|Terry Francona celebrates with a grilled cheese||07.24.11 at 7:23 pm ET|
Safe to say win No. 1,001 in the managerial career of Terry Francona came a little easier than No. 1,000.
The Red Sox pounded the hapless, woeful and woebegone Mariners for 17 hits and 12 runs in a 12-8 triumph Sunday at Fenway that — as they say — wasn’t really that close.
But the day before the Red Sox skipper had to sweat out a 3-1 nail biter for his grand entrance into an exclusive MLB managerial club.
So how did he celebrate after getting doused with the beer from David Ortiz? Steak, champagne? Not quite.
“I had a grilled cheese sandwich,” Francona joked Sunday. “I always have a grilled cheese sandwich.”
But what Francona really appreciated wasn’t the food or beverage but the roasting and toasting via messages of all types he received from family and friends throughout baseball.
“The prevailing thought seems to be that people are surprised I’m still here,” Francona said. “I got that more than anything. I got some nice messages from people that mean a lot to me so that was nice. That actually made me feel better than anything.
“I think it’s pretty obvious. I was honored and I was proud but I’m a lot more comfortable talking about our guys and our team. I just think that’s the way it should be. I did feel good.”
One thing Francona made pretty clear is that – despite being with a great organization that wins year in and year out — he doesn’t see challenging the likes of Tony La Russa, who leads all active managers with 2,691 wins.
“You have to remember, it’s a round number but then you start looking at some of those other guys, you need to hush up because there are some guys with some pretty big numbers that are still managing,” Francona said. “So, it’s actually kind of humbling a little bit. It makes you realize how long they’ve been doing it and how hard it is to win.
“How many wins does Tony La Russa have? I would be willing to bet that if you see my name with [2,691], there’ll be an asterisk. I’ll be dead. That’ll be quite an accomplishment.”
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