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Francona: The Red Sox Years Paperback – April 1, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544227875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544227873
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (514 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #718,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Surprising…brutally honest…Francona’s tenure included the highest-high, the first Red Sox title in 86 years and the lowest-low when a collapse kept the team from the playoffs that led to the manager's ouster." – USA Today

"The long-awaited memoir…It’s not often that baseball aficionados and gossip gluttons can plunk down on a shared portion of outfield grass with the same book for an afternoon of readerly delight, but Francona can bridge those kinds of differences." – Boston Globe

"Terry Francona's new book is not only a must read, but it is a fascinating and entertaining look into the daily life on Yawkey Way during that memorable time period...full of surprising and fun anecdotes…There are glimpses of his relationships with the players – good and bad…and in most cases Shaughnessy’s thorough reporting includes perspective from the players, executives and owners." – MLB.com

"A scorched-earth memoir …[that] touches fleetingly on steroid use, sabermetrics and Michael Jordan’s stint in the minor leagues…but saves is heaviest artillery for the owners…[and] Theo Epstein backs him up." – New York Times Book Review

"A good read, well worth it for any Red Sox fan or anyone interested in the last decade of baseball. Francona and Shaughnessy tell how the Red Sox became champions and also how it all fell apart." – CBSSports.com

"A great read…good fun and dishy." – NBCSports.com

"A bombshell." – Comcast Sports

"Francona: The Red Sox Years is a compelling behind-the-scenes depiction…of an eight-year period that witnessed both the most spectacular successes in franchise history as well as some of the most devastating failures." – WEEI.com

"An exhilarating and torturous recounting of Francona's eight-year run as the Red Sox manager…He knows how the game is supposed to be played, and how the players are supposed to act…Francona gets it. That's what the book reveals most." – The News Herald

"An often hilarious but never salacious peek behind clubhouse doors…much of the book’s advance buzz has focused on management’s backward emphasis on sizzle…but it’s the candor, often delivered with deft humor, about the players that will appeal to Red Sox fans. " – Chad Finn, Boston Globe

"Reveals [Francona’s] favorite highs from his historic stint with the team, and how he dealt with the crushing lows." – Men’s Health

"A fascinating and detailed look at how a franchise so desperate to win big and attract huge television ratings can lose its soul in the process." – Terry Pluto, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Francona’s depiction of the Boston organization…provides insight…[and] cements every perception we have of a dysfunctional Red Sox hierarchy…internal proof that the Red Sox were forcing business wants on their baseball needs purely in the name of greed." – Tony Massarotti, Boston.com

"You don’t have to like the Red Sox to enjoy this book. Francona: The Red Sox Years shows the manager’s true grit. Francona puts the reader behind the scenes in the often fiery, turbulent, never dull world of the Red Sox…It is vintage Francona, earthy blunt, comical and disarming… Francona and Shaughnessy together tell the story of a gritty baseball lifer who brought untold joy to Red Sox Nation, and Shaughnessy has captured Francona, warts and all." – Tampa Bay Tribune

"Revenge is a dish best served cold? So is a tell-all book, even if it doesn’t tell all. But Terry Francona tells enough in his new book with longtime Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy to take us into places with the Red Sox that the camera never goes….through the deft hands of the very accomplished Shaughnessy, Francona is also very insightful into … the pressures of managing in a white-hot media market like Boston." – Providence Journal

"Even Yankees fans are going to want to read this Red Sox book." – NY Daily News

"There are terrific anecdotes…the language is course and the opinions unfiltered. But for fans who want more than the team-approved version of events, it’s a fun read. Just how much Francona loves baseball and the people in the game comes through. For years, you had to wonder what Francona really thought. We’ll probably never know 100 percent, but this book gets you very close. My thoughts after finishing the book? Good luck to John Farrell." – Peter Abraham, Boston Globe

"A searing indictment of Red Sox ownership….Red Sox Nation is eating up this new book… Francona’s account of big shots screwing up is exquisite off-season sport." – Publishers Weekly

"A 349-page firebombing." – Gerry Callahan, Boston Herald

"The hottest sports book on the market." – Steve Buckley, BostonHerald.com

"This is the best book looking inside the mind of a big-league manager I have ever read, because Francona is sharp and loves the game, because Shaughnessy is eloquent and a dazzling storyteller." - Philadelphia Inquirer --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

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 Boston in 2007 and continued to manage the team until the end of the 2011 season. He is now a commentator for ESPN, joining in on their Sunday Night Baseball telecast and contributing to ESPN.com.

