WEEI>On Demand>>Former Sox skipper Terry Francona with the Big Show

Former Sox skipper Terry Francona with the Big Show

Feb 22, 2012|

Former Sox manager/current ESPN baseball analyst Terry Francona joined the Big Show to talk Manny, Carl Crawford, and joing the media on the dark side.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

-- back here at a big -- it's Jordan why is folly and joining us live from Arizona. ESPN analyst that's right now on the dark side former skipper of the Red Sox. Tito Francona Tito I don't today. Guys don't pretty good to talk to you again. Your name comes up often appear though I got to. Open more. -- A little bit of -- I'd -- -- If you questions about. The leftovers from your role appear and we'll get into some questions that we view as an analyst right now and give us your view of we assume this baseball season so let's start with the the the left overstuffed it was a story this past weekend about -- you attempted to call John Henry and the John Henry did not pull you back after that whole story came out. With a Boston Globe now John has come out since then and claim that he has now. Been able to connect with you. -- what happened. Yeah I spoke with -- -- length. People who yesterday that they -- -- credited my days mixed up the last couple days actually spoke to the line and you know I think it was a huge emailed me and a birdie albeit texted me right after it was even over. And I called him back a number times and never back from a -- mr. -- was communication. And -- but player that we had a conversation. It'll probably a thirty minute conversation and probably five months too late but it was a good conversation and August I think from both sides and I thought I thought it was. Good good for -- What needed to be said that that wasn't said before. Well and not panic and I understand why you have it will truly a personal conversations and again I told elected you know you -- -- wanna -- -- -- -- I'm not. And that's a talent are left it would told you you if you wanna ask him he's more than welcome to tell -- -- we talk about I just told him that I bought an interest in doing. Well what's that like for you now Tito. This team is is now in Fort Myers and we're hearing about. A Bobby Valentine's training if it's his camp and how it's a little different than yours and guys are doing things that they're not used to doing. What's it like for you hate to be away from spring training for the first time in a long time and -- to hear the reports about the Red Sox -- not their match. Well that's partly approach came out here for awhile to get away because I knew that would be happen and it's always. That's the way it goes when you changed. Managers and you make changes. You know and especially good on -- spring training because that you know everything's. Bigger and better. AM you know again that's I didn't want -- really stick around and will know about the old pupil next couple weeks. -- apart because again we did some good things for so long. And then -- these couple part the end. But I didn't really ever think we didn't work our spring and things like that you know again not what you're gonna hear stories like that because that's you know that's the way it goes and I understand that. But it didn't really flexible Ron Wilson to. -- some interest and comments you know on the last couple days from Carl Crawford. Talking about last year. They've met -- was really taken aback by -- yesterday in an interview. Because Crawford admitted that he never talked with anybody. -- including you regarding his positioning in the lineup. But certainly now seems to say that it really affected them. After three games and obviously you guys get off to a slow start he got off to -- A terrible start. But he said I've never experienced that before and that when it happened just start questioning yourself -- -- good enough that the contract you question your ability. Which -- never done before so I was going through that. That was tough but he -- said that. You can't do nothing he can't really steal. He had it changes game yet try to become more of a power hitter. Would this have been a lot easier for both sides said -- him been able to talk this out it and -- that never really happen according to -- -- Way out goes flag I think was lord revisionist history is probably I probably have a little bit different. First of that. But you know as to where we did in the order I mean we started out season wanting to be hitting up higher in the order. You know as you -- folded rather quickly. You know the five guys we get from one through five I think they were actually I think they broke records. For four on -- real production profit production -- not sure. Where you know being a responsible manager the question of we've been there have been doing right into the team is going to get around. Struggled it was not a hard time and he acknowledged that. And we sat down talked about about it in order order any and you'll just make -- political. Again you know. Guys remember things differently. Those types of stories to come out a year later. I don't quite remember the same way I don't talk with the Morel helped me about a little but he government little different too. Is that