Red Sox News Conferences Live Blog: ‘Sometimes It’s Appropriate for a Change’

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September 30, 2011

Red Sox News Conferences Live Blog: 'Sometimes It's Appropriate for a Change' 8:39 p.m.: The second news conference wrapped up with Epstein saying that the Sox are expecting players to help lead in this time of adversity.

He also spoke about how the organization will continue to try and get better. He was confident that they would, but expressed disappointment that Francona will no longer be a part of that process.

8:33 p.m.: "We're not prepared to answer that question right now. … Theo is under contract with us," Lucchino says when asked about whether or not teams have contacted them about talking to Epstein.

Werner jumps in to call Epstein one of the best GMs in baseball, saying he's been an "integral" part of the organization's success in the past decade.

8:31 p.m.: More from Epstein:

"Not every member of the coaching staff's job is secure. We can't have final resolution on the coaching staff until we get the new manager in place."

On the managerial hunt:

"This is a tough job. I think I'll use the same process that we used eight years ago. … Looking back on that process, I think we found the right guy."

Prior experience is "preferred" when it comes to finding a new skipper.

8:27 p.m.: "Sometimes it's approrpiate for a change," says Werner.

Werner was also noncommittal about picking up Francona's option. Whether it's spin or not, it sounds like Francona came into the meeting with his mind set on leaving. He was "pretty eager to get this resolved," says Lucchino.

8:24 p.m.: "When you finish third two years in a row, as we have, you need to be better," says Lucchino.

"Guys that he had reached in the past, that wasn't there and that level of engagement," Epstein said of Francona's inability to reach his players at the end.

8:22 p.m.: "It takes a lot of maturity and perspective" on Francona's part to admit the Sox needed a new voice, Epstein says.

8:21 p.m.: It's clear Epstein and ownership want more out of the team in terms of accountability. They also sound unsure as to whether or not Francona would be the right guy for that moving forward.

8:19 p.m.: "I was puzzled by that comment," Lucchino said about Francona's admittance that he didn't feel the ownership backed him.

8:18 p.m.: Tom Werner, Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino take the podium. Werner and Luchhino open with statements praising Francona.

7:30 p.m.: Take some time to digest what Francona said about his time here and how it ended. And if you're not watching Jerry Remy — someone who became very close to Francona — you're missing out.

Be sure to be back for 8:15 when Theo Epstein takes the mic.

7:22 p.m.: "Thank you guys very much," are Francona's last words to the Boston media contingent.

Bizarre scene.

Perhaps the most telling quote from Francona, though, was in regards to Red Sox ownership.

"I'm not sure how much support there was from ownership."

Francona also questioned whether or not everyone was always on the same page.

7:21 p.m.: Francona wants to see DeMarlo Hale catch on as a manager somewhere, if not in Boston. Not much of a surprise as he has always had an incredible amount of respect for the members of his coaching staff.

7:19 p.m.: "I didn't always get the feeling that was happening," he said in regards to his players being "fiercely loyal" toward each other on the field.

Over the course of his tenure, however, Francona spoke highly of his players.

"Some of my happiest moments were sitting back and watching our players celebrate because I knew we had accomplished our goals."

7:15 p.m.: Francona was asked about dealing with managing in Boston.

"The job certainly aged me. When I came here, I thought I was weathered, and now when I look back, I look like a teenager. It's a tough place.

"It's a wonderful place, but a difficult place to the manager. It wears on  you, and when it wears on you to the point that it affects you, it's time to move on."

He was also asked about the beer-drinking rumors that have been flying around in regards to his starting pitchers. Still, Francona stuck to his players' manager ways.

"I think I'd rather talk about generalities. … I'd never single out players."

7:11 p.m.: Francona again made it a point to say that he didn't worry about his job status during the season saying it wouldn't be fair to the club.

7:10 p.m.: On meeting with ownership: "We talked a lot about the organization, and I told them I thought it was time for a new voice."

Francona was then asked whether or not he felt let down by any of the players.

"I feel like I let a lot of people down. It's my responsibility to get this done and it didn't happen."

"Every manager has their own style, and I trusted them explicitly and things weren't getting done the way I wanted at the end."

7:07 p.m.: Francona, unsurprisingly, applauded the people — both coaches and players — that he worked with in Boston over the years.

When asked if he had any advice for his successor, Francona replied, "You have to be true to yourself."

7:06 p.m.: Francona spoke about the difficulties of being Red Sox manager. 

"I feel like I'm a better person because I was here," he said. "But this is a tough place to be the manager."

7:03 p.m.: "Thank you for brightening my day," Francona says when the topic of Manny Ramirez is brought up.

"When things started to go, I wanted desparately for our guys to care for each other on the field."

He also said that this was his decision. Francona said that it was a little "fresh" to start thinking about new jobs, but he did say that he wants to stay in baseball.

7:01 p.m.: "The last month has been pretty tough," Francona said.

He also admitted that he and Theo Epstein have talked a lot over the past month.

Francona also reiterates that it's time for a "new voice" in the Red Sox clubhouse.

6:57 p.m.: While we wait for Terry Francona to speak, be sure to check out this piece from NESN.com's Tony Lee on the changing of the managerial guard. As always, very insightful stuff from Mr. Lee.

6:45 p.m.: Now it's time to pick up the pieces.

The Red Sox ended an era on Friday afternoon when they and Terry Francona decided that eight years together was enough. Before the Sox move on to begin their first managerial hunt since the offseason following the 2003 season, there are some questions to be answered. 

Hopefully we'll get a few of those on Friday night when both Francona and general manager Theo Epstein will speak to the media at Fenway Park. The (separate) news conferences come a little more than 24 hours after the two sat in front of reporters together on Thursday for their annual end-of-the-season media session. 

Tune in to NESN starting at 7 p.m. and check back throughout the night for coverage and analysis.

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