Wednesday, November 5, 2003
Francona interviews in Boston
BOSTON -- Terry Francona has changed since he managed the
Philadelphia Phillies to four losing seasons.
"I was very young. I was learning kind of on the run," he said
after interviewing for the job as Boston Red Sox manager. "I had a
goal back then to be a major league manager. Now I have a goal to
be a successful major league manager. I think it can be done."
Francona spoke with Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein and his
assistant, Josh Byrnes, for about six hours on Wednesday, two days
after former Boston shortstop Glenn Hoffman spent the day with team
management at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox also have received permission to talk to Anaheim
Angels pitching coach Bud Black, but he told the Los Angeles Times
he expected to turn down the chance for an interview. Epstein said
through a team spokesman only that no other interviews have been
Francona, 44, managed Philadelphia to a 285-363 record from 1997
to 2000, never winning more than 77 games. That was a young team
that considered improvement a success.
If he gets the job in Boston, Francona knows, he will be
expected to win right away. The Red Sox let Grady Little go after
he averaged 94 wins in two seasons because his managerial
philosophy didn't match Epstein's reliance on preparation and
"The one thing you just die for is a chance to win," Francona
said. "To have a chance to win and to be expected to win is what
you play for, what you coach for."
Francona spent the 2001 season as special assistant to baseball
operations for the Cleveland Indians and was bench coach for the
Texas Rangers in 2002. He was a bench coach for Oakland this season
when the A's blew a 2-0 lead in the first round of the playoffs,
losing three straight to the Red Sox.
"I had a great view" of the Boston team, Francona said. "They
seemed to really care for each other on the field. They give you no
let-up in the lineup."
Francona, son of former major league outfielder Tito Francona,
was an outfielder and first baseman in the majors for 10 seasons
with Montreal, the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati, Cleveland and
Milwaukee. He hit .274 with 16 homers in 708 games.
Hoffman is the only other person the team has interviewed for
the job that opened when Little was let go following the
heartbreaking loss to the New York Yankees in the AL championship
But unlike Hoffman, who said he was still sounding out the team
as it checked him out, Francona enthusiastically campaigned for the
"I was excited to come up here, and now I'm still excited," he
said. "Just to be considered for an interview is a real honor.
They're going to have a lot of terrific candidates for this job."