Francona represented the United States at the 1979 Pan American Games and went on to play college baseball for the University of Arizona Wildcats. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the eighth round of the 1981 amateur draft.
After three seasons with the Red Sox' minor league system, Francona was traded to the Cleveland Indians where he spent three more years before being released by the Indians during spring training in 1994. He served as a coach for the Indians from 1995-2000 before becoming manager of the Chicago White Sox. Under Francona's leadership, the White Sox won 95 games in 2004 and made it to the ALCS before losing to Detroit Tigers. They went on to win the World Series that year, their first championship in over 70 years. After two more winning seasons, Francona was fired by the White Sox after they failed to make the playoffs in 2006. He later said that making the postseason is not what makes a good manager, but rather going all the way is. In 2007, he managed the Indian National League champion Tampa Bay Rays to a victory in its opening game. He has since been hired as the new manager of the Red Sox.
As a player, Francona was a third baseman who appeared in six games for the Red Sox in 1991.
In 2007, he attended Baker University and played college baseball for the Baker Wildcats of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. He transferred to the University of Arkansas in 2008 but did not play baseball for the Razorbacks. Instead, he served as a backup catcher on their team that won the 2009 College World Series.
Blake Treinen's career batting average is.292 with 155 hits, 39 doubles, 10 triples, and 21 home runs. He has scored 92 times and has been caught 89 times. In 2009, he finished with 91 walks vs. only 67 strikeouts.
Treinen was drafted by the Oakland A's in the eighth round of the 2010 MLB Draft. He chose to accept an offer from the Washington Nationals instead, signing for $300,000 just below the maximum amount allowable. He made his major league debut on August 25, 2015. The A's lost 1-0 to the Seattle Mariners that day.
During Game 3 of the 2016 National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks, Treinen came out of retirement to replace Yasmani Grandal (who had been traded to the Dodgers earlier in the day) as the starting catcher for the Dodgers. He caught Matt Kemp during that game and Games 4 and 5 as well.
Rodriguez attended Miami's Westminster Christian High School. He was a rising high school baseball standout. Rodriguez has agreed to play baseball at the University of Miami. Rodriguez, however, declined the baseball scholarship and never participated in collegiate baseball. Instead, he signed with the New York Yankees as an infielder/outfielder during the 1995 amateur entry draft.
He made his major league debut on April 17, 1996. At the age of 19 years, 4 months and 14 days, he became the second-youngest player ever (behind only Joe Jackson) to appear in a Major League game. He went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts.
After appearing in two games in 1996, Rodriguez spent most of 1997 playing for the Yankees' minor league system. In 1998, he finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting after hitting.284 with 26 home runs and 102 RBIs in 130 games. The Yankees won the World Series that season.
In 1999, Rodriguez played only 54 games due to injury before undergoing shoulder surgery. He returned in 2000 and 2001, but missed much of 2002 after having both of his shoulders repaired. He ended up requiring another shoulder operation in January 2009.
During his time with the Yankees, Rodriguez established himself as one of the best hitters in baseball.