Terry Francona, the only manager Red Sox manager to win a World Series for the team in the last 94 years, originally was not going to participate in the Fenway Park 100th anniversary celebration this weekend.
The man who managed the squad that broke The Curse (and won a second title to take the “It was a fluke” ammo away from the enemy) was still hurt from how he was let go and thrown under the bus by the organization after last season.
Well he’s changed his mind.
He’s going to be there.
Some people are assuming he changed his mind because Francona is a classy guy and decided to take the high road.
Others think his former players made the case and got him to cave.
Some conspiracy theorists think that his new employer, ESPN, is making him go.
Nonsense. The reason is quite simple. Francona gets to come back and give the Red Sox the ultimate middle finger.
Think about it.
First of all Francona will get a thunderous ovation from the fans.
But more importantly, Francona can look around and ask Larry Lucchino some questions, like:
“Hey, how’s it going since I left?”
“How’s team chemistry? Has it improved?”
“Team morale? Has it turned around?”
“Does the club look intense?”
“Are they more disciplined now?”
“Hey, how’s the injuries here now? I bet with the improved conditioning, nobody is on the Disabled List!”
“How does the bullpen look? I know people thought I didn’t handle the pitching staff well. No doubt it is improved.”
“Are the fans happy? Do they like the direction the team is heading in?”
And when Lucchino fumes while not answering, Francona can wave to the fans who will probably be chanting “Tito come back! Tito come back!”
It is the greatest vindication for Francona.
Imagine getting the chance to have 35,000 people tell your former employer that they were wrong.
AND look like you are taking the high road in the process?