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Terry Francona: “It’s been more rewarding than I anticipated”

“A lot of people said, ‘What are you doing?’ My answer was they didn’t know me as well as I thought because this was the place I wanted to come. If anything it’s been better than I anticipated. I relish the idea of working for Chris Antonetti and Mark Shapiro and the front office. It’s been more rewarding than I anticipated.”

— Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, in response to a Philadelphia reporter on Tuesday who asked again about his decision to come and manage in Ohio. Many have questioned Francona’s decision since it was announced back in October last year. With his team’s 5-3 win at Kansas City on Tuesday night, Francona’s Indians are now 82-69 and just one-half game back of both American League wild card spots. The team finished with a 68-94 record just one season ago. Francona will likely be a leading candidate for AL Manager of the Year, perhaps trailing new Red Sox skipper and former Cleveland front office executive John Farrell.

[Related: See, it is not just a Cleveland Problem!]

  • mgbode

    “It’s been more rewarding than I anticipated.”

    for us too. and kudos for treating last night like a playoff game. multiple pinch-runners/hitters. playing the splits on everything. it was enjoyable to see the wheels grinding out that win.

  • MrCleaveland

    He broke the Curse of the Bambino, so maybe he can break the Curse of Rocky Colavito.

  • JK

    Holy Sh*t. I never even thought about this.

  • But what about the Curse of Chief Wahoo?

  • Harv 21

    and with that a strong sailor’s knot secured the immediate futures of Shapiro and Antonetti.

    Ok then, guys, you’re safe for now. But don’t think it frees you from figuring out this drafting/development thing. This is still honeymoon season talk, and Francona will surely lose the warm fuzzies in future years if you don’t start pumping out really good position players, on a regular basis, from within.

  • mgbode

    hey, I’m all for going with the yellow Chief Wahoo with which we won the ’48 championship. maybe we could beat the Braves for the WS this year, get them back for ’95, and really get the over-sensitive PC police angry. wins all-around 🙂

  • mgbode

    it’s interesting though how Oakland and Cleveland have built their teams in almost identical ways. speed, OF-defense, starting pitching. all done through low-budget FA and mid-level trades.

  • mgbode

    hmmm…..going to TB. Of their 9 regular starting position players, here is who they actually drafted & developed:
    Longoria, Zobrist, D.Jennings

    from outside the organization:
    Myers, Loney, Escobar, K.Johnson, M.Joyce

    of course, it’s their pitching is where they make their bones with Price, Moore, Hellickson, Cobb (and, of course, Shields & W.Davis helping them net Myers)

    just don’t look at who drafted Archer.

  • Sign me up!

  • Steve

    Had me until the “overly sensitive” part. No need to insult the people you disagree with, especially when theyre trying to eliminate blatant racism.

  • Bob T

    Had to look it up…traded Archer for Derosa, who we later traded for Chris Perez. Not as bad as I had feared, but still! UGH!

  • Steve

    Their future already was secure because that is the kind of respect they garner in MLB circles. You know, the people who understand the circumstances they are in, and the decisions they have to deal with, better than fickle fanbases.

  • mgbode

    and I take saying that a cartoon is blatant racism as an insult much more than saying someone is over-sensitive. either way, I hope it becomes a hot national topic over the next month because that means the Indians are making noise in October!!!!

  • mgbode

    hey, he’s only team-controlled through 2019

  • Steve

    “cartoon is blatant racism” – see little black sambo. Just because you don’t take something seriously doesn’t mean it the prejudices that created it aren’t a serious problem.

  • mgbode

    it is my belief that alot of the people that believe they are doing “good” by bringing up past racism are actually being a detriment to becoming a society that does not care about race.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The Browns need to hire him because they have a few curses!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    C’mon man!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I still wish the Indians had made a couple moves at the deadline.

  • JK

    My false hope is now at an all time high.

  • JK

    I’d rather beat the Reds…

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You can’t sweat Archer I mean look how long it’s taken him. I guess in a way we should be happy the Indians drafted him even though he’s doing well with another team. At least it shows they weren’t completely lost drafting.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Thank you for reminding who you are Steve Dolan!!!

  • JK

    Luke Fickle Fanbases are the worst Steven. Let’s talk about attendance or something, I have 5 more hours to burn at work.

  • mgbode

    good point. And, as a part-Irishman whose family came over to the USA as RedLegs (which was the derogatory term for those indentured servants at the time), I wouldn’t really have extra caring about that part of it.

    but, as a Cleveland sports fan, I would love to beat our little brother city to the South.

  • JK

    Hear that Steven?? The Reds are racist too!!!!

  • Steve

    I actually quite enjoy them. My twitter feed at 9 PM went from “screw this team” to people wanting to be the pilot of the bandwagon by 11 PM. Fickle fans entertain the hell out of me, but they sure as hell don’t know how to run a team.

  • Steve

    People are trying to eliminate past racism, not bring it up. And how nice for a certain section of the population to not have to care about how race affects them.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Well I was commenting more on you missing the curse connection.

  • Steve

    They certainly chose a poor name when trying to avoid the communism scare. At least they didn’t have the gall to keep the name and go “neener-neerer” at anyone who was offended by it.

  • mgbode

    are you now trying to say that Indian is a racist term? American Indian is an official designation and growing to be the preferred term:

    from the NMoAI:

    What is the correct terminology: American Indian, Indian, Native American, or Native?

