The Red Sox Years
Terry Francona & Dan Shaughnessy
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
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.
Why the Red Sox Won
So I wrote a Master's Degree Managing Change article on the Red Sox of 2004. It ended, the Yankees win anyway, sadly, I didn't report out due to my father having a heart attack. You know the history, Sox came back, my story changed, all the better I suppose. For you Sox fans, Fever Pitch was similar. Here was my focus. New manager, better players, payroll adjustments, Theo Epsten, more seats, stadium improvements, all the things required to compete. Essentially, Moneyball, the movie, in real time. I watch the end of the series at a Holiday Inn in Mexico, my beloved Yankees lose in 7 games to the Sox. Wow. My Managing Change presentation actually was factual.
"The Red Sox Years"
Well, I pretty much spent the last three days reading this book in all my spare time. My wife is none too pleased with me, but i couldn't put it down. If you're a BoSox fan you will read this. If you're a baseball fan, you should read this. If you're a Yankees fan, you'll have some trouble with the big words and might not understand some of it, but you have to read it too. This is a roller coaster ride through the best of times and the worst of times of Boston Red Sox history. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll relive it all as if you're sitting in Tito's office at Fenway and he's telling you the whole story from behind the "saloon door." (You'll understand if you read the book.) From the Idiots and the '04 World Series win that broke the "Curse of the Bambino," through the '07 second title with the team that Francona and Epstein built, to the September '11 crash with the team that management bought (this is the part you Yankee fans will want to read closely), it's all here. You'll remember what you forgot, learn what you never knew and confirm or refute all your deepest suspicions. It's all the truth you can handle combined with all the finger-lickin' chicken and beer drama you can swallow. I can't wait for the movie to come out.
Red Sox Nation must read
Well written. A must read for every Red Sox fan. All baseball fans will find this book insightful.