Friday, April 2, 2010

Breaking: Terry Francona Falls Short of Perfection...

(SCSD now has multiple daily posts. Don't miss the others below.)

...in fact, he can be kind of a dick.

I promised you a Seth Curry Saves Duke! exclusive, and now I deliver. This particular gem comes from my pal Nick (last name omitted), a sports reporter working in Florida. Yesterday, he was assigned to cover the Red Sox in Fort Myers. Nick is a young fellow much like myself, trying to get a foothold as a journalist, and he found himself among a more experienced Boston media in the home dugout when Francona emerged to face the press. Nick's turn came, and in the run-up to his question, he made the mistake of calling Francona "coach."

Francona cut him off. "Did you think you were covering the Patriots today?" he asked. The words were harsh and annoyed. It wasn't some kind of friendly, paternal jibe. The other reporters on the scene laughed.

"No," said Nick, "I thought this was baseball."

"Well what's your question," Francona shot back. Still terse, still unfriendly. Nick gamely pressed on, but when he started to ask his question, Francona interrupted again. "This oughta be good." The Boston regulars, the intended audience of the dig, obliged by laughing again.

To Nick's credit, he didn't start crying on the spot like I might have. He actually managed to ask the question. Afterward, a Boston writer approached him and half apologized. He told him that Francona only likes to be called 'Terry' or 'Tito,' and pointed out Nick's obvious mistake in confusing 'coach' and 'manager.' He told him not to worry about it, and implied that Francona is always a bit testy in the spring.

So here's what we learned from the first ever SCSD! exclusive:

1) Francona apparently behaves like a diva and will only answer to certain names.

2) He doesn't mind humiliating a young writer in a room full of veterans over a trifling mistake.

3) Once he initially makes someone feel bad in front of a crowd, he'll press his advantage like a true bully.

4) He must fit in really well in Boston.

5) Nick has some balls for withstanding his mockery and pressing on with his question.

Later that night, Nick went to a launch party where Joe Mauer was supposed to be in attendance. Mauer didn't show up. Needless to say, April 1st did not make Nick's list of favorite days. And it wasn't even because of a prank! It was because of this douchebag:


UPDATE: Audio of this exchange to come tonight!

UPDATE 2: Apparently all managers hate to be called 'coach.' This doesn't even come close to vindicating Francona, but this article by Shaughnessy from 2008 contains the following excerpt:

Francona seemed particularly relaxed when the Sox were in Anaheim. Even when an official Major League Baseball transcript identified him as "Coach Francona."

Like all major league managers, the Sox skipper hates to be addressed as "coach." It's a baseball thing. In professional hardball, "coaches" are aides-de-camp who work for the manager. Some guys never rise beyond the level of "coach," which is why "managers" are insulted by a salutation that reminds them of their hungry years. It's a pretty safe bet that Francona would choose to be addressed as "Ax Murderer Francona" or "Convicted Felon Francona" before he answers to "Coach Francona."

14 comments:

  1. Dude, get over it.

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  2. What an idiot your friend Nick is! It's not like people won't figure out exactly who he is. If he was smart, he'd shut up and tell you to take this post down. Obviously, he's not long for the sports media industry.

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  3. You may think you're doing your friend a favor with a post like this, but you're not. Journalism is a ridiculously competitive business, and there's no room for crybabies. I'm a journalist myself and while I wasn't there to see what happened yesterday, I do know several of the Boston beat writers likely to have been in that room. Trust me, Nick (and his last name) will be bandied about in MLB press boxes and locker rooms as this story is retold. And thanks to your post, his thin skin will now be the central theme of the tale. Players, coaches and other managers are going to know Nick not as "that young kid who called Tito 'Coach'" but as "that young kid who whined about it, and whose friend called Tito a dick, a diva and a douchebag in writing." Yeah, people are rude, mean, and complete assholes to reporters sometimes. That's life. It comes with the territory. Reporters don't have some divine right to be spoken to with any modicum of respect. Whether you like it or not, it's a privilege that often must be earned but is never guaranteed. I've known people 40 years in the business who were treated like complete shit in front of their media colleagues. If your friend can't take it without whining to his buddy about it, with said buddy trying to take a stand on his behalf through this blog, I suggest he pursue an alternate vocation.

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  4. Oh for pete's sake, you've got to be kidding me. Crying? Over THAT? Good thing he never asked Bill Parcells a question - he's probably have a nervous breakdown.

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  5. Your friend Nick (last name begins with M, I believe) hasn't exactly covered himself in glory in his earlier work either. Grow up, Nick, it's a tough buisiness.

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  6. FWIW, that's not the first time Francona's bitchslapped someone for referring to him as "coach". So, don't feel too bad.

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  7. I just want to be sure I've got this straight. You go running to both NYYfans.com and Sons of Sam Horn to start new threads on this topic, opening a new account at the latter site just for that purpose. You then pimp your blog with a link here, and then have the nerve to position this worthless bit of information as "breaking news" or an "exclusive"? Do you seriously believe this is any sort of credible journalism? Do you fancy your pathetic little blog as the next Deadspin? Are you having fantasies of having your mug up on ESPN while you're on the phone with Brian Kenny as you alert hordes of viewers on the edge of their seats to something you know but they don't? Let me break it to you nice and easy, Jason: This isn't news, you're not a reporter and you never will be.

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  8. Your friend is a moron. And this blog sucks. Duke, Giants, and Yankees???? I guess the one benefit is that you only have to go to one place to read crappy info on three teams. Get a new job kiddo. This one ain't workin' for you.

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  9. Nick M. is a fucking moron (and you are as well). This isn't breaking news, nor newsworthy.

    Go post another non-humorous craigslist ad and get your shinebox.

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  10. This is a very bad blog. You aren't very good at the Internet.

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  11. Whoever the hell Nick is, he needs to be introduced to the real world. What a dope. Stop being a cry baby and grow up.

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  12. Sports reporting is a tough job. He needs to grow some thicker skin if he wants to succeed.

    Moreover, he needs to grow some bigger balls, or at least buy a longer leash to put on so-called friends who publicize his professional shortcomings to exploit their team biases.

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  13. Nothing is more heartwarming than NYYFans and SoSH banding together for a common cause. I support this comment section.

    Also, Tito worked a long time to get to the point where he ISN'T called "coach" anymore; OF COURSE he's going to get annoyed if someone calls him that.

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  14. LOL - Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

    Call the Wambulance. Get over it - you "learned" that Terry "the Dick" Francona fits right in Boston?

    The smug "reporting" fits well with Duke, or in NY for that matter.

    Hey I have an idea, how about sucking it up and not have a knee-jerk blog post like a 14 year old who just got his arse kicked on a video game?

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