There seem to be murmurings about Terry Francona’s long-term future with the Cleveland Guardians.
I’m very pro-Cleveland Guardians. I like most of this team and think they’re going in the right direction. I’m ok with trading away guys like Shane Bieber and other past stars, as it makes the team better long-term and that’s my goal as a fan, that this team is good long-term.
The end of the Charlie Manuel and the beginning of the Edge Wedge years were rough. Made worse by the post-Wedge, Manny Acta-era. That near-decade of baseball was roast-butt save for two seasons. I will do whatever it takes to avoid ever relying on guys like Matt LaPorta to save the franchise ever again.
This era of Guardians baseball only works with guys like Chris Antonetti and Terry Francona leading the way. Well, maybe not only, but I’m most comfortable with the Antonetti and Francona leadership dynamic the most.
That’s why a new owner scares me, this team is well run despite the financial limitations that playing in Cleveland brings. So as long as we have clever and smart leaders, this team is going to be fine.
So with the talk of Francona’s health and his long-term viability, I’m wondering if this team can survive without him.
The Cleveland Guardians have solid names behind Terry Francona
I think it’s very hard to get into “Greatest Manager of All-Time” debates to begin with. It’s not as easy as being a head football coach, as baseball has a much high expected failure rate. Think about it, a reliever who gives up two runs a game is great, and a player that fails two-thirds of the time is an All-Star. That type of math doesn’t work in the NBA or NFL.
So being a great manager is not always about being smarter than the other guy, it’s about knowing your team the best, not so much the strategies of the game. So to even say that Francona is in discussion for best manager of all time is enough to show his value to any team that has him.
He may very well be the best manager the game has ever seen but that’s a different debate. Regardless of where he falls exactly, he at least falls into the conversation. So replacing him would always be a monumental task.
That said, and while he isn’t on Francona’s level (yet), the Guardians do have options to replace Francona should the Guardians’ greatest manager ever decide he’s done. That man is none other than another Guardians legend; Sandy Alomar Jr.
Alomar has been headhunted by other teams for their managerial positions but he always declines. He clearly loves Cleveland, and why shouldn’t he, he was the team’s best catcher in 40 years.
Clearly, he likes the area, and I would hazard a guess that he’s next in line for the job. Maybe not officially but he keeps turning down other jobs; why would he do that if he doesn’t have some assurance that he’ll get the reigns eventually?
While a post-Francona squad is scary to think about, having a guy like Alomar take over would be acceptable. That doesn’t mean things will go just as smoothly but eventually, we’ll have to move on from Francona, so why not Alomar?