Terry Francona

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Terry Francona's son, an Afghanistan veteran, says Mets fired him for criticizing military uniforms

John Tomase
July 17, 2018 - 3:13 pm

Nick Francona, an Ivy League-educated Marine who commanded a platoon in Afghanistan, says he was fired as assistant director of player development of the New York Mets after criticizing Major League Baseball for failing to prove that proceeds from military-themed jersey sales were going to veterans charities.

Francona, the 33-year-old son of former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, told the New York Post that he believes his complaints about the jerseys cost him his job. He had complained to the league and on Twitter that there was no proof that Memorial Day jerseys sales were benefitting the proper causes.

"I don't feel like I am the morality police and tell people how to observe Memorial Day properly," Francona told the Post. "Major League Baseball has proactively waded into these waters and I think (criticism) is fair when you are going to sell apparel. They are explicitly marketing this as Memorial Day and tying it to the memory of dead soldiers."

The younger Francona, who holds a degree from the University of Pennsylvania, believes his baseball career is over, the Post reported. The Dodgers fired him after he clashed with then-farm director Gabe Kapler, who is now the Phillies manager. Francona said he was fired for seeking treatment for the "invisible wounds of war." The Dodgers denied his allegations and an MLB investigation cleared Kapler.

As for the Mets, Francona termed their handling of his situation as "cowardly."