Pressure-cooker awaits Francona

Expectations are soaring as the Red Sox head into 2004 with the desire to win seemingly never greater.

Originally Published: February 24, 2004
By Sean McAdam | Special to ESPN.com

It's hard to know whether to envy Terry Francona or pity him.

On the one hand, Francona takes over an enormously talented Boston Red Sox team which fell just shy of the World Series last October, then bettered itself with the additions of Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke during the offseason.

On the other hand, Francona faces incredible expectations and just a few obstacles.

For the first time that anyone can remember, the Red Sox are actually favored by most Las Vegas oddsmakers ...

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