Despite rampant speculation that Francona and the Sox would part ways this morning after a meeting with ownership, general manager Theo Epstein has released a statement indicating otherwise.
“John Henry, Tom Werner, Larry Lucchino, Ben Cherington and I met with Terry Francona this morning at Fenway Park to exchange thoughts and information on the 2011 season and discuss areas for improvement going forward,” Epstein said in a statement. “We all plan on taking some time to process the thoughts expressed in the meeting. There are no immediate plans for an announcement.”
The organization has 10 days from the end of the season to exercise its $4.25 million club option on Francona. Both he and Epstein said in a press conference Thursday that the damaging loss the team suffered one day earlier was still “fresh and raw” and that they needed time to analyze their futures.
Multiple reports surfaced later Thursday and earlier Friday that Francona was on his way out, either through a mutual decision or because of one passed down by ownership.