Synopses & Reviews
From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, perhaps the most scrutinized team in all of sports. During that time, every home game was a sellout. Every play, call, word, gesture — on the field and off — was analyzed by thousands. And every decision was either genius, or disastrous. In those eight years, the Red Sox were transformed from a cursed franchise to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball history — only to fall back to last place as soon as Francona was gone. Now, in Francona: The Red Sox Years
, the decorated manager opens up for the first time about his tenure in Boston, unspooling the narrative of how this world-class organization reached such incredible highs and dipped to equally incredible lows. But through it all, there was always baseball, that beautiful game of which Francona never lost sight.
As no book has ever quite done before, Francona escorts readers into the rarefied world of a twenty-first-century clubhouse, revealing the mercurial dynamic of the national pastime from the inside out. From his unique vantage point, Francona chronicles an epic era, from 2004, his first year as the Sox skipper, when they won their first championship in 86 years, through another win in 2007, to the controversial September collapse just four years later. He recounts the tightrope walk of managing unpredictable personalities such as Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez and working with Theo Epstein, the general managing phenom, and his statistics-driven executives. It was a job that meant balancing their voluminous data with the emotions of a 25-man roster. It was a job that also meant trying to meet the expectations of three owners with often wildly differing opinions. Along the way, readers are treated to never-before-told stories about their favorite players, moments, losses, and wins.
Ultimately, when for the Red Sox it became less about winning and more about making money, Francona contends they lost their way. But it was an unforgettable, endlessly entertaining, and instructive time in baseball history, one that is documented and celebrated in Francona, a book that examines like no other the art of managing in today's game.
"Surprising…brutally honest…Francona's tenure included the highest-high, the first Red Sox title in 86 years and the lowest-low when a collapse kept the team from the playoffs that led to the manager's ouster." USA Today
"The long-awaited memoir....It's not often that baseball aficionados and gossip gluttons can plunk down on a shared portion of outfield grass with the same book for an afternoon of readerly delight, but Francona can bridge those kinds of differences." Boston Globe
"A scorched-earth memoir...[that] touches fleetingly on steroid use, sabermetrics and Michael Jordan's stint in the minor leagues…but saves its heaviest artillery for the owners…[and] Theo Epstein backs him up." New York Times Book Review
"A fascinating and detailed look at how a franchise so desperate to win big and attract huge television ratings can lose its soul in the process." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Even Yankees fans are going to want to read this Red Sox book." NY Daily News
"A good read, well worth it for any Red Sox fan or anyone interested in the last decade of baseball. Francona and Shaughnessy tell how the Red Sox became champions and also how it all fell apart." CBSSports.com
An insightful, honest, and entertaining narrative of Terry Francona's tenure with the Red Sox franchise, during which time he managed two teams to World Series victories (including their first in eighty-six years) and oversaw some of the most iconic and colorful players in the game.
From famed manager Terry Francona, a lively, unvarnished narrative of his tenure with the storied Boston Red Sox.
From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, the most talked about, scrutinized team in all of sports. In Francona the legendary manager opens up for the first time about his eight years there, as they went from cursed franchise to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball history. He takes readers inside the rarefied world of a 21st-century clubhouse, from 2004 when they won their first championship in 86 years, through another win in 2007, to the controversial September collapse just four years later. He recounts the tightrope walk of managing personalities like Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez, working with Theo Epstein and his statistics-driven executives, balancing their data with the emotions of a 25-man roster, and meeting the expectations of three owners with often wildly differing opinions. Along the way readers are treated with back-slapping, never-before-told stories about their favorite players, moments, losses, and wins.
Those eight years were a wild, unforgettable ride, and now the fascinating full story can be told in a book that examines like no other the art of managing in today's game.
About the Author
Terry "Tito" Francona was a first baseman and outfielder in the majors from 1981 to 1990. After retiring as a player, he managed several minor league teams in the 1990s before managing the Philadelphia Phillies for four seasons. In 2004, Francona was hired to manage the Boston Red Sox, and that year he led the team to its first World Series championship since 1918. He won another World Series with Boston in 2007 and continued to manage the team until the end of the 2011 season. He is now a commentator for ESPN, joining in on their Sunday Night Baseball
telecast and contributing to ESPN.com.
Dan Shaughnessy is an award-winning columnist for the Boston Globe and the author of several sports books, including The Curse of the Bambino, a best-selling classic. Seven times Shaughnessy has been voted one of Americas top ten sports columnists by Associated Press Sports Editors and named Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year. He has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, Nightline, NPR, Imus in the Morning, ESPN, HBO, and many others. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.