Nine to Know: Terry Francona

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Nine to Know: Terry Francona

By Bill Chuck

1. In 8 years with Boston, Terry managed 1296 games with a record of 744-552 .574. He won two AL pennants, finished first once, won three Wild Cards and two World Championships.

2. The Sox were 411-237 at Fenway, 333-315 on the road.

3. In one-run games, Terrys teams were 179-166
2004:16-18
2005: 27-15
2006: 29-20
2007: 22-28
2008: 22-23
2009: 22-17
2010: 22-26
2011: 19-19

4. Versus the Yankees, Terry was 75-72.
2004: BOS won 11, NYY won 8.
2005: BOS won 9, NYY won 10.
2006: BOS won 8, NYY won 11.
2007: BOS won 8, NYY won 10.
2008: BOS won 9, NYY won 9.
2009: BOS won 9, NYY won 9.
2010: BOS won 9, NYY won 9.
2011: BOS won 12, NYY won 6.

5. Against the AL East, the Sox were 327-258, .559
1. Baltimore: 93-52 .641
2. Tampa Bay: 80-67 .544
3. Toronto: 79-67 .541
4. New York: 75-72 .510

6. Leading home run hitters for Terry
David Ortiz 289
Manny Ramirez 163
Kevin Youkilis 129
Jason Varitek 114
J.D. Drew 80
Mike Lowell 80

7. Leading batters (minimum 2000 plate appearances)
Dustin Pedroia - .305
Manny Ramirez - .303
Jacoby Ellsbury - .301
Mike Lowell - .290
David Ortiz - .289
Kevin Youkilis - .289
J.D. Drew - .264
Jason Varitek - .249

8. Most wins
Josh Beckett - 84
Tim Wakefield - 84
Jon Lester - 76
Curt Schilling - 53
Daisuke Matsuzaka - 49
Clay Buchholz - 35
John Lackey - 26
Mike Timlin - 24
Bronson Arroyo - 24
Jonathan Papelbon - 23

9. The shortstop position has had a revolving door since 2004. Here are the 27 players who played short under Terry and the number of seasons in which they played the position.
Player From To
1. Jed Lowrie 4 2008 2011
2. Alex Cora 4 2005 2008
3. Julio Lugo 3 2007 2009
4. Marco Scutaro 2 2010 2011
5. Yamaico Navarro 2 2010 2011
6. Gil Velazquez 2 2008 2009
7. Alex Gonzalez 2 2006 2009
8. Mark Bellhorn 2 2004 2005
9. Drew Sutton 1 2011 2011
10. Jose Iglesias 1 2011 2011
11. Mike Aviles 1 2011 2011
12. Angel Sanchez 1 2010 2010
13. Felipe Lopez 1 2010 2010
14. Bill Hall 1 2010 2010
15. Chris Woodward 1 2009 2009
16. Nick Green 1 2009 2009
17. Royce Clayton 1 2007 2007
18. Dustin Pedroia 1 2006 2006
19. Ramon Vazquez 1 2005 2005
20. Edgar Renteria 1 2005 2005
21. Hanley Ramirez 1 2005 2005
22. Alejandro Machado 1 2005 2005
23. Pokey Reese 1 2004 2004
24. Ricky Gutierrez 1 2004 2004
25. Nomar Garciaparra 1 2004 2004
26. Cesar Crespo 1 2004 2004
27. Orlando Cabrera 1 2004 2004

Are Red Sox entering spring training with fewer questions than ever?

Are Red Sox entering spring training with fewer questions than ever?

BOSTON -- Every year it seems like there are major issues or question marks to start spring training where the answers are up in the air.

In 2015, the Red Sox lacked an ace, had Hanley Ramirez moving to left field and Pablo Sandoval coming to town.

In 2016, Ramirez was moving back to the infield, but at a new position, and his bat was in question. Sandoval was coming off a year where he couldn’t hit his weight (he hit .245 and he last weighed in at 255 pounds). How would the starting rotation look after David Price?

This year, there seem to be three questions, but in a way, they’ve already been answered.

How will the Red Sox make up for David Ortiz’s absence?

Well, for one, the Red Sox have three Cy Young-caliber starting pitchers (Price, Chris Sale and Rick Porcello) in their rotation.

And two, Hanley Ramirez is coming off a career year with his highest career output in RBI (111) and second-highest home run total (30). And while Mitch Moreland isn’t the greatest hitter, he’s good for 20 or more home runs. Plus, it seems he’s holding a spot for a certain Red Sox prospect who’s bouncing back well from an injury.

 

Will Sandoval earn the starting third base job back?

The weight loss is a good sign, not only for the physical reasons, but it shows he’s mentally committed to being better.

However, that doesn’t guarantee he gets his job back.

“I’m not going to say [third base] resolved itself,” John Farrell told CSNNE.com, “but you know Panda’s done a very good job of committing to get himself in better shape and we’re looking forward to seeing that play to in spring training.”

Even if Panda can’t put it all together, Farrell told reporters before Thursday’s BBWAA dinner, both Brock Holt and Josh Rutledge would be competing for the job as well.

Holt as plan B -- in the infield? Who wouldn’t take that?

Who’s going to start at catcher?

Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart each have their pros an cons.

Leon did it all last year, but went from hitting .383 in his first 39 games to .242 in his last 39.

Vazquez has Ivan Rodriguez-esque abilities behind the plate, but couldn’t keep the staff under control last year and cannot hit.

Swihart, who turns 25 April 3, is the youngest of the three, has the most potential at the plate, but is far and away the worst of the three defensively at the most important defensive position -- excluding pitcher -- on the field.

They all have their drawbacks, but they’ve all shown at some point why they can be the Red Sox starting catcher in the present and future.

Everywhere else, the Red Sox seem to be in a comfortable position as pitchers and catchers reporting to camp draws ever nearer.

“I think the fact that we’ve got veteran players that have done a great job in staying healthy [and] young players that are getting more establishing in their return, we’re in a pretty good place in terms of the overall status of our position player group,” Farrell told CSNNE.com.

And it seems some players are confident in the team’s options as they ready for camp.

“We’re looking good in a lot of areas,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts told CSNNE.com. “Especially the pitching staff, [since] we just got Chris Sale one of the best in the game.”

“Pablo’s definitely going to bounce back, especially with the weight he’s lost."

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

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Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.