Twitter is abuzz about Terry "Tito" Francona's future with the Boston Red Sox. Speculation abounds ever since Ken Rosenthal of CBS Sports tweeted his bombshell about Francona possibly being done with his current employers. There has been talk about the clubhouse and lack of leadership and all of that stuff that comes only in retrospect of a major team collapse. Talented and smart people are weighing in but they all have it wrong. This Fan knows exactly what went wrong with the Boston Red Sox and these are the following reasons behind Terry Fancona's failure:
- Francona gave up chewing tobacco. Having that wad in his mouth made him more ornery and scary to his players. Chewing gum or spitting sunflower seeds doesn't quite have the same effect.
- Tito stopped wearing a regulation uniform. Face it, the guy looked like a bum in the dugout. His mistake was thinking this lack of protocol worked for Bill Belichick and it would work for him. But every time he told a player what to do, they mistook him for a clubhouse runner.
- Francona didn't insist on keeping Heidi Watney off the field. Of course his players would turn into "me first" players. They all wanted to be interviewed by Watney after the game. Wouldn't you?
- The manager didn't put his foot down when the Red Sox introduced those red home uniform shirts. Hey, man, if you mess with tradition, it will burn you. You'd never see the Yankees out of pinstripes at home would you?
- Francona employed too many short players. Heck, they had seven player on their roster under six feet tall. And their second baseman can't even reach the phone book on the top shelf.
- He allowed David Ortiz to roam the streets looking for hugs. That took some of the competitive edge off the big guy. Even this writer didn't hate him any more.
- Francona allowed Epstein to get rid of all those egocentric iconoclasts like Curt Schilling, Manny Ramirez and Kevin Millar. You need those kinds of guys for clubhouse chemistry. Right?
- The manager signed off as good ideas hiring that pitcher from Japan and that other one from the Angels.
- Tito didn't allow Josh Beckett to pitch with a bloody sock. Instead, he told him to hold the ball for three minutes between pitches so that his team became used to nap times during the game.
- Francona is to blame that Curt Young went from being the brilliant pitching coach of the Oakland A's to the total idiot that he was coaching the pitchers in Boston. Call it the Leo Mazzone affect.
- Tito didn't buy his notebooks from W.B. Mason.
- His first baseman's team last year lost their playoff bid on the last day of the season. The guy brought that mojo to his new team and Tito let it happen.
- Francona is brutal on the health of his right fielders. There was Nixon and then Drew. Drove both of those guys to their deaths.
- Tito employed two catchers with last names impossible to spell. While he should have been thinking game strategy before the game, he would spend fifteen minutes of important time writing their names down on the line up card.
- Francona totally ruined that guy the Red Sox got to play left field. Hey, the guy was a pretty good player before Francona got a hold of him.
- He found Afredo Aceves so versatile that the pitcher had to clean the clubhouse and line up everyone's sunflower seeds before the game. One man can't do everything.
- He had a 68 year old knuckleball pitcher that wasn't good enough for the bullpen nor the starting rotation. But even he was better than John Lackey.
And so you can see that all this debate about why Francona is losing his job is just plain spitting into the wind. As you can see from the above list, the guy definitely deserves to lose his job. After all, Jim Riggleman can be had much cheaper anyway.