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

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Starter Drew Pomeranz gives up three runs on five hits in four innings of work in the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday.

Lou Merloni breaks down Pomeranz's start and explains why he should be in the starting rotation to begin the season.

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

The dearth of homegrown starting pitching for the Red Sox is talked about almost as much as every Tom Brady post on Instagram.

Red Sox fans may take some solace in knowing their team isn’t the only one dealing with this problem.

In an interview with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t talk about his team’s pitching problems in context of the Red Sox. But the explanation the longtime Yanks boss offered should sound familiar. 

In the biggest of markets, time to develop properly is scarce.

“Yeah. It's a fact,” Cashman said when asked if criticism of their pitching development was fair. “I think part of the process has been certainly where we draft. Because we've had a lot of success, we've not been allowed to tank and go off the board and therefore get access to some of the high-end stuff that plays out to be impactful. Part of it is we can't get out of our own way because we don't have the patience to let guys finish off their development, because if you possess some unique ability that stands out above everybody else -- whether it was Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, now [Luis] Severino and before that [Bryan] Mitchell and Shane Greene -- we're pulling them up before their development is finished.

“Teams like Tampa Bay, for instance, they're going to wait until they have their four pitches down and their innings limits are all exceeded at the minor-league level; they're very disciplined in that approach as they finish off their starters. For us, if I'm looking at my owner and he says, ‘What's our best team we can take north?’ 

“Well, ‘We could take this guy; he's not necessarily 100 percent finished off, but we can stick him in our 'pen. He can be in the back end of our rotation, because he's better than some of the guys we already have,’ and then you cut corners, so I think that probably plays a role in it.”

Not everything is circumstantial, though -- or a deflection. 

“And sometimes we don't make the right decisions, either, when we're making draft selections and signings and stuff like that,” Cashman continued. “On top of it all, playing in New York is a lot different than playing anywhere else.”

We’ve heard that last part about Boston too, here and there.

Cashman was complimentary of his current Sox counterpart, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, whose team Cashman has compared to the Golden State Warriors.

On his feelings when he first heard the Sox were getting Chris Sale:

“When that trade was consummated, that was the first thing I thought about, which was, 'Wow, look at what they've done,' ” Cashman said. “I know how it's going to play out for them. Listen, Steve Kerr does a great job managing that team -- oh, I mean John Farrell. It's a lot of talent and with talent comes pressure to perform. I think Dave Dombrowski has done everything he possibly can to provide that city with a world championship team. They've got 162 games to show it.”