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Francona: The Red Sox Years
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Francona: The Red Sox Years

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,963 ratings  ·  294 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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Joe
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
...more
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
...more
David Drysdale
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
Jim Leffert
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
Todd
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
Hnewberg Newberg
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
Mike
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
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
Dyan
Good book, but there is a sense of sadness throughout the entire thing. Francona really was not treated well :-(
Steven Belanger
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'
...more
Callie
Mar 13, 2013 Callie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013, own
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
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
...more
Ben
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
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
Gutman
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
...more
Shawn
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
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
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
Scott Vout
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
...more
Fred Forbes
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.
Beverly
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
Sean
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
Allison
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
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
Cathy
Hard to believe, but I actually read (and enjoyed), a book entirely about sports :-) This was surprisingly well-written and a good read.
Krystle
it was a pretty decent book. not at all a revenge book, but just your basic "this is what goes on in baseball" book.
Steve
Worth reading...what happens when a team exceeds all expectations and then flies too close to the sun.
Cnelson
A fascinating read! Couldn't put it down.
Kevin A.
This book came out a year ago, after Bobby Valentine's disastrous single season as Tito's successor. Righting the ship took surprisingly no time at all. It's interesting having read this book on the heels of the Red Sox World Series victory, only two years after Francona's departure. Although the way that championship came about--hiring Francona's former pitching coach, ditching the diva players that made his last year in Boston so unpleasant--is a backhanded tribute to him.

This book gives us pr
...more
Drebbles
After losing to the New York Yankees in the 2003 playoffs, the Boston Red Sox fired manager Grady Little and hired Terry Francona in his place. Their choice paid off quickly as the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and again in 2007. For a while all was well in Red Sox Nation but the good times didn't last as Francona lost control of the clubhouse and players and after a disastrous 2011 season Francona was fired. “Francona: The Red Sox Years” is the story of Francona's roller coaster years as ...more
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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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