Monday, October 02, 2006
"Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona is far from being on the hot seat, but many observers -- some connected to the Cubs -- say they wouldn't be surprised if there was an offseason showdown between Francona and Red Sox GM Theo Epstein.
Francona, who signed a two-year extension in March, took the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2004 but has butted heads at times this season with Epstein. Considering the rocky situation facing the Red Sox' front office last offseason -- when Epstein shocked fans by quitting, then eventually returning -- there is no such thing as business as usual. That could be especially true this offseason for the Red Sox, who are due for some sort of shake-up after failing to reach the postseason for the first time since 2002.
Francona, 47, was a backup outfielder/first baseman for the Cubs in 1986 and has inside knowledge of what it's like to play day baseball at Wrigley Field. He has managed in Philadelphia (1997-2000) and Boston, so he would be comfortable with the smothering Chicago media. "