Michael Holley, bestselling author of "Patriot Reign," provides an inside look at how it all happened. With the exclusive cooperation of Terry Francona and stories from the clubhouse and the conference room, Holley reveals the private sessions and the dugout and front-office strategies that have made the Boston Red Sox a budding dynasty.
When Grady Little's job prospects were dimming during game seven of the Red Sox-Yankees playoffs in 2003, Oakland A's bench coach Terry Francona was puttering around his house, unaware of his fate. General manager Theo Epstein and owner John Henry sat in their Fenway box, praying that Little would pull Pedro Martinez. And fans throughout New England howled when Martinez remained in the game and the Sox lost the series. They wanted Little's head, and they got it.
In Epstein and Henry's search for a manager, they wanted someone from the new school, someone who could manage wealthy and/or sensitive players and rely not only on gut and instinct but also on the cold science of statistics. Francona, the son of a professional baseball player and a major leaguer himself until devastating knee injuries ended his career prematurely, was a dark horse candidate. After all, he'd been a mediocre manager while with the Phillies. But he had a great head for the game, and as the manager for the minor league Birmingham Barons, he had managed none other than Michael Jordan without a glitch.
After Francona's job interview with Epstein, which included a written test and a game simulation, the Red Sox felt they'd found their man. And now, after two championships in four seasons, they have their proof.
With a team of disparate personalities, from the inscrutable Manny Ramirez to the affable David Ortiz, Francona and the Red Sox have overtaken their hated archnemesis, the New York Yankees, as the American League's elite team.
Insightful, fascinating, and surprising, "Red Sox Rule" is the story of the changing face of baseball and the inner workings of its finest organization.