Red Sox Rule

Red Sox Rule is a book written by Michael Holley that documents the 2007 Boston Red Sox season, a year in which they won the American League pennant and went on to win the World Series.

Red Sox Rule book cover
AuthorMichael Holley
CountryUnited States
PublisherHarperCollins Publishers
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
796.357’640974461 22
LC ClassGV875.B62 H65 2008

Book Summary

Although Red Sox Rule is a book that appears to be about the team, it is actually more focused on the team’s manager, Terry Francona, rather than the team itself. Harper Collins, the book’s publisher describes the book as an “… inside look at how it all happened …. [and] reveals the private sessions and the dugout and front-office strategies that have made the Boston Red Sox a budding dynasty.” [1] Francona’s selection as the team’s manager followed the firing of his predecessor, Grady Little whose decisions during the 2003 American League championship series were widely criticized by the media, the public, and the teams ownership.[1] In his first year as the manager, Francona took the Red Sox to the World Series where the team defeated the St. Louis Cardinals and won its first championship title in 86 years. Subsequently, the team was generally successfully during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, but it was not until the 2007 season that the team attained the same level of success as it did in 2004, and once again won the World Series.

The book discusses Francona’s childhood and his relationship with his father, Tito Francona, who was also a major league baseball player. Several chapters are then devoted to Francona’s early baseball years from high school in New Brighton, Pennsylvania to the University of Arizona, to his 10 year career as a major league player. Following his professional playing career, Francona went on to manage in the minor leagues where he gained national attention as the manager of the Birmingham Barons whose roster included NBA Hall of Fame player Michael Jordan. Francona’s efforts in managing Jordan as well as managing the unprecedented level of media coverage won him admirers in both the baseball community and the press.[1]

Reception and Reviews

The book was well received by the public and appeared on both the New York Times best seller list as well as regional lists.[2][3] Critics generally provided positive reviews, highlighting the inside information that Holley was able to obtain from spending countless hours with Francona during the season.[4][5]

What's there is very good -- there are plenty of interesting details that aren't public knowledge placed here# But the story jumps around a little bit and feels incomplete. For example, there is surprisingly little information on the 2004 season, which of course changed the lives of every Red Sox fan alive. And it's not as if there wasn't room for more material, "Red Sox Rule" checks in at 202 pages of text, and it's easy to breeze through this in a couple of days.[6]

This is a good read for Red Sox fans looking to learn a bit more about Francona, both on and off the field. Like many, he’s taken an interesting route to get where he is, and like most, it hasn’t been a straight or easy path to the manager’s chair.[7]

At least one Boston-based critic stated that Holley’s relationship with Francona was much too close and personal for the author to provide an unbiased look. The same reviewer also questioned the author’s ability to gain access to Michael Jordan although he did not go as far as to claim that Holley falsified information.[8]


  1. ^ a b c ”Red Sox Rule – About the Book” HarperCollins Publishers. Retrieved April 22, 2013 [1]
  2. ^ ”Best Sellers – Hardcover Nonfiction” (April 20, 2008) The New York Times.[2]
  3. ^ ”South Shore Bestsellers” (May 8, 2008) The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA)
  4. ^ Nowlin, Bill (April 20, 2008) “Banging the drum loudly: Two new books parse the rise of the Red Sox as, gulp, frontrunners” The Boston Globe, page D5
  5. ^ Finn, Chad (May 10, 2008) "Touching All the Bases Review: Red Sox Rule"[3]
  6. ^ Bailey, Budd (March 1, 2009) ”Review: Red Sox Rule (2008)” Sports Book Review Center. Retrieved April 19, 2013 [4]
  7. ^ Lagreid, Pat (November 10, 2008) “Red Sox Rule by Michael Holley” The Baseball Book Review. Retrieved April 22, 2013 [5]
  8. ^ Edgers, Geoff (May 11, 2008) “An Open Book: In his latest tome, Red Sox Rule, sports-radio host and former Globe columnist Michael Holley gabs, and gabs! about Terry Francona's daughter's brownies, Michael Jordan, and why he's willing to criticize his celebrity friends.” The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, page 5
Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox are an American professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. The Red Sox have won nine World Series championships, tied for the third-most of any MLB team, and they have played in 13. Their most recent appearance and win was in 2018. In addition, they won the 1904 American League pennant, but were not able to defend their 1903 World Series championship when the New York Giants refused to participate in the 1904 World Series. Founded in 1901 as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox' home ballpark has been Fenway Park since 1912. The "Red Sox" name was chosen by the team owner, John I. Taylor, circa 1908, following the lead of previous teams that had been known as the "Boston Red Stockings", including the forerunner of the Atlanta Braves.

Boston was a dominant team in the new league, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series in 1903 and winning four more championships by 1918. However, they then went into one of the longest championship droughts in baseball history, dubbed the "Curse of the Bambino" after its alleged inception due to the Red Sox' sale of Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees two years after their world championship in 1918, an 86-year wait before the team's sixth World Championship in 2004. The team's history during that period was punctuated with some of the most memorable moments in World Series history, including Enos Slaughter's "mad dash" in 1946, the "Impossible Dream" of 1967, Carlton Fisk's home run in 1975, and Bill Buckner's error in 1986. Following their victory in the 2018 World Series, they became the first team to win four World Series trophies in the 21st century, with championships in 2004, 2007, 2013 and 2018. Red Sox history has also been marked by the team's intense rivalry with the Yankees, arguably the fiercest and most historic in North American professional sports.The Boston Red Sox are owned by Fenway Sports Group, which also owns Liverpool F.C. of the Premier League in England. The Red Sox are consistently one of the top MLB teams in average road attendance, while the small capacity of Fenway Park prevents them from leading in overall attendance. From May 15, 2003 to April 10, 2013, the Red Sox sold out every home game—a total of 820 games (794 regular season) for a major professional sports record. Both Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline", and The Standells's "Dirty Water" have become anthems for the Red Sox.

