Rosenthal wrote of a meeting Friday morning on Francona’s status with the club: “The expected resolution is that he no longer will be the team’s manager.”
If so, Tito’s tenure with the Sox has come full circle. He took over the team in the wake of its last major disaster — Grady Little — and leaves it after a new one.
Francona, 52, has managed Boston for eight years, posting a 744-552 record. He led the team to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.
His on-field decisions were often questioned, but he was regarded as a shrewd manager of egos in the clubhouse — a true “players’ manager.” But as this September’s historic collapse unfolded, Francona couldn’t get the Sox on the same page, ultimately resulting in them missing the postseason entirely.
A managerial change would likely be just the first shoe to drop in the wake of the worst final-month choke in baseball history. Carl Crawford and John Lackey are here to stay, but a number of veterans (Jonathan Papelbon, David Ortiz, Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek) are easily expendable due to expiring contracts.