This is the best job I've ever had. It's the hardest job I've ever had. I don't know if you can have the passion people have for this team without having the criticism or whatever comes with it. ... Some nights I go home with a headache, but I can't imagine being in some other place.Sean McAdam, on managing in Boston:
He was prepared for the talk-show callers and the profane comments from fans seated behind the home dugout at Fenway. He was not, however, prepared for a particular writing assignment given to his daughter's middle school English class. The topic: Should the Red Sox fire Terry Francona?Francona is apparently looking for at least three years -- I am completely in favor of that.
He has a great rapport with his players. He understands and accepts the progressive thoughts of the front office -- and he's wise enough to not yak about them to the media, many of whom are hopelessly mired in the 1870s when it comes to analyzing the game.
When I watch the Red Sox, I want them to win. Every single time. I'm sure Francona feels the same way, but he also knows that the season could last as long as 181 games -- and no team can sustain a win-or-die attitude every night. That can be frustrating, as we saw last September, but it's the right way to manage.
And watching Francona work through two gut-wrenching post-seasons, it's beyond question that when it's truly crunch time -- when there is no margin for error, where even a slight mistake could mean the end of the season -- he is a steady, cold-blooded assassin. He may be the greatest manager the Red Sox have ever had.