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Terry Francona a possibility for Tigers? Indians?

Sep 19, 2012, 7:24 PM EDT

Terry Francona AP

That’s the speculation from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. While Terry Francona likes his ESPN gig, he’s expected to consider returning to the dugout as some team’s manager next year.

The problem right now is that there don’t project to be many openings. Houston, obviously, but Francona probably isn’t a fit for what will surely be a long-term rebuild. Boston almost surely will have one, but there’s no way that’s happening.

That’s why Heyman links Francona to Detroit and Cleveland. Jim Leyland’s contract will expire at season’s end — he’s only been working on one-year deals of late — and the Tigers might be ready to make a change if they fail to reach the postseason in what, thus far, has been a disappointing campaign.

As for the Indians, they’ve already said Manny Acta is coming back. Also, it’s not all that attractive of a job with ownership having such tight purse strings of late. Even if Francona was open to the possibility, they might not be interested in making Francona one of the game’s highest-paid managers while still on the hook to Acta for another year.

One would think Francona will be pretty picky about his next job. Detroit would be a good situation. But barring a surprise (Dusty Baker moving on? Charlie Manuel retiring? Mike Scioscia getting fired?), there might not be any particularly attractive openings this winter.

  1. randygnyc - Sep 19, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Tito was the classiest person ever to be associated with anything Boston. I’d love to see him turn up elsewhere. He was “done dirty” by the red sox. The mets did the same to Randolph and they’ve been cursed ever since. The RS seem to be following in their footsteps.

    • dondada10 - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:26 PM

      Willie was clueless. The ’06 Mets were very talented and the ’07 AND ’08 Mets suffered epic September collapses.

      With that being said, I love for Francona to replace Terry Collins.

    • chill1184 - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:01 PM

      Francona’s firing was poor but to compare it with with Randolph’s is lazy. I always find it amusing how you’re the only one who trots this “curse” bullshit in regards to Randolph.

    • don444 - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      The Mets are cursed because they ultimately fired the feckless Willie Randolph? Wow, how dumb are you? Francona will forever be revered for ’04 vand ’07 and rightfully so, but time moves on and it’s well-documented that many in that clubhouse had tuned him out and no longer particularly respected him as of last year. Better men than him would have been jettisoned after the monumental September collapse he oversaw last season, regardless of past success, so you can sit there and whine about those who’ve been “done dirty” all you want as that’s all meaningless in the end.

  2. royalsfaninfargo - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    When was the last time Heyman predicted anything right?

    • raysfan1 - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:20 PM

      Any time a “mystery team” is in play for a free agent if Scott Boras is the agent.

  3. Kevin Gillman - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    You know Terry has roots in Cleveland. Both he and his father played in Cleveland. Mark Shapiro had some connection to Boston for awhile, if the Dolans agree, it sure would make sense. By the way, Acta is good as gone, don’t buy what the Dolans are saying now. Manny lost the Indians when he didn’t have Jack Hanahan’s back in that horrible 3 game series in New York when jack was thrown out after arguing that pop foul ball Dewayne Wise “caught”.

    • tashkalucy - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:24 PM

      Exactly what “connection” does Shapiro have……

      Other then he breaks in players, pitching coaches and front office people for them.

      Shapiro has used the Cleveland Indians to be the farm club of the major leagues – as well as giving established player agents a place for their over-the-hill players to get one last contract that no one else in MLB will give them.

      The ‘Power Of Nice’.

      Just not so nice for Indians fans that were hoping for a representative major league team that cold compete more then “once every five years” as we were told – and no it’s not even once every five years.

      Mark Shapiro has done more damage to the Cleveland Indians then even Frank Lane did. It is hard to believe that the cellar-dwelling Indians were a perennial contender when he came in as GM.

      • Kevin Gillman - Sep 20, 2012 at 11:39 AM

        Mark lived in Boston growing up a bit, with his father, and he was good friends with Theo, which means he knows Terry. And Terry managed one season for the farm system in the 90’s, and Mark was working there then too.

  4. randygnyc - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Chili- curse, karma, whatever you want to call. If you don’t believe in such things (I’m not convinced myself), than the notion is ridiculous on its face. But to deny the absolutely horrific results since both unceremonious (putting it kindly) firings, is to deny reality.

    • pellypell - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      Three things that should be off limits here on HBT: Politics, Religion and Curses.

  5. hushbrother - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    If the Pirates continue to play like crap it’s conceivable they could can Hurdle. If Tito is available and interested in the job, they’d be fools not to.

  6. Joe - Sep 19, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    I don’t see a triumphant return to Philly. Besides, isn’t Ryne Sandburg the heir to Manual’s spot?

  7. blantoncollier - Sep 19, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Terry was either a coach or in the Tribe’s front office before he went to Boston, dont remember which. Not that it matters. Larry Dolan would NEVER spend the money for Terry.

    And why would anyone want the job as manager of the Cleveland Indians? This is a AAAA team at best. I am not sure if this team could even win the International League.

  8. lionsplayoffs - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    He’d be welcome in Detroit, provided he breaks Leyland’s bad habits. Like playing the scrubs from Toledo too much and over-resting starters. Getting enamored with crappy players (Ryan Raburn, Don Kelly, Brennan Boesch) and batting them second in the order. Sticking with crap relievers (Phil Coke) at the expense of the team. When we’re winning, Tigers fans put up with his crotchety stubbornness. When we miss the playoffs it’s a lot harder to take. Leyland is not a bad manager, he just does a few things that fans really hate.

  9. micker716 - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Bobby Valentine should get a commission.

  10. legacybroken - Sep 20, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    The Tigers would be an attractive spot for Tito. He would get to manage a team with 3 elite players(Miggy, JV and Prince) and several players on the verge(AJax, Max and Fister when healthy). Add in a great owner who wants to win but lets his GM and Manager do their jobs and it’s a pretty attractive job. Plus, Tito’s first coaching gig was with the Tigers in 96.

  11. roadwearyaaron - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    If the Reds don’t make it passed the first round of the playoffs, there’s a decent chance that Baker won’t be offered a new contract. If that’s the case, I’d love to see Francona step in to replace him. Hopefully though, they just win the whole damn thing.

  12. jabberwock3 - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    A lot of the arm-chair managers here should know that, while Jim Leyland may not be their man with the Tigers, neither would 77-year TITO Francona. Now his SON, Terry is. Tiger fans are beginning to get extremely frustrated with Leyland’s refusal to dump players who are simply not major-league hitters. The list is way too long. We hate Ryan Raburn , finally dumped a huge fan favourite in Brandon Inge, long past being able to hit anything, being two glaring examples. We love The Skipper, but, man, dump the junk. That being said, Mr. Ilitch is a great owner and leaves those decisions to Dumbrowski. The only chance Leyland has to get resigned is to take this team deep into the playoffs. Don’t forget that we got shafted in the playoffs last not by another team, but the weather, screwing our pitching rotation. We’ll see.

  13. kevinbnyc - Sep 20, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    I’d love to see him back in Boston. It would cement their position as the New York Jets-esque Circus team of Major League Baseball.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      Yes, who could forget the Jets winning the Super Bowl in 2004 and 2007?

  14. personalspaceinvader - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    There will be an opening in Colorado soon.

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