Three things we miss about Tito

Sam Galanis
Contributing Writer

John Farrell has done a great job as the Red Sox manager so far. There’s no denying that. But there’s still a little place in the hearts of Red Sox fans that belongs to Terry “Tito” Francona. I’m sure there aren’t too many managers who get welcomed back to their old ballpark with a video montage and chants, or at least nice ones, from the crowd. That being said, here are three things that we miss the most about Tito:

1) His press savvy
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
It seems as though no one could work the press quite like Tito. He always knew the right things to say. Coming from low-key Oakland, he was thrown into a city that has some of the most brutal baseball coverage, but he handled it like a champ. The Red Sox could be absolutely bombing, but listening to those post-game press conferences would make you feel like everything was going to be okay. He was always very genuine when speaking to the Boston media. He took the blame for things. He didn’t get angry with players or call them out for anything in public. There was accountability. Farrell has a good handle on the media as well, but anyone who came after the media disaster that was Bobby Valentine would look good. Tito was just a natural.

2) His connection with the players
When Tito became the Red Sox manager, he made it a point to call up all of the players and introduce himself. He got respect because he respected his team. He was in charge, but he still cared about them. He let them be themselves. He played cards with them, and Dustin Pedroia was his cribbage partner. For a long time, there was very little drama because of this, besides when Manny Ramirez was just being Manny. He had faith in each and every single player. That’s how he won two World Series and became the greatest manager in Red Sox history.

People say that this made him a “player’s manager,” and was ultimately the reason why the Terry Francona Red Sox empire eventually collapsed. But I think that those players took advantage of Tito’s relaxed managing style, whether they meant to or not. Farrell seems to have set them straight again, but with Farrell there’s more work than play now.

And last but certainly not least…

3) The Dubble Bubble
Do I really need to elaborate? Tito and Dubble Bubble go together like peanut butter and jelly. He always has it next to him in the dugout; the giant bucket with each pink piece of bubble gum unwrapped individually, hiding his dipping tobacco. Any time I chew a piece of Dubble Bubble, I think of Tito.

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