Terry Francona will take over the managerial position for the Cleveland Indians in 2013 after spending one seasons as an analyst for ESPN in 2012. The two-time World Series champion manager of the Boston Red Sox has the credentials, but is there more to success in Cleveland than a resume?
After going 68-94 and finishing 20 games back of the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers, there may be a learning curve and patience needed, not only by Francona, but the fans of the Tribe.
Francona has the accolades to bring immediate excitement to Cleveland, but his 12-year managerial career isn't filled with fairytale endings. In four seasons in Philadelphia, the Phillies were just 285-363 (.440), falling short of the playoffs and a winning record over his time in "The City of Brotherly Love." The Boston Red Sox missed the playoffs in three of Francona's eight seasons, although his teams never won fewer than 86 games in a season, averaging 93 wins per season.
However, Francona does not have the massive payrolls or the talent in Cleveland that he had in Boston. He does not have the large, passionate fanbase that comes along with Philadelphia. The Cleveland Indians drew just over 1.6 million fans over 81 home games in 2012, 13th out of 14 American League teams, while their payroll was 10th in the AL ($78,430,300).
How can "Tito" thrive in his first season in Cleveland? Can he overcome the failures and collapses that have occurred in the second half the last two seasons?
Here you'll find several keys to Terry Francona's first season in Cleveland.