About a year ago, the Boston Red Sox, then piloted by long-time skipper Terry Francona, were about to conclude an epic collapse that saw them play their way right out of playoff contention. Now that the Bobby Valentine edition of the Boston Red Sox have failed just as notably, so notably that the proud franchise was forced to start something of a rebuilding process, it might be a good opportunity for Francona to get a fresh start elsewhere as a manager.
A managerial vacancy has recently opened in Cleveland, as the Indians announced the firing of Manny Acta on Thursday, and it’s rumored that both parties have an interest in the other. Reportedly, Francona will even be interviewing for the job within the next week.
Whoever inherits the Indians will have his hands full in 2013. Currently, Cleveland is battling it out with the Twins to determine who can avoid finishing in last place. While the teams came into play today sporting identical 66-91 records, the Indians have a much worse run differential (minus-170, second-worst in baseball behind only the Astros), and have gone just 22-50 since the All-Star break.
The team’s sole position player with any amount of plate appearances this season with an OPS over .800 is Shin-Soo Choo, whose strong bounce back effort is one of the few bright spots of the season. Of the five pitchers who have thrown at least 100 innings for Cleveland this year, four of them have an ERA over 5.00.
In short, it’s been a season the organization would love to forget. Whether the team chooses to go with Francona to replace Acta or not, the Indians will need to make some changes to compete in the coming seasons.