Tito's back in business


Tito's back in business

And you thought last year was awkward. Just imagine how weird it will be next season, when the media walks into Boston's clubhouse, only to find Terry Francona sitting backwards on a chair, in full Indians uniform holding court with Dustin Pedroia and the Sox.

There's no way that manager Larry Lucchino will be happy about that.

"When Ben Cherington begged me to take this job last winter," Lucchino will say, "we made a pledge to turn the page on all the craziness of the last two seasons. We just can have this kind of thing happen anymore. I'm disappointed that Tito finds this kind of behavior to be appropriate. Frankly, it makes you wonder if he's fallen back off the wagon . . ."

In all seriousness, though: It's great to see Francona back in the big leagues, and I think everyone or at least everyone outside of the Sox owner's box wishes him well on his new life with Cleveland Indians.

On one hand, it's hard to top winning two World Series in four years, but even with all that success, Francona has always had his doubters. Those who cite Boston's ridiculous pay roll as an unfair advantage, or point out that Francona was a Dave Roberts stolen bases and JD Drew grand slam away from being remembered as a failure with the Sox.

But if he can turn things around in Cleveland where they've been to the playoffs only once since 2002 no one can or ever will say a word. Over his time with the Sox, Francona earned the reputation as one of the best manager's in the game. In Cleveland, he'll have a chance to erase any doubt.

So, set the iCal for May 23, Tito's return to Fenway. And if you're in the media, get to the clubhouse early that day. We might have some fireworks.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Report: Red Sox acquire Chris Sale

Report: Red Sox acquire Chris Sale

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox -- who came away with the top starting pitcher (David Price) and top reliever (Craig Kimbrel) last offseason -- apparently have done it again.

According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Sox have acquired White Sox ace left-hander Chris Sale for four prospects. Two have been identified (infielder Yoan Moncada and pitcher Michael Kopech) and two are as-yet unnamed:

More to come . . .