The Cleveland Indians are wasting no time filliing their managerial vacancy, and will be hiring former Phillies and Red Sox manager Terry Francona. The news is expected to be announced on Monday. Francona was fired by the Red Sox after the 2011 season when Boston collapsed down the stretch and missed the playoffs, and he spent this season as an analyst with ESPN.
The only two candidates that Cleveland publicly had in mind were Francona and Sandy Alomar Jr, the former Indians catcher and bench coach under fired former manager Manny Acta. Alomar served as the team's interim manager for the final six games this season after Acta was fired, and led the team to a 3-3 record.
By going with Francona, the Indians are hiring a manager that had an extreme amoung of success under intense scrutiny in Boston. In eight years with the Red Sox, Francona won 744 games (second most in team history behind Joe Cronin), two World Championships, and earned five playoff berths with Boston, never winning fewer than 86 games in a season.
In my mind, the most interesting aspect of this hire is the future of Alomar. After getting turned down by Cleveland, Alomar will likely be a hot commodity among other teams that are looking for managers, including the Red Sox and potentially the Marlins, who hired a Latin manager in Ozzie Guillen for the 2012 season that didn't work out very well due to his personality. Alomar could actually be a great fit with Miami as a young, inexperienced manager that could resonate well with the community in South Florida.