CLEVELAND – Terry Francona could have waited to manage somewhere else. At some point, a more talented team in a major market with a massive payroll would make him an offer.
But if he was going back, there was only one team for him.
And when the Cleveland Indians called, Francona was on his way.
I knew it was right for me, he said.
Francona, who led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series titles, was introduced Monday as the new manager of the Indians, who crashed in the second half this season after contending for four months. It’s a family reunion of sorts for Francona, who has ties with the Indians stretching back more than 50 years.
His father, Tito, played six seasons in Cleveland and Francona spent a year working as an assistant in the Indians’ front office.
Francona signed a four-year contract. He hopes to stay even longer.
I don’t want to be a rental manager, he said. I didn’t want to come in worried. I want to be part of the solution. I want to stick around.
With a résumé that includes ending Boston’s 86-year drought between world championships, Francona was chosen over Sandy Alomar Jr., who served as the club’s bench coach before taking over as interim manager for the final six games after Manny Acta was fired.