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Terry Francona “has had preliminary contact with Indians”

Sep 27, 2012, 5:20 PM EDT

File image of Boston Red Sox manager Francona leaving the field after being ejected from the game by umpire after arguing a controversial call with officials during the fourth inning of their American League MLB baseball game in Seattle

As soon as the Indians announced this afternoon that Manny Acta was out as manager there was speculation that Terry Francona could emerge as a potential candidate in Cleveland.

And according to Ken Rosenthal of the wheels may already be in motion.

Rosenthal reports that Francona “already has had preliminary contact with the Indians” and wonders if it might come down to “whether the Indians could pay Francona a large enough salary to persuade him to leave his job as an analyst for ESPN.”

I don’t know Francona’s financial situation other than the fact that he earned about $4 million per year from the Red Sox, but it seems unlikely that he’d let money get in the way if he’s itching to get back into managing after a year talking about the game on television.

  1. contraryguy - Sep 27, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Like the Nike ads say… Cleveland, Just Do It.

    And congrats for firing Acta. Has never been ‘the guy’ anywhere.

  2. pisano - Sep 27, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    No offense to the Indians, but Tito should wait for another organization to offer him a job. Again, nothing against Cleveland, but I’d hate to see Tito end up like Acta.

    • vanmorrissey - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:36 PM

      That’s why the Indians have to jump on him now and pay him premium bucks. Whoever else dumps their managers (Tigers, Marlins??) he’s the first one they’ll go to. Going to Cleveland would cost them a ton of dough.

      • paperlions - Sep 27, 2012 at 7:37 PM

        But….why would Cleveland bother over-paying a manager when their roster is a disaster? No pitching and 1/2 the starters can’t hit. Tito isn’t fixing that….he’ll just watch a lot of losing baseball.

    • bigharold - Sep 27, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      “No offense to the Indians, but Tito should wait…’

      Because the Indian’s don’t have the talent right now and he’s not the type of manager that can spur a team to be greater than they are. Like Torre, his forte is managing the personalities and situations. It’s not strategy and inspiration. And, I mean that as an observation not an insult.

      He’d be better severed to wait and see if Scioscia’s job become available. Taking a talented team, .. managing the egos, expectations and press, .. is what he’s really good at.

      • tonyz6060chevy - Sep 28, 2012 at 1:17 PM

        I could easily see Francona managing a team like the Dodgers,he knows how to deal with egos ,and he probably would have been able to coax something out of the current lineup they have right now!The Dodgers should have given Mattinly his walking papers and hired this guy,for 2013 season!

  3. mikeinthevine - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Francona would have to be nuts to work for this bunch. The Dolans must be looking under the cushions of their sofas to see if they could come up with the money to pay him. Of course, they won’t have money to pay any players though. Until the Dolans sell the Indians, they will continue to regress to the Indians of the 70’s.

  4. stoolerz - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    The Dolans and coming up with enough money to pay for anything do not belong in the same sentence. Don’t the Indians have to interview a minority before naming a manager-oops-wrong sport.

  5. natstowngreg - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Being a manager in exile at ESPN is sort of like being a backup quarterback. You’re not actually playing, so you haven’t done anything that can be criticized. Because of that, a team (and its fans) dissatisfied with the starter see you as an improvement. Not because you’re better (it’s possible, but unlikely, that you are), but because you’re not the guy who is on the field making the mistakes. It’s often irrational, but that kind of thought process exists.

    As a manager in exile (like Buck Showalter before him), Terry has no responsibility for any team, not even a single pitching change to make. He can just commentate and wait for the right offer. Whether the Indians provide the right offer remain to be seen.

    • jayscarpa - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      Francona or Showalter would be a very big improvement over Acta. The reason they are/were on ESPN is that they DID have the responsibilities and they fulfilled them a heck of a lot better than Acta ever did.

    • Glenn - Sep 27, 2012 at 7:40 PM

      You just talked every team needing a manager into him. Comparing him to Buck Showalter was supposed to make your point? The guy won two World Series for a dysfunctional organization while holding together some difficult personalities. I watched most of his games and I have little complaint about his game management except that he would stick with veterans a little too long – but even that paid off sometimes.

  6. randygnyc - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    There are plenty of guys that could belong in Cleveland, but Tito is too classy for that town. He should hold out for a team like the tigers or Reds, where there’s some talent and the fans will appreciate such a top notch guy. (not to say Leland or dusty are on their way out fwiw)

    • mikeinthevine - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:49 PM

      The fans in Cleveland appreciate winners. What happened to Acta had nothing to do with the fans. It has everything to do with an ownership group that is in way over their heads. The Dolans don’t have the money to field a competitive team, but they expect the fans to come out in droves to support what is essentially AAA team.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 27, 2012 at 7:02 PM

      I’d appreciate your list of classy and unclassy towns, Randy. Ideally, you’d rank them in order, but a simple list of each would be fine.

      • Glenn - Sep 27, 2012 at 7:43 PM

        Beat me to it – randygnyc (the moniker always conjures up an image of a guy pretending to be a gynecologist for cheap thrills) should not be the arbiter of class.

  7. randygnyc - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    My above comment didn’t come out right. I meant to disparage Indian ownership, not its fans. Didn’t mean to offend.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 27, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      It’s not like you said they were born in Kenya. No harm done.

  8. greymares - Sep 27, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    okay mentioning Francona should pacify the fans now go get a real manager.

  9. pandebailey - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Okay, I was kinda waiting for someone to point out the obvious – why would Terry Francona consider a place like Cleveland? Maybe its where his dad Tito was playing in 1959, the year Terry was born, hitting an amazing .417 as late as August that year, finishing at 363 and only losing out on the batting crown because he got hurt and didn’t have enough at bats to qualify. Tito Sr. was 5th in the MVP voting that year, played in Cleveland six years and has been voted as one of the top 100 Indians ever.

    So there is some serious history with the Francona’s in Cleveland….as Harry Truman said “The only thing new in this world is the history you don’t know.”

  10. donkastain - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    I’d love to see Chris Perez manage the Indians. There would never be a boring moment.

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