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Tuesday Feb.5, 2013
By Larry Myers (Indians Correspondent): Follow @TribeFanz1969
Terry Francona was hired as manager of the Cleveland Indians on October 6, 2012 – and officially took over the team on October 8th. He will be returning to the dugout after a one-year hiatus of managing in baseball and doing sports broadcasting duties. After Manny Acta was let go as manager of the Indians, only two candidates were interviewed. Francona was picked as manager over Sandy Alomar Jr, who has stayed on as Bench Coach under the veteran skipper.
Before we decide if Francona was the right choice as manager of the Indians, we have to look at who the man is. Francona was born April 22, 1959 in South Dakota to former MLB player Tito Francona, (who played from 1956 to 1970). Tito ‘Jr’ played in the Majors himself from 1981 to 1990, including one year with the Indians. During his ten years, Francona played in 708 Games – with a BA of .274, 16 Home Runs and 143 RBI as a utility player . After Francona’s playing days were over, he went on to become a Minor League coach, before finally becoming manager of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1997. During his four years in Philadelphia, his team never finished above fourth place, but Francona helped develop some young players into stars that have turned the Phillies franchise into the winning seasons in 11 out of the 12 years since his departure.
Terry Francona at TribeFest:
Friday October 19th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: The Indians needed a new manager and Terry Francona wanted to get back into managing. A perfect fit? Not yet. But the Indians made a bold move by signing Francona for four years.
For one, it’s saying that the Indians planning on winning over the next four years, because Francona probably wouldn’t just sign with Cleveland if there was no hope that they could be contenders in the near future. Heck, he could probably manage almost any other team he wanted to, at least the ones with openings. But no, he went with the dreadful Indians. That’s saying something, especially considering that Francona is an elite talent evaluator.
Secondly, it’s saying that Cleveland want experience over fresh blood. Sandy Alomar Jr. certainly seemed like the front-runner for the job in the preliminary stages of the searching process. But the prospects of that happening quickly faded as Francona emerged. Read the rest of this entry
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. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday May 27th, 2012
Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): The Cleveland Indians are off to a hot start for the second straight season. Last year it didn’t last… and the team ended up falling apart. What is going to happen this season? Will the pitching stay strong until the end of the season or fall off the map when it most counts? Asdrubal Cabrera has come down with a pulled hamstring in the past week and will be out. This could really end up affecting the team, or he could come back soon and be fine. The thing about a hamstring is that it can be a nagging injury, if it doesn’t fully heal properly. If I’m Manny Acta, I sit Cabrera until he is fully healthy.
To answer some of the above questions, I believe the starting pitching will last past the All-Star Break and the Cleveland Indians will have a shot at the AL Central crown. With Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Masterson, and veteran Derek Lowe the Indians pitching staff is one of the best in its division. Or at least it should be on paper. Derek Lowe with a 3.25 ERA and 6wins has been a horse for the Indians. The biggest surprise thus far for this team is Chris Perez, who has 16 saves in 17 chances. With a sweep of the Tigers this past week, the Indians made a statement in the American League Central. They are ready to show that least year was no fluke and that Cleveland is ready to return to the promised land. The MLB playoffs. With another Wild Card added this year, the Indians have to like their chances at postseason glory. Read the rest of this entry