The Cleveland Indians are sticking with Sandy Alomar for the playoffs as Terry Francona has been ruled out for a return to the club.
The Cleveland Indians are going to be without Terry Francona for the playoffs, and that’s ok. Francona is a great manager, but with his recent health issues and Sandy Alomar’s performance as a manager, opting to go with Alomar for the postseason was the right move. Unless we’re speaking health-wise, there is no reason to even think about replacing Francona long term. Alomar has done a great job, a really great job, and has earned the right to guide this team through the playoffs.
Indians’ team President Chris Antonetti spoke about why the decision was made before throwing his full confidence behind Alomar staying in control of the team. Speaking to the media, Antonetti mentioned that the decision had more to do with Francona’s health and less to do with Alomar’s performance; though he did praise Alomar’s performance as interim manager.
"Tito continues his recovery but is not yet physically able to manage the team. …We are incredibly grateful and thankful to have Sandy. He’s selflessly stepped into the role and has done an extraordinary job leading us this season. We’re looking forward to his leadership throughout the postseason."
Health call or not, this was the right call. With Francona, as mentioned before, there’s always the possibility this early back that he could see himself miss some time here or there. That’s the last thing you want, as contingency, especially in this season, is so important to a baseball team’s success. Having someone on the edge of the bench that you know is going to be there (for the most part) is such a welcoming thought.
Alomar is also going to take over a club eventually as a full-time manager. It might be next season in Cleveland if Francona opts to retire, or is forced to miss more time. It might be somewhere else depending on who comes calling and what they offer. This is an invaluable experience for the long-time Indians player and coach.
Win or lose, let’s see what Alomar can do.