Found January 28, 2013 on Fox Sports Ohio:
The Indians made a lot of folks sit up when they hired Terry Francona to be their new manager. Among those who noticed: The players. I was excited, second baseman Jason Kipnis said last week before the teams Fan Fest. You know what he brings to the table, you know what kind of reputation he has. Hes a players coach and hes a winner. You can ask people around the league, all the guys that have played under him, they have nothing but good things to say about him. And they love the way he goes about business. Hes won before, said pitcher Zach McAllister. He knows what it takes. It seems like hes got the right personality and the right mentality to get us over the hump a little bit. Im very proud to be playing for him, said reliever Vinnie Pestano. Thats what happens when a team hires a guy many never expected to consider Cleveland, much less join them. But Francona said his relationship with president Mark Shapiro and General Manager Chris Antonetti is what brought him to the Indians. Fans also are welcoming him, of course, but they also seem to be maintaining a healthy skepticism, to see if a manager can make that big a difference. Theyve watched this team the past two seasons start fast and then fade. Last seasons fade was a near implosion, as the Indians went 24-53 in the second half and had the worst month in the teams history when they went 5-24. It was just kind of a whirlwind and a melting pot of a Murphys law of what could go wrong went wrong, Kipnis said. And it was exacerbated by the fact the Indians were largely a young team, without a strong veteran presence. Any player on this team had never been through something like that, Kipnis said. So nobody had an answer what to do. Which sounds a bit like an indictment of former manager Manny Acta. One job of a manager is to do what he can to ensure long losing streaks dont happen, but the Indians followed what seemed like an uplifting win over Justin Verlander by losing 11 in a row. Enter Francona, who brings World Series rings from 2004 and 07, but who also managed a team that went through a similar collapse in his last season in Boston. That 2011 Red Sox finished 7-20, and two days after the season sources anonymously accused Francona of losing the clubhouse. He and the team parted ways (i.e. was resigned) the day after the season. Francona disputed the claims and took a year off to clear his head after a tumultuous and pressure-filled eight years in Boston. He went to TV, where he planned to stay until Antonetti called. Once he signed up, Francona spent a lot of time trying to meet his new team. He called, texted, visited and talked with anyone he could, saying he didnt like the notion of not knowing his players. I dont know how many he called, but I was on that list, Pestano said. If there were six, I was pretty fortunate. Francona also visited Carlos Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez and others in the Dominican Republic and Chris Perez in Florida. No doubt Perezs outspokenness came up. I wouldnt hold anything against him if he did something when I was not here, Francona said. But theres probably a proper way to do something. I didnt know him until this offseason. Now that I know him I will have a better feel for how to handle it. Stubbs, Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds and Brett Myers are four key additions to the roster, as the Indians were as active this past offseason as they have been in years. All are veterans who have been around. Swisher especially brings energy and excitement along with a switch-hitting bat that has produced 20 home runs and at least 80 RBI in each of the last four seasons (with the Yankees). Its no longer just young guys looking to establish themselves, Kipnis said. Now weve got guys who are names are out there, guys who know how to compete. Its changing the shape of this team. Kipnis said he hopes people start thinking the way the holdovers are. That we can win, he said. It wont be easy, not with Detroit welcoming Victor Martinez back from injury and adding Torri Hunter to a lineup that already included Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Its another season of big money against small-market money, but the Indians concede nothing. (Francona and Swisher) wouldnt come here unless they thought they had a chance to win too, Kipnis said. Clevelands 2012 season ended in a pile of rubble. Somehow, the Indians have built enough of the building back to provide some hope and excitement for 2013. Instead of rebuilding, the Indians re-tooled, starting with their manager. "Our team," McAllister said, "Is better than it was last year." Which is a start.

2013 Indians Top 60 Prospects: #47 RHP Clayton Cook

The IBI's 2013 Indians Top 60 Prospect countdown continues on with right-handed starting pitcher Clayton Cook. Cook suffered an injury last season that resulted in an abrupt end to his season and had several setbacks in his return and finally ended up having surgery. Tony gives the details on how serious the injury was, how long he could be out, how his prospect value has changed...

