Red Sox

Francona: I don't want to be a rental manager

904983.jpg

Francona: I don't want to be a rental manager

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Terry Francona signed a four-year contract with the Cleveland Indians. He hopes to stay even longer."I don't want to be a rental manager,'' Francona said Monday as he was introduced as the club's 42nd manager. "I didn't want to come in worried. I want to be part of the solution. I want to stick around."I didn't come here to go to pasture.''Francona, who led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series titles, was hired over the weekend by the Indians. He was chosen over Sandy Alomar Jr., who served as the club's final six games after Manny Acta was fired. Francona takes overs an Indians team that collapsed from contention by going 5-24 in August and finishing 68-94, the third time in the past four seasons they have lost at least 90 games.Francona and Alomar were the only candidates to interview for the job. Financial terms of Francona's deal were not immediately known.Francona spent the past year as a TV analyst, stepping away from the game after the Red Sox following the team's historic September collapse in 2011.The 53-year-old previously worked in Cleveland's front office, and Francona said the chance to work again with Indians general manager Chris Antonetti and team president Mark Shapiro was the most intriguing aspect of taking the job.The Indians have always held a special place for Francona. His 78-year-old father, Tito, played in Cleveland from 1959-64 and Francona said he cried when he told his father he had accepted the Indians' job.Tito Francona attended his son's news conference.Francona said he has not yet hired any coaches for his staff. Alomar could return as Cleveland's bench coach, but the 46-year-old, who served as the club's interim manager for the final six games, could be a candidate for other managerial openings.Since agreeing to join the Indians, Francona said he has reached out to several players and is eager to begin getting the team headed in the right direction."This is a clean slate for everybody,'' said Francona, who is excited about Cleveland's core of young players. "Dealing with players is fun. Dealing with young players is really fun.''Francona said the year working as a broadcaster has re-energized him. He missed being around players and felt uncomfortable when he returned to the clubhouse. He also learned from the mistake he made in his final season with the Red Sox."We didn't handle frustration very well and we paid the price,'' he said.Francona won't have the same massive payroll he enjoyed in Boston, but Francona said he's never worried about a player's salary."I don't care what players are making,'' he said. "I want them to play the game right.''Francona will attend the team's organizational meetings this week in Goodyear, Ariz."I will do a lot of listening,'' he said. "I've got a lot of learning to do.''

ALCS: Judge, Sabathia help Yankees beat Astros, 8-1

yankees_aaron_judge_catch_101617.jpg

ALCS: Judge, Sabathia help Yankees beat Astros, 8-1

NEW YORK - Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer and a made pair of sparkling catches, leading CC Sabathia and the Yankees over the Houston Astros 8-1 Monday night and cutting New York's deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.

Sabathia allowed three hits over six scoreless innings for his first postseason win in five years. Todd Frazier hit a go-ahead, three-run homer for the Yankees, who stopped a seven-game ALCS losing streak dating to Sabathia's victory over Texas in 2010.

Sonny Gray starts Game 4 Wednesday on 11 days' rest, likely against Brad Peacock or Lance McCullers Jr.

Back in the Bronx after a pair of 2-1 losses in Houston, the Yankees led 8-0 after four innings. Houston scored on a bases-loaded walk in the ninth before postseason star Jose Altuve grounded into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Brad Ausmus interviews with Red Sox, but Alex Cora appears frontrunner

Brad Ausmus interviews with Red Sox, but Alex Cora appears frontrunner

BOSTON — Brad Ausmus was the second person to interview to replace John Farrell as Red Sox manager, baseball sources confirmed Monday afternoon. The Sox are expected to interview Ron Gardenhire, the Diamondbacks' bench coach, as well.

But the net might not be cast too wide. More and more, it sounds like the Sox already know whom they want.

Astros bench coach Alex Cora, who met with Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in New York on Sunday, appears the frontrunner to take the reins next year. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal has reported that to be the case multiple times, and for some inside the Sox organization, that's a growing feeling as well.

MORE:

The criteria the Sox value most isn't hard to guess: a strong connection with players, an ability to incorporate data and analytics; and someone who can handle the market.

"I knew Alex for a couple of years before getting a chance to work with him and had tried to recruit him to work a few years ago and he had other options," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Monday in New York, before Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees. "To watch him develop relationships with the players, he's all about baseball. He's all about the competition and small advantages within the game, one of the brightest baseball intellects that I've been around. And to see him pass some of that on and transition from player to TV personality to coach, he's had a ton of impact.

"He challenges people. He challenges me. He's someone who's all about winning. And I think to watch our players respond to him, he's got a lot of respect in that clubhouse because of the work he puts in and the attention to detail that he brings. That's why he's the hottest managerial candidate on the planet and deservedly so."

Cora joined the Astros before this season.

Ausmus, whom Dombrowski hired in Detroit ahead of the 2014 season, grew up in Connecticut and went to Dartmouth. The 48-year-old spent 18 seasons as a big-league catcher, the last in 2010. He was working for the Padres before Dombrowski gave him his first shot at managing the Tigers. 

Ausmus went 314-332 in four years managing the Tigers, a more veteran team than might have been ideal for him as a first-time manager.

Ausmus pulled out of the running to interview with the Mets, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag while Cora was expected to interview with the Mets on Monday or Tuesday, per the New York Post's Mike Puma.

What could change from here? One baseball source indicated a second interview with Cora was expected. Asked if he plans a second round of interviews generally, Dombrowski did not say.

"We have started the interview process," Dombrowski wrote via email. "I do not have any specific time frames at this point. Will wait and evaluate as we go through the process."

The Boston Herald's Chad Jennings first reported Ausmus' interview.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE