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After a 9 game road trip against Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Chicago where the Red Sox went 6-3, they return home tonight for a 4 game set against the Cleveland Indians and their former manager Terry Francona.
There's a lot of firsts happening tonight at Fenway.
It's the first time Francona will be back as a manager of another team since winning two World Series in Boston. I think he will and should get a warm, loud reception. Not as a big as the 100 year celebration but an ovation for the fans to, again, show their appreciation for what Francona did in Boston.
It's the first time players like Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Jacoby Ellsbury will be playing against a manager who they played for and had much success with. I would have to think this would be an extra motivator for these guys to perform against their old manager but we'll see how they react.
It's also the first time Francona will be back at Fenway since his book came out laying out his opinions on the Red Sox front office which aired a lot of behind the scenes details that I'm sure Lucchino, Henry and Warner did not want out. If they were to run into each other over this 4 day span, I would have to believe it would be a bit awkward.
Outside of the Francona-Boston hoopla, it's interesting that two teams who weren't picked to do much this season are meeting in late May as two teams with some of the best records in the American League. It should make for a fun 4 days.