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.