Terry Francona held his last press conference at Fenway Park on Saturday evening after it was announced earlier in the day that he would not return to manage the Boston Red Sox for a ninth season following the worst regular-season collapse in MLB history.
"The last month has been pretty tough," said Francona, whose team blew a nine-game lead in the month of September and missed the playoffs for the second straight season. "I think it's time for a new voice here. I was frustrated by some of my inabilities."
Francona, who won 744 games and two World Series titles in 1,296 games in Boston, talked about his struggles in the past month, along with those of the team, specifically the level of care for others on this team.
"I felt frustrated with my inability to reach some of the guys I have in the past," said Francona. "When things start to go, I wanted desperately for our guys to care about each other. I wasn't seeing that as much as I wanted."
While speculation was that ownership pushed Francona out the door, that simply wasn't the case. However, Francona would like to stay in baseball for as long as he can.
"It was my decision," Francona said. "I don't know what I want to do [next]. I know I want to stay in the game [of baseball]. I feel like I'm a better person because I was here. But it is a tough place to be the manager."
Francona had many great memories with the team, but none better than winning two titles, saying that his biggest and best memory with the Red Sox was watching the players jump on the pile after winning the World Series in 2004 and 2007. For Francona, it was all about seeing his players live out their dreams, and they did.
Naturally, Francona didn't like the way things ended in his Boston tenure, and feels responsible for the team's shortcomings (Boston finished with a 7-20 record in September).
"I actually feel like I let a lot of people down," said Francona. "It's my responsibility to get this done, and it didn't happen."
As for his replacement, Francona said that he hopes bench coach DeMarlo Hale gets a shot, telling reporters that he is an excellent manager in waiting and thinks he'll get a shot.