Francona and Crawford together again

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Photo courtesy of USA Baseball/Gaines DuVall.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Today is not the first time Terry Francona has managed Carl Crawford.

In 2001, Francona managed Team USA in the World Cup tournament in Taiwan. They went 7-3, losing 5-3 to Cuba in the final.

Crawford, then a 20-year-old Rays prospect, hit only .219 but started eight of the games.

Francona remembered Crawford as being a nice kid who had talent, but was raw. The tournament was only two months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and many teams were unwilling to send their players.

Francona was a coach with the Indians at the time. One of his assistants was Brad Mills, his good friend and future bench coach with the Sox.

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Thanks to Jake Fehling, USA Baseball’s director or media and public relations, for tracking down the photo. Boston.com sports editor Matt Pepin helped out with his Photoshop skills.

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