January 2, 2005

Behind The Scenes. Bob Hohler has an excellent look at some of what Terry Francona dealt with last season:
The moment Francona first extended his hand in spring training to Manny Ramirez, the slugger verbally lashed out at the new manager, then briefly boycotted the first team meeting. ... Angered by Pedro Martinez breaking protocol and bolting from Camden Yards before the game ended after he pitched in a 7-2 loss on Opening Day in Baltimore, Francona privately engaged in a long, heated argument with Martinez the next day. ...

Francona kept secrets, protected reputations, and prevented isolated personnel problems from mushrooming into destructive media conflagrations ... even as he served as a season-long lightning rod for public criticism.
Johnny Damon has finished the book he's writing with Peter Golenbock. Amazon says the title is "Idiot: ... Or How I Learned to Stop Thinking and Beat 'The Curse'" and it is scheduled for an Opening Day release.

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