Francona gets another basketball fix in Texas

Francona gets another basketball fix in Texas

ARLINGTON -- Ten days ago in Seattle, manager Terry Francona had the thrill of visiting with basketball legend Bill Russell, who was an 11-time champion with the Boston Celtics. Before Wednesday's game against the Rangers, Francona visited with Mark Cuban, the owner of the recently minted NBA champions, the Dallas Mavericks.

Don Kalkstein, who is a part-time sports psychologist for the Red Sox and also works for the Mavericks, arranged the meeting.

"What a treat," Francona said. "A bunch of guys came in. I think they were all really excited to see him. [Dustin Pedroia] came in and embarrassed himself. It was fun."

Rick Carlisle, a former Celtic and the coach of the Mavs, threw out the first pitch before Tuesday's game. Francona visited with Carlisle in his office before Tuesday's game.

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.