CLEVELAND: Terry Francona is getting back with one of his baseball families.
Francona, who guided the Boston Red Sox to two World Series titles, has been named manager of the Indians, a team that collapsed in the second half this season after a promising first four months.
The 53-year-old will be introduced as the Indians’ 42nd manager during a Monday news conference at Progressive Field.
The Indians chose Francona over Sandy Alomar Jr., who served as the club’s interim manager for the final six games after Manny Acta was fired on Sept. 27. Francona and Alomar, who spent the past three seasons as a coach for the Indians, were the only candidates to interview for the Indians’ opening. Alomar has been offered a spot on Francona’s staff, most likely as bench coach.
The Indians have always held a special place for Francona. After he was fired as the Philadelphia Phillies’ manager, he worked in the Indians’ front office as an adviser in 2001.
He also spent a portion of the 1988 season on the Indians’ 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 during the past decade. He said the chance to work with them again is what intrigued him most about the Indians job.
“It’s a good story, almost a family feeling,” Francona said after his interview on Friday. “I don’t think you can take a job because of that, but it still means a lot to me. Because of Chris and Mark and my relationship, I am excited to try to tackle, or attempt to tackle, every challenge that comes our way and do it together.”
Francona interviewed with the Indians one day after Alomar, a six-time All-Star catcher for the Indians. Alomar managed the Indians to a 3-3 record after Acta was dismissed. Alomar will likely be courted by other teams seeking a manager. He interviewed with the Red Sox last year before they hired Bobby Valentine.
Francona spent eight seasons with the Red Sox but was not brought back after the club fell apart down the stretch in 2011. This season, Francona worked as an analyst for ESPN and said it was while preparing for broadcasts that he realized how much he missed managing and being around players.
Francona has managed for 12 seasons in the majors, compiling a 1,029-915 record.