At times, it is very difficult to gauge on an accurate basis the impact that a baseball manager has on his team.
However, in some cases it is not.
That was the case for the Cleveland Indians for the season just concluded on Wednesday. Throughout the 162-game regular season, and more notably during the improbable and incredible playoff run to the seventh game of the World Series the influence of Terry Francona was impressive.
Friday morning, Francona was awarded by the Indians for his masterful work of managing the team as his options for the 2019 and 2020 seasons were picked up by the team. That will keep him with the Indians for at least four more years.
If the last four seasons are of an indication, Cleveland’s roster will be in great hands and those that can lead them to a World Series title.
Since Francona became the manager for Cleveland in 2013, he has led his Indians’ teams to 352 wins which is tops in the American League, with a pair of appearances in the postseason.
During his first year at the helm of the Indians, Cleveland experienced its best turn around in one year when it came to wins in franchise history.
In its most recent campaign, Francona’s team won the American League Central title for the first time since 2007, as well as the AL pennant for just the first time in 19 years.
Francona was given the AL Manager of the Year Award in 2013 and he is one of the favorites to win it again for this year.
Cleveland was not able to achieve its ultimate goal of a World Series title but they lasted seven games against the 103-win Chicago Cubs.
Injuries to players such as Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco during September eliminated two of the top four pitchers in the rotation, during the postseason.
Trevor Bauer also sliced his pinkie during the postseason, which hurt his pitching as well.
With just Corey Kluber and Josh Tomlin healthy, Cleveland was still able to come within a win of taking home the World Series title.
The team knows they can win the title and will return next April to attempt to end a 69-year curse. With the talent on the roster and Francona in the dugout, things are looking better and better in Cleveland.