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Red Sox swoon a product of success

Sustained winning inevitably weakens baseball teams to the point of rebuilding

Updated: April 19, 2012, 2:52 PM ET
By Howard Bryant | ESPN.com

One Sunday morning years ago, during the big days, when the Boston Red Sox had shed their skin and had become feared -- even by the New York Yankees -- Terry Francona closed the door to his office as Manny Ramirez walked by, nodded his head toward the clubhouse and explained how the easiest part of his job was when the game began. The real job of managing, Francona said, was being human Kevlar for his clubhouse, shielding the players from distraction, removing from them the pressures of the game ...

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