He's been everything we've hoped for, and you can say more. I think he's really grown on the job and really grown into the role of being the manager of the Boston Red Sox, as opposed to being a major league manager, very well and very quickly.I've been critical of Francona -- and likely will be again soon -- but I should also remember that he's managing for an entire season and he shouldn't (and doesn't) treat every contest as if it is an elimination game. not all of his decisions can be seen through that lens, of course, but I also know that in 2004, when it was win-or-go-home, he completely outmanaged Joe Torre.
The Red Sox will likely curb Coco Crisp's base stealing desires. Francona likened the situation to what the team did with Johnny Damon:
He could probably have run more, but with the hitters in our lineup, we want baserunners. I think Coco understands that. ... If they want to completely stop him from running, there's going to be a lot of [pitchers utilizing] slide steps. Guys will throw some belt-high fastballs to Loretta and David. That's fine. ... He could steal 30 easy. But we don't want him to be 30-for-60.Speaking of Damon, his left shoulder is ailing (surprise!) and he's been told to not throw for at least two weeks. His employer is not happy.
Oh, and Coco's hitting .455, slugging .636 and is 3-for-3 in steals.