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Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona during a news conference at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday (Sept. 29, 2011). (AP)

Red Sox And Manager Francona Part Ways

Sep 30, 2011

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"The Boston Red Sox and manager Terry Francona "have decided to part ways after eight seasons and two World Series titles," Sports Illustrated is reporting.

The Boston Globe says "the manager will meet with GM Theo Epstein and ownership at 10 a.m. today and the expected resolution according to major league sources will be a mutual agreement for Francona to leave the organization."

This follows, of course, Boston's late-season collapse that saw the Sox blow a 9-game lead for the American League's wild-card playoff spot.

Where might Francona go next? Multiple reports speculate he could become the next manager of the Chicago White Sox. That team this week released manager Ozzie Guillen from his contract — and he quickly signed on to manage the Florida Marlins.

Update at 5:49 p.m. ET. It's Official:

The Red Sox made it official: Francona, who led the Red Sox to their first two World Series championships since 1918, is no longer the team's manager.

According to MLB.com, the team released this statement:

"We met with Terry Francona, Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington Friday morning to discuss the 2011 season, ways to improve the club in the future, and Tito's status," the Red Sox said in a statement. "During the meeting, Tito, Theo and Ben agreed that the Red Sox would benefit from an improved clubhouse culture and higher standards in several areas. Tito said that after eight years here he was frustrated by his difficulty making an impact with the players, that a different voice was needed, and that it was time for him to move on. After taking time to reflect on Tito's sentiments, we agreed that it was best for the Red Sox not to exercise the option years on his contract."

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