The Cleveland Indians announced Terry Francona as manager on Monday, and in doing so confirmed that the ex-Boston Red Sox skipper has signed a four-year contract with the team. In speaking with reporters, Francona said that he feels a connection to the franchise thanks to his and his family's history with the Indians:
"I kind of cried a little bit. I didn't want to, but it just happened. You can't take a job because your dad was a good Indian, but it's still a good story. My dad spent six years here, this is my third stint with the Indians, and it's pretty special. It was a little emotional."
Francona played for the Indians near the end of his career in 1988 and spent 2001 as a special assistant to the general manager after being fired as the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. Francona also said in his press conference that he's maintained a relationship with Indians brass Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti:
"We've kept in touch for the last 12 years. I value not only their friendship, but their guidance and leadership. I know we have challenges ahead of us, but I look forward to tackling these challenges together."
This will be the third club Francona has managed, following a disappointing four-year run with the Phillies and a considerably more successful eight-year term with the Red Sox that included two World Series victories. Francona's career record as a manager is 1029-915, good for a .529 winning percentage.
For the Indians, Francona will be the team's third permanent manager in the last 10 seasons. He follows in the footsteps of Eric Wedge and Manny Acta.