As hard as it might be for sentimental Cleveland Indians fans to move on from the era of Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner, there are two things that seem to be getting the fan base fired up for the next generation: The pair of World Series rings owned by new manager Terry Francona.
The once-beloved Red Sox manager returns to the dugout with the Indians one season removed from his tumultuous exit from Boston. He brings with him a strong track record of success, including the two championships and five playoff appearances in eight seasons with the Red Sox.
Francona, who replaced Manny Acta in Cleveland, has garnered a reputation in recent years as the definitive players' manager -- that is, a manager players respect and enjoy playing for due to a somewhat hands off approach and loyalty to his players. The Red Sox decided not to pick up Francona's contract option following the 2011 season due to the team's late-season meltdown and a perception of too much freedom in the clubhouse.