Tito Keeps It Real

Terry Francona is one of the best managers I’ve ever seen and easily one of the best dudes I have ever spoken. Again, I don’t play favorites. I’m no fan boy. They pay me to be objective, and impartial. I don’t have a favorite team. Or a favorite athlete. Or a favorite coach. Or a favorite sport. But I’d be lying if I said Terry Francona wasn’t one of my favorite people I’ve come across over the last 25 years of doing this. He is an unbelievable manager. And an even better guy. And although none of us could ever do what he does, unless Tony La Russa or Bruce Bochy are listening, he’s just like all of us. Case in point.

After going up 3 games to 1, Tito went back to his hotel room and said he couldn’t fall out. Who can’t relate to that? Is there anyone, anywhere, who doesn’t have trouble sleeping. Well, other than those of you who did what i told you to do, get yourself a Casper mattress. Because the key to have an incredible day is to get a great night of sleep. But still, most people I know have trouble sleeping. Especially on a business trip, in a hotel room. So what you would do? Take a sleeping pill? Maybe. But more likely, and I know I would, you’re reaching for the menu for in room dining; and you’re going on a late night grub bender: you’re looking for comfort food. Or if you’re Terry Francona, you’re skipping to the bottom of the menu, and you’re getting blasted. On sugar. My man ordered $44 dollars worth of ice cream. Oh hell yeah! I’ve never wanted to say this as much as I do right now, but…i…see…you…working!! Can’t tell you how many times, I’ve sat in a hotel room, hyped on what I had to do the next day, unable to dial down, and ended up hammering a kingsize snickers or a bag of famous amos cookies. Or both.

So I absolutely see this guy. Problem with it is, and while I’ve never actually done crack, it’s probably a little like that: like crack, once that vanilla ice cream hits your bloodstream, there probably is this unbelievable temporary feeling of euphoria, where you no longer have a care or worry in the world. But inevitably, you come off that ice cream high like you do a crack high, and the loathing and self-hate overwhelm you. You’re ashamed, and you hate yourself because you said you would never do it again. Yet here you are. At the end of another destructive bender. At the bottom of another bowl of ice cream. And not only do you feel horrible psychologically, but those decisions obviously take a toll on you physically: and Tito admits, coming off the rails in the middle of the night and throwing 44 bucks at ice cream was not the right call: “I can’t do this. I would say from 5 am to 7 am, it was not a pleasant experience.” Of course not. It never is. Just like the time you slammed 17 grape popsciles, skip. Remember that.

But I’m not here to judge. In fact, I’m here to say, after a story like that, the legend of Terry Francona continues to grow. Because every last one of us can relate to that: every last one of us has done that. So while we could never ever do what Terry Francona does, he just did what everyone last one of us has done. And I have never liked or admired this man more than I do right now, and he was already one of my favorites. And finish the Cubs, and win a World Series in both Boston and Cleveland, and this game has never seen a greater icon than Terry Francona. I’m not sure the planet has. Go get it skip and thanks for keeping it so real.

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