What Indians Fans Need to Know About Terry Francona

This guest post was written by Michael Hare of leaguepitchingmachines.com, a pitching machine and batting cage company based out of Rochester, NY. Michael is passionate about the game of baseball and is thrilled to contribute to The Tribe Daily. Follow his site on Twitter @leaguebaseball.

The latest in Cleveland Indians news is that Terry Francona has been hired as manager. It’s certain that he’s respected, and it’s certain he has a history—he’s been with ESPN, the Red Sox (leading the team to 2004 and 2007 World Series events), and the Phillies. So, what do fans really need to know about Terry Francona?

Baseball is Francona’s life. His major league career saw Francona playing first base and outfield from 1981-1990, and after retiring became a minor league coach. He took his first Majors coaching job with the Detroit Tigers in ’96 as a third base coach. At the end of that season, he left for the Phillies, and was let go after the millennial season. He spent a year in Cleveland’s front office then before a year with the Rangers and a year with the A’s. He became a manager for the Red Sox in 2004. He remained with the Sox through 2011, and boasts an impressive career there including two World Series, although his last year saw a major collapse of the team. He’s spent the interim of his time as an ESPN analyst.

The Indians are in his blood. In addition to his year-long stint in the front office, Francona’s dad, Tito Francona--a southpaw who played major league ball for 15 total seasons-- played for the Cleveland Indians for six of those seasons; at one time, he held the highest batting average in the majors.

Francona already has a strong relationship with Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti. It’s been mentioned that there’s even a clause in his contract that gives him the option to leave if the two are dismissed. This creates a bond among the three that is undeniable and quite possibly unprecedented.

He’s the Indians first manager with a World Series Ring. The Indians are in need of proven and experienced leadership, and Terry Francona has the background and reputation to back up the decision that made him the Indians’ newest manager. He also brings a sense of relevance that the Indians may have lacked—after all, this transition has the world watching.

So, what lies in store for the Indians and Terry Francona? The truth is only time will tell, but Francona knows as well as anyone in the box or the stands that there’s plenty of potential – and plenty of expectations.

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