Red Sox

MLB Notebook: Terry Francona on re-watching 2004, viewing ‘The Last Dance’ & managing Michael Jordan

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(Al Bello/Getty Images)

Terry Francona is like the rest of us: a little stir-crazy and very eager for baseball to start again.

Quarantined in Tucson, Francona stays in frequent touch with Cleveland Indians staffers and gets updates on potential plans for June, July and beyond.

"I'm kind of bored,'' acknowledged Francona. "But I'm out in Arizona, I'm in my new house, so I can't complain. I'm fine. It could be a lot worse. If I have to miss time, this is the perfect time and place.''

In recent weeks, networks like ESPN, for whom Francona once worked, have, in the absence of live sports programming, dug into their archives for vintage classic games to fill hours of air time. This past week, the network replayed Fox's telecast of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, when the Red Sox' unprecedented postseason comeback against the Yankees began.

"I really don't look back all that much,'' said Francona. "But, and I'm probably not the only one here, I'm desperate for (something to watch on) television. So, I'm clicking through with the remote and Game 4 came on and I was almost scared to watch it because I kept thinking we were going to lose. The more I watched it, I was like, 'Oh (expletive), we're going to lose!' Theo (Epstein) texted me and said the same thing. We were laughing like hell.

"But my memories of the guys are so strong. I mean, I love each team for different reasons. The players and the memories are so good. But I usually don't feel the need to go back and watch the games. I don't know -- it just doesn't do it for me. I lived through it and loved it, but I move on pretty good. Right now, all my energy is going into, 'OK, how are we going to keep our guys now (the Indians) invested in what they're doing so if we do come back, we're ready.''

Still, Francona couldn't totally resist the pull of nostalgia. He acknowledged he did watch at least some of the Game 4 rebroadcast and found himself surprised at some of the details that had slipped his memory in the last 16 years.