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Terry Francona Returns to Fenway

May 23, 2013

I’m betting Terry Francona won’t have any trouble finding his way to work today. (Best headline ever: Terry Francona Gets Lost Walking to Progressive Field.) Although, he might have to keep repeating to himself, “Visitors’ clubhouse. Go to the visitors’ clubhouse.”

After eight years of managing from the other side, it must be a little weird for the former Red Sox skipper to be back at Fenway with his new team, the first place Cleveland Indians.

Luckily his return comes two years after The Collapse and his subsequent “dismissal”.  If he had come back as a manger last season, while the Red Sox were still suffering under Bobby Valentine, things could have gotten ugly–for Valentine.  Chants of “We want Tito” would have echoed through Fenway Park; while tonight, we are more likely to hear a simple “Tito, Tito” to show respect for the man who brought us two World Championships.

Word on the street is that the Red Sox have planned a special video tribute to honor Francona.  The standing ovation that will follow will likely rival the reception he received at the 100 Years of Fenway celebration. The applause won’t end there.  When Francona makes his first trip to the mound, I fully expect the place to go nuts. Hopefully, he’ll go back to the right dugout.

If this had happened a year ago, I wouldn’t have been surprised if fans stormed the field and dragged Francona back to the Red Sox dugout; politely explaining to Bobby V, of course, that he was out and Terry was in.

Today, the circumstances are a bit different. The Red Sox are well above .500 and just a half game out of first. Farrell has done a wonderful job of turning around a sorry, last place ball club. He is the right man to lead this team into the future, so when fans cheer for Francona–and they will cheer loudly and often–Farrell should not take offense.

Of course, the current Red Sox manager had a front row seat for some of the Francona magic. He understands what Terry means to the fans. The man ended The Curse after all.

That is how Tito will be remembered. Not for The Collapse. Those memories will fade and be replaced by new ones–hopefully a championship or two under Farrell. Francona’s legacy will forever be entwined with ending the 86 year draught and for that he will always be welcomed with open arms in Boston.

Welcome home Tito. And in case we haven’t said it enough already, thank you.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 11, 2013 3:06 am

    Terry Francona is a parson who is successful in his every part of his life. He is a genius. He has shown his talent as a player, Coach & now in Manager. He is very dynamic. I like him so much.

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