Where the next curse is
The Cubs are bedeviled by the most hideous curse in sports, so what do they need? A manager who has proven he can break such things. There are only two out there who have proven then can win with organizations that haven't in 80 years or more — and the Cubs let Ozzie Guillen slip out of town.
Terry Francona, like most fired managers, will land in a place where he represents the opposite approach to his predecessors. The Cubs have tried the ranting of Lou Piniella and gone with a solid organization man in Mike Quade. Francona would bring the gravitas of two championships, and with his major league experience, the ability to handle big stars in a big market, to put out brushfires rather than start them.
White Sox, Cards … in '13
Terry Francona is itching to jump back into a manager's job. I don't think it will be with the Cubs or the Laconia Muskrats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, who have already faxed him a job offer at $6,000 a year.
My guess is that he goes one of two places (White Sox or Cardinals) or sits out this season waiting to see what becomes available. He'd be an ideal candidate to replace Tony La Russa if La Russa steps away after the season. He has ties to the White Sox and might think he could get better results out of them than Ozzie Guillen did a year ago.
Final answer: He's a broadcaster in 2012 and resurfaces in 2013.
St. Louis a good fit
Terry Francona won plaudits in Boston — until this September, anyway — for managing a veteran team and veteran egos without criticizing his players publicly. When your ownership is building a global sports powerhouse, your general manager is a rock star and your players are worshiped by some of the most provincial fans in baseball, a low-key style works well.
The perfect landing spot for Francona would be St. Louis, if Tony La Russa returns to the White Sox this winter or retires any time soon. Francona would also have Albert Pujols' back but in a less confrontational manner than La Russa does. And Francona would fit in famously with the polite Midwestern folk.
Terry Francona was manager when the Red Sox ended The Curse of the Bambino, so he'll be on many short lists.
But, future employers beware: Francona is only as good as his club's talent and payroll.
Francona had four years in Philly, with a smaller payroll than today and weaker talent pool. The result: four losing seasons.
Tito won a World Series title in 2004, his first year in Boston. He just rode on the coattails of a good GM and really good players.
Many managers could have won with Boston's 2007 roster.
Francona's not right for a small-market club, but there's no reason to think he won't go after the White Sox job.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun