CHICAGO — Terry Francona hasn’t managed against the Red Sox at Fenway Park since July 17, 1999, when he was with the Phillies. He returns to the third base dugout Thursday when his Cleveland Indians arrive for a four-game series.
Francona managed the Red Sox from 2004-11, winning two World Series and advancing to the postseason three other times. The Sox averaged 93 victories a season during his tenure.
“I think it will be a special day when the series kicks off tomorrow,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell, Francona’s pitching coach from 2007-10. “I would fully expect he’d get a great welcome and a great ovation, and deservedly so. That was eight incredible years that he spent [in Boston]. Looking forward to playing against him.”
The Indians, who lost to the Tigers Wednesday night, won 21 of 29 games after being swept by the Red Sox April 16-18 in Cleveland.
“They’re playing exceptionally well,” Farrell said. “They’re playing with a lot of confidence, and [Francona] has a lot to do with that. They’ve got a very good team.”
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