By Steve Kelly

The Phillies are nowhere near the World Series, which starts tonight in Cleveland with the Chicago Cubs facing the Indians, but:

Former Phillies manager Terry Francona will have something to say about the result!

Cubs manager Joe Maddon is famous for his quirks and oddball traditions, but he’s also been among the first to bring advanced statistical analysis from the computer to the dugout.

“He’s always pushed the envelope trying to do some things, whether it’s playing four outfielders against (David) Ortiz,” Francona said. “The one thing he’s always had the ability to do is keep a clubhouse together, which is saying a lot during the course of 162 games.”

Maddon is making his third World Series appearance – as a coach with the Angels in 2002 and manager of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. Meanwhile, Francona helped end another famous title drought in Boston as the Red Sox skipper in 2004.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about me or Tito; it’s about players,” Maddon said. “If your guys play better than their guys, you win.”

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