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Published: Saturday, 10/6/2012

Person familiar with decision: Indians pick Francona as manager, work toward contract

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians have picked their next manager. All Terry Francona has to do is sign the contract.

A person familiar with the decision said Cleveland has selected Francona, who won two World Series titles with Boston, to take over a team that collapsed in the second half this season after a promising first four months.

The 53-year-old Francona was offered the Indians' job on Saturday, the person told the Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the sides were still trying to finalize a deal. Francona likely will be introduced at a news conference on Monday.

Francona interviewed with the Indians on Friday, one day after interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr. tried to convince Cleveland's front office that he was ready to take over the club permanently. Alomar managed the Indians to a 3-3 record after Manny Act was fired on Sept. 27.

Francona's impressive resume won over the Indians along with the fact that he had previously worked with the club as an adviser in 2001.

FOXsports.com was the first to report Francona will take the Indians' job.

Alomar, who has spent the past three seasons as a coach in Cleveland, will likely be courted by other teams seeking a manager. He interviewed with Boston last year before the Red Sox hired Bobby Valentine.

Since leaving the Indians, Francona has stayed close with Indians president Mark Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti. Francona's father, Tito, played for Cleveland from 1959-64.

"It's a good story, almost a family feeling," Francona said after his interview on Friday. "I don't think you can take a job because of that, but it still means a lot to me. Because of Chris and Mark and my relationship, I am excited to try to tackle, or attempt to tackle, every challenge that comes our way and do it together."

Francona spent nine seasons with the Red Sox but was not brought back after the club fell apart down the stretch in 2011. This season, Francona worked as an analyst for ESPN and said it was while preparing for broadcasts that he realized how much he missed managing and being around players.



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