Before calling the Red Sox game against the Yankees Thursday night, the former Red Sox skipper –– and current ESPN analyst –– Terry Francona sported smiles, but approached the telecast with mixed emotions.
“If I sat here and said ‘Yeah, this is just another day at the office,’ that wouldn’t be true,” Francona said. “I’m excited to do the game, but I’ll be a little glad when the day is over. It’s a little awkward for me.”
Not as uncomfortable as Francona’s recent conversation with Red Sox owner John Henry, though. Since Francona’s exit in September, the two parties didn’t speak until the beginning of spring training.
Even after the phone conversation to clear the air, Francona didn’t sound too appeased.
“It was probably five months too late,” Francona said of the call. “It doesn’t matter anymore. That’s what I kind of told him. I said, ‘We should have had this conversation a long time ago because anything you say now doesn’t matter.’ But he was good.”
In all likelihood, Francona will make his first appearance at Fenway Park on April 22, when he is scheduled to call a regular-season game between the Yankees and Red Sox on ESPN.
When asked if he would attend the 100th anniversary celebration of Fenway Park if invited, the former skipper –– who guided the Red Sox to two championships –– exuded doubt.
“I wouldn’t anticipate, at this point,” Francona said. “I’m not quite ready for the hugs yet. I’m still trying to stop the bleeding.”