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28/08/2014

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BOSTON -- The Terry Francona era in Boston began with the Red Sox first championship in 86 years. Prince Shembo Jersey . It ended after one of the worst months in club history. Players who didnt listen to him needed "a new voice," he said, and his employers agreed. The team announced Friday that it was not exercising its contract option for next season and wouldnt hurry to name a replacement for the manager who rarely criticized his players publicly. That loyalty may not have been returned. "I trusted them explicitly and things werent getting done the way I wanted it in the end," Francona said, "and I was frustrated because of that. If thats letting me down, maybe it is." But, he said he liked his players and "I actually feel I let a lot of people down." In a statement, the Red Sox said they wouldnt pick up the option for a ninth year as manager following the teams September collapse in which they blew a nine-game lead in the AL wild-card race. They went 7-20 in September, capped by a 4-3 loss to Baltimore, as Tampa Bay beat them for the playoff spot on the final night of the regular season. Owners John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino acknowledged a change was needed and thanked Francona, who led the franchise to titles in 2004 and 2007. But the statement also mentioned that Francona was ready to head in a different direction. "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," the statement said. The decision was part of a whirlwind day at Fenway Park that saw the principal parties shuttle in and out of the facility. Francona was in the building three different times. As Francona drove away once in his Cadillac Escalade, a fan on the street clapped and gave him the thumbs-up sign. Later, after Francona had returned, the driver of a passing ambulance asked a reporter, "Did Francona get fired?" A day on which talk shows in baseball-crazy Boston were filled with Tito talk took a strange turn later when Henry fell on his yacht moored in downtown Boston and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital to be examined. WBZ radio reported that he walked off his boat wearing a neck brace. "Hes fine," Werner said at an evening news conference with Lucchino and general manager Theo Epstein. "He wished he could be here tonight so his absence, dont read anything more than just he suffered a minor fall this afternoon." He said that at Friday mornings meeting, management suggested Francona take the weekend to think things over. But he said Francona had made up his mind. He didnt directly address a question of whether the team would have exercised the option had Francona wanted to stay. "I was looking forward to hearing Terrys point of view about how things could improve," Werner said, "but I think it became clear to us that we couldnt convince him to remain and I think thats best for all of us." Boston missed the playoffs despite its nine-game lead with 24 left on Sept. 4. It went 6-18 after that amid reports of conditioning and clubhouse problems. The Red Sox did not win consecutive games all month. "I didnt feel like the players need to go to dinner together, but they need to be fiercely loyal on the field," Francona said at a news conference after the announcement. "I didnt always get that feeling and it bothered me." Epstein said Francona was frustrated with clubhouse issues before the September swoon. But that didnt keep the Red Sox from going 82-44 between a dismal 2-10 start and the 6-18 finish. "When youre winning, a lot of that stuff gets covered up," Epstein said, "and then in September when we started to lose, some of our warts were exposed." Francona said it was his decision to leave, although the owners seemed to want to make a change. "Im not sure how much support there was from ownership. I dont know that I feel real comfortable," said Francona, wearing a long-sleeved dress shirt instead of the red Boston pullover he wore during games and post-game news conferences. "Its got be everybody together. I was questioning that a little bit." Lucchino said, "I was actually puzzled by that comment. We have done nothing differently this year than we have done in previous years." Werner gave a vote of confidence to Epstein, who has been criticized for giving long-term deals to underachieving John Lackey and Carl Crawford and is still under contract. "Hes one of the best general managers in baseball and has been integral to the success of our club the last 10 years," Werner said. The official announcement praised Francona. "We have enormous respect, admiration and appreciation for Tito and the job that he did for eight years, including two World Series championship seasons and five playoff appearances," it read. "His poise during the 2004 post-season was a key factor in the greatest comeback in baseball history, and his place in Red Sox history will never be forgotten. "We wish him only the best going forward." The statement also quotes Epstein as saying, "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." Francona said he didnt know what he would do next but wants to stay in the game. He could be interested in the managerial opening with the Chicago White Sox. He was a manager in their minor-league system, even handling a team on which Michael Jordan tried his hand at baseball, before becoming