The Cleveland Indians confirmed on Friday that former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona and current interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr. are the only candidates they are currently considering for the managerial position.
“We’ll acknowledge both of those guys,” general manager Chris Antonetti said on the team’s website. “Beyond that, we won’t acknowledge other names.”
Makes sense, really, what with the Indians being the worst team in the American League. Don’t want to give the opposition any edge as managers fight among themselves to land an interview time with the club.
Francona admitted on Friday that he will come to town for an interview.
“I actually speak to Chris from time to time,” Francona told MLB.com. “We’ve been friends a long time. But I have spoken to him about the job, and at some point I’m going to come in and interview for the job.”
Francona won two World Series during his eight years as manager of the Red Sox and spent this past season as an analyst with ESPN after being fired by Boston.
“I wouldn’t come in an interview if I wasn’t interested,” Francona said. “They have some things to get in order. I know Sandy Alomar is also a candidate and I’m sure they’ll be doing their homework.”
Francona has ties to the Indians; he played 62 games for the team in 1988, batting .311, and worked as a special assistant to Mark Shapiro in 2001 when Shapiro was the Tribe’s general manager.
All that probably doesn’t mean anything. It will be a huge shock if the Indians don’t make Alomar the permanent manager. He will come cheap, which obviously will be a selling point for the Dolans, plus as a “fan favorite” from the teams of the late 1990s, he will appease the mob.
After all, after cameos from Jim Thome and Kenny Lofton, and the upcoming retirement of Omar Vizquel, the Tribe doesn’t have anyone left from those teams to bring back to sell tickets and help distract fans from the on-field performance of the current team.
That’s one edge that Francona won’t be able to overcome. We were there in the 1980s and, trust us, no one is nostalgic about those days.