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Terry Francona to be named new Indians manager Monday

Oct 6, 2012, 4:23 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

The Indians have found their man.

Sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that Terry Francona will manage the Indians. The club is expected to make an official announcement Monday.

Francona just came in for an interview with the Indians yesterday, but he has been considered the favorite over the past week or two. According to Nick Camino of WTAM 1100 in Cleveland, the former Red Sox skipper said on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight last night that he was only considering whether to manage the Indians next season or return to his broadcasting job at ESPN. Sandy Alomar, Jr., who finished the season as the interim manager after Manny Acta was fired, was the only other known candidate for the permanent job.

Some may call the Indians an odd destination for Francona on the surface, as they don’t have the talent or the payroll that he was blessed with in Boston, but maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised. Francona worked as an advisor with the Indians in 2001 and has maintained a relationship with general manager Chris Antonetti and team president Mark Shapiro. Of course, Francona’s father, Tito Francona, played six seasons for the Indians from 1959-64.

Francona owns a 1,029-915 record over 12 seasons as manager with the Phillies and Red Sox. He led Boston to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007. The Indians admittedly aren’t close to the World Series after finishing this season at 68-94, but Francona’s hiring at least provides some reason for hope in the near future.

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UPDATE, 18:23 PM: The Indians have confirmed the news through their Twitter feed.

  1. thebadguyswon - Oct 6, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Bobby V for bench coach!

  2. uyf1950 - Oct 6, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Good for him. Obviously he missed managing and the Indians got themselves a good man.

    • bigharold - Oct 6, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      Perhaps but I don’t think that Francona is the best choice for the Indians, .. nor are the Indians the best choice for Francona.

      Francona, much like Torre is a people and situation manager. Their forte is managing the players egos, .. the media and the ancillary hoopla that goes along with managing a MLB team. Especially in a big market. I like Francona bit he’s not an Xs and Os guy, .. he’s not a inspirational type. He won’t make the Indians more than what their roster says they are.

      Like Torre at Atlanta and St Louis or even Francanoa at Phily, .. without the talent he will not be successful. So the question is do the Indians have he talent. I think the answer is no.

      But, .. you are certainly a class act so Good Luck Tito!

  3. btwicey - Oct 6, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Awesome signing !! Well done Cleveland !!

  4. Bryz - Oct 6, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    As a Twins fan… damn.

  5. dondada10 - Oct 6, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Best move I can remember the Indians making in a long, long time.

  6. trollintrollintrollin - Oct 6, 2012 at 5:19 PM

  7. mikeinthevine - Oct 6, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    There was a time as a life long Indians fan I would have been ecstatic. He may be a great manager but with this ownership it won’t matter. The Dolans can’t/won’t spend the money to get the players they need to compete. This was strictly a diversion to take the heat off of the putrid ownership and front office. Until that bunch is gone, it doesn’t matter.

    • paperlions - Oct 6, 2012 at 5:30 PM

      Sadly, this is true. They don’t have the talent on the MLB roster to win, and they don’t have any potential impact players close to the majors. It isn’t clear at all how this team could possibly be competitive in the next 5 years.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 6, 2012 at 5:36 PM

        Ugh, these numbers are pathetic:
        [total salary expenditures by year]
        2012: $ 65,430,300
        2011: $ 49,426,567
        2010: $ 61,453,967
        2009: $ 81,579,166
        2008: $ 78,970,066
        2007: $ 61,673,267
        2006: $ 56,031,500
        2005: $ 41,502,500
        2004: $ 34,319,300
        2003: $ 48,584,834
        2002: $ 78,909,499
        2001: $ 93,360,000
        2000: $ 76,500,000

        So Larry Dolan takes over the franchise in ’00, bumps up the payroll by ~20%, then slashes it all the way down to $34M!( 1/3 the payroll of ’01), and has never brought it back to that level? Must be nice pocketing all that revenue sharing money from the league.

        http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/?page_id=114

      • indaburg - Oct 6, 2012 at 10:50 PM

        It’s not how much you spend, it’s how smart you spend. The Indians just don’t spend smart. (Seriously, $3 million for Casey Kotchman?) Just look at the A’s. They spent $49,137,500 in 2012, dead last. It has worked out pretty good for them so far.

        Out of the top five spending teams, four are sitting at home. Develop, scout, and research. As they say in business, if you can’t outspend them, outsmart them.

        I know Cleveland has been burned many times before–is there a more sports forsaken city?–but keep the faith. Francona could go just about anywhere he wanted, and he picked Cleveland. Something must be in the works.

      • paperlions - Oct 7, 2012 at 12:49 AM

        Agreed. The problem is that Cleveland doesn’t spend….or do anything particularly smart (except when they deal with Ned Colleti, and he makes everyone appear smart when they trade with him).

  8. blantoncollier - Oct 6, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    This is a no lose for Francona.

    If the Indians somehow win–he is brilliant.
    If they dont, he moves on with all of MLB knowing no one can win with the Dolan’s as owners.

