Friday at Fenway: Waiting for Tito


Friday at Fenway: Waiting for Tito

By Maureen Mullen Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON With the Rays and Rangers preparing for the start of their ALDS in at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, and the Tigers and Yankees getting ready for theirs at Yankee Stadium in New York, the scene outside Fenway Park on Friday was quite different.

Helicopters hovered overhead. TV trucks lined the narrow side streets. Media members gathered at several of Fenways entrances. Fans and tourists congregated.

Out-of-state tourists stopped to ask reporters what was going on. TV reporters asked fans for their thoughts.

But the question on everyone's mind appears to remain unanswered. Was Terry Francona out after eight seasons as manager of the Red Sox?

Francona arrived at the park shortly before the 10 a.m. meeting with general manager Theo Epstein and ownership that would apparently decide his fate. But when Francona left Fenway at around noon, there was still no official word on his future.

Francona drove away from Fenway in his black Escalade, followed by bench coach DeMarlo Hale, principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner, all in separate vehicles. None stopped to talk to the media.

Francona returned to Fenway in the afternoon, but has not talked publicly.

But Epstein, whose own future with the team is also in question (his name has been in the mix for the Cubs vacant GM job), released a statement at 1:25 p.m.:

John Henry, Tom Werner, Larry Lucchino, assistant GM Ben Cherington and I met with Terry Francona this morning at Fenway Park to exchange thoughts and information on the 2011 season and discuss areas for improvement going forward. We all plan on taking some time to process the thoughts expressed in the meeting. There are no immediate plans for an announcement.

It appears no decision has been made at least not one that is being made public on Franconas future.

At least it was a beautiful day for hanging around outside Fenway Park.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

One White House tradition will have to wait, if it’s in fact maintained.

President Donald Trump is not going to throw out a ceremonial first pitch for the Washington Nationals this season, according to the Washington Post.

Post reporter Barry Svrugula wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the White House declined an invitation from the Nats.

POLITICO reported early Tuesday morning that Trump was in talks to throw out the first pitch and that it was also possible he could spend an inning in the MASN booth.

President William Howard Taft began the custom of U.S. presidents throwing out a first pitch on April 14, 1910, at National Stadium in D.C.

According to The Week:

“Since Taft, every president not named Jimmy Carter has thrown out at least one Opening Day first pitch. The executive guests of honor followed in Taft's hefty footsteps, throwing the first ball from the stands, until the late 1980s when Ronald Reagan sauntered onto the mound and improved upon the tradition."

The most famous presidential pitch in recent memory is George W. Bush’s toss during the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

The Nats open their season on Monday at home in Washington D.C., in a 1:05 p.m. game against the Miami Marlins. A Nationals Magic 8 Ball is to be given away to the first 20,000 fans.

The Red Sox happen to play the Nats in a pair of exhibitions right before the season, on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game is at the Nats’ home park in D.C. Saturday’s game is to be played in Annapolis, Md., at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Evan Drellich talks with Toucher and Rich about who the starting catcher will be and should be for the Red Sox. Christian Vazquez appears to be all the way back from Tommy John surgery. Can he hit?