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Francona: The Red Sox Years

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,370 Ratings  ·  310 Reviews
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 o ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2013)
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Feb 27, 2013 Joe rated it really liked it
Must-read for all die-hard Sox fans. No bombshells dropped by Francona, but a good number of water balloons. He is almost as diplomatic in this tell-almost-all as he used to be as skipper of the Red Sox, so don't expect a lot of dirt.

Among the water balloons were several references to his disappointment with Sox ownership. (All right - not disappointed. In the end, he was pissed.) First, over the way they fired him: without telling him he was fired, but refusing to pick up his contract option, t
Jeff Raymond
This is a very generous three stars, as it's merely an extended recap of the Red Sox under manager Terry Francona over the previous eight years. It's similar to Joe Torre's book The Yankee Years in that it's less about Francona and more about the writer (in this case, Dan Shaugnessy) interspersing years of game stories and sports reporting with Francona's commentary.

As it's Dan Shaugnessy, you know what you're getting coming in. If you're a local Boston reader, Shaugnessy's writing style and the
David Drysdale
Jan 26, 2013 David Drysdale rated it it was ok
I don't know what I actually expected out of this. I'm a Red Sox fan and was a big supporter of Francona, and was disgusted by the way he was unceremoniously ousted after his tenure in Boston. I guess I hoped that this book would add some depth and context to what happened. Instead, the book was, well, pretty boring. It doesn't help that Shaughnessy's simply not a very good writer (and he quite obviously wrote this, though it is interspersed with passages of dialogue from Francona). But for the ...more
Hnewberg Newberg
Jan 26, 2013 Hnewberg Newberg rated it really liked it
I love baseball. This book explains a lot, but I suspect not entirely, of why I have reached the conclusion that my loyalty to the sport transcends particular teams, broadcasters, managers, or players. Accidents of history place me in Red Sox nation and I am ok with that. The rivalries are fun. My loyalty lies with the sounds of the game, the thought that as long as baseball is being played the world is reasonably ok, and with the hustle and work ethic that occasionally shines through with gifte ...more
Jim Leffert
Apr 06, 2013 Jim Leffert rated it really liked it
If you’re a serious member of Red Sox Nation, follow baseball intensely, or wonder what it’s like to manage a Major League baseball team in a big media market such as Boston, you will find much of interest in Francona and Shaughnessy’s account of Francona’s eight seasons as Red Sox manager. While not a legendary manager like Leo Durocher or Casey Stengel, Francona is interesting enough to deserve a book: son of a major leaguer, he grew up in clubhouses; a baseball lifer, he has a tremendous love ...more
Yikes, where to begin? I should have read the reviews first although I doubt it would have made a difference. I expected this to be a book written by Francona with Shaughnessy as a ghost writer or "by Francona with Shaughnessy" but it's not. It's a book written by Dan Shaughnessy from interviews with Francona. I had that suspicion almost write away. I mean, who writes an autobiography in the third person or refers to himself as "the manager"? Then the acknowledgement at the end pretty much confi ...more
Aug 24, 2014 Mike rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball
i'm giving tito and his story 5 stars, and deducting two stars for the stench of dan shaughnessey and his many bitter axes to grind that permeate through the pages. i'd love to read this book written in collaboration with tom verducci, seth mnookin, or michael holley. i'm die hard enough a fan that i couldn't put it down, but i'm the guy who will watch a blow-out because i love the sox so much. after all the joy of 2004 and 2007 in red sox nation, can i privately suggest that a return to earth, ...more
John Downer
Mar 10, 2014 John Downer rated it it was amazing
Loved this. Loved the stories from the clubhouse and the behind-the-scenes look. It added so much to my knowledge and view of the 2004 to 2012 seasons, which alternated between exhilarating and maddening. This book made me dislike Manny more, respect Jeter even more and brought a deeper, more nuanced view to dozens of players and coaches and officials. The whole cast of characters became much more three dimensional. This is must reading for a Red Sox fan. It started oddly though because I expect ...more
Feb 08, 2013 Dyan rated it really liked it
Good book, but there is a sense of sadness throughout the entire thing. Francona really was not treated well :-(
Steven Belanger
Dec 27, 2013 Steven Belanger rated it really liked it
A very readable, if not mindblowing or all-revealing, look at the life and times, especially 2004-2011, of former Red Sox manager Terry Francona. I read it in a couple of days, as most decent readers and/or baseball fans would.

