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Home » New England Patriots & OpinionsJanuary 2005 » Francona/Belichick


Bob Hohler’s January 2nd article in the Boston Globe goes into detail on how Terry Francona had to deal with some of the player incidents during the season. For me, the piece highlighted the similarities and differences between the leaders of the two current world champions of their sport, Terry Francona and Bill Belichick.

FranconabelichikBoth managed to keep a shroud of secrecy around their team basically intact. The reasons for this requirement are vastly different. Francona needs to be an ambassador, nursing egos and relationships over the course of a long and sometimes tedious season. His players are paid regardless of performance or behavior. The clubhouse atmosphere was loose, a necessity in the glare of media attention.

Meanwhile, Belichick can worry less about personalities, as long as his players buy into his system. It is incredible to hear interviews with Patriots players about any “controversies,” such as Charlie Weis’s appointment as Notre Dame’s head coach, and how everyone’s answers are in lockstep. No distraction or deviation from the task at hand is acceptable in the Patriot locker room.

The Red Sox front office has stated that Grady Little was fired because of his lack of preparation for games, and hoped that the next person they hired would use the information the advanced scouts and statisticians compiled for each game. Francona has satisfied this requirement, as well as being able squelch incidents before they arise. The official appointment of Jason Varitek as captain is the next step in the evolution of the 2005 Red Sox. It seems they are looking to have a team that does not cater to its superstars’ whims, where everyone more or less works under the same rules. With the subtraction of certain players who demanded special treatment, it appears that this goal will be attainable. We’ll see how “Patriotic” next season’s team will be.

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