Cleveland Indians Name Terry Francona As New Manager

Former Boston Red Sox skipper Terry Francona is the new manager of the Cleveland Indians. Francona, who has been working the booth for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, was dismissed by the Sox after the famous (or infamous) 2011 September collapse.

A formal press conference is scheduled for tomorrow at Progressive Field.

Considered a player’s manager, Francona takes over another underperforming team in the Indians. After suffering a major collapse in the second half of the 2012 season, the Cleveland Indians (with an overall win-loss record of 68-94), fired manager Manny Acta and appointed Sandy Alomar to run things for the final six games. Francona and Alomar were apparently the only two candidates for the Indians job on a permanent basis.

Francona, 53, who has managerial experience with the Phillies as well as the Red Sox, also has roots in the Cleveland organization, ESPN reports:

“After [Francona] was fired as Philadelphia’s manager, he worked in Cleveland’s front office as an adviser in 2001. He also spent a portion of the 1988 season on Cleveland’s major league roster and his father, Tito, played with the Indians from 1959-64. Francona has stayed close with Indians president Mark Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti over the past decade.”

Francona has a 1029–915 record as a big league manager (.529). He managed the Phillies for four season and the Red Sox for eight, leading Boston to World Series victories in 2004 and 2007. Francona, who shares the “Tito” nickname with his dad, played for several MLB teams as an outfielder and first basemen from 1981 to 1990.

Terry Francona’s new job creates a vacancy in the ESPN booth, but it appears highly unlikely that after his unsuccessful one-year tenure as manager of the Red Sox, Bobby Valentine will get his ESPN job back. Francona and Valentine in essence switched jobs in the 2012 season.

[Image credit: Keith Allison]