step down from one of the best jobs in sports.

It was because Josh Beckett gained ten pounds this season. It was because John Lackey flipped off at the media. It was because of all this, Terry Francona felt that he had let the Red Sox down.

He said at his press conference on Friday night that he felt he let everyone down; the players let him think that. Thanks to the lack of accountability, someone who did not have to stand up and face the music was forced to. Because no one stepped up on this team, it was nine players, nine cabs type of team. Francona had to leave the team he loved and cared about. He was the causality.

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No one else did, and Tito said as much. He said that the team did not care about each other. He said that this team had a personality problem. And it was never his fault. He becomes the scapegoat because he can no longer handle babysitting diva millionares reaching for complaints. The players on that team should feel ashamed.

I say team because of a lack of a better term. The collection of individuals we watched take the field in September was never a team. They never came together. They never had a chance, not even when they were winning. This team was doomed the day they came to Fort Myers, before the first exhibition game could even begin.

I do not blame Francona for leaving this utter mess the players have created. If the players do not feel shame for what they accomplished they do not deserve the best job in the world, playing in a major league sport. It is because of them the fans and organization lost one of the people ever to be involved in Boston sports.

The pit in my stomach is growing by the second. Because as I look at the future of this team, the Red Sox are about to embark on a very difficult task, maybe an impossible one given the roster they have in place.

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