Features a bonus interview with authors Terry Francona and Dan Shaughnessy
From famed manager Terry Francona, a lively, unvarnished narrative of his tenure with the storied Boston Red Sox...
From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, the most talked-about, scrutinized team in all of sports. In Francona the legendary manager opens up for the first time about his eight years there, as they went from cursed franchise to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball history. He takes listeners inside the rarefied world of a 21st-century clubhouse, from 2004 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 personalities like Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez, working with Theo Epstein and his statistics-driven executives, balancing their data with the emotions of a 25-man roster, and meeting the expectations of three owners with often wildly differing opinions.
Along the way listeners are treated with back-slapping, never-before-told stories about their favorite players, moments, losses, and wins. Those eight years were a wild, unforgettable ride, and now the fascinating full story can be told in an audiobook that examines like no other the art of managing in today's game.
©2013 Terry Francona and Dan Shaughnessy (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
Yes, I thought it was interesting. I liked the details of working for such a high profile team.
My favorite character was Terry Francona.
No, I haven't.
Even for a more casual baseball fan, this is really good.
High school history and psychology teacher and coach
Absolutely. Any Sox fan who has felt a little like George Steinbrenner or Bill Veeck has been running things at Fenway for the past few years without quite being able to put their finger on why they have that feeling will find a lot of clarity in this behind-the-scenes look at the ballclub from a manager's-eye-view. Things you may have noticed, without quite making sense of, all add up here. I expected a bit of sour grapes, but Tito's criticisms of the organization all fit with the more-than-casual fan's experiences of the Red Sox over the past decade or so, and he invariably qualifies them with the acknowledgement that the front office and the manager's office have different agendas because they serve different purposes for the organization.
Francona, somewhat obviously. It's good to hear that some of his more seemingly boneheaded decisions were in view of the bigger picture. While it sucks to spend money to go to Fenway on a day the team rolls over, Tito explains why sometimes that's still the best call for the team and the organization.
Not sure if I've heard anything else of his, but the occasional mispronunciations of names - it's "Bill Miller," not "Bill Mueller," regardlesss of spelling - exposes him as someone who doesn't follow the team. Distracting? Not terribly. Could they have found ONE narrator who knows the player names for the Boston Red Sox? I'd imagine so.
Funny in spots, sure. Crying....uhh, no.
This is, overall, probably the most addictive audiobook I've gotten in the past year. If you've been a Sox fan, especially if you've been around for the entire career arc of Francona at Four Yawkey Way, give it a listen. You'll be surprised at how many of these games you personally remember, and at Tito's commentary on those games and the circumstances in which they were played. A really nice fly-on-the-clubhouse-wall book that tempts a lifelong Boston fan to root for the Indians in 2013....especially once you learn about what a nutroll the ownership group for the Red Sox is.
Francona is a family story, about the Francona family, and his baseball family the Boston Red Sox.
The warmth, honesty and intensity expressed by Terry Francona.
A Bronx Tale in Fenway Park.
Like the DeNiro Film, Francona is a baseball purist who has to function in a world run by CEO's, GM's and statistical gurus who try to compromise his belief in the players and the sport.
If you are a Red Sox or just a baseball fan then it will be very entertaining
Tito was the character best performed
I wish I had the time to listen to this in all one sitting. It would be worth the time.
Thoreau's Walden ("Reading") and Ayn Rand's introduction to The Fountainhead (25th anniversary edition) summarize my library well.
Every ballplayer has a story. And ballplayers are a tight knit family. It's just that Tito's story and family connections are especially interesting.
How does one person get to manage the short-lived baseball career of Michael Jordan -and- end the Curse of the Bambino? And mentor a young Jon Lester through his early career and cancer treatments? And gets to return to his father's baseball roots in Cleveland? Fascinating.
Tito definitely gets his last word in against Sox ownership as he and the organization parted ways in 2011, and most everything he says seems (incredibly!) plausible and justified.
From the details of growing up as the son of a pro ballplayer through his career through the locker room dirt of the 2004 Idiots and beyond, this book is great for any MLB fan and a must-read for a Boston fan like myself.
Gurner's narration was just fine. Sure he botches a name or two, but he nails every F-bomb.
Go Sox, go Tito--thanks for sharing your terrific, salty stories with the fans of this game.
son of a motherless goat
As a humongous Red Sox fan, and a gigantic fan of Francona as a manager, I loved this book and the memories it evoked. Sucky to remember and hear more about his exit from the team, but still a great story of his life with the organization.
The narrator was not my favorite. I have a buddy who listens to audiobooks a lot also, and the few times that he would overhear me listening to this book, he would make so much fun of the narrator. He was very dry and sometimes almost robotic in his reading. I'm sure books like this can be tricky when you're reading the voice of people that the audience may know...but it was just lifeless, plodding and sometimes made me want to stop listening and just read the book myself instead.
Great baseball book
Tito! Love his no BS style. Stuck to the only way he knew how to do things and the big business of big-league ownership chewed him up and spit him out with no appreciation for his immense accomplishments. Good luck in Cleveland, Tito!
Great narration! Straight to the point. Loved his portrayals of Francona.
The ugly truth of business behind the game
Say something about yourself!
Writing of problems and experiences that are unique to managing a big league club. Francona was not afraid of telling like it was, those problems that happened to him during his tenure in Boston. That brings the reader new insights into what goes on in the head of the manager. Yet he does not betray the club house trust of his players and coaches. These little things that Francona does a great job of conveying, is what make this book a must read baseball book.
I was hesitant at first of buying this book, because I am no fan of the Red Sox; but I am a huge fan of the game. So I went a head with this book, and am so glad that I did. I have read many baseball books over the years. Including Joe Torre’s recent book about his managing the Yankee’s. I found Francona’s book just as interesting, and enjoyable. In many ways Francona is better at putting down the nuances of his thoughts while managing than Torre.
So, if you are a fan of the game of baseball and have wondered “what was he thinking” of a managers decision. This book will go a long way in answering that question. Jeff Gruner’s narration of the book is a joy to listen to. His pacing and inflections are good, and he never has any of those annoying moments or things. Over all between the authors and the narrator, they make a five star listen.
Terry Francona is a MLB manager and not a pulitzer prize nominated author, which is made quite obvious through the first chapter. However, most people didn't purchase "Francona: The Red Sox Years" for its ability to ignite them with powerful imagery or seduce them with a unique writing style. The book does its job; giving the reader a decade's worth of insight into the social atmosphere of the Red Sox clubhouse. A behind-the-scenes novel that tastfully garnishes itself with nostalgia.
Perception! His perception of Manny Ramirez and the ball club's perception of Manny
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