Francona: The Red Sox Years

Francona: The Red Sox Years

4.3 50
by Terry Francona, Dan Shaughnessy

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From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, perhaps the most scrutinized team in all of sports. During that time, every home game was a sellout. Every play, call, word, gesture—on the field and off—was analyzed by thousands. And every decision was either genius, or disastrous. In those eight years, the Red Sox were transformed from a

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From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, perhaps the most scrutinized team in all of sports. During that time, every home game was a sellout. Every play, call, word, gesture—on the field and off—was analyzed by thousands. And every decision was either genius, or disastrous. In those eight years, the Red Sox were transformed from a cursed franchise to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball history—only to fall back to last place as soon as Francona was gone. Now, in Francona: The Red Sox Years, the decorated manager opens up for the first time about his tenure in Boston, unspooling the narrative of how this world-class organization reached such incredible highs and dipped to equally incredible lows. But through it all, there was always baseball, that beautiful game of which Francona never lost sight.

As no book has ever quite done before, Francona escorts readers into the rarefied world of a twenty-first-century clubhouse, revealing the mercurial dynamic of the national pastime from the inside out. From his unique vantage point, Francona chronicles an epic era, from 2004, his first year as the Sox skipper, when they won their first championship in 86 years, through another win in 2007, to the controversial September collapse just four years later. He recounts the tightrope walk of managing unpredictable personalities such as Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez and working with Theo Epstein, the general managing phenom, and his statistics-driven executives. It was a job that meant balancing their voluminous data with the emotions of a 25-man roster. It was a job that also meant trying to meet the expectations of three owners with often wildly differing opinions. Along the way, readers are treated to never-before-told stories about their favorite players, moments, losses, and wins.

Ultimately, when for the Red Sox it became less about winning and more about making money, Francona contends they lost their way. But it was an unforgettable, endlessly entertaining, and instructive time in baseball history, one that is documented and celebrated in Francona, a book that examines like no other the art of managing in today’s game.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Surprising…brutally honest…Francona’s tenure included the highest-high, the first Red Sox title in 86 years and the lowest-low when a collapse kept the team from the playoffs that led to the manager's ouster." – USA Today

"The long-awaited memoir…It’s not often that baseball aficionados and gossip gluttons can plunk down on a shared portion of outfield grass with the same book for an afternoon of readerly delight, but Francona can bridge those kinds of differences." – Boston Globe

"Terry Francona's new book is not only a must read, but it is a fascinating and entertaining look into the daily life on Yawkey Way during that memorable time period...full of surprising and fun anecdotes…There are glimpses of his relationships with the players – good and bad…and in most cases Shaughnessy’s thorough reporting includes perspective from the players, executives and owners." –

"A scorched-earth memoir …[that] touches fleetingly on steroid use, sabermetrics and Michael Jordan’s stint in the minor leagues…but saves is heaviest artillery for the owners…[and] Theo Epstein backs him up." – New York Times Book Review

"A good read, well worth it for any Red Sox fan or anyone interested in the last decade of baseball. Francona and Shaughnessy tell how the Red Sox became champions and also how it all fell apart." –

"A great read…good fun and dishy." –

"A bombshell." – Comcast Sports

"Francona: The Red Sox Years is a compelling behind-the-scenes depiction…of an eight-year period that witnessed both the most spectacular successes in franchise history as well as some of the most devastating failures." –

"An exhilarating and torturous recounting of Francona's eight-year run as the Red Sox manager…He knows how the game is supposed to be played, and how the players are supposed to act…Francona gets it. That's what the book reveals most." – The News Herald

"An often hilarious but never salacious peek behind clubhouse doors…much of the book’s advance buzz has focused on management’s backward emphasis on sizzle…but it’s the candor, often delivered with deft humor, about the players that will appeal to Red Sox fans. " – Chad Finn, Boston Globe

"Reveals [Francona’s] favorite highs from his historic stint with the team, and how he dealt with the crushing lows." – Men’s Health

"A fascinating and detailed look at how a franchise so desperate to win big and attract huge television ratings can lose its soul in the process." – Terry Pluto, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Francona’s depiction of the Boston organization…provides insight…[and] cements every perception we have of a dysfunctional Red Sox hierarchy…internal proof that the Red Sox were forcing business wants on their baseball needs purely in the name of greed." – Tony Massarotti,

"You don’t have to like the Red Sox to enjoy this book. Francona: The Red Sox Years shows the manager’s true grit. Francona puts the reader behind the scenes in the often fiery, turbulent, never dull world of the Red Sox…It is vintage Francona, earthy blunt, comical and disarming… Francona and Shaughnessy together tell the story of a gritty baseball lifer who brought untold joy to Red Sox Nation, and Shaughnessy has captured Francona, warts and all." – Tampa Bay Tribune

