Terry Francona has been keeping the Cleveland Indians in the race for the American League playoffs under remarkable circumstances. He’s had to have his team playing as hot as anyone in MLB for the last several weeks and the Indians have done that. They definitely look to be on their way to securing a Wild Card spot, a prospect that wouldn’t have seemed possible a month ago.
Francona had nothing to prove when he came to the Indians. He already had impressive credentials with the Boston Red Sox. But after the Red Sox collapsed late in the 2011 season, all he had done for the franchise was forgotten. The Indians were more than willing to welcome Francona into their dugout and probably have exceeded all expectations by even the most diehard fans’ standards this season.
Ironcially, it’s the Red Sox who will probably deprive Francona of the AL Manager of the Year honor for which he deserves strong consideration.
John Farrell has done a remarkable job in taking Boston to first place that it’s hard to argue against him for the award. Francona is just as deserving, but various circumstances will probably tip the scales to Farrell. It would be ironic if the two teams met in the playoffs, which could still happen.
That doesn’t omit the fact that Francona has still done a remarkable job at Cleveland. Even if the Indians don’t make the playoffs, Francona’s performance is one of the top managerial stories of the 2013 season. It’s never been simple being manager of the Indians, but Francona is making it look easy.