MLB managers strive for honesty with players

Mark Kotsay still remembers how thoughtfully manager Terry Francona went about sharing the news that Kotsay was being cut by the Boston Red Sox. Now a manager himself in Oakland, Kotsay tries to channel Francona’s grace and care. 



September 15, 2023 - 4:00 PM

Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona watches from the dugout prior to a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Sept. 5, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri. (Ed Zurga/Getty Images/TNS)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The only time Mark Kotsay ever faced being demoted or released as a player, Terry Francona delivered the tough news.

And he did so with such grace and care, Kotsay remembers to this day how that thoughtful tone made it a little easier to accept in the moment. Those are lessons he now uses himself as manager of the Oakland Athletics.

“Terry Francona, his communication skills are off the charts,” said Tampa Bay skipper Kevin Cash, who played for Francona in Boston and served as a coach on his staff in Cleveland. “I think that’s why he’s been in the game and been successful for so long.”

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