"Revenge is a dish best served cold? So is a tell-all book, even if it doesn’t tell all. But Terry Francona tells enough in his new book with longtime Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy to take us into places with the Red Sox that the camera never goes….through the deft hands of the very accomplished Shaughnessy, Francona is also very insightful into … the pressures of managing in a white-hot media market like Boston." – Providence Journal

"Even Yankees fans are going to want to read this Red Sox book." – NY Daily News

"There are terrific anecdotes…the language is course and the opinions unfiltered. But for fans who want more than the team-approved version of events, it’s a fun read. Just how much Francona loves baseball and the people in the game comes through. For years, you had to wonder what Francona really thought. We’ll probably never know 100 percent, but this book gets you very close. My thoughts after finishing the book? Good luck to John Farrell." – Peter Abraham, Boston Globe

"A searing indictment of Red Sox ownership….Red Sox Nation is eating up this new book… Francona’s account of big shots screwing up is exquisite off-season sport." – Publishers Weekly

"A 349-page firebombing." – Gerry Callahan, Boston Herald

"The hottest sports book on the market." – Steve Buckley,

"This is the best book looking inside the mind of a big-league manager I have ever read, because Francona is sharp and loves the game, because Shaughnessy is eloquent and a dazzling storyteller." - Philadelphia Inquirer

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Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

TERRY “TITO” FRANCONA was a major league baseball player from 1981 to 1990. After he retired as a player, he managed the Philadelphia Phillies for four seasons. From 2004 to 2011 he managed the Boston Red Sox to two World Series championships. He has since worked as a baseball analyst for ESPN, hosting their Sunday Night Baseball telecast, and is now the manager of the Cleveland Indians.

DAN SHAUGHNESSY is an award-winning columnist for the Boston Globe and the author of twelve sports books, including The Curse of the Bambino, a best-selling classic. Nine times Shaughnessy has been voted one of America’s top ten sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors, and ten times he has been named Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year.

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Francona: The Red Sox Years 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 50 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book cover to cover. Lots of stories i had not heard. I was looking forward to reading this book and i was not disapointed.
MayaMA More than 1 year ago
Interesting that John Henry has shown up at spring training camp. And the the Sox let Ben Cherrington sign a bunch of solid but no name players this off season. I can only thing that they have taken this terrific baseball book to hear. If you love baseball regardless of who you root for, you will enjoy this look at what happens behind the scenes. Of course, I loved Terry when he was managing.
Kriksel-Fiksel More than 1 year ago
As a Red Sox fan living in the Philly area during Terry Francona's tenures with both the Phils and the Sox, I shared the optimism of both teams when they hired him. I admired the managing he did in both places, and never shared in the fans' souring on him in either place. This book vindicates my faith in the man. I have never been a fan of Dan Shaughnessy's negative outlook (his jinned-up "Curse of the Bambino" being just the best-known example), but he puts his bad attitude back in his pocket for this book and shows what kind of an engaging writer he can be when he isn't being an aselloch. I enjoyed this book a lot!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! Informative, entertaining and a must have if you are a Red Sox fan. It gives you the chance to be a fly on the inside of a major league clubhouse and reveals the true personalities of players and management alike. Never a dull moment.  
arawd More than 1 year ago
recovering from major elbow surgery. hate the sox. hate them more now. a very good book about a very decent guy. i will be rooting for him. thouroughly enjoyed the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Dan Shaughnessy did a fine job of writing about Francona's life and what it's like to be a baseball player and manager. Only a minor part of the book deals with Francona's departure from the Red Sox. Lots of amusing anecdotes about players -- I laughed out loud.
Anonymous 8 months ago
ChiefBro More than 1 year ago
This book was Terry-ific. If you have followed the Red Sox since 2007, then this is an awesome behind the scenes walk down memory lane. Coming from the Francona perspective only made the journey ten times better. He is a regular guy with real feelings and genuine love for the game... which all comes though in his book. It was a great read and I highly recommend it for all Sox fans. I will find my self keeping an eye on the Indians and wishing Terry nothing but the best.
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As a die hard Yankee fan, I hate everything about the Red Sox. But this book made me a fan of their coach. Anybody who is a baseball fan... including yankee fans, should buy this book.
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littlestevie52 More than 1 year ago
Great read! Interesting insight into the workings of a MLB team. The "voice" of Terry Francona is very true and sincere. If this book was written to make "Tito" a sympathetic character, it succeeded. He was caught between demanding owners and selfish, overpaid players and even after all his success, he was "thrown under the bus." I'm not a big fan of Shaughnessy, he did a great job of writing this story. Overall, 5 stars! Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago