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.''
Fred Toucher rips into Curt Schilling's stated ambition to run for the Senate: '[He's] incredibly stupid but (thinks he's) brilliant.'
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- This is the kind of season it has been for Clay Buchholz:
A little more than a month ago, he was merely taking up space on the Red Sox roster, having been summarily removed from the rotation after three months of poor outings.
He was in the bullpen, but the Sox were loathe to use him. Asked, memorably, why Buchholz hadn't been the choice to serve as a long reliever in a game in which the starter departed early, John Farrell candidly noted, in not so many words, that because the Sox still had a chance to win the game, Buchholz didn't make sense as an option.
But slowly, Buchholz became more effective in his new relief role. And when injuries struck the rotation, Buchholz got himself three cameo starts, during which he posted a 2.70 ERA in 16 2/3 innings, topped by Tuesday's beauty -- 6 1/3 innings, one run allowed, nine strikeouts recorded.
Just as Buchholz has straightened out, however, Red Sox starters are suddenly stacked up like jets waiting for clearance to land at Logan Airport. Steven Wright returns from a brief DL stint Friday, and Eduardo Rodriguez is not far behind.
When he pitched poorly, the Red Sox didn't have any other options.
When he pitched well, the Red Sox have plenty of other choices.
So, now what?
"As far as Clay goes,'' said John Farrell, "this will be, I'm sure, a conversation (had) within (the organization). But setting that aside, he's throwing the ball exceptionally well right now.''
But the question remains: In what capacity will he throw the ball in the near future?
There's been a suggestion to keep Buchholz in the rotation while moving Drew Pomeranz to the bullpen. That would give the Sox a dependable lefty in relief -- as opposed to, say, Fernando Abad -- while also serving the dual purpose of putting a governor on Pomeranz's climbing innings total.
Pomeranz, who has plenty of bullpen experience in the big leagues, has also thrown 140 1/3 innings this season, eclipsing his previous major league high by nearly 40.
But Pomeranz is 27, not 21. He's shown no signs of fatigue. To the contrary, he's 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts. The Sox shouldn't mess with his success.
Instead, Buchholz should become one of the team's high-leverage set-up weapons, available in the seventh or eighth inning.
True, Buchholz doesn't have the swing-and-miss capability you'd prefer to have in the eighth inning, where the fewer balls put in play, the better off you are. But he can get lefties and righties out, and, pitching out of the stretch full-time, he's greatly improved his command.
Buchholz would remain the best option for a spot start if one of the five Red Sox starters faltered or got hurt. But the bullpen remains the best choice for him.
Ironic, isn't it? When he pitched poorly, he remained in the rotation for several months. Now that he's pitching superbly, he can't earn a permanent spot.
It's been that kind of season.
With Wright and Rodriguez set to return, Sean McAdam joins SNC to discuss whether Tuesday’s game against the Rays will be the last start for Clay Buchholz.