He didn't get job done

Juan C. Rodriguez

Sun Sentinel

Somebody has to wear it, and for lack of a better alternative, it should have been Terry Francona. General manager Theo Epstein said Francona would not be branded the scapegoat. Teams don't lose nine-game September leads and not have a scapegoat.

Are others more deserving? Probably, but what are the Red Sox to do? Release John Lackey and eat the remaining $45.75 million on his deal? Admit Carl Crawford was a bust and make a request that he proves worthy of the $122 million owed him? Let the wunderkind GM bolt for the Cubs because his blueprint called for guys such as Andrew Miller, Erik Bedard and Tim Wakefield to start key games?

Ultimately, it was Francona's job to keep his team loose down the stretch. The Red Sox were anything but that.


Success breeds failure

Dave van Dyck

Chicago Tribune

Each manager is hired with an expiration date, which usually runs out quicker in large media markets where expectations are raised to impossible levels.

Terry Francona won the first World Series in Boston in more than eight decades, as did Ozzie Guillen on Chicago's South Side.

And now they are both gone after hugely disappointing seasons that might have been faults of general managing more than managing, more the faults of players than who was playing them.

Is it fair? Probably not.

But both ultimately were poisoned from the taste of success they helped brew.


Spread the blame

Jeff Otterbein

Hartford Courant

Who's to blame for the Red Sox's collapse? It's a long list.