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Terry Jon Francona (born April 22, 1959 in Aberdeen, South Dakota), nicknamed "Tito," is a Major League Baseball manager and former player. Francona has been the manager of the Boston Red Sox since 2004.

The Red Sox hired Francona to manage their club in 2004, after Grady Little's contract was not renewed following the Red Sox loss in the 2003 American League Championship Series.

Francona led the Red Sox to a 98–64 record in 2004, the second-best record in the American League behind the division-rival Yankees. The club jelled in the second half and was the hottest team in baseball after the All-Star break.

As the American League wild card, the Red Sox dispatched the AL West champion Anaheim Angels, three games to none, in the Division Series. In the 2004 American League Championship Series, the Red Sox fell behind the Yankees, three games to none, including a 19–8 loss in Game 3 at home in Fenway Park. However, the club regained its composure and won the last four games of the series, the first time in Major League Baseball history that a team rallied from an 0–3 deficit to win a playoff series (only the third team to even make it as far as Game 6, and the only team to even force a game 7 after trailing a series three games to zero). The Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-0, in the 2004 World Series, ending the so-called Curse of the Bambino, believed by many to be the reason behind the franchise's 86-year championship drought.

During the 2005 season, Francona was hospitalized after complaining of severe chest pains. Tests revealed significantly clogged arteries, but it was concluded that Francona had not suffered a heart attack. This incident, as well as a life-threatening pulmonary embolism suffered in 2002, ongoing treatment for blood clots, and painful knees, have led to circulation issues which necessitate wearing extra clothes, including two pairs of tights. This is also why his regular uniform top is usually hidden by a pullover.[5][6]

Two years later, the Sox won the American League East Division, finishing two games ahead of the New York Yankees. Under Francona's leadership, the Sox swept the Angels in the Division Series before dropping three of the first four games to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. The Sox, facing elimination, went on to win their next three games, defeating Cleveland to advance to the 2007 World Series, where they swept the Colorado Rockies in four games. Terry Francona is the only manager in Major League history to win his first eight consecutive World Series games and just the second manager to guide two Red Sox clubs to World Series titles, the other being Bill "Rough" Carrigan who led Boston to back-to-back championships in 1915 and 1916.

As of October 1, 2008, Francona's career regular-season managerial record is 755–703 (.518), while his post-season record is 22–9 (.710). Among managers who have managed at least 20 post-season games, he has the highest winning percentage. Francona is the first manager in MLB history to win his first 8 games in the World Series. In addition to his already great resume, Terry was 6–0 in playoff elimination games until Game 5 of the 2005 ALDS, against the Chicago White Sox, when he became 6–1 and 9–0 in ALCS elimination games until Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS, against the Tampa Bay Rays, when he became 9–1.[7]

On February 24, 2008, the Red Sox announced that they had extended Francona's contract. Instead of expiring at the end of the 2008 season, it will expire after the 2011 season. The team also holds club options for 2012 and 2013.[8] Francona is guaranteed a total of $12 million over the first three years of the contract between his salary and the $750,000 buyout he will receive if his 2012 and 2013 options are not exercised. The package, if the options are exercised, is worth about $20 million.[9]

On June 2, 2009, Francona recorded his 500th win as manager of the Red Sox, making him the third Red Sox manager in club history to have 500 wins. The only other two to win at least 500 games as manager of the Red Sox are Joe Cronin(1,071), and Mike Higgins (560). Francona has since passed Higgins and now trails only Cronin in total wins as Red Sox manager.[10] On May 6, 2010, Francona became the fourth person to manage 1,000 games for the Red Sox.

On July 23, 2011, Francona got his 1000th win as a manager. He became only the second manager in Red Sox history (after Joe Cronin) to accomplish this feat.

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review by . September 25, 2011
A class act, a terrific manager and a stand-up guy.
Just in case you haven't noticed the Boston Red Sox are in the midst of an historic September collapse that would compare to the Philadelphia Phillies legendary swoon way back in 1964.  As I write this the Red Sox have won just 5 of the 19 games they have played in the month of September.  Their hopes of capturing the American League East title have long since vanished and there remains the very real possibility that they might not make the playoffs at all as the surging Tampa …
Terry Francona
Terry Francona
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