Francona, the Boston Red Sox manager during the team’s historic meltdown last month, says he couldn’t have let thoughts of his managerial prospects sway his commentary Saturday even if he’d wanted to. “That game was going so fast for me. In the dugout it’s slow, because that’s what I’m used to. I was calling what I was seeing. My nature is not to hammer people anyway.”

Francona seemed relaxed on-air. And credible, as when he lamented, “All I want to do is spit and curse up here, but I know I can’t.”

Francona credits Joe Buck, who initially contacted Francona to sub for analyst Tim McCarver— out for a medical procedure and returning for Game 3 Tuesday — for making things easy: “This was a big deal for me, a strange environment. Everybody involved tried to make it so there wouldn’t be one single surprise. But they let me talk about baseball.”

Francona had rookie moments. He chuckled Sunday about how quickly he ended an interview with Tigers manager Jim Leyland: “I didn’t know what to ask him. I didn’t want to make up something.” His cup of coffee in TV’s big leagues ends with Fox’s ALCS Game 2 Monday (4 p.m. ET), but he doesn’t sound nervous: “It’s not like I have a wealth of experience. I’m not an announcer; people know that.”

Favre saga: No NFL player this century has generated more news media talk than Brett Favre. But after saying on an Atlanta radio station he was surprised Aaron Rodgers didn’t lead the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl win sooner, Favre on Friday told USA TODAY’s Jon Saraceno the ensuing dust-up “surprised me.”

The volume rose Sunday. ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson said, “He’s jealous and worried about his legacy.” ESPN’s Mike Ditka was mystified, saying, “The shadow knows what evil lurks in the minds of old quarterbacks.” NBC’s Bob Costas asked Packers wideout Greg Jennings, to compare the quarterbacks. “Bob, you’re not going to do that to me,” said Jennings, laughing. Jennings’ conclusion: “Long-term, I’m going to have to nod my head to A-Rod.”

Still, the question: Will Favre get a TV gig? Said NFL Network’s Michael Irvin, “If he wants to talk, come get a chair on one of these shows and let’s get some talking in when it matters.”

Say what? Agent Drew Rosenhaus, on 60 Minutes, was emphatic: “I really believe that the NFL would fall apart without me.” No, he wasn’t kidding. “That may sound cocky, that may sound arrogant, but I am telling you the truth.” The truth being that Rosenhaus really believes it. … Fox’s Terry Bradshaw, noting New York Jets coach Rex Ryan’s news conference antics, on what it takes to get TV gigs: “He’s getting ready for TV. He does stupid stuff like that so when he gets fired, someone will say, ‘Wow, he’s a colorful guy.’” … The Milwaukee Brewers’ Nyjer Morgan, after getting a series-winning hit against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday, bellowed an expletive on TBS. Charming. … Remembering Al Davis on Sunday, ESPN’s Tom Jackson had an early TV assignment, after retiring from the Denver Broncos, to cover an Oakland Raiders training camp; Davis wouldn’t allow it. Jackson told Davis he wouldn’t tell the Broncos anything about the Raiders because it’d ruin his TV career. Davis’ reply: “If you were a Raider and you had a chance to see a Bronco practice, I’d expect you to tell me everything.” Fox’s Howie Long, on the Raiders in the 1980s: “In many ways, it was the Ellis Island of the NFL.” … With Hank Williams Jr. out, ESPN’s Monday Night Football will begin its openings with a focus on games. In the Detroit Lions’ first MNF game in a decade, ex-Lion Barry Sanders will do the opening’s voice-over. And NBC’s Saturday Night Live, not surprisingly, had a skit on Williams. In it, actor Ben Stiller, playing a Williams spokesman, chastised the Fox News show where Williams last week called the U.S. president “the enemy” by saying, “You made a big mistake letting Mr. Williams come on your show and speak for himself.” … First-round playoff baseball on TBS/TNT averaged 2.7% of U.S. households, down 4% from 2010. … Fox and CBS each had tributes Sunday for the late Joe Aceti. CBS’ Jim Nantz called Aceti, a director for both networks, “a giant of the industry.”

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