    The Dolan’s are quickly becoming the Donald Sterlings of baseball……

    • bigharold - Oct 6, 2012 at 7:01 PM

      Perhaps Indian fans should wish for them to become the Frank and Jamie McCourt of baseball. Then at some point they’d be forced to sell and the Indian’s likely would get an owner that gives a crap.

      It’s like Lotto, .. hey you never know.

  9. tashkalucy - Oct 6, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Between 1997-2000, Francona won 68, 75, 77 and 65 games with the Philadelphia Phillies.

    The Indians ownership and front office are far worse then what he had in Philly – example – in the 20 years since they drafted Manny Rameriz, the 2 best OF’s the Indians have drafted are Ben Francisco and Trevor Crowe (now in the minors with the Angles, they bypassed OF Jacoby Ellsbury to snag Crowe).

    Obviously Terry knows much more as a manager then he did when he was with the Phillies. But Casey Stengel moved from the Yankees to the talent-less Mets, and he set a record for losses his first year. The Indians have terrible players – starting with 2 true major league pitchers – Masterson and Jiminez – #3 and #4 pitchers at best. In all national articles, the Indians do not place one player in the ‘Top 100 Minor League Prospects’.

    Perplexed as to why Terry walked into this. He could have waited and gotten a good job with a solid organization – unless there is something about him that we don’t know.

    • inter05 - Oct 6, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      I don’t disagree with most of your post, except for the Indians having no talent in the farm system. It’s definitely not top heavy, but they’ve got a number of guys in the lower levels that are likely to crack the top 100 before next season (not to mention Francisco Lindor was top-20 almost everywhere in 2012).

      • paperlions - Oct 7, 2012 at 12:51 AM

        Lindor is really all they’ve got right now…..and he finished the year where? Low A ball?

    • schlom - Oct 6, 2012 at 6:03 PM

      Wait, are you saying that Francona was only a great manager because he was on a team with a ton of talent? Inconceivable!

  10. clevelandschronic2 - Oct 6, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    “O no we suck again” o wait we’ve sucked forever n day now. Dolans blow shapiro blows antonetti blows and as a result francona and the indians will blow. Did i forget to mention how the indians blow??

  11. jason9696 - Oct 6, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    I would have loved to see Francona with my Jays.

    • Kevin Gillman - Oct 6, 2012 at 7:04 PM

      You might see Sandy Alomar, Jr. instead, and that’s not a bad thing either. I hope we keep him as a bench coach, but I doubt it. He’s ready to manage, now.

  12. goawaydog - Oct 6, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    The Rangers should have called

  13. Fink - Oct 6, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Once again, reporting just for the sake of reporting. Francona was quoted as saying the report was premature, and when there is a decision to make, he’ll make it. Obviously, he is not all that eager to jump into bed in the mistake by the lake, and will wait for better opportunities….as he should. Sorry Cleveland, but you could do a lot worse than Alomar. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, and no, I am not being sarcastic.

    • contraryguy - Oct 6, 2012 at 8:23 PM

      well as of 8:20pm ET, the ABC/ESPN crawl on the football game I’m watching (OSU/Neb) says that Francona has been hired. I guess you can dip a toe in the water, or jump into the breaking-news pool headfirst.

      I like the hire, but as others have said, Francona has a tough job ahead of him. The Cleveland farm system has pretty much been looted by now, presumably they’ll have a high draft pick in the coming year but they need a lot of warm (and healthy) bodies to rebuild this squad.

  14. mikeinthevine - Oct 6, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Looks like a lot of media outlets are reporting just to report. Every one I’ve seen says it’s a done deal. Supposedly, Sandy Alomar has already been told that he didn’t get the job. Another dog and pony show by the Indians front office.

  15. j0esixpack - Oct 6, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    I’m eating fried chickens and drinking beer in honor of Francona tonight

    Cleveland got themselves a good manager.

  16. keithj1964 - Oct 7, 2012 at 6:40 AM

    As others have stated, Francona will leave in disgust after a couple seasons at best…if not fired. The ownership cares nothing about winning. From their actions over the past years, they only have the team o be considered something akin to a tax loss. They aren’t in it to win a championship. In fact, they remind me of the owner in “Major League” who just wanted the team to lose. The farm system has consistently brought up terrific talent…onl to be traded away after they have a season or two to show off their skills and value.

    To the Dolans I say this: Get Francona who he needs to win and forget the cost. If they win, you’ll recoup ten times more than you spend on the good players. If you aren’t willing to do that, then please tell everyone what we already suspect – that you don’t give a damn for Cleveland, for Ohio,or the fans.

  17. godsmacked1 - Oct 7, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    A good man takes a bad job. He should have waited until after the WS to make his choice. Dolan/Shapiro/Antonetti do not have a clue. They say their plan is to scout, develop talent internally and spend wisely and for 11 years they have failed miserably at each aspect. The Great Baseball God in the Sky couldn’t win in Cleveland with these 3 knuckleheads in charge.

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