Kyle Martin (pitcher)

Kyle Jared Martin (born January 18, 1991) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Saitama Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball. He has previously played in Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox. Listed at 6' 7", 230 lb., he bats and throw right handed.

List of Boston Red Sox seasons

The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. From 1912 to the present, the Red Sox have played in Fenway Park. The "Red Sox" name originates from the iconic uniform feature. They are sometimes nicknamed the "BoSox", a combination of "Boston" and "Sox" (as opposed to the "ChiSox"), the "Crimson Hose", and "the Olde Towne Team". Most fans simply refer to them as the Sox.

One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Boston in 1901. They were a dominant team in the early 20th century, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series in 1903. They won four more championships by 1918, and then went into one of the longest championship droughts in baseball history. Many attributed the phenomenon to the "Curse of the Bambino" said to have been caused by the trade of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1920. The drought was ended and the "curse" reversed in 2004, when the team won their sixth World Series Championship. The Red Sox led all MLB teams in average road attendance in 2007, while the small capacity of Fenway caused them to rank 11th in home attendance. Every home game from May 15, 2003 through April 10, 2013 was sold out—a span of 820 games over nearly ten years.

Logos and uniforms of the Boston Red Sox

The primary home uniform for the Boston Red Sox is white with red piping around the neck and down either side of the front placket and "RED SOX" in red letters outlined in blue arched across the chest. This has been in use since 1979, and was previously used from 1933 to 1972, although the piping occasionally disappeared and reappeared; in between the Red Sox wore pullovers with the same "RED SOX" template. There are red numbers, but no player name, on the back of the home uniform.

Manny Ramirez

Manuel Arístides Ramírez Onelcida (born May 30, 1972) is a Dominican-American former professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for parts of 19 seasons. He played with the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and Tampa Bay Rays before playing one season in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. Ramirez is recognized for having had great batting skill and power. He was a nine-time Silver Slugger and was one of 27 players to hit 500 career home runs. His 21 grand slams are third all-time, and his 29 postseason home runs are the most in MLB history. He appeared in 12 All-Star Games, with a streak of eleven consecutive games beginning in 1998 that included every season that he played with the Red Sox.Ramirez was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. When he was 13 years old, he moved to New York City with his parents, Onelcida and Aristides. He attended George Washington High School and became a baseball standout. He was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the first round of the 1991 MLB draft, 13th overall. He made his MLB debut on September 2, 1993.

In 1994, Ramirez became a major league regular, and finished second in voting for the Rookie of the Year Award. By 1995, he had become an All-Star. He was with the Indians in playoff appearances in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999; this included an appearance in the 1995 and 1997 World Series. In 1999, Ramirez set the Indians' single-season RBIs record with 165 RBIs. After the 2000 season, Ramirez signed with the Boston Red Sox. During his time in Boston, Ramirez and teammate David Ortiz became one of the best offensive tandems in baseball history. Ramirez led the Red Sox to World Series Championships in 2004 and 2007 before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008 as part of a three team deal that also involved the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 2009 Ramirez was suspended 50 games for violating baseball's drug policy by taking human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a women's fertility drug that is often taken after steroids. In the spring of 2011, Ramirez was informed by MLB of another violation of its drug policy, and a 100-game suspension. He chose to retire on April 8 rather than be suspended. However, in September 2011, Ramirez wished to be reinstated and agreed in December with the league to a reduced 50-game suspension. Though he played at various points in the Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, and Chicago Cubs systems, as well as internationally, Ramirez did not appear in another Major League game.

Known as a complete hitter who could hit for both power and average, and widely regarded as one of the best right handed hitters of his generation, Ramirez finished his career with a lifetime .312 batting average, 555 home runs (15th all time), and 1,831 RBI (18th all time).

Michael Holley

Michael S. Holley (born February 26, 1970) is an American television and radio sports commentator, sports reporter and author. He formerly wrote columns for the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The Plain Dealer, and Akron Beacon Journal.

Terry Francona

Terrence Jon Francona (born April 22, 1959), nicknamed "Tito", is the manager of the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball (MLB). Previously, he was the manager of the Boston Red Sox, whom he led to two World Series titles, ending the franchise's 86-year championship drought.

After an unsuccessful four-year stint as the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, Francona was hired to manage the Red Sox in 2004 and led the team to their first championship since 1918. He won another World Series with Boston in 2007 and continued to manage the team until the end of the 2011 season, where his contract was not renewed following a September collapse. In 2013, Francona was hired to manage the Cleveland Indians and led them to an American League pennant in 2016. In August and September 2017, he led the Indians to a 22-game win streak, the longest win streak in American League history and the longest without ties in MLB history.

World Series
Championships (9)
Pennants (14)
Division championships (10)
Wild card berths (7)
Minor league

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