manager in Philadelphia in 1997. He said he supports his bench coach, DeMarlo Hale, to replace him but there has been little speculation about who would take over. Hale has never managed in the majors and Epstein said experience in that job is preferable but not required. Asked about reports of drinking in the clubhouse during games by starting pitchers not playing that day, Francona said, "Id rather talk about generalities." In Franconas four seasons with the Phillies, they had a 285-363 record with their best coming in 1999 at 77-85. The Red Sox failed to make the post-season in Franconas final two seasons but sold out every game since he replaced Grady Little after the 2003 season. At Fridays meeting, "I passed along my frustrations at my inability to effectively reach the players," Francona said in the statement. "After many conversations and much consideration, I ultimately felt that, out of respect to this team, it was time for me to move on. "Ive 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 decision came as both of the American League Division Series were set to begin. So, obviously, the Red Sox were a hot pre-game topic in Texas and New York. "I know how well liked he is by his players and that city and in baseball in general. Hes a great guy; hes not just a good guy," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "Its not easy." Maddons Rays, and Joe Girardis Yankees both made the post-season out of the same division as Boston. "These jobs are precious, theres no doubt about it. Theres expectations. A lot of times theyre extremely high expectations when youre in certain towns," Girardi said. "We understand that when we take the job. High expectations are better than no expectations. You do enjoy it and you enjoy your time when youre there. "Tito has done a great job there." Francona was the second winningest manager in Red Sox history with a 744-552 record and an 8-0 mark in World Series games, sweeping the Cardinals and Rockies. He became the first manager to win his first six World Series games. They were 90-72 this season. "Im going to miss Tito," Epstein said, "but I am excited that were going to get the right guy and that under his leadership these players are going to come together and form a winning team next year, a really good team." http://www.nflfalconsus.com/Elite-Deion-Sanders-Mens-Jersey-Atlanta-Falcons-21-Lights-Out-Black-Nike-NFL-39.html . Marcus Hogberg stopped all 21 shots he faced in net for Sweden. Jake Paterson made 31 saves in net for Canada. Burakowsky opened the scoring for Sweden at the 2:37 mark of the second period. A backhand pass by Jacob de la Rose from behind the goal confused Paterson, leaving a wide-open net for Burakowsky. Jake Matthews Falcons Jersey . Playing under the roof at Ariake Colosseum because of rain, del Potro came back from a sluggish first set to secure the win in just over two hours. "The match came to me in the end," del Potro said.NASHVILLE -- The Tennessee Titans have kicked off their search for a new head coach by interviewing Cincinnati Bengals offensive co-ordinator Jay Gruden. The Titans confirmed Tuesday that Gruden had finished interviewing with general manager Ruston Webster. Gruden has been the Bengals offensive co-ordinator the past three seasons as Cincinnati reached the playoffs each of those years. Gruden interviewed last season with four different teams about head coaching jobs. The Titans are one of five NFL teams still looking for a new coach after firing Mike Munchak after three seasons on Saturday. This is only the teams second coaching search since leaving Texas for Tennessee in 1997, and the first conducted by Webster. Tennessee went 7-9 this season extending a playoff drought to five straight years with the last post-season win back in January 2003. Gruden, who interviewed with Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Arizona and San Diego for head coaching jobs last season, is available to interview now because the Bengals (11-6) lost to San Diego in the wild-card round Sunday. Gruden also is due to interview Wednesday with the Washington Redskins, according to a person with familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not made information on the search public. Custom Falcons Jersey. He played in college at Louisville between 1985 and 1988 before winning four titles in the Arena Football League as a quarterback. He got his start in coaching in Nashville with the then-Nashville Kats in the AFL in 1997 before becoming head coach of the AFLs Orlando Predators where he won two more league titles. Gruden went to work in the NFL in 2002 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an offensive assistant working seven seasons for his brother Jon Gruden. Webster also worked for the Buccaneers during part of that time. The Titans also have asked for permission to talk to Jim Caldwell, the Ravens offensive co-ordinator and former Indianapolis head coach, according to John Wooten. The chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance said Caldwell is expected to interview with Tennessee later this week. Other candidates reportedly include Bengals defensive co-ordinator Mike Zimmer and Dallas special teams coach Rich Bisaccia. Chargers offensive co-ordinator Ken Whisenhunt and Seahawks defensive co-ordinator Dan Quinn also are expected to be candidates but cannot interview while their teams remain in the playoffs. ' ' '