Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bob Lobel: Tito and Theo

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

It was November 2003, and Grady Little was still manager of the Boston Red Sox, but not for long.

Aaron Boone had barely crossed home plate, but John Henry wanted to fire Little before he left Yankee Stadium. 

He was talked out of it by Larry Lucchino, which was probably not a bad idea at the moment.  Meanwhile. Terry Francona and his son, Nick, were visiting Georgetown University for their baseball dinner. 

Nick was a left handed pitcher and the Hoyas were recruiting him for the next season. Nick Barnicle, the son of former Globe columnist and current MSNBC star Mike Barnicle, was already playing for Georgetown which is why, obviously, they also were at that baseball dinner. 

Grady Little was still the manager of the Red Sox, but not for long. 

Tito and his son were a table away when Mike suggested that Tito should waste no time in sending his resume to Theo Epstein and Larry ASAP. 

Grady Little was still manager of the Red Sox, but not for long. 

Tito could not believe they would fire a guy for making one mistake, like the one we remember, but did take the advice and contacted the Sox. Tito himself had four tough years in Philadelphia, so he knew anything was possible.  

Grady Little was fired.  

Joe Maddon, now the Cubs' manager, was also interviewed.  Joe, although flattered, didn’t think he was ready for a market the size of Boston. They were going to hire Tito anyway.  The rest, as they say, is history, and that history will continue to be played out in Cleveland, where Terry's father Tito played. 

I know that for a fact because I saw him play as a young fan. He was the original Tito Francona. 

So, now it is father and son in Cleveland against Theo and Joe in Chicago.   

You can't make this stuff up.

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