Cleveland Indians: Terry Francona or Sandy Alomar Jr. for Manager?

Tuesday October 2nd, 2012

Jake Dal Porto:  The Cleveland Indians began their expected renovations early on Thursday, firing manager Manny Acta with just six games left in the season. Acta was at the helm of a team that currently holds a 67-93 record, and more simply, a mess. Acta, who managed the Nationals for three years (2007-2009), also managed Cleveland for nearly three years as well, though never did he lead them to a winning season. In fact, he has never managed a team that has finished the regular season with a winning record, period. So it’s safe to say that he has dealt with some pretty bad clubs, and the Indians of 2012 were just another one of those clubs.

With Acta out of the picture, the Indians have to find a new manager to take on their mess. That will be much easier said than done, but the two early front-runners appear to be former Red Sox manager Terry Francona and assistant coach Sandy Alomar Jr. whose currently serving as the interim manager. With those two, the Indians have two very worthy candidates with two very different managerial portfolios.

During his eight year tenure with the Sox, Francona was an icon in Boston. He led the Sox to two world champions, but was fired after last year’s September collapse. In spite of his firing, he has a career .529 winning percentage in 12 years at the helm. While Alomar certainly can’t match him in terms of experience, he might be a better fit for an inexperienced Indians’ club.

Francona won’t be craved by just the Indians in the offseason, as an experienced manager like himself is surely to draw some interest. Teams that could be interested in his services include the Blue Jays could, and possibly the Marlins despite signing current manager Ozzie Guillen to a contract through 2015. But Cleveland looks to be the best team he has a chance at getting back into managing with. Yes, it’s not best situation in the world, but it’s a clean slate.

However, the Indians are about to undergo a lengthy rebuilding process. Does Francona really have the patience for this where as Alomar could begin a new era as a first time manager?

Francona would be a better fit for a contender or a team that’s on the verge of becoming a contending team. The problem for him is that there aren’t many of those types of teams looking for a new manager. But the Indians fit neither of those descriptions, and won’t for at least three years. Basically, he won’t be winning anything unless he turns them into one of the “surprising teams” such as the A’s and Orioles this year. Don’t rule that out, but the chances of that happening are slim. Plus given his winning track record, Francona could price himself out of the Indians’ budget. As a novice to the managerial ranks, Alomar may be a more affordable option.

Another factor to consider is that Alomar doesn’t have much experience as a manager. Sure he has coached at the Major League level. Managing though is a much different creature. But don’t be mistaken, he’s more than ready to become one according to multiple sources. He could be the 2013 version of Robin Ventura this year or Mike Matheny. Having experience certainly helps, but some of the better managers in today’s game entered the season with no experience at the helm like the aforementioned Matheny and Ventura. The thing about those two is the way they manage their players, specifically Ventura. Everyone in the clubhouse respects him. Alomar could fit the same bill seeing that he would be a new face.

Whether the Indians with the experienced Francona or Alomar, the choice isn’t going to make a huge impact because the Indians have bigger problems than their manager. Sure, a new life in the dugout could spark something. But ultimately, roster moves is what’s going to reshape this club for the better.

(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)

Jake Dal Porto is a Baseball Writer with MLB reports and a student from the Bay Area. Jake’s favorite sports moment was when the Giants won the World Series back in 2010. He loves to use sabermetrics in his work. He thinks they are the best way to show a player’s real success compared to the basic stats such as ERA, RBIs, and Wins. Jake also enjoys interacting and debating with his readers. Follow him on Twitter:

 

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About Jake Dal Porto

Jake Dal Porto is a student from the Bay Area. He has followed Bay Area sports for years, and enjoys writing about the various Bay Area teams. He is an assistant editor at Golden Gate Sports, and the editor of Blue Man Hoop. If you need to contact Jake, email him: jakedalporto@gmail.com

Posted on October 2, 2012, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. you make some great points in regard to the Indians however it will make no difference who manages thsIndians if they don’t begin to look at how they operate and what kind of product they put out on the fieldIn my view the Indians upper management and Ownership needs to show all that this team can be rebulit and one needs to have some patience .That being said there needs to be some action in regard o playersAnother words Action speaks louder than words perhaps it was time for a change of mangers but one has to admit Manny did well given the players he had to work with.All things considered perhaps Manny is the scapegoat for Team&Organization .Some one has to held reponsible for the failure of this team not to have done better.Without doubt the season was a failure but if it was a team effort all should be held accountable not just the manger and coaches but it much easier to blame the former manger & his coaches.In regard to a new manger anybody that takes that job should get at least a two year contract and some guarantee from. Ownership that that things will be different if this doesn’t happen and I have by doubts it will the story of losing and changing mangers will continue and this situation will remain a disgrace to all of Baseball

  2. I’ve been wondering about Francona’s interest in Cleveland and have broken it down to one of these reasons: 1). He’s using the Indians to drive up other teams interest in him. 2). Because of the way things ended in Boston he’s looking to the Indians job as a chance to redeem his career. 3). He wants to have some say in player development.

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