Saturday, October 1, 2011

Breaking up a family: The legendary bond of Pedey and Tito

If you read this blog even semi-regularly, you know that I am an unabashed and shameless fangirl of both Tito and Theo.  Was there more that the two of them could have done this season? How much of the blame lies in the hands of the manager who makes the on-field decisions? How much lies with the GM who built the team? And, perhaps most importantly, what portion should lie at the feet of the athletes on the field?

The tales spilling out now that the season has been brought to a violent and screeching halt are eye-opening, in a word.

A commenter on this morning, referring to this piece.

Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy claims that the parting of Tito Francona and the Red Sox was anything but a mutual decision: " [John] Henry has had Francona in his crosshairs for a couple of years. Ultimately, Francona was not enough of a numbers guy to satisfy Boston’s Moneyball boss."  Francona tells a different story: he wasn't getting through to the players, the constant scrutiny of managing a baseball team that is so much more than that to so many people, he thought eight years was enough.

As usual with this particular corner of blogdom, I look at this travesty through the eyes of one Dustin Pedroia.  Pedey and Tito have a well-chronicled bond; they passed straight through legendary bromance to honorary father-son territory long ago.  They trade jokes about their receding hairlines, about Pedey's height, and Tito's age, they played (ah, the past tense) cribbage before every game, and by all accounts enjoyed a refreshingly honest and functional relationship.

So if I'm heartbroken over the skipper's departure, it stands to reason that Pedroia would feel even stronger, and he didn't disappoint: "I love him. He’s given me every opportunity in the world and given me the respect to play the game with a freedom, and that’s what he allows us players to do. Geez, man, he’s done everything for me and everything for my family ... he’s done everything for me in the five years I’ve been in the big leagues. My heart’s broken for him and I wish he was back and I wish I could have played my whole career for him. It’s going to be hard. I’m sure he’ll come back a better manager and a better person for it. Us, as an organization, we’re going to move forward together."
If that didn't make you tear up a bit, you have no heart (or you're not blinded by a a deep-seated love and admiration for everything that our second baseman does and says).  Pedey also threw in a couple of jabs about player responsibility, but if you want to read those you can go to the source.  This post exists for the sole purpose of mourning the now defunct dream team of Dustin Pedroia and Terry Francona.  I'll be drinking for them tonight.

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