    All of these terms are acceptable. The consensus, however, is that whenever possible, Native people prefer to be called by their specific tribal name. In the United States, Native American has been widely used but is falling out of favor with some groups, and the terms American Indian or indigenous American are preferred by many Native people.

  • mgbode

    also, their mascot is called Mr. Redlegs and you can still fidn plenty of Redleg insignia through the team:

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/fan_forum/mr_redlegs.jsp

    Redlegs Run is an annual team-sponsored event as well:

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/community/race.jsp

  • mgbode

    also, their mascot is called Mr. Redlegs and you can still fidn plenty of Redleg insignia through the team:

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/fan_forum/mr_redlegs.jsp

    Redlegs Run is an annual team-sponsored event as well:

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/community/race.jsp

  • mgbode

    and again, who cares. noone comes up to me and says Redlegs in a derogatory fashion because it is no longer a derogatory term. but, I do find it hilarious that they put an italian “mario-style” cartoon mustache on their mascot that has Irish heritage.

  • Steve

    No, I’m saying that the name and logo were chosen under some racist and very ugly pretenses. That right there is enough to part ways with them.

  • Steve

    I’m perfectly fine with dumping Mr. Redlegs as well.

  • Steve

    Who cares? The people that have seen the effects of prejudice because of race.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Hey…leave the WOPs out of it!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I downloaded the app Ballpark Empire and let me tell you…I can run a team!

  • mgbode

    I have not heard of any of the former indentured Irish servants forming protests over Mr. Redlegs, which is where that ‘who cares’ was directed.

  • mgbode

    you keep creating strawmen and attacking them diligently.

    I do agree that these people are trying to eliminate past racism. There’s a tiny issue with it though. You cannot eliminate past racism. It’s impossible to eliminate anything that happened in the past unless you are Michael J Fox and own a DeLorean.

  • Matthew Grant Anson

    100 percent agree with Steve. The name of the team is iffy, but the logo is absolutely racist and a product of racism. Take note that it is almost always white people that plea that racism not be brought up. And then take note that just as frequently, the fall back is to bring up the way Irish people were treated. The difference is that discrimination against Irish people was comparatively brief compared to the on-going discrimination and institutionalized racism affecting actual minorities.

  • mgbode

    it’s also white people that bring up racism on the other side too.

    I do like how you get to decide who are actual minorities and which groups have on-going discrimination and institutionalized racism. and, honestly, in the end, I think it is more of a “class” thing than a “race” thing (those in power get to call the shots regardless of race. one of the beauties and pitfalls of our country. a pitfall because having the power can lead to discrimination if that power is left unchecked).

    i am all for doing a real study (not the SI one) into how american indians really feel about all of this stuff though. the problem is that it has become so political that it will be tough to get a fair study done and even more difficult to get one treated honestly once it is done as people will pick it apart regardless of intent (who do you include? only American Indians that still live on Indian soil? a certain percentage of heritage? how to frame the questions? et cetera).

  • Matthew Grant Anson

    That’s all well and good if you are ignoring the obvious link between race and class. I’m not sure how you could expect to present the Chief Wahoo logo to a Native American and have them say no, I’m good with that. The idea — even setting aside the SI poll — that we “don’t know” how Native Americans feel about teams and logos is a myth. http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/fandom/post/_/id/18144/native-americans-speak-on-sports-imagery

  • mgbode

    yes, I have read the panels and follow the NMoAI papers that get published. The panel that was set there was of those who would like to stop such practices. It is an important voice and I am glad it was done. However, the Chippewa, Seminole and other tribes continue to voice their idea that it is not an abolishment of these names but a synergy that should be attempted to be reached. Have teams like Atlanta, Cleveland, and such work with local tribes to add to the historical signficance and put education pieces in their ballparks.

    additionally, yes, I have seen American Indians wear a Chief Wahoo hat. I have also seen some who hate it. That’s why I would like to get unbiased study to see the overall percentages because each of our experiences is only a small subsection.

    in the end, I’d actually prefer the team be called the Fellers (out of respect to our greatest player), but that’s just me and has little to do with our imagery.

  • Matthew Grant Anson

    I don’t personally care what the team is called…The Fellers or Naps or Spiders would be cool.

  • mgbode

    as if on queue. Rick Reilly pens an article depicting some of the Tribes who want to keep American Indian imagery in sports:

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9689220/redskins-name-change-not-easy-sounds

    he goes way too far, but he does demonstrate that there are many American Indian Tribes/Schools who use the same names and wear them with pride.

  • Matthew Grant Anson

    I think this column is bizarre. This logic says that because blacks can use the n-word, whites should be able to as well.

  • mgbode

    it shows there are many Tribes who do not find the word offensive. And, if we do need to go to the “n” word, then I think that it is fair to say that less people would use the word if it was considered off limits for all.

    note: I have never seen a school mascot for predominantly black schools have the “n” word emblazoned across their chest.

  • Matthew Grant Anson

    I don’t think “less people” should use the word…I just think non-blacks should not. I don’t think white people have a place telling blacks the words they can and cannot use. And actually, the article shows that many tribes do not find the word offensive — when they themselves use it. There is a major distinction and it’s disappointing to me that Rick wouldn’t realize this.