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BoSox fire Little
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Old 27 Oct 2003, 03:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default BoSox fire Little

The Boston Red Sox, still smarting from a bitter seven-game loss to the rival Yankees in the ALCS, fired manager Grady Little on Monday.

The team formally announced the move at an afternoon press conference.

"Grady Little was just what the doctor ordered when we came here," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said in a statement. "He took over a clubhouse not known for its harmony and brought unity and an atmosphere of winning.

"We will now seek a new manager for the long term to take us in a new direction."

Lucchino said team officials notified Little of the decision in a telephone conversation Monday morning.

"He took it very well," Lucchino said. "He was very gracious. There was no anger or raised voices. On the contrary, he thanked us for the opportunity he had been given to manage the Red Sox and to manage in the big leagues."

Monday's Boston Herald, citing a Red Sox source, reported that two candidates to succeed Little could be former Indians manager Charlie Manuel and former Red Sox second baseman Jerry Remy, a television analyst for NESN, a regional sports network partly owned by the Red Sox.

According to the report, others on the Red Sox list are Yankees third-base coach Willie Randolph, Yankees first-base coach Lee Mazzilli, Dodgers third-base coach Glenn Hoffman and former Phillies skipper Terry Francona, now the A's bench coach.

Little's dismissal has been hinted at since the series ended. Although Boston's CBS affiliate, WBZ, reported Sunday that Little would be fired Monday, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein told ESPN on Sunday night that the report was not true.

Epstein said the team had begun its review of Little and hoped to make a decision on the manager's future "as soon as possible," but said that "no decision" had been made on whether to pick up Little's contract option for next season.


On Friday, a Red Sox official told the Herald that he would be "real surprised" if Little survived this offseason. Multiple team sources told the paper that all signs pointed to Little's option, which expires Friday, not being picked up.

"He's not (team president) Larry (Lucchino)'s guy -- if he were Larry's guy, (Lucchino) would have defended him by now," a source close to Little told the Boston Globe.

Earlier last week, Little said he was ready for the worst.

"I'm prepared for the likelihood," Little told the Globe. "I am not sure that I want to manage that team. That's how I felt when I drove out of town."

Little has been criticized for his decision to stick with tiring ace Pedro Martinez in the eighth inning of Game 7 against the Yankees. Martinez failed to hold a 5-2 lead, and New York won in the 11th inning on Aaron Boone's homer off knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

The Red Sox have insisted that Little's future will not be determined by the one decision, but according to the Herald, the team was concerned about Little's lack of reliance on stats.

Many key Red Sox players, including Todd Walker and Manny Ramirez, publicly expressed support for Little's return.

In Little's two years as Red Sox manager, Boston was 93-69 and 95-67, and the Sox qualified for the playoffs this season for the first time since 1999. Little became the Red Sox' 43rd manager on March 11, 2002, after Joe Kerrigan was fired.

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Old 27 Oct 2003, 03:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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seems wierd to fire someone who has had that good of a record as a manager.....then again, he had no call to leave Pedro in for the eighth inning.....ESPN's page two had a hilarious fantasy world series between the Red Sox and Cubs......Little's line when asked why he started Pedro in all seven games...."he's our ace and the best we had....i felt like he still had plenty of gas in the tank....beside's, he had a day off".....made for a great read.....
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