SBD/October 7, 2011/Franchises

Terry Francona Says John Henry Didn't Ask Him To Stay With Red Sox

Francona (l) said he perceived a lack of support from Henry and other top execs

Former manager Terry Francona "maintains that his departure from the Red Sox was a mutual decision," but he acknowledged Thursday that he was "never asked to stay on as manager during his meeting" with Owner John Henry last Friday, according to Peter Abraham of the BOSTON GLOBE. Francona said last week that he "perceived a lack of support" from Henry, Red Sox Chair Tom Werner and President & CEO Larry Lucchino. He initially "backed off that statement" Thursday, and said the owners were "second to none" in baseball. But Francona later said, "Eight years together is a lot, and I have a lot of respect for them and what they do. There were some things that were voiced in meetings I viewed maybe as not being supportive. Maybe they didn't. Everybody has their own opinion." A team source said that Francona's "two-year contract option was not picked up during the season because the sides agreed at the time of the original contract to table that decision until after the season" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/7). Meanwhile, in Boston, John Tomase reports a decision on Red Sox GM Theo Epstein's status with the team "should be coming shortly." The Cubs "already requested permission to speak to Epstein about their general manager opening, and there were signs out of Fenway Park yesterday that all sides were working cooperatively and without rancor toward a solution." Tomase notes whether that means "granting Epstein permission to talk to the Cubs or promoting him/signing him to an extension to stay in Boston remains to be seen" (BOSTON HERALD, 10/7).

VIEW FROM THE TOP: Henry and Lucchino appeared in-studio on WEEI-AM’s “The Dennis & Callahan Morning Show” Friday. Henry, when asked about Epstein, said if the team had its choice he would stay on as GM, but he added there is “a certain shelf life in these jobs.” When asked whether the team has granted the Cubs permission to talk to Epstein, Lucchino said, “Those things are supposed to be kept private and we have a policy of not discussing whether permission has been asked." Henry went on to say there is a “certain protocol in this game and it is if someone asks permission for a job that’s not lateral, you give them permission.” Lucchino: “We don’t mean to sound evasive on this, but this is the one subject that we don’t think there needs to be full disclosure.” Henry said over the last 10 years management has “consistently done things collectively” and so “we’re intimately involved in the manager’s search, it’s not just Theo.” He continued, “Every year, including this year, we felt we were headed for a World Series and … the biggest thing to us every year is playing in October. That’s what we do. That’s what we spend all of our time doing is trying to create an atmosphere. People talk about, ‘Well, we’re business-oriented.’ We’re business-oriented for one reason ... and that is to be able to give the right people the amount of money that it takes to be successful. You can criticize the things that (Epstein) has done, but we’ve averaged (90+ wins)” (“The Dennis & Callahan Morning Show,” WEEI-AM, 10/7).

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Boston Red Sox, Franchises

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