Francona joins Alomar as candidate to manage Tribe

Associated Press Modified: September 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm •  Published: September 28, 2012
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Terry Francona has joined Sandy Alomar Jr. as a candidate to become manager of the Cleveland Indians.

Alomar prepared for his first game as interim manager Friday, a day after Manny Acta was fired. General manager Chris Antonetti said both were candidates and others currently employed by teams could become part of the search.

"I'm excited and I'm honored that they would give me an interview," Francona told the Associated Press. "I know Sandy Alomar is also a candidate. He's a good friend of mine. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. I will do my homework over the next week."

Francona, who managed Boston to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007, was a special assistant in Cleveland's front office in 2001. He is intrigued by the chance to work again with Indians president Mark Shapiro and Antonetti.

"Chris and Mark are very dear to me and very important to me," he said. "I know there are challenges and I look forward to maybe having the chance to work again with people I care about."

Francona has been an ESPN analyst since leaving the Red Sox after last season. He played briefly in Cleveland in 1988, following father Tito. Terry Francona managed Philadelphia from 1997-00.

Before his first game in charge, Alomar thanked the man he replaced, and gave a glimpse of his own philosophy.

"You have to put yourself last if you want to lead," said the former All-Star catcher, who spent the first 11 seasons of his 18-year playing career in Cleveland.

"You have to serve first," Alomar said. "Be unselfish and do what you can for others."

It is a lesson learned as a youngster from his father Sandy, a major-league infielder in the 1960s and 70s. Alomar's younger brother, Roberto, was his teammate in Cleveland and elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011.

Alomar, MVP of the 1997 All-Star Game played in Cleveland and one of the most popular players in franchise history, said that if he gets hired permanently, it would be his dream job.

"I went to Chicago and then bounced around after leaving the Indians, but I was never treated the way I was here," he said.

"If it happens that the organization feels it is my time, great. But nobody owes me anything."