I love being a Dad. Best job in the world, bar none, and I would not trade anything for it. It can be the most frustrating thing as well. I have 3 children, each of them as different as David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, and Curt Schilling.
I don't know Terry Francona, but I'll bet you one thing: He is a good Father. My theory is, to be a good manager, you are also a good Dad. Because what a manager does is just what a Dad has to do. You have to get to know several different personalities and recognize what kind of action to take.
My son Rakes is a headstrong, 3 year old bundle of energy. 5th gear and stubborn as a mule,all day long. You can talk to him until you are blue in the face, and he just goes on like the Energizer bunny. Only at a VERY high volume. The only way to get him to slow down is MAKE him slow down. Francona has to do the same thing with his players at various times during the year: whether is Jason Varitek wanting to play the day game after a night game, or maybe Mike Lowell is a little slow with the bat speed, and Francona will give him a couple of days off, knowing Lowell won't ask for it himself.
Now my daughter, Ciera? Totally different ball game. Sensitive, caring, and has her head in the clouds half the time. I have to treat her very gently, because if I don't, I lose her. She starts getting upset at the way I got her attention, rather than the reason. Ciera is like Manny: Francona can't talk to Manny about jogging to first or pimping at the plate after a Home Run the way he could to Varitek or Kevin Youkilis. Manny would shut down, and then you have lost him. He's gotta handle him with kid gloves.
And it's not just the game: he has to manage egos, agents, and reporters. He has got to keep up with their lives away from the game as well: wives, kids, the new house, and the worry about the new contract. Groupies, drugs, and late night partying as well. (Thank God I'm not there yet).
I've only have 3 children, and my other son Trot is only 9 months old. And I am constantly EXHAUSTED. I have no idea how Francona can deal with 25 different human beings at one time. How he knows what to say to this player, what not to say to that player. My children will always be my children: His change on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. Injuries, poor performance, trades, etc. change the clubhouse constantly. So not only must he keep managing the players he knows, he has to learn the new ones on the fly. It'd be like my wife and I adopting a new child each month, with no idea what they like, do, and how they react to certain things.
If a man can do that for 6 months a year, day in and day out for 162 games, and keep both the 25 players, coaches, trainers, and his sanity together, he can handle a few kids.
1 day ago