Terry Francona is getting back with one of his baseball families.
Francona, who guided the Red Sox to 2 World Series titles, has been employed as manager of the Indians, a team that collapsed in the 2nd half this season after a promising first 4 months. The sides continued working Saturday night on the length of Francona’s agreement. NFL lines
The 53-year-old will be formally introduced as Cleveland’s 42nd manager during a news conference at Progressive Field.
“I’m really excited,” Francona declared. “People who don’t know me may have thought I was looking for something different.”
The Cleveland Indians selected Francona over Sandy Alomar Jr, who served as the club’s interim manager for the last 6 games after Manny Acta was fired on Sept. 27. Francona and Alomar, who spent the past 3 seasons as a coach in Cleveland, were the only candidates to interview for the Indians’ opening.
Alomar has been offered a spot on Francona’s staff, most likely as bench coach.
The Indians have always held a special place for Francona. After he was fired as Philadelphia’s manager, he worked in Cleveland’s front office as a adviser in 2001. He also spent some of the 1988 season on Cleveland’s big league roster and his father, Tito, played with the Indians from 1959-64.
Francona has stayed close with Cleveland Indians president Mark Shapiro and GM Chris Antonetti over the last decade. He claimed the chance to work with them again is what intrigued him most about the Cleveland job, which will have its challenges due to a much smaller payroll than he enjoyed in Boston.
“It’s a good story, about a family feeling,” Francona expounded. “I don’t think you can take a job because to that, nevertheless it still means a lot to me. Because of Chris and Mark and my relationship, I am excited to try and tackle, or try to tackle, each challenge that comes our way and do it together.”
Francona interviewed with the Indians one day after Alomar, a 6-time All-Star catcher for Cleveland and fan favorite. Alomar managed the Indians to a 3-3 record after Acta was discharged. Alomar will probably be courted by other teams looking for a manager. He interviewed with Boston last year before the Red Sox hired Bobby Valentine.
Francona spent 8 seasons with the Red Sox but was not brought back after the club fell apart down the stretch in 2011. This season, Francona worked as a TV broadcaster and asserted it was while preparing for telecasts that he realized how much he missed managing and being around players.
Francona has managed for 12 seasons in the majors, compiling a 1,029-915 record.
“I played for Tito (Francona) and everybody knows his past record is a good one,” declared Indians pitcher Justin Masterson, who was with Francona in Boston for 2008-9.
Antonetti announced part of Francona’s appeal was how he developed young players like Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester as they came up through Boston’s system.