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Friday, May 24, 2013

Francona Takes Back Boston

Wild on Sports
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Francona Takes Back Boston
By Wild on Sports Analyst Jason Gillson

The most successful baseball coach ever to call Boston home was back in the dugout at Fenway Park last night, at the helm of a first place team; just not the one he or any Sox fans are accustomed to seeing. Terry Francona's Cleveland Indians make easy work of the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night to the tune of a 12-3 beat down. Despite the lopsided score and a battle of two teams very much in the playoff mix at this point, all the talk surrounding the game was not about what happened on the field. Instead it was about the man who led the Red Sox to two World Championships, and an Aaron "bleeping" Boone ALCS walk-off homerun away from a possible third.

For Francona it was business as usual, returning to the same field he stepped on everyday for eight years. "I've been in this dugout before," Fancona said before the game. "You've got to remember, being in a dugout or a clubhouse, there's no place I'm more comfortable. Just because you make a left instead of a right, it's all the same people... Part of the reason I'm OK with this is that I'm really proud of coming here with this hat on, this uniform. That doesn't take away from the eight years I was here. It just makes it easier for me to look back on some of the fonder memories. Now you start new ones in another place. That's how I feel."

Well, you can chalk up that first memory; with his new place in a return to a familiar one, will be look upon fondly. The Sox played a video tribute to Francona early in the game which drew a loud ovation for the skipper, prompting him to tap his chest as thank you to those who had supported him for so many years. That was about a cheery as it got for Boston on the night.

For Francona this really has to bring a sense of closure to it all. It is now all smiles and roses, but turning the calender back one year, it was less than pretty for all involved. An epic collapse on the field, nastiness and rumors off the field, a new side show manager who made more headlines for antics than successes and a season that will go down as one of the worse in franchise history. For better or for worse, all of that is now behind us. Francona has found a new home; the Sox have Francona #2 in John Farrell. Everyone is happy...for now.

And for at least one night the city of Boston once again belonged to Terry Francona.

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