Francona being scapegoated by Boston

The relationship between Terry Francona and Theo Epstein may have run its course. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said Thursday he didn't believe in scapegoats, and he didn't blame manager Terry Francona for the franchise-worst 7-20 September that cost the team the American League wild-card berth.

But it sounds like that was simply a good sound bite.

If, as reported, the Red Sox announce that they will not exercise the option on manager Terry Francona's contract for 2012, it will be about the Red Sox needing a scapegoat, not to mention Francona needing a change of scenery.