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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Terry Francona’s experience as Red Sox manager was very different than his run as Phillies manager. It stands to reason his memories of Boston and Philadelphia would be just as different.
Boston and Philadelphia have passionate sports fans, both known to occasionally go over the line. Francona was on Bill Simmons’ podcast, the B.S. Report to talk about his new book Francona, and was asked to compare fans from both cities.
“Let’s say there’s an Olympics for bitter, angry, petulant sports fans, who fly off the handle when things aren’t going well, and the Finals are Philly and Boston?,” Simmons asked. “Oh, I would give it to Philly,” Francona said with a laugh. “I think they’re a little different. They’re both east coast, and they’re both obviously opinionated and really passionate. When I was in Philly, it was back in the late nineties and we were still at [Veterans Stadium]. Our teams weren’t very good. So the people who came out to the ballpark, they were more than happy to vent their frustrations,” Francona continued.
Francona’s Phillies teams from 1997-2000 never finished above third place, or with a record above .500. As Red Sox manager from 2004-2011, his teams made the playoffs five times, and won the World Series twice. He’s currently the manager of the Cleveland Indians.
“In Boston, it was actually much different. I mean, they love their teams. Now they’ll show their emotions, and give their opinions, but they absolutely love their guys, and I felt like I needed to be smart enough to understand that. You know, as the manager, you’re going to catch a little heat, and if you don’t understand that, or your skin’s not thick enough, then you have the wrong guy,” Francona said.
When asked about the media from both cities, Francona said that neither group was particularly difficult to deal with.
The two fanbases were compared in 2012 by a player who was coached by Francona in Boston, Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. “The Philly fans tend to know the game a little better, being in the National League, you know, the way the game is played,” he told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi.
Francona hit stores on January 22nd.