Speaking Thursday on 'The Dan Patrick Show,' Peter Gammons said it's possible that Terry Francona's job could be in jeopardy if the Red Sox don't make the playoffs.
"I think to some degree," said Gammons, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame's media wing who now works as an analyst for the MLB Network and NESN, when asked by Patrick if Francona was "managing for his job".
"I think it's very strange to think that, but I've sensed an increasing disconnect between general manager Theo Epstein and Terry Francona."
Gammons said there could be both on- and off-field issues between the Sox' front office and Francona:
"I think some of the things that have happened . . . When Terry came out to mercifully take John Lackey out of the game on Monday night -- after 14 baserunners, four stolen bases, a wild pitch, and blowing an 11-5 lead -- and I don't know if John actually realized he did it, he says he didn't, but he stared Francona down. As if, 'How dare you come out and get me?' " said Gammons. "Lackey says that didn't happen, but that's for the world to see and Terry was upset about it.
"But nothing was said. There's no veteran player to get in Lackey's face and say, 'Don't pull that stuff.' And there's nobody in the clubhouse or the manager's office telling him, 'No, don't do that.' . . .
"And I think last night, there's that strategic, 'Why is Josh Beckett coming out for the eighth inning in a tie game when you've got Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon?' "
Gammons noted there's precedent for managers losing the jobs after September disasters.
"You go back over the other, notable, recent collapses, which were the 2007 Mets and the 1995 Angels -- neither of them would be as great as this collapse if the Red Sox don't make the playoffs -- and in each case, the manager was gone by the middle of next season," said Gammons. "And there were major shakeups.
"I don't know if there won't be a lot of changes if the Red Sox end up finishing behind the Angels or Rays."