Dan Shaughnessy is an award-winning columnist for the Boston Globe and the author of several sports books, including The Curse of the Bambino, a best-selling classic. Seven times Shaughnessy has been voted one of America’s top ten sports columnists by Associated Press Sports Editors and named Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year. He has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, Nightline, NPR, Imus in the Morning, ESPN, HBO, and many others. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Well written and very insightful.
Mike Fatalo
I always liked Francona, I always thought he was a good manager and this book did not change either of those impressions.
Darren O'Neill
Great book, not a Shaunessy fan, but did see Terrys side of the story.
Pete

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Geraldine Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Baseball player and manager Terry Francona and columnist Dan Shaughnessy chronicle a colorful portrait of baseball history as they highlight the Boston Red Sox in all its glory, and its falls as well. The reader is taken behind-the-scenes to learn about the Championships, different personalities of the players, and the changes in the sport from a famous era to the modern-day. The authors portray a popular team, the events on-and-off the field, the reputation of the team, and much more. We learn how good the team played, until Francona left, and the reasons why they fell. Francona tells about the highs-and-lows of the game, what it took to manage the team, and the historical events from Championship to collapse. In addition, the authors include stories about losses, wins, and special moments. We also learn how the team lost their way when money became top priority over winning. My dad followed the Boston Red Sox for many years, always speaking about the glory of this team, and all the changes that took place. This presentation on baseball history, along with managing today's games entertains from beginning to end. This intriguing page-turner grabs the reader's attention immediately, and has you hooked to the very end. Interesting, educational, informative, and enjoyable read. Highly recommended!
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52 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Robert Taylor Brewer on January 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
21st century databases merely verify what baseball fans already knew in 1959: Tito Francona was one hot baseball player. He hit an eye popping .363, swatted 20 homeruns, and had 79 RBI's; good enough for 5th place in the MVP balloting that year. That same year, a son Terry (Little Tito) was born, and now Tito Francona has another feather in his cap. Francona: The Red Sox Years is dedicated to him.

Little Tito turned out to be a pretty good ballplayer himself until he blew out both his knees running into walls and avoiding baseline tags. But the story in this book is more than a Red Sox story. This is a book about baseball culture, the way the business side works, the way baseball relationships are built, nurtured, and how they endure through the years. People in baseball remember things, remember how you perform, remember your attitude. This is also a book about fathers, their sons, and the women who love them, stick with them, and help achieve a meaningful outcome. It's full of quirky quotes - one of the most memorable gets told by Terry Francona himself - about his own mother no less, and on Page 32 (Koufax' number) we get: "She was the perfect mom. She was a saint. I am still trying to figure out how she got pregnant." That's the kind of book this is, iconoclastic, irreverent, but above all, readable.

Dan Shaughnessy tracks down people who knew Terry Francona and knew his father. Tim McCarver weighs in with the intonation of Scripture: "Tito Francona could kill a low pitch"...and "there was nothing executive about the Executive Apartments Terry used to live in.
Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Linda Dalton VINE VOICE on February 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book by and about a great role model and example of what a manager of others should be. Fair, understanding, practical, staunch and humble. I'm probably leaving out a bunch of other adjectives but you get the idea.

As a woman who bleeds blue for the Yankees, I also have a deep respect for the Red Sox players and many (not all) of their fans. As I'm certain (though few might admit it) they feel the same about the Yankees. Watching Mr. Francona from the sidelines you knew this man cared deeply about the team and the game, regardless of the color of his jersey.

The stories about Pedroia's "passionate" mother, the friction of front office vs. field, the quiet heartbreak of his own personal struggles, the wallet that sat on a desk to help those who might come up short - these are priceless gems. And there are so many others.

Please put aside whatever annoyance you might feel towards the Red Sox (if you're not already a member of their "nation") and sit back and read about someone who really loves baseball and all that goes with it. An honest man, an outstanding manager.

Good luck with the Indians.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Walden on January 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The book is not written in the first person by Francona "with" Shaughnessy. Rather it is written in the third person by Schaughnessy. This makes it a better book, I think -- less artificial with a little broader perspective than could have been. Still, the book as written by Shaughnessy is completely focused on Francona -- based on interviews of Francona (and on interviews of other people important to the story), telling Francona's story, and making clear Francona's point of view. I think it is fair to call it "Francona's book" even if he didn't exactly write it. Shaughnessy is excellent at keeping himself out of the book (he is a long time reporter on the Red Sox); thus his Boston Globe article on how he and Francona worked together on the book is a useful adjunct to the book. While a lot of the press about the book has been about Francona exposing the owners focus on money rather than baseball, this is a small part of the whole story in the book, and to me the book seems pretty fair to the owners. As I read the story, Francona was mostly not particularly unhappy with them. He just notes how he got along with them over the years -- until the time of his departure where he makes clear he is still bitter about private things that someone exposed about him and the owners not admitting or finding out who did that. As an avid Red Sox fan, I think the book gets five stars. For someone who does not have as much interest in the Red Sox, I still think Schaughnessy has written a 4 star baseball book. It is well written.
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