While I certainly do not agree with every move that Tito makes, his numbers as Red Sox manager have to at least put him into the discussion as their greatest manager of all time.
Going into his seventh season at the helm of the Sox, Francona sports an all-time record of 565-407, for a winning percentage of .581. Part of this is certainly the byproduct of being with a club that has a very competent General Manager in Theo Epstein and that can out spend almost every other team in baseball (with the exception of that squad a ways down Route 95 South). Still, Terry’s 565 wins trail only Joe Cronin’s all time team win record of 1071. Cronin, however, managed the team for 12 years and only had a winning percentage of .539. You could also argue that Cronin was part of a regime, along with General Manager Eddie Collins and Owner Tom Yawkey, that helped retard Boston’s progress from the mid 1940’s to the late 1960’s through their overtly racist policies. Under Cronin’s tutelage as Manager and General Manager, the Red Sox were the last team in major league baseball to integrate when they signed Pumpsie Green in 1959. Despite being the final team to sign a black ball player, under Cronin the Sox did have the chance to sign both Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays in the mid to late 1940’s. Cronin unfortunately had no interest in either player.
Sorry to get side tracked, I’m back to Terry Francona. Among Red Sox managers with 300 games at the helm, Francona ranks third behind Joe McCarthy (.606) and Bill Carrigan (.599) in winning percentage.
Tito is also tied with Bill ‘Rough’ Carrigan (1915, 1916) in leading the Red Sox to two World Championships. Francona is first all time with 5 playoff appearances, sporting a record of 28-17 in post season play. Consider that the other 42 managers in Red Sox history combined for a grand total of 51 post season wins. By my estimate, Terry should pass that figure when his 2012 Red Sox team wins its third post season game after falling one game short in the 2010 World Series and winning it all in 2011!