Francona didn't like all he saw under Valentine

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Francona didn't like all he saw under Valentine

Terry Francona isn't sure how much blame Bobby Valentine deserves for the Red Sox' stinker of a season.

"When you have a record, I think it's an organizational record, whether it's a success or a failure," the former Red Sox manager and current ESPN analyst said Thursday on 'SportsCenter'. "I think it always has to be 'we', and I think general manager Ben Cherington kind of owned up to that earlier. It can't just be one person."

But he saw some things he didn't agree with this year.

Like constant airing of dirty laundry.

"The one thing that bothered me a little bit was that everything seemed to play out in public," he said. "There's a lot of stuff that happens in clubhouses during a season -- and that's not the worst thing -- but you find a way to fight through them and make it better. When you do it publicly, it's harder to make it better. And that seemed to happen quite frequently."

And Valentine's complaints about some of his coaches . . . some of whom worked under Francona.

"Those are some coaches with some pretty high integrity," said Francona, who later added: "Different strokes for different strokes. If I had a problem with a coach, I would go tell them. I'm not sure I would choose to do it on the radio. But, again, everybody's personalty's different."

Now that it's over, Francona isn't sure what Valentine's legacy in Boston will end up being.

"I don't know," he said. "And I think part of that will depend on how he decides to go out. Again, there's going to be the post-mortems, and I know all about that. That's not fun in Boston. Because they always want to know the reasons, and if they don't know they'll make some up."

But one thing he's sure of: Valentine's successor isn't walking into a talent wasteland.

"I . . . think the glass is way more half-full than probably the normal Red Sox fan feels today," he said.

"You start off right away with Felix Doubront, Lester, Buchholz, John Lackey -- I know they don't want to hear that, but Lackey's coming back after Tommy John surgery -- that's four pitchers, right now, that I'll take my chances with . . . Andrew Bailey comes back healthy. Dustin Pedroia is a tremendous player. Will Middlebrooks is a star in the making. Jacoby Ellsbury, a year ago was second in the MVP voting . . . And they have some money to work with . . .

"The glass, in my opinion, should be half-full."

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”