Terry Francona makes his return to Fenway Park as manager of the Cleveland Indians Thursday night, and all indications are that he'll get a rousing welcome from the Fenway crowd when he makes his way to and from the visitor's dugout.
Much of the praise can be attributed to all of Francona's accomplishments in his eight years as Red Sox manager, including World Series titles in 2004 and 2007. But Francona's tenure in Boston came to a sour end in 2011 as the Sox endured a monumental collapse in September to miss the playoffs for the second straight season. Francona apparently lost control of the clubhouse and was not on the same page as ownership, leading to his dismissal at the end of the 2011 season.
Based on the ups and downs in Francona's Red Sox career, 98.5 The Sports Hub's Felger & Mazz show discussed just how Francona should be remembered by those in Boston. The consensus was pretty clear that the former Sox manager should be looked at positively.
"When you look at the eight-year sample, the guy won two championships, took them to the playoffs a bunch of times, so I think you try to remember it positively," Tony Massarotti said.
Michael Felger, Massarotti and Marc Bertrand talk more about Francona's time in Boston in the video above and even debate whether or not the current Red Sox are better off with Francona or current manager John Farrell.