When Bill Bender (@BillBender92) released his top 25 active coaches list, it was easy to guess some of the names: Greg Popovich of the Spurs, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, Nick Saban of Alabama, and Tom Izzo of Michigan State were pretty easy guesses; however, Terry Francona ranked at No.12 on the list.
— Sporting News MLB (@SN_Baseball) July 17, 2014
Francona is a two-time World Series champion as a manager, having ended “The Curse of the Bambino” in Boston when the Red Sox won their first title since 1918 in 2004, only to win another in 2007 and again last season. Francona was let go after the 2011 from Boston, returning to the dugout after a one year hiatus with ESPN in 2012, taking over the Cleveland managerial job.
One season in and 92 wins later, Francona has the Indians heading in the right direction, bringing leadership and expectations that weren’t present during the previous regime’s collapses. The Indians sit at .500 at the break, despite some pretty hellacious starting pitching from the non-Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber arms. With some crafty roster management, creative use of the bullpen, and trusting his stars to rebound (thank you for not losing hope in Carlos Santana!), it is no wonder that Francona has the Tribe heading towards another winning season (never mind the up and down nature of the season), which would be Francona’s 10th straight winning season as a manager in the majors.
He ended the drought for the Red Sox, will he do the same for the Indians?