something that is it going to be tough for you to think about the Steelers are going to be tough for you. To view of the Red Sox. As an analyst not just because you've managed a team that's obvious but because of some of the relationships that you have where it would guys on this team can you just look at them the same way you look at the rays in the Yankees and Angels and say. This is where they're strong and this is where they're -- Well I should -- look look at that and go home better for sure but I understand your point probably not a mean. It be nice to that you're out but -- spent the last two years my life he delivered a dime whatever potential probable. I mean it's gonna take a little while but but I should get away from it and things you know you you do your game I'm sure it'll it'll start to -- to -- but. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Did you expect the there's stories to come out during the spring with no Carl Crawford -- well last year I didn't do this and and David Ortiz has some comments but he did you did you know this did you kind of know this was coming because. Sure about the way it always does and I did it and I kind of did expect -- and again that's why you tried not to pay too much attention because. That's the way it always been our number one article in here that things how we were gonna do a better it'll let's just for the game. And I Peter Gammons column and mlb.com. At stocks off. It was between innings of a Sunday night game in Anaheim July 20 2008. I was sitting at the end of the visitors dugout when Terry Francona wore down. Looked me in the -- and said quote Manny Ramirez is the worst human being of ever met. He turned and walked away. The camera. Where -- you actually talk to purely sporting spectacular brightly. Are you didn't see this on November the thirtieth yeah. Are going to miss it. Well I don't remember ever saying that about somebody I. I think what. Probably happened use an old subject McCormick of it and those -- ball off some steam and -- having the conversation with Peter not a an interview. So I don't want -- -- was -- -- because it wasn't an interview. -- I don't think I've ever said that about somebody Peter actually today. Took a Little League and Eagles like take a big play -- Eagles -- sports to Britain and the recipe groceries you know doubles doubles not correct a fly ball off some steam. But you know what when -- ball screens or partial public so what. How frustrating and difficult was Manny Ramirez and what is his manager have to deal with when he comes back. We don't know again maybe might be a great place I don't know I've been around it for walks to -- lot of good moment was mainly their workers on the top. And from the world a couple of others. But it wasn't just like every day you know -- -- you know again it's that ultimately a lot of play on pure. That's not how I felt -- it was probably a bad day and we've also things like that. So that day you feel like he was -- yeah. I could regret ever Barrett and you know we've talked about this before in the past and out of the gun and telling tales out of school. That was one of those situations that you know it's just go to. But in the Jack McCormick situation. That that really bothered you -- -- on the number of levels that it -- happen. You you'll Michael are the hardest thing that happen to me with the Red Sox. And they just needed it bothered me so much and they got -- so much that yeah I did it was hard it was very difficult. When you're dealing with Manny and Michael and I were just talking about it -- know what he brings to the table most feared one of the most feared hitters. In Major League Baseball yet you're dealing with all of that day to day hour hour minute to minute. Dealings with Manny Ramirez. Who overloaded talked about earlier said he was a great teammate like he was a child. In an adult body -- if you've got a child you can reprimand the child and oust you the manager. He's an adult stale and you need him to perform how delicate was that Ian and -- -- off. A fine line was that for you in trying to deal with men need to get production out of and maybe hide some of the other package. Well you just kind of -- it I mean now that's the whole idea is you know different the most production you -- your players. And any do walked up final Owens sometimes but I think you speak in general terms -- -- any player in their production. Has -- our way. He's of the Gagarin space and all the problems they bring to the team and when they don't outweigh you know you try to do something about. Okay I want you to put your year here former managers out on and your analyst's hat on this combine them and tell me what. What kept the Red Sox out of the playoffs in in 2011. And what where you look at for this team to do mean for them to get back to the playoffs. Did they had what they needed to add or they still missing something critical to give out here going into this year what -- ESPN -- get what what they missed it last year and what they need this year. Well I mean last drums America awards and Seattle's by you know I don't want him in there and there are a lot of reasons we've been hashed and rehashed and -- again we we we came up short in a lot