It is always dangerous to assume, regardless of how safe it seems. Embarrassing a manager whose team must do what no baseball team has done before might prove even more embarrassing.

There was a pivotal moment in the media after the New York Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox, 19-8 to take a three games to none lead in the 2004 ALCS. Selena Roberts, the “journalist” who outed Alex Rodriguez’ steroid use, ridiculed Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

Roberts compared Francona to a Little Leaguer because he tilts his cap, noting that he rocks back and forth on the bench as if he is ready to burst into song, “…as if nervously whistling ‘the sun will come out tomorrow’ will make it so.”

Hey, maybe Francona was onto to something.

Roberts felt that Joe Torre emanated calm while Francona reflected desperation. Torre managed against his own record, his own greatness.

Francona, who was in his first season as Red Sox manager, managed against the ghost of Grady Little. Francona was insecure, paranoiac and had lost all sense of logic.

Imagine if Roberts really went after Francona.

In an effort to break the Yankees momentum in the third game, Francona used Tim Wakefield in relief, although he was scheduled to start the next game. Roberts questioned the move because she felt that Derek Lowe would not be mentally ready to pitch in the fourth game.

She then zapped Pedro Martinez, saying “…was Pedro Martinez going to be called upon to save the Red Sox from elimination?”

According to the perceptive Roberts, Francona indulged the players in camaraderie techniques that were dangerously close to making it appear that he had lost control.

Kevin Millar, who was a replacement player during the 1994-95 strike, and Manny Ramirez, who has been known to displease some individuals, had the temerity to criticize Francona.

Experienced fans and media-types know that when it comes to sports, anything can happen. From the 1914 Miracle Boston Braves to the 1951 New York Giants to the 1969 New York Mets to the 1978 New York Yankees, the unexpected has occurred.

No one gave the Braves a chance against Connie Mack’s powerful Philadelphia A’s and a Baltimore Orioles World Championship was almost a forgone conclusion in 1969.

Selena Roberts ignored the fact that because something hasn’t occurred doesn’t mean that it can’t occur. 

“If the Red Sox fight their way back against the Yankees …Francona could go from being a pushover for his rebellious team of latent teenagers to a man who understood the value of a carefree clubhouse for a franchise miserable since 1918. He could, but he won’t.”

Another excellent example that when one assumes, one makes as “ass” of “u” and” me.”

Way to go, Selena.



If torre is buddha, francona is a mess. by Selena Roberts (2004, Oct 17). New York Times (1923-Current File), pp. SP1. Retrieved from

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