It was good to see Terry Francona back around the Red Sox again, even if this had the feel of hanging out with your ex a month after the break-up and he/she is now dating someone else. Reading Francona's statements about returning, it seems the emotions are still very raw for him. It's a shame his tenure ended the way it did, and it hurts to read his words, which convey such sadness over his departure. He was invested in the Red Sox, which was all you can really ask of a guy. He moved to Boston full time and raised his family there. He became a Celtics and Pats fan because he loved the city, even if it wasn't where he was from. He adopted Boston, and loving Boston as I do, i can relate. Now that he's gone, it's strange to see him without that familiar red scripted 'B' on his hat. I'd always hoped Francona would be one of those manager-for-life guys, someone who can write his own script's ending, but it seems in the media environment that the Red Sox live in, that might not be possible anymore. Regardless, Francona deserves his day in the sun at Fenway Park complete with the appropriate two minute ovation in the near future. I hope he gets it.
Forbes has released their annual business of baseball-y rankings. They rank franchise value, the change in franchise value over last year, operating income, and revenue. Hint: the Red Sox are ranked in all four! Amazing!
At Fox Sports, the immortal (I have this on great authority) Ken Rosenthal takes a swing at predicting the award winners for the 2012 baseball season. We all know several things about predictions: 1) they are a fool's errand, and 2) they are tons of fun, meaning 3) we are all fools. With that caveat out of the way, Mr. Rosenthal is of the opinion that the Red Sox will be shut out of the major awards this upcoming year. However, if his pick for AL MVP keeps fielding ground balls with his face that is likely subject to change.
At Sox Prospects, Chris Mellon is publishing a scouting notebook of sorts on the Red Sox prospects he has seen down in Fort Myers. In Wednesday's version, he discussed Bryce Brentz, Peter Hissey, Oscar Tejada, Adalberto Ibarra, and Kolbrin Vitek, while in yesterday's version he goes into detail on Blake Swihart, Garin Ceccini, Sean Coyle, and Xander Bogaerts, who homered yesterday.
Public Policy Polling decided to take a break from polling on public policy and ask people questions about (guess what... wrong!) the Boston Red Sox. They asked people the important questions. Like about Terry Francona, who the most popular players on the Red Sox are, and of course a follow-up on our raw, dripping hatred of Roger Clemens. The write up is here and there is a link to the numbers as well. (Thanks to Aaron M (@hurricanept on twitter) for the heads up.)
Over at Fire Brand of the AL, Chip Buck thinks that Clay Buchholz is an important key to the Red Sox success this season. A "key", huh? I don't want to call out Mr. Buck but PLAGIARISM! Just weeks ago I called Buchholz a "keystone." Coincidence? NO!*
* It should be noted that I am 100% kidding around here.
The always spot-on Joy of Sox asks the questions you were afraid or possibly too drunk to ask: are the Red Sox panicking about Daniel Bard? Possibly they are. My thoughts on Bard to the rotation are well known around these parts, but I hope and assume the Red Sox front office will use the best information available to make their decision. That said, if they take Bard out of the rotation mix over two spring training appearances (not even starts, appearances) I'd be comfortable calling that a mistake.