of areas. Going into this year. You don't what it's going to be interest but the the one thing and I've said this probably more than. Ten times it doesn't matter who the Red Sox manager's name does when they get down though the -- -- are gonna have a good team because of the Red Sox. I think this year the spring they have more question marks and they've had in the past. Now that does not -- have to be a bad thing. But there are times you have enough question marks some of the answers we're going to be -- sort of not -- you know when -- -- in big decisions. In spring training. You gotta hit them make wrong decisions I think we always talk about that because. You're basically on such a small quantity of -- innings or at bats that I have a feeling down deep they probably article they wanted to. I've gone back of 42 with Glenn on this on the rotation. I feel like the rotation will improve for two reasons. I pump -- and -- -- to give you more than eighty plus we'll give them I should say give them more than eighty plus innings. And you had the worst starting pitcher in Major League Baseball on John Lackey ERA of 64. Over a 160 innings so even if you put and -- and he struggles as a starter as long as is ERA is not 64 wide and give up a 114 earned runs. -- improve the rotation is that is that is that. It's the annual bark pocket struggles -- starter to worry -- concern I would have to -- probably an innings limit. Noted you can't just take a dive -- the ball and analytical 200 innings. And the redhawks are aware of that as anybody they're -- good ball -- stuff like that. So again you know you if you averaged about over the course of hope it'll 3334. Starts. You know -- five innings star. Goaltender looking for somebody to a couple of innings which is part because the guy you want a couple innings just made stark. But you -- the other. Things about Clay Buchholz I think people forget and heaven help -- buckles back is huge. Mr. it was you know he can he turn himself into an old power pitcher. And all of sudden -- and competent people seem to forget that if he comes back healthy and he can log 200 innings while what a different rotation. How important is -- -- innings from the top. Of your rotation last year you ended up throwing different guys out here for the last six or seven weeks that probably would not ready. Which add to throw home up there at that point -- you just didn't have anybody else. Right wondered basically you know you got five starters and and you hope that you could use five or older don't have very often. But you've got to get a thousand inning doubles five starters and it's the humble way or another you've got to give them. And again that it a lot of times it doesn't happen with if you get your top couple guys -- to lift. He end up region and the U haul to develop cluster. Analyst role again Kuroda Pineda what do they add to the Yankees in the -- is that a better. Rotation this year -- and it was a year ago. You don't know I mean he's never really know coming last year everybody was cut -- and I want it laughed -- the Yankees but. He agreed to become a -- Africa and back in the back and he was last. I think he felt a little more culpable but maybe he was leading people belief in some of those guys he took took a flyer on. Really did well for now he's got these guys a little bit more established. So you would think there -- probably a little more culpable. You know born in this season because he got a young -- it's got a good -- got a veteran guy that knows how to pitch. Even always -- from the National League the American League east it got they had -- pretty -- -- The deal. The if you look at the Red Sox now and and look at some of the players and feel like. There's something that you wanted he wanted to say you didn't say to those guys you have any regrets. When you when you look at you walk away from this team is there anything you should you feel like I should say that and I didn't. Well he'll Michael I think -- -- obviously nobody's perfect and in -- try to. You know you try to do the best educated. You know what all the guys you know I always told them listed W you that especially lover because they've earned our trust and I think that -- don't abuse it. And you know the guys that -- same guys that were talking about. It'll I'll warm humble and have two World Series -- because totals along those same players. Told for immediate change in a weaker and they expanded as of September. I don't think that's -- the right message either he really got to be consistent and I'm the one thing I felt like I was little. -- as. I can't -- a -- number. But I was true to myself but always that I would do that so normally don't have any regrets. I wondered about that David Ortiz is this the Glen before he came on the year are you tell me about Ortiz. And actually eroded that. You -- Ortiz came to you and maybe it may have been 06 or early and -- session and he was one of those guys who say whatever you need. You'd let me know what you need and I'll get it done in the clubhouse he was. A productive player for you he was a clubhouse enforcer for you even if you didn't ask me to do what he was just one of those guys -- now. To hear -- it sounds like something there's a big