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Terry Francona's calm presence — on the field, and off

Posted by Alan Wirzbicki  September 30, 2011 03:20 PM

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According to reports, Terry Francona is on the verge of departing as manager of the Boston Red Sox. The move comes on the heels of the team's disastrous September collapse.

Whatever Francona's flaws this year, he will be remembered for winning two World Series, and as a calming presence — both on the field and off. In May, Globe columnist Joan Wickersham recounted a chance encounter with the Sox manager, and how he defused a road rage situation in traffic after a game:

By this point [my friend] was scared. More than scared. This was beyond angry commuter; this was crazy and unpredictable and possibly dangerous. The guy was still honking and screaming and revving his engine. She needed to get away, but there was no place to go. She was boxed in.

Then, as [she] sat there panicking, a driver in the westbound lane lowered his window and gave her a sympathetic look. A smile, and a tilt of his head that said, "Hang on, it'll be OK, I'll let you go in front of me." [She] was happily startled, first by the eye contact and the man's reassuring kindness and second because she recognized him. He was the manager of the Boston Red Sox.

Read the full column here.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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