Terry Francona got about as much as any manager could given the team he had. He had to deal with injuries to Foulke, and Schilling, the constant injuries to Damon, the BS Jay Payton emitted, Kevin Millar, Manny being Manny, the ineffectiveness of Embree and absolutely no pitching whatsoever. I'd say that he did as good of a job as anyone. If, at the beginning of the season, you told me the Red Sox would have no starting pitcher even close to a #3 starter, Foulke would be hurt/ineffective, Embree would suck, Renteria would suck, Millar would suck, and Bellhorn would suck, I wouldv'e told you that we'd be lucky to win 85 games. As it is, we won 94 and took down the Wild Card. Not great, but not bad.
Theo had a terrible off-season and then a great mid-season. We lost all our pitching and pinned our entire staff on Schilling, Foulke, Embree, and Timlin. Only one of those guys excelled. The Renteria move was not a very good one. I still don't understand it. What the hell was wrong with Cabrera? He proved himself with us last season and then we let him go. And the scraped together pitching staff was not a good idea from the start.
During the season, Theo made some good moves. Olerud, Graffanino, Bradford, and bringing up the youngsters were all good decisions. I think in a few years, we will have a nice, home grown pitching staff. That will free up alot of money for bullpen guys and bottom of the lineup hitters. I think by 2010, we will have won another World Series. That's for another post, though.