Terry Francona Gathers Red Sox Players in Visiting Clubhouse for Jokes, Chatter

Terry Francona Gathers Red Sox Players in Visiting Clubhouse for Jokes, ChatterNEW YORK — There was a bizarre scene in the Red Sox clubhouse.

In the hours leading up to Saturday's game, ESPN color commentator and former Red Sox manager Terry Francona entered the clubhouse and held court with a number of his ex-players.

Francona pulled up a chair next to Dustin Pedroia and Cody Ross, who never played for Francona, and started chatting them up. Then, one by one, more players gravitated toward Francona and began pulling up seats to chat.

At one point, Pedroia, Ross, Nick Punto, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz and bench coach Tim Bogar gathered around Francona as they collectively joked with him for roughly 45 minutes.

Others, such as Adrian Gonzalez and Felix Doubront, went out of their way to briefly greet Francona before continuing their pregame routine. Either way, it was a reunion for most players.

While this wasn't Francona's first foray into the Red Sox clubhouse as a commentator, it was his longest stay this season. During the previous visits, he limited his contact with his former players.

But it was a strange sight since Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine — who has experienced his share of communications issues with players this year — was seated in his office in the adjacent hallway.

Under Francona's regime from 2004 to 2011, the Red Sox tallied a 744-552 record with two pennants and two World Series championships.

Have a question for Didier Morais? Send it to him via Twitter at @DidierMorais or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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