The September swoon of the Boston Red Sox has apparently continued beyond game 162.  In one of the more puzzling front office decisions in recent memory Terry Francona and the Red Sox have parted ways.  The manager has been ousted following the Red Sox's awful, record-setting September collapse. 


The Red Sox and Terry Francona have split up.  Their divorce comes just two days after their season crashed to an unspeakably horrific finish, a so very much undignified end for a team that was billed as one of the best ever built.  By all accounts, however, this was a rocky season for the Red Sox, even before the collapse.  Stories have begun to surface which shine a light on the apparently fractured Red Sox clubhouse, including a story which details the fact that starting pitchers would drink alcohol during games in which they were not pitching.  Francona, seemingly worn down by an eight year Boston tenure, admitted to being frustrated by the team this year and their apparent inability to focus on the task in front of them.  For reasons such as this, and certainly more which have not yet come to light, the Red Sox and their first World Series winning manager in nearly a century parted ways amicably in what is being colored a 'mutual decison.'

There has been shadow cast on whether or not this was a 'mutual decision,' however.  Certain columnists have suggested that this was a Red Sox firing which is now being spun as a mutual move.  Whether that is true or not we may never find out.  Though to me, this is a terrible decision.  If Francona refused to come back, fine.  However, if this was a Red Sox decision then it was as poor a move as the Daisuke signing or the momentous disaster that was the John Lackey signing.  Francona boasted a .574 winning percentage since 2004 - second best in the MLB in that time - handled the media and the Boston fandom craze with unflappable poise, took the team from repeated ineptitude to continuous relevance and won two world championships - including their first in nearly a century.

To say that Terry Francona was a great manager is an understatement the likes of 'Tom Brady is pretty good."  It is hard to imagine that the crimson hosers of New England will find a better manager than Francona.  It is unclear where the Red Sox will go in their search for a new leader, but it will be a drama that will play out soon after the World Series ends, certainly.  The man they call Tito, however, will be jobless for about an hour and a half as his managerial skills will surely not go un-noticed by those teams with vacancies. If Francona makes it through the post-season without a job I will be shocked.  However, all that is left to do right now is reflect on Francona's Red Sox tenure and speculate what the next moves will be.  Terry Francona out as Red Sox manager.

Be sure to follow me on twitter @JoeBianchino for more on this, the MLB playoffs and the entire sports landscape.

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