It seems as though former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona isn’t one to hold a grudge for very long.
A mere week after telling the Boston Globe that he wouldn’t be attending the Red Sox’s 100th anniversary celebration of Fenway Park because of how things ended between him and his old team, the current ESPN analyst has apparently flip-flopped on that position.
Last year, Francona’s Red Sox collapsed under their own weight from the get go and eventually failed to make the postseason. While it was clear to everyone that he had lost the team and probably worn out his welcome with the franchise (it happens to most great pro coaches/managers), what folks didn’t initially know was why he had lost them. Later, it was reported that marriage problems and alleged medication use may have contributed to his unsuccessful 2011 campaign.
Francona believed that those specific reports came from someone within the organization, and that they were put out with the intention of making him look bad.
"Somebody went out of their way to make me look pretty bad," he told the Globe.
And because of all that, it appeared as though he would not be present at this upcoming celebration.
During an ESPN Radio appearance on Wednesday, however, Francona indicated that he had a change of heart. He now feels as though, despite how things may have ended between him and the franchise he previously led to two World Series wins, he owes this to the fans.
John Buccigross, Francona’s ESPN co-worker confirmed this latest development:
Terry Francona says he WILL be attending the Red Sox's 100th anniversary celebration of Fenway Park on Friday afternoon.
— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) April 18, 2012
In the end, this is great for all involved. Francona was a fantastic manager during his stint in Boston, and his final unsuccessful run doesn’t blemish that fact at all. It’s good that he’ll get the opportunity to be honored by a franchise he restored to respectability, and it’s probably a safe bet that the fans in attendance will let him know how much they appreciate all he’s done.