Monday, December 5, 2011
Terry Francona Will Be Taking Over The Worldwide Leader's Baseball Coverage
Well as I predicted, Terry Francona has found gainful employment after only a month and change out of the limelight.
The former Boston Red Sox manager (it feels weird typing that) has joined ESPN as a baseball analyst. Ironically, he'll be replacing Bobby Valentine (Boston's new manager) on Sunday Night Baseball with Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser.
Also, Tito will appear on Baseball Tonight (which is still a good show even though I often watch MLB Network instead) and Little League World Series coverage. Finally, he will be a featured guest on ESPN Radio's national shows, plus a contributor to ESPN.com and ESPNBoston.com.
You can't keep a good man down and while I fully recognize that Francona was a big part of the clubhouse issues at the end, the two-time World Series champion deserved a plumb gig like this. From all accounts, he's a decent guy and from the very small sample size during the ALCS on Fox (when Tim McCarver was getting a brain transplant or some shit), Francona was superb. Truly a breath of fresh air in a sport that really lacks new energy in its broadcasting.
That first Red Sox-Yankees game on Sunday Night Baseball will definitely be awkward, especially when Francona has to criticize Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Carl Crawford, etc. but he's a pro and a big boy, he can handle it.