While his managerial career started out shakily, Francona has obviously found a ton of success since becoming manager of the Red Sox following the 2003 season.
Managing in Boston is never easy, and Francona has had his share of ups and downs since taking over the reins. But through it all, Francona has led the Red Sox to two World Series championships, and the Sox have missed the playoffs only once during his tenure. Under Francona, they've failed to win 90 games only once.
He may be doing his best work this season, though, in spite of injury problems that have seen players like Dustin Pedroia, Josh Beckett, Victor Martinez, Daisuke Matszuaka and Clay Buchholz all miss extended periods of time.
Even without some of his best players at his disposal, Francona has been able to lead the Red Sox to a 49-33 record through Sunday. As he has throughout his time in Boston, Francona continues to get the most out of his players.
Whether it's managing big-time personalities, dealing with injuries or just facing the high expectations of fans and media and the stress that comes with it, Francona continues to lead his team to success.
When Francona does win his 900th game it will be just another testament to the job he's done, especially since coming to Boston. The list of active managers who've won that many games is pretty impressive. Francona will join Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Lou Piniella, Jim Leyland, Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy and Mike Scioscia in the 900 club. That's not bad company.
So as Francona approaches the milestone, the question is: Where does he rank among today's managers?
Share your thoughts below. The best comments will be read on NESN’s Red Sox GameDay Live or Red Sox Final.
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