Per Robothal. This puts the kibosh on any hope that may have been out there as far as Francona possibly replacing Ron Washington over the 2012-13 off-season -- hope that was unrealistic to begin with, I think, because I believe the likelihood of Washington being back to begin next season is 95 percent or better.
Does this season (and, in particular, the ending to it) undermine the organization's longer-term confidence in Washington? Yeah, I think so. I don't think he's anywhere near as safe as he was at this same time a year ago. But unless the high-level sentiment towards him is much harsher than I believe it to be, or unless he commits another huge mistake in his personal life, I just don't see any way that he's in legitimate danger of being canned in the next six months.
Randy Galloway suggests that an off-season battle will be waged between the front office and the coaching staff, that the "infighting could get ugly," and that there is "no way" that Wash's job will be in jeopardy as long as Nolan Ryan is involved. There are a lot of things we don't know about the internal dynamic, a lot of half-truths and speculative tidbits leaked through the media that we end up extrapolating further than we should, and, as such, I don't know that we can necessarily disprove what Galloway suggests ... but this, to me at least, sounds like an excessively bleak outlook on things. This also sounds a bit like Galloway reigniting the familiar old "Nolan vs. JD" narrative in advance, and I'm not sure I can see the basis for doing that at this point.
I don't doubt that there's frustration and tension within the upper ranks and within the room, nor do I doubt that there will be some heated debate on off-season personnel matters. I do doubt that this is going to turn into a nasty, factional internal conflict, though -- unless, of course, I'm sadly mistaken in whatever assumptions I hold about the inner workings of the organization, and this really is a scalding-hot cauldron ready to boil over.