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The Boston Globe

Sports

In Francona book, odd Manny Ramirez stories emerge

Terry Francona’s willingness to protect his players publicly was a factor in both his success and downfall during his eight seasons as Red Sox manager. In his new memoir, “Francona: The Red Sox Years,’’ co-authored by Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, he offers an often hilarious but never salacious peek behind clubhouse doors on the championship “Idiots” of 2004, borderline insubordinates of 2011, and all the good times and chaos in between.

Much of the book’s advance buzz has focused on management’s backward emphasis on sizzle and prioritizing NESN’s television ratings over baseball matters during the 2010 season, and there are other groan-inducing moments with his bosses. When the Red Sox balk at playing a makeup game during a grueling stretch in 2005, chairman Tom Werner, who is described as “constantly trying to assert his importance,’’ inadvertently confirms that gate receipts are prioritized over what’s best for the team when he suggests to Francona, “Just play the backup guys.”

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