Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Triumph of Tito

We know him as Tito; the man who we love to love (and occasionally love to hate); who's guided the good ship Red Sox through three of the best years in club history, missing the playoffs but once and becoming the first manager in Red Sox history to take his club to the post-season three times and the first manager in baseball history to win eight straight World Series games. We know him more as the sum of his parts: the guy who's been - at last - the right mix of player's manager and player hook, who gives his guys the support they need to the media and the fans during the season, but won't hesitate to do what's needed to win when the wins really count. He's likable and liked in a town where players and managers can go from hero to zero after the wrong word, the wrong pitch, the wrong substitution, and yet - and yet - until today, his future in Boston after 2008 remained shrouded in doubt.

Fortunately, the almost obscene four month gap between World Series victory and contract signing is finally closed, with a three year contract and a two year option Terry's prize for a job well done. Though a person's task may be eased by the use of superior tools (and Terry's had some of the best available since he came to Boston), there's no one else Robin or I would want to see in sweatshirt and windbreaker in the command position on the Boston bench.