Terry Francona has admitted that last year the pain in his knee often made it hard to do some of the things he wanted to do. As a result, he often found himself stewing in a furious rage at some of the calls umpires made, yet couldn’t bring himself to run out onto the field and argue with the umpires. But with his damaged knee replaced in surgery during the offseason, Francona says he will no longer cut any slack to the umpires.
“Oh boy, is that gonna change,” said a frisky Francona to the media, as he repeatedly hopped up and down on the new knee to demonstrate the improvement. “I’ll be the first one to admit I let a lot of bad calls go by the boards last year. Is that a good thing? No. This season, with the new knee in place, man I will tear-ass out of that dugout and let ‘em have it on any call they miss.” Francona then simulated running up the dugout steps to argue with an umpire, before returning to hopping up and down on the new knee.
Francona also cites his previously weak knee as a tension point between him and Manny Ramirez during the past season. “Every time I tried to tell that nitwit he should run the bases harder, Manny would just say, ‘Hey, man, I run them harder than you!’ And then he’d challenge me to a race, asking for a day off if he wins.” Francona turned whimsical for a moment, wincing just a bit as the repeated hopping on his new knee apparently began to cause some pain. “Well, the bum knee is gone. And, with the way Manny's hitting, with any luck, by All-Star break, so will he!”