Dear Mr. Francona,
I am disappointed you will not be here for the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park. You are stitched into the fabric of Fenway, etched into the bricks, sown into the grass. There would not be much to celebrate without you. 100 years of futility and anguish, that’s all anyone would be talking about but for you. I understand why you will not be here, but I want to make the case as to why you should reconsider your decision.
May I call you Tito?
Tito, your experience here had to have been bigger than your final months, more than the shameful way you were treated as you left. You had to have had a laugh or two over the guy who impersonated you so well on the radio he punked Pedey. You had to have enjoyed one or two random encounters with passionate fans.
The fans miss you; I miss you. Oh, I will confess to calling you “Fran-coma” on multiple occasions, but that does not mean I didn’t appreciate your effort, your hard work, your discipline. Man, it must have taken so much discipline to deal with the players you have managed here. And as a PR person, I always admired the heck out of the way you controlled an interview.
Remember the good times, Coach. Please come to Fenway. You are a man of strength and character. And if our goal as adults, our goal as people, is to live our lives as an example, then you have a chance to teach quite a lesson–and maybe give a figurative spit in the eye to an owner or two.
Plus it’s only for an hour!
The Nation turns its lonely eyes to you.