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Francona follows Hoffman as candidate

BOSTON -- Former Philadelphia Phillies manager Terry
Francona interviewed for the Boston Red Sox job on Wednesday.

Los Angeles Dodgers coach and former Red Sox
infielder Glenn Hoffman interviewed for the vacant managerial job
in Boston on Monday.

Hoffman was the first candidate to interview for the position,
left vacant when Grady Little was let go after the season ended.
Little averaged 94 wins in his two seasons but didn't fit the
organization's style of relying on statistics to determine game
strategy.

The Red Sox also have received permission to talk to Anaheim
Angels pitching coach Bud Black, but he told the Los Angeles Times
he expected to turn down the chance for an interview. Epstein said
through a team spokesman only that no other interviews have been
set up.

Francona spoke with general manager Theo Epstein and his
assistant, Josh Byrnes, for about six hours. Francona came away
from the meeting enthusiastic about the chance to manage the Red
Sox.

Francona, 44, managed the Philadelphia Phillies through four losing seasons from 1997 to 2000. In his four years, they went 285-363 and never won more than 77 games.

Of his losing seasons with the Phillies, Francona said Wednesday that he has learned some lessons.

"I was very young. I was learning kind of on the run," he said
after interviewing for the job as Boston Red Sox manager. "I had a
goal back then to be a major league manager. Now I have a goal to
be a successful major league manager. I think it can be done."

If he gets the job in Boston, Francona knows, he will be
expected to win right away.

"The one thing you just die for is a chance to win," Francona
said. "To have a chance to win and to be expected to win is what
you play for, what you coach for."

Francona spent the 2001 season as special assistant to baseball
operations for the Cleveland Indians and was bench coach for the
Texas Rangers in 2002. He was a bench coach for Oakland this season
when the A's blew a 2-0 lead in the first round of the playoffs,
losing three straight to the Red Sox.

"I had a great view" of the Boston team, Francona said. "They
seemed to really care for each other on the field. They give you no
let-up in the lineup."

Francona, son of former major-league outfielder Tito Francona,
was an outfielder and first baseman in the majors for 10 seasons
with Montreal, the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati. Cleveland and
Milwaukee. He hit .274 with 16 homers in 708 games.

Francona, unlike Hoffman, enthusiastically campaigned for the job. Hoffman said Monday that he was still sounding out the team
as it checked him out.

"I was excited to come up here, and now I'm still excited," Francona
said. "Just to be considered for an interview is a real honor.
They're going to have a lot of terrific candidates for this job."

The Red Sox were five outs from reaching the World Series before
ace Pedro Martinez blew a 5-2 lead in Game 7 of the AL championship series against the New York Yankees. Little was widely criticized for leaving Martinez in too long.