Terry Francona, who was recently hired by ESPN as a baseball analyst (including serving as a broadcaster for Sunday Night Baseball), discussed the Red Sox last night from the Winter Meetings in Dallas. Check out the video above.
-- Discusses the September collapse: "A lot of mixed emotions obviously. It was our worst nightmare and in a place like Boston, pretty volatile on a good day, it cost people jobs. I understand that, a lot of things went wrong. That doesn’t mean that’s not going to be a good team. There’s a ton of good pieces and every year Boston goes to spring training, regardless of whether I’m there or Bobby, they’re going to put a team that has a chance to win."
-- Things that a manager in Boston has to deal with that make it unique: "The hardest thing I felt was trying to have an atmosphere where the players can play the game and not worry about the things on the periphery. Because in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, you deal with those things more than in other towns, that’s just the way it is."
-- Pitching in September was really what did the Red Sox in: "Not pointing a finger at a pitcher, but when you’re ERA is 6 and above or your starters are going 4 or 5 innings, it just puts a burden on the whole team."
-- What could turn things around for the Red Sox? "Winning. But that turns it around anywhere. When you think you have enough pitching, go get more ... every team comes out of spring training, they always say, 'yeah, we’re good' ... go get more pitching."
-- The closer situation: Karl Ravich specifically asked Franonca what he'd do with Daniel Bard. "Bard can do anything," Francona said. "Daniel Bard can close, he can set up, he can start. He’s so valuable in that set-up role that I would think they’d want to keep him there. … But he’s going to want to close, he’s going to make more money that way."