Ken Rosenthal, senior baseball writer for FoxSports.com and contributor to MLB on Fox, said today on Twitter that his sources are telling him that Terry Francona will be the next manager of the Cleveland Indians and that the announcement will likely come on Monday. Both Francona and interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr. interviewed for the position this past week after the conclusion of the season and the Indians were satisfied with just speaking to two candidates.
Francona has spent 12 years as a manager, the first four with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1997-2000 and the last eight with the Boston Red Sox from 2004-2011. Francona won two World Series with the Red Sox and has an overall record of 1029-915 as a manager. In his playing days, Francona played 62 games with the Indians during the 1988 season, batting .311. His father, Tito, played 835 games with the Indians from 1959-1964.
The deciding factor for the Indians was likely experience, something Sandy Alomar Jr. does not have. Alomar managed the Indians to a 3-3 record in the final six games, taking over for Manny Acta. Alomar, who served as the bench coach in 2012 for Acta, was the first candidate interviewed by the front office, but the Indians did seem to be pretty intent on going with Francona from the start when his name popped up.
Francona inherits a team that lost 94 games and has lost 90 or more in three of the last four seasons. Francona was let go by the Boston Red Sox following the 2011 season amidst a lot of rumors that some of the team's pitchers were sitting in the clubhouse drinking beer during games. The team also collapsed in the final weeks of the season to miss the playoffs.
Though nothing has been confirmed by the Indians to this point, Rosenthal is a very well-connected reporter and this should be a reputable source. As a result, it's safe to expect a confirmation from someone closer to the Indians and to expect an announcement on Monday.
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