The Cleveland Indians formally introduced Terry Francona as their 42nd manager Monday morning in a press conference at Progressive Field. The club came to an agreement Saturday with Francona on a four-year deal.
Speaking to the press, Francona stated that earning the trust of his players is paramount to have any chance at success and that he knows challenges lie ahead for the franchise, but that he is excited to take them on, per the Plain Dealer:
Tito: "Dealing with players is fun. Dealing with young players is even more fun.""We're going to compete."— Dennis Manoloff (@dmansworldpd) October 8, 2012
Francona made sure to clarify that he is not a "rental manager" by stating that he did not come to Cleveland "to go to pasture". He also emphasized the large role that GM Chris Antonetti and team president Mark Shapiro played in convincing him to take the job. He served as a special assistant to then-general manager Shapiro in 2001, and has close ties with Antonetti.
The only other candidate interviewed for the Tribe’s open managerial position was longtime Indians catcher Sandy Alomar Jr., who has served on Cleveland’s staff since 2010. Francona has offered Alomar a position on his coaching staff for the upcoming season, but Alomar has yet to respond to the request.
Francona won two World Series titles in eight years as the manager of the Boston Red Sox and has a 1,029-915 won-loss record in 12 seasons as a big league manager. He will wear uniform number 33 as manager of the team with whom his father Tito spent six seasons as a player.