Terry Francona ‘Proud’ of Relationship With Theo Epstein, Has No Immediate Plans to Manage in 2012

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Terry Francona 'Proud' of Relationship With Theo Epstein, Has No Immediate Plans to Manage in 2012 The end of the Terry Francona era in Boston has been somewhat puzzling to watch from afar, as the details of the manager's exit are difficult to piece together.

The now-former Sox manager was a guest on The Big Show on WEEI on Wednesday, and one of the main points he made clear was that his relationship with general manager Theo Epstein remains strong.

"The fact that Theo and I made it through eight years together in this environment shows how strong our relationship was," Francona told Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley. "There were times when he wanted to wring my neck, and I don't blame him. I'm actually proud of our relationship.

"We butted head sometimes — you're supposed to," Francona added. "I'm very proud of the way we treated each other."

While Francona said on Friday night that the decision to leave was his and his alone, his explanation on Wednesday was slightly less emphatic.

"I think it was kind of mutual. I think that's what we said," Francona said on The Big Show. "Ownership has not only the right but they have the obligation to get the right person [to manage the team]. I probably wish it was me for a long time, but I started to understand that maybe it wasn't."

Holley asked Francona if he would have turned down the owners if they had decided to pick up the option years on his contract, and Francona said he would not have turned them down.

Francona also expanded a bit on what exactly bothered him about the direction of the Red Sox in 2011.

"I don't think it's quite as bad as people are portraying," Francona said. "My point was to be a World Series team, we needed to get some things done. … We have some spectacular people [in the clubhouse]. I also know what we've gone through in the past eight years, and I knew that we weren't on the same path."

Francona said he had no plans to leave the game of baseball, but he also has no immediate plans to manage in 2012.

"I don't know, guys. I really don't know," he said. "I think I certainly would love to stay in the game. I have no ambition to stay in the game. I love it so much and it's been so good to me. I don't want to try to manage in the wrong situation because that wouldn't be good for me.

"What I need to do is try to take a deep breath and try to have some perspective right now."

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