Terry Francona was initially tabbed by Michael Jordan of all people as a great manager. That ringing endorsement alone got him his first gig managing the Philadelphia Phillies. That in turn got him another high profile recommendation from Curt Schilling which inevetibly brough both to Boston. Now the question comes, is Tito Cooperstown material?
Granted he's managed less than ten season's in the bigs, with only four of them coming in Beantown. But if one looks at what he's done in that short time period and what could be coming in the near future, it's not as ridiculous of an assertion as it would've been when he first came into Red Sox Nation looking like a puppet act to follow Grady Little whose sole purpose was to bring Schilling to town.
Just consider what Francona has done in four short years in Boston. He's yet to have a losing record, averaging 94 wins per season. The Red Sox have made the playoffs three times in his four years there. Francona's 2004 squad became the first ever in MLB history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit in the ALCS to win 4-3 against the Yankees. That team also became the first Boston club to win a World Series in 86 years, sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals.
Francona's 2007 squad became the first in 12 years to win the American League East, again swept the Angels and came back from a 3-1 ALCS deficit, going on to sweep out the Colorado Rockies in the World Series.
The Red Sox under Francona are 8-0 in the World Series and 22-9 in the playoffs with four sweeps. Francona became the first Boston manager since Ed Barrow to win a title for the Red Sox and the first skipper to win multiple championships for the Red Sox since Bill Carrigan.
Consider since 1980 the only other managers to bring home multiple titles are Tommy Lasorda, Tony LaRussa, Tom Kelly, Cito Gaston and Joe Torre. I'm not saying this Boston team is a dynasty yet, but considering what he's already accomplished and what he will likely continue to do with a solid young team in the future, there will certainly be a case to be made for Tito's enshrinement into Cooperstown.