Terry Francona's assessment of Red Sox creates urgency, yet hope for future

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Recently retired MLB manager and legend Terry Francona has spent much of the current baseball season out of the spotlight.

The former Boston Red Sox skipper admitted he hasn't kept a close watch on the team this season, but he had ringing endorsements for two members of the Sox's staff.

“I’m a big Alex Cora fan, I’m a huge Craig Breslow fan,” Francona said.

Francona was asked his thoughts on the current state of the Red Sox during a U.S. Senior Open event in Newport, R.I. He mentioned that he knew Boston's lineup is heavily injured, but the comments about Cora and Breslow stick out the most.

Terry Francona praises Red Sox manager Alex Cora and chief baseball officer Craig Breslow

Cora is a quarter of the way through the final year of his contract with the Red Sox organization, and Francona's praise of the skipper is far from the first that's been given this year. Kenley Jansen shared his feelings about Cora as a manager on a recent episode of the "Baseball Isn't Boring" podcast, and his comments coupled with Francona's call Boston's front office to action.

Francona is regarded as a great baseball mind and one of the best managers of his time. His public support for Cora should be enough for Breslow, whom Francona also lauded, to put a blank check in front of Boston's current manager. Breslow has also given Cora his fair share of credit for the way he runs his team.

Francona had compliments for Breslow as chief baseball officer as well, but he said little about ownership or the strengths and weaknesses of the team. The former skipper was one of the most notable absences from Boston's Opening Day ceremony that honored the 2004 World Series-winning team, but he stopped by Fenway Park the day before to visit with Breslow.

The Red Sox front office should take Francona's assertions seriously. When a two-time World Series champion and three-time Manager of the Year praises another manager, it's in the team's best interest to keep them around as long as possible.

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