Francona to Japan

Major league baseball has announced that Sox skipper Terry Francona will manage the Major League All-Stars in the “All-Star Series 2006” in Japan on Nov. 3-8.

Francona will replace former Oakland A’s manager Ken Macha, who was recently fired by the A’s.

Francona said yesterday there would be no Red Sox players taking part. Jonathan Papelbon was supposed to pitch but the Red Sox have told him, given his shoulder problems at the end of last season, that he’s better off staying home to strengthen the shoulder.

The Sox were represented by David Ortiz last season.

The games will be played at Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka.

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