A lot of people in baseball think that Terry Francona is crazy for taking the Indians job, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd). However, the skipper knew that Cleveland was where he wanted to be thanks in large part to his strong relationships with GM Chris Antonetti and president Mark Shapiro. In fact, Tito showed how much he wanted the job by handing the club a 16-page breakdown of their team, the organization, and what he envisions for their future. Earlier this afternoon, the Indians formally introduced Francona as their next manager. Here are some highlights..
- Francona was asked if he came to Cleveland in part because he preferred a smaller market as opposed to his previous stops in Philadelphia and Boston, tweets Alex Speier of WEEI.com. The skipper insisted that he wasn't looking to avoid the pressures of a big market but instead came to Cleveland because he's not "afraid of a challenge." He added that he was treated well by the media in Boston for the most part.
- The skipper said that negotiations for his four-year deal "took about ten minutes", according to Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer (via Twitter).
- Acknowledging the challenge that he will be faced with, Francona said that he's in it for the long haul, Hoynes tweets. "I don't want to be a rental manager. I want to be part of the solution. I want to stick around," said Francona.
- Antonetti and Francona have talked to Sandy Alomar Jr. several times about a coaching job, but Alomar still isn't sure if its a good fit, tweets Hoynes. Meanwhile, Antonetti expects to get calls on Alomar about managerial vacancies this winter (Twitter link).
- Francona plans to keep Justin Masterson in the starting rotation next season, tweets Hoynes. Masterson turned in a 4.93 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 34 starts last season.