Red Sox fans will not get better news all year than this: Terry Francona will be here for the next three to five years. Bruce Allen wraps up the coverage.
There’s something “well, duh” about saying Francona is the best Sox manager in my lifetime. After all, he’s won two World Series, and everyone else had won none. As Francona is always quick to say, he’s benefited from a lot of great moves on the part of the people above him.
But Francona’s preparation and on-field managing skills are unparalleled. His handling of players is amazing, from his ability to keep Manny Ramírez productive year after year to having Jonathan Papelbon spring-training fresh going into the post-season last fall. He’s the anti-Belichick — I don’t think Francona loves the media, but as best as I can tell he is unfailingly polite and respectful in his dealings with other people. He’s just a good, decent human being, and that comes through every time he talks.
A couple of years ago, we were all worried that Francona’s health might not allow him to enjoy a lengthy managerial career. But he seemed to be healthier last year, and now he’s signed a long-term deal. May he continue to manage the Sox for years to come.