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The IBI's 2013 Indians Top 60 Prospect countdown continues on with right-handed reliever Bryce Stowell. He followed up a strange 2011 season with a lost season last year as he struggled with injuries once again. There is no doubt the stuff is still in there to be a high level prospect, but injuries every year and time is starting to creep up on him. Tony takes a look at this...

2013 Indians Top 60 Prospects: #48 CA Alex Lavisky

The IBI's 2013 Indians Top 60 Prospect countdown continues on with catcher Alex Lavisky. Lavisky continues to show good catching and leadership skills, but his questionable bat actually showed some improvement last season. Tony goes into detail on the improvement he showed with his swing, how his performance spiked in the second half of last season, all the value he provides...

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The Case for a Designated Hitter. Yes, That Designated Hitter

From what I can tell, there seem to be two fairly entrenched camps that have sprung up regarding the Indians’ approach to the designated hitter spot this season. The first group seems to be arguing that the team might be better off without a full-time DH.  The thinking here goes that a designated designated hitter makes the team less adaptable; it would hamstring Terry Francona’s...

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The Indians have been busy this offseason making some significant changes to the lineup and pitching staff. But exactly how much have they improved? IBI newcomer Jake Dungan takes a look at the 2013 lineup and compares it to its 2012 counterpart in the first of a four part series that will break down and compare the 2012 and 2013 versions of the lineup, bench, starting rotation and bullpen.

Your Morning Dump...where another excerpt of the Francona book is out

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. In the days and weeks after the disclosure of Lester’s cancer, Francona protected Lester’s privacy furiously, admonishing any reporter who attempted to reach Lester’s family. The manager guarded the pitcher...

Cleveland Indians ink five-year broadcasting deal with Clear Channel

The Cleveland Indians and Clear Channel have reached an agreement on a five-year contract that will allow the long-time flagship station of the team to carry games through 2017. WTAM/1100 AM will continue to carry every Indians game while 100.7 FM/WMMS — the flagship station of the Cleveland Browns — will reportedly simulcast 144 games over the course of each season, leaving...

The Return of Power?

The Indians still are without a definite designated hitter for the 2013 and have apparently been linked to two former Indians players, Travis Hafner and Jim Thome. In what is a sad state of events for Hafner, both players are essentially at the same point in their career, despite Pronk starting his career over a decade after Thome. Both players have seen decreases in playing time...

Vinny Rottino’s New Uniform

From May to June last year, the Mets had Vinny Rottino on the team and had to use him as a starter on B-Roster Days. I remember one of these days clearly. it was the start where Johan Santana pitched a complete game shut out before pitching his no hitter. The Mets won 9-0 thanks to home runs by Scott Hairston, Vinny Rottino and a grand slam by Mike Nickeas. The starting lineup that...

The line-up-side at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario

The Cleveland Indians have re-built their entire offense into a versatile group of players that can hit from both sides of the plate. Over the years, these players have either put up a tremendous amount of offensive firepower, or have to ability to do just that. Do the Indians have an offense that could explode in 2013, or is the upside potential of this team a lot lower than the...

Around the Farm: January 28, 2013

Around the Farm will say good bye for the offseason in the next few days, but will return in a few weeks once minor league spring games kick up in mid-March. Tony takes a look at the performance of Ezequiel Carrera whose team played in a very important Game 5 on Monday night in a best-of-seven series that was tied 2-2.

Sports Media Digest- January 28, 2013

Terry Francona to Join Bob Costas Wednesday on MLB Network-  The next edition of Studio 42 with Bob Costas will feature an interview with former Red Sox and current Indians manager Terry Francona.  The interview will air Wednesday at 9:00p.m. ET.  MLBN will air a second Studio 42 with Bob Costas Thursday at 9:00p.m. ET as Costas
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