The Indians Wednesday morning announced that they have extended the contract of manager Terry Francona for two more seasons, meaning he’ll be around till the 2022 campaign.
The Tribe’s success under Francona cannot be denied, leading the team to the best record in the American League since 2013 with a mark of 547-427 (.562).
“Simply put, Tito has been a transformational leader, who has not only impacted our Major League clubhouse, but also the entire organization,” Indians President Chris Antonetti said in a statement.
“Our relationship has been truly collaborative and we are all fortunate to have a future Hall-of-Fame manager guiding our team as we continue to pursue our ultimate goal of bringing a World Series championship to the city of Cleveland.”
While some have been critical of Francona for the Indians inability the last two seasons to close out playoff series’, the team still has enjoyed great success with him in the dugout.
They reached the postseason as a wild card in his first season in 2013, losing the the Tampa Bay Rays in a wild card game at Progressive Field, and the following two seasons missed the postseason but remained competitive.
In 2016 it all came together, as despite injuries that hurt the team late in the season, the club was able to dominate the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays to make it to their first World Series since 1997.
They built a 3-1 lead against the favored Chicago Cubs, but in a heartbreaker they fell in game seven at Progressive Field after rallying to tie the game in the 8th inning on a Rajai Davis homer, losing in extra innings.
The last two seasons the team has been knocked out in the first round by the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros after winning the AL Central.
Francona is sixth in career managerial wins (547) in the 119-year history of the franchise while his .562 career winning pct. is third-best in club history.
Overall in 18 seasons he has a mark as a manager of 1576-1342 (.540) with Philadelphia (1997-2000), Boