Red Sox, Francona part ways

Francona out as Red Sox manager
Francona out as Red Sox manager

Terry Francona is officially out as the Red Sox manager.

The team released a statement just as the team that knocked them out of the playoffs, the Tampa Bay Rays, started Game 1 of the ALDS in Texas.

Here's the complete statements, the first from John Henry, Tom Wener and Larry Lucchino "on behalf of the Boston Red Sox."

"We met with Terry Francona, Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington Friday morning to discuss the 2011 season, ways to improve the club in the future, and Tito's status.  During the meeting, Tito, Theo and Ben agreed that the Red Sox would benefit from an improved clubhouse culture and higher standards in several areas.  Tito said that after eight years here he was frustrated by his difficulty making an impact with the players, that a different voice was needed, and that it was time for him to move on.  After taking time to reflect on Tito's sentiments, we agreed that it was best for the Red Sox not to exercise the option years on his contract.

From general manager Theo Epstein:

"Tito and I didn't know each other when he was hired eight years ago, but over time we developed not only a great working relationship but also a personal friendship that will always be important to both of us.  He proved to be an unflappable leader for our major league club, displaying consistency, calmness, hard work, thoughtfulness, a sense of humor, and faith in the players even at the most difficult of times.  Without Tito's commitment over eight years, we would not be the organization we are today.  Nobody at the Red Sox blames Tito for what happened at the end of this season; we own that as an organization.  This year was certainly a difficult and draining one for him and for us.  Ultimately, he decided that there were certain things that needed to be done that he couldn't do after eight years here, and that this team would benefit from hearing a new voice.  While this may be true, his next team will benefit more than it knows from hearing Tito's voice.  I will miss seeing Tito every day in the manager's office, and I wish him and his family nothing but the best in their next chapter."

From Terry Francona:

"We met this morning to look back on the 2011 season and to consider the future of the Boston Red Sox, including my involvement with the club.  I passed along my frustrations at my inability to effectively reach the players.  After many conversations and much consideration, I ultimately felt that, out of respect to this team, it was time for me to move on.  I've always maintained that it is not only the right, but the obligation, of ownership to have the right person doing this job.  I told them that out of my enormous respect for this organization and the people in it, they may need to find a different voice to lead the team.

The Red Sox held $4.25 million options for each of the next two seasons.

Posted by C. Trent Rosecrans on CBSSports.com