I had put off reading it for a long time, as I very much liked and respected Francona (and still do) and did not want to read an airing of his grievances. He was always a "keep it in-house" kind of guy, and I didn't want to see him break from that and air his--and the Sox'
Ben Thompson
Jan 10, 2016 Ben Thompson rated it liked it
Shelves: sox
As a Red Sox fan, this was a must-read. However, the cover presents the book as an autobiography, when in reality, this is more of a documentary on Francona written by Dan Shaughnessy. By the time I was done, I felt as though I'd just read a VH1 "Behind the Music" about a Major League Baseball Manager.

The stories from inside the dugout and the clubhouse are the draw. Finding out how Francona handled David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia and Manny Ramirez, etc keep the pages turning. The front office dr
Mar 13, 2013 Callie rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2013
A fascinating look at the Francona years of the Boston Red Sox (2004-2011), which encompassed 2 World Series victories (including the first in 86 years) as well as the biggest collapse in baseball history in September of 2011. Many people were obviously exhaustively interviewed by Dan Shaughnessy for this book, and his many hours over many years in the clubhouse as a reporter are obvious- Shaughnessy clearly knows his way around this organization. The book is well written, though I did find it t ...more
Robert Thacker
Oct 08, 2013 Robert Thacker rated it liked it
An easy, fun read for baseball and Sox fans comprised almost completely of behind the scene stories and eyewitness accounts of the exciting Boston Red Sox saga from 2004-2011. Chronological, well organized, and pretty well written, but spoiled somewhat by the well known anti-ownership, anti-management anti-this-one and that-one agendas of the ghostwriter, Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe, which are liberally sprinkled throughout the narrative.
Disappointingly, this is not an autobiography. Th
Mar 20, 2013 Ben rated it liked it
This is a little tough to rate - I'd prefer 3 1/2 stars - 3 stars for the writing 4 for the content. Saying that this book is "by Terry Francona" is not at all accurate. Dan Shaughnessy is a sports columnist for the Boston Globe. He wrote the book using extensive quotes from Francona as well as Theo Epstein and some with Larry Luccino with a smattering from Terry's players, coaches and family. Shaugnessy is a sports columnist not a Nobel Laureate. As other reviewers here have noted - this is not ...more
Mike Kennedy
Mar 24, 2013 Mike Kennedy rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
Finally I was able to knock this off. It took a little longer than expected to some craziness at work, and some other books I had finish. I really liked the look this book gave you into the inside of the whole Red Sox organization. While I did like book, there were some areas that I found lacking. One you first need to get past Francona's arrogance. He thinks he knows best, and he isn't afraid to tell you about. One example is when he was talking about 2007's ALCS. He was the only person who wan ...more
Feb 14, 2013 Gutman rated it it was ok
Okay, so if you're a Sox fan you have to read it. But outside of Tito firing a few shots to settle some lingering scores, there's not a heck of a lot there.
Dan and Terry made a few bucks, and attempted to make the case that Terry and Theo were the good guys. They didn't really give us much of a peek behind the clubhouse curtain, they didn't tell much in the way of anecdotes (that's on Dan, who was apparently not in top storyteller mode) -- I don't recall a single developed story that elicited t
Feb 24, 2013 Shawn rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
The first few chapters, dealing with Francona’s early life and path to the Red Sox job, were much more engaging than the rest of the book. I didn’t know a lot about Francona’s background and how much, even from a young age, a part of baseball he was (and how much baseball was a part of him). The middle chapters were fun in terms of reliving the seasons and the last few chapters were interesting insofar as they detailed the collapse of the 2011 Sox. But the middle chapters read like season summar ...more
Colleen Whary
Feb 10, 2013 Colleen Whary rated it it was ok
I was so anxious to read this book looking for some clues to the Red Sox collapse of 2011. Although it was well-written and entertaining, it was not surprising or informative to anyone who closely watches the team. Instead it was Francona taking what seemed like petty cheap shots at Red Sox owners and Manny Ramirez. Although they (especially Manny) may have deserved it, I think what is missing is Francona's real story -- the one reporters have failed to tell us -- and the one Francona leaves out ...more
Alyssa Chamberlain
Apr 10, 2015 Alyssa Chamberlain rated it it was amazing
Francona: The Red Sox Years, by Terry Francona and Dan Shaughnessy, is a biography about Terry Francona’s life in major league baseball. Francona’s life has always had a baseball influence in his life. Terry Francona spent most of his childhood in the clubhouse of one of the nine major league teams his father, Tito Francona, played on. As Terry Francona grew up his dream of becoming a major league baseball player came true. Terry Francona played on 5 different major league teams over 9 years. Te ...more
Apr 24, 2016 Joe rated it really liked it
I always meant to read this book as soon as it came out and finally got around to it.