change that has happened in David Ortiz where he's he calls himself an employee now he says I'm not a baby sitter. Think happened from the guy who was the clubhouse and force her and proud of it to the guy who says -- -- I'm an employee and that's really not my job description. Well I don't Colby you'd probably be better. Oft asked and David council the -- would not want to do and haven't talked so much as what are little better every Walt Walt. A quick conversation protect ourselves but. Why don't lol I mean maybe the -- -- this contract squabbles vital -- real hard for me because I noticed the difference. -- what I -- had to pinch hit for a got to -- those couple times when it was really struggled the opposite division. Between us for awhile and it really bothered him he was a proud guy and it bothered him and probably still done. And -- through the -- because of the you have to make as a manager where -- you know again have you tried out. Wonder -- and the battle but lose anymore and those -- -- make it tough because you got a little -- and it -- they've had a lot. I did admit today that there were conversations private conversations that you had with the last year and apparently was concerned. About how the younger players. Would receive certain things. Well again David you know it's audio you remind guys as you go especially a guy like David. That sometimes they forget how much people look at them. It'll all the guys in the team I mean whether they want to or not they're they're leaders -- because of the presence they have and people certainly that. That guy you know you lose David and you don't want you to stay on the boxing seems spit on lesbians. -- you give -- a good -- and sometimes he's got to remind guys that. You know we sit here because we've got to -- four hours every day -- and we'll talk a lot about spring training over the next six weeks. How much of a difference does that really make I mean you know people cited spring training and they're doing it now. In trying to figure out why the team got off to a slow start to spring training really have. Ace is that a significant factor. In what goes on during the course of the season. All I think it's very important or or they would have to. It'll and you know you try to that we didn't we had spring training almost identical. Sorry your role. AM to yell that we didn't do things much different Telecom and validity differently was Peter -- Japan and that's for obvious reasons. Every other leader was just about identical. AM. There were two years and one World Series there were a couple of years we got off to a great start there were appropriately enough to slow sports. -- again that's. That's probably my answer is you know again we try to be consistent. And you always do what you think's right and and then some some leaders you just get out the gate well on kilometers you don't. Yeah -- who were we were talking about this earlier this week Bobby Valentine saying he wanted the guys to. Ride the bus together. Wherever they're going to spring training did you ever think about doing that. In if you did. What why did you decide to do. -- -- I actually saw a quote like somebody. You know it was referring to that I'd believe that at some about how to complete managers pull up their star players draw. We let anybody drive. Is Alex Cora would love to drive he wanted to if you can start or who were goal on a trip to Fort Lauderdale. And he lived in Fort Lauderdale I saw no reason why he shouldn't by the I was scrambling things like that. Tell me again and implement the game good everybody's different that -- things like that. I didn't have a lot of interest in. -- probably -- brought back one when they can have a chance maybe on the night with their families things like that sort and that's everybody's different. You think veterans -- react differently than maybe. Younger players will what's whipped with a bit of a dramatic change in a rule like that. When I don't think just dramatic but again new -- and -- that the players but there Alfred systematic. In home in spring training -- -- that I thought I made it because we have a discussion. Because it's different and we're wondering if certain guys -- of veterans. Will will bristle at a because they've been doing things a certain way for anywhere from two to eight years depending on who was with you the longest. Yeah I don't know guys -- -- again would be better off asking now mom it's it's really not that big deal that's just what we did things and again that it's. Doesn't make Bobby's way -- hall luxury as a reason to build it. And he's prob try to force them to support our public know again you know it's it's really not my business. But not a real good answer because historical -- -- ask about the division itself how difficult is it because. Right now we don't know whether we're gonna have that additional wild card team that may happen in the next the next week -- so. If they can logistically. Fitted in -- the mature crazy about that one game playoff but. So be it how difficult is it and that if you've got one wild card team. You've got three really good teams in the division and -- in two other teams. That are working their way up how much better those two of the teams