Buckley: 'It would have been worse without Tito'

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Buckley: 'It would have been worse without Tito'

Terry Francona at fault for the Red Sox collapse?

Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald isn't buying it.

"Rather than blame Tito Francona for what's happened with this team, I'm willing to go the other way and suggest it might have been worse if he wasn't the manager," Buckley said Thursday night on 'Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight'.

"Listen, that 2005 team had problems. The 2006 team, when Manny Ramirez flat-out stopped playing, had all kinds of problems late in the season that didn't spill over into the media. There were some problems last year when the team didn't make the playoffs. I think the guy's done a good job of keeping a relatively cohesive clubhouse . . .

"I don't think it comes down on Francona. I think it comes down 100 percent on the players . . . Shame on them for falling down late in the season like that."