I am an unabashed Tito guy and have always been a fan of the way he carries himself and his sense of humor and ability to get the best out of people.

This was a great read as a fan because you get to see the fires that he was constantly putting out and the egos and personalities that Tito was able to manage and his focus on the human beings involved.

On one other note, my opinion of Theo Epstein shot up significan
Scott Vout
Mar 24, 2014 Scott Vout rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports, books-of-2014
I will state up front that I am a huge Boston Red Sox fan. And over the eight years this book covers I was a huge Terry Francona fan.

That being said, I really enjoyed this book. I enjoy reading the behind the scenes, tell all stuff about sports.

Most people never see what goes into making a major league team the way it is. This book reveals a lot of that.

One thing I did take away from this book was a growing dislike for the Red Sox ownership group. When they originally bought the Red Sox I though
Fred Forbes
Apr 05, 2013 Fred Forbes rated it really liked it
As a member of the "Red Sox Nation" for 60 years, it would be tough for me to miss this book by the best manager they ever had. Great to relive the World Series wind of '04 and '07 and tough to live through a recap of the last two years. Still, excellent book by Terry and sports reporter Dan Shaughnessy.
Feb 06, 2014 Beverly rated it really liked it
I listened to this book. I have been wanting to read it and even though 2 seasons have passed it was quite eye opening into the life of a manager and all the sh it he has to deal with, especially Manny and the owners. It makes you not want not pay for a ticket because it is going in the owners pockets. I always liked listening to his post game interviews - he was insightful and told it like it was - all the time protecting his players - and his book had a lot to say. One thing I really liked was ...more
Feb 21, 2014 Sean rated it liked it
While this book lists Terry Francona as an author, this isn't really true. While most books 'written' by non-author celebrities are ghostwritten, this book does not even try to make an attempt to show Tito as an author. Instead, it is a Dan Shaughnessy (CHB) book, and Tito is always referred to in the third person. I might not have read this book if I had known this going in, as I really hate CHB's as a writer and a personality. I would have preferred the pretense afforded by the usual ghostwrit ...more
Apr 11, 2013 Allison rated it liked it
If you are a Red Sox fan, you will likely enjoy this book. If you are a fan of proper grammar and good writing, you will not like it. But I like Tito and I like Shaughnessy, so I enjoyed it.
Alex Pietropaolo
Feb 08, 2015 Alex Pietropaolo rated it really liked it
This interesting half biography, half autobiography is an extremely good way to see how the life of a MLB manager's daily routine and life is taken of by baseball and how it lead to Terry's family troubles at home. This story also simulated the inner workings of a baseball franchise and did a good job in highlighting the decision making behind thought process that Francona went through in his time with the red sox. This book is a great read for anyone who is a Red Sox fan or is interested in the ...more
May 15, 2013 Cathy rated it really liked it
Hard to believe, but I actually read (and enjoyed), a book entirely about sports :-) This was surprisingly well-written and a good read.
it was a pretty decent book. not at all a revenge book, but just your basic "this is what goes on in baseball" book.
Jan 28, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it
Worth reading...what happens when a team exceeds all expectations and then flies too close to the sun.
Feb 25, 2013 Cnelson rated it really liked it
A fascinating read! Couldn't put it down.
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Terry "Tito" Francona was a first baseman and outfielder in the majors from 1981 to 1990. After retiring as a player, he managed several minor league teams in the 1990s before managing the Philadelphia Phillies for four seasons. In 2004, Francona was hired to manage the Boston Red Sox, and that year he led the team to its first World Series championship since 1918. He won another World Series with ...more
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“the shoulder I built up in Japan. Since I came to the major leagues, I couldn’t train my own way, so now I’ve lost all those savings.” Farrell” 0 likes
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