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Francona Is Hired to Replace Valentine as ESPN Baseball Analyst

Former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona was hired by ESPN as an analyst for in-studio shows as well as “Sunday Night Baseball” game telecasts.

Francona made his debut for the Walt Disney Co. network yesterday, ESPN said in a statement.

Bobby Valentine, hired last week as Francona’s successor as Red Sox manager, had worked as an ESPN baseball analyst since late in 2009.

The 52-year-old Francona managed the Red Sox from 2004 through 2011, leading the team to World Series championships in 2004 and 2007 and a regular-season record of 744-552.

Last season, he oversaw the biggest September collapse in the history of Major League Baseball as Boston went 7-20 for the month to lose a nine-game lead in the race for the American League wild-card spot. The Red Sox were eliminated on the final day of the regular season.

Francona worked as a broadcaster for News Corp.’s Fox Sports during the American League Championship Series.

He then interviewed for the managerial opening with the St. Louis Cardinals last month before deciding not to return to the game next season.

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