this year Terry. And I think I don't know why -- people forget about Toronto and again the only bad thing -- -- a manager. Let's get back a little. I don't know little bit but a but I mean the division is so often not only -- of the division top. Both young bounce schedule you're playing the Yankees are playing in pain upon your point throttle 1819 times. I have and I remember looking up last year for about 45 games left and they knew we're playing new York and Tampa are about half those games. And I was like -- you know you're only going to be -- Albany times it's -- go to those places to get sweeps. You know again they're they're really good and Ronald truly group in Baltimore getting better army gets. It's difficult. In the whole American League that the landscape changing a reasonably good players helped the American leg. That that it can -- that it's going to be tough now. If they got the extra wildcard team everybody can be happy for one day and -- a one game everybody play good. -- what what kind of advice have you gotten on on approaching your new job here remaining gonna have to. -- have to go on in New York in an analyze that team and be critical at times and have to be critical of the Red Sox which is really got to make headlines. Around here no matter what you say I mean what. How are you -- approaches him and this is this is new territory for. You know. I think what I've been -- they've really been. Really good to me and they just -- will be August and that's always tried to -- in -- and now. He's a good job and and -- a member here Bobby Valentine's Day it is your job as a manager is different. -- businesses as an analyst. -- sometimes as a manager the things that you see you want to keep in the clubhouse or you wanna protect your players. And as an analyst you kind of get people that are watching the game to understand it and hopefully enjoy. What they're watching and what they're here and and so that's what all do but Donald. Don't think I need to change or anything like that -- work how to be a broadcaster visual they have in August -- just gonna wanna be myself and just. Say what I see and hopefully they allegedly where people can understand it. At that helps when they can understand at that. How do you find out because I think you've got the right approach on the other hand when you're talking about agenda your ultimate agenda is to get back in the game. As a manager now. First thing Bobby Valentine had to deal with is Josh Beckett Carl Crawford because he had said something as a broadcaster the best ball to those guys off. I'm not sure you can avoid that is that just part of the territory he's got to go there. Well you but I mean you just -- my ultimate. To me how stated it was can be you know and I'm not sure but that is my whole you tell us last all right said you're you'd you'd. The plate bigger hole again. Until. You obviously want in the game. And I think managing is something -- -- that kind of a two way street. Mean summit first all have to think that they want you. And then for me exactly situation where I would enjoy that challenge because people in the best of times it's a very challenging job. And I wouldn't wanna just do -- to do but wanted to go to a situation regular public and enjoy the challenge so again it's. It'll quite I don't want to stay in the game in -- broadcasting. Coaching -- work in the minor league title -- what I do all want stay in the game. As you did you did interview for a job. Yes I didn't -- that close and was excited about that. Again who wouldn't be able -- just give awful World Series. -- going to -- -- to great places to wonderful baseball town pole award young was excited about the. You know it we ask you this performs what its second with -- again with the comments that have that have been made since you left down from. A number of people in the organization when you when you manage -- -- you will manage again become let's face it your manager to your home. When you manage again would you take the same approach with these guys and you were always. He went on your way to protect them. Is that is that going to be the the story the next gig or have you looked at the situation with the Red Sox 2011 how it ended and how it was when you left indeed indeed do you say to yourself OK I'm not gonna make that mistake again. Well I hope not I mean again I think the biggest thing to do is true to yourself and tried to do that and it regardless of what happened double what way out of four it'll. You know again you try to always get better that's for sure. What the fact that -- -- -- retarded. -- New York or however you say it. Know Arnold don't wanna do things differently to Houston the best you can always do it together. It changes with the territory also popular veteran team or young team is trying to get better coming to manage differently a little bit depending on the cast of characters that you have. Or that you don't count but. I think just pictured yourself and most importantly. It always great talk and we look forward to maybe chicken and with you during the season. You got guys okay you know have I have a feeling that Terry Francona right here on the bridge.

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