Francona: 'Im not bitter or anything'


Francona: 'Im not bitter or anything'

BOSTON Former manager Terry Francona, appearing at a Red Sox-related function Thursday for the first time since the release of his new book earlier this week, said the process of putting the book together had been cathartic after the bitter parting of ways following the teams disastrous finish to the 2011 season.Cathartic until this week, that is.This books been done for a while and we kind of put it on the back burner and Ive been working in Cleveland and being busy and all of a sudden theres a release date, which I probably lost track of, and then all of a sudden everything comes out, which I understand, Francona said. So I hadnt really been thinking about it very much.Appearing at the annual dinner for the Boston chapter of Baseball Writers Association of America, where he will receive an award for long and meritorious service to baseball, Francona said he hopes people take the time to read the book and not just the excerpts some of which are controversial that have been released.I think theres been a reaction to the excerpts, he said. I think thats the way it works. I think as people take time to read the book, which I hope they doI hope they buy itI hope they read it... if they have to choose one I hope they buy it. I think a lot of things are in context better. Once I decided to do it, since I wasnt manager, I had time to kind of dig in and get after it. It was fun. I tried to deal year to year and I knew at some point we would have to come to the end, so we had to touch on that, too. Its a tough subject for me. Its kind of a personal one.I dont think I wake up every morning anymore thinking about it. Im not bitter or anything but we certainly have to talk about it.Some of the excerpts paint the organization and ownership especially in a less than satisfactory light. Francona, who was named manager of the Indians earlier this offseason, said he is not worried about public perception.I can't help that, he said. I tried to word it really honestly. The end was really public and hurtful but I still thought they were good owners. When I made the comment that they didnt love baseball, I think they like it, but I dont view that as being critical. I was just comparing it to my perspective on the game. So maybe Im looking at it through a different lens. I dont know.Francona said he has not heard from anyone in Sox ownership regarding the excerpts from the book, which stated that he didnt think the owners loved baseball.I havent talked to them before that, he said. So, no.Nor does he expect them to reach out.No, again, Im still waiting to hear back on the first thing, he said. Probably not.I really havent talked to principal owner John Henry. Im disappointed in that. That was part of my disappointment. Im sure that probably showed through a little bit. I was disappointed. I wanted them to care more about me than maybe what people were accusing them of saying. Its like I probably cared more about that than who said it. I just wanted them to reach out. After being somewhere for eight years, that meant something to me. So I was really disappointed.But hes not looking at the book as a kind of payback, despite his bitter departurefiring following the Sox collapse in September 2011.I dont think thats how I intended it to be, he said. I can't ever help what are on blogs, nor could I ever. I do think if you read it, its how I feel so if its taken that way, I can'tagain I thought it was how I viewed it so its the only way I can say it. How people take it, maybe thats how they want to take it. I dont know.Asked if he had any advice for new manager John Farrell, Francona replied:"He does not need my advice. We were not as good a team when he left. Ive said this a lot of times: When he came back, the glass got half full again, with a lot of players here, as it should. So except for when were playing them Ill be a big fan. He knows that.

Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years


Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

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