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“Francona has been to Fenway since his ouster following the Red Sox’s historic collapse in 2011. He worked one Red Sox home game from the ESPN broadcast booth in 2012. He received a thunderous ovation at last April’s Fenway Park centennial celebration, as New Englanders expressed their abiding love for Francona despite the deterioration of his relationship with team owner John Henry.
Earlier this month, I asked Francona if hearing those cheers eased any of the anxiety he would feel this week. He corrected me.
“I don’t have any anxiety,” Francona said, sitting in the visiting manager’s office during a series in Detroit. “I’m an Indian. I have great memories. I have some tough memories. But you move on. And as time separates it, you know, you remember more of the good. And there was a lot of that.” [Morosi/Fox Sports]
“The Cavaliers were going bananas over their ability to lose an incredible number of NBA games and then perform well in a contest that involves sitting in a chair while watching officials suck Ping-Pong balls out of an air pressure machine.
It was all in good fun, I realize, and winning the no. 1 pick is a thing worth celebrating. But it has been a little off-putting over the last three seasons to watch Cleveland turn a loser’s event into a ritualized frat party. There just aren’t many teams who would react this way, for a variety of reasons. Some are more buttoned-up and business-oriented. Some are legitimately ashamed to be there, or at least sad about it. And some have handed control of things to analytics-oriented people who understand and internalize the idea that the lottery is really a very silly random drawing based on set probabilities. It’s just math.” [Lowe/Grantland]
“As far as the Cavs I’d like to see them go after a young veteran SF who doesn’t make a ton of money but can come in and start immediately. If you look at guys potentially available on teams heading towards the luxury tax, I point to one player in particular, and that is Wilson Chandler from the Denver Nuggets. Chandler is a 26 year old, 6-8, 220 lb SF who can shoot it well from the outside and plays solid defense. After coming back from an early season injury, Chandler put up 13.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.3 apg and 1.0 steals. He did it while shooting 46% from the field and 41% from 3pt land. Almost as important, he only makes $6.3m this season and $6.7m next season with a $7.1m team option in 2015. Those are reasonable salary figures for the next 2 years and I think the Cavs could easily absorb this without hurting any of their future cap flexibility. Now you may ask why Denver would let him go. Assuming Andre Iguodala resigns with Denver, they are going to be staring at a salary figure of ~$70m this upcoming season and will be over $60m in 2014. This doesn’t even include having to resign Kenneth Farried to a large extension, for which he will be demanding in a few short years.” [CleveTA Dribbles]
“The way Terry Francona spreads confidence to his team is something to watch. In the offseason, when I did a story on him for Cleveland Magazine, he said he never thinks he’s going to lose. This immediately brought to mind lineups with Jose Lopez hitting cleanup. “What do you do …” I asked. “If you’re outmanned?” he said. “So what. Figure out a way to win.” That carried through to a game this season in Detroit when Francona asked Chris Perez to warm up and Perez called back to say when he did his shoulder was sore. “We figured we’d just have to win another way,” Francona said.” [McManamon/FSO]