Terry Franconca joins ESPN
As expected, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona is joining ESPN and will team with Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser on the Sunday Night Baseball game of the week. Interestingly, he replaces Bobby Valentine, who is replacing Franconca as manager of the Red Sox. Francona doesn't have much experience in the broadcast booth, but received rave reviews for his brief stint on the air this past October. Francona filled in for Tim McCarver during the first two games of the 2011 American League Championship Series on Fox. After a sluggish start in the first inning or two, Francona quickly found his rhythm and did a splendid job alongside Joe Buck. This job might even be more suitable for Francona as he won't be asked to carry the analyst load by himself. He will share those duties with the highly-capable Hershiser. In addition to Sunday Night Baseball, Francona also will provide analysis for Baseball Tonight and contribute to ESPN's coverage of the Little League World Series.
"I'm excited to join ESPN and to be able to talk about my passion for baseball with fans who love the game as much as me," Francona said. "In some ways, I'll be a rookie all over again, but I'm looking forward to the challenge."