Seems to me Francona just relied on out slugging people and when the hitting struggled, they were effed.
He seems like the anti-Riggleman. Riggleman micro managed his ass off, tried to win individual matchups, tried to keep the clubhouse up for every game, and basically managed like the season was a sprint. Francona seems like he put his game plan into motion before the game and let the players win or lose it themselves. Also seems like he let the players control themselves.
His record is great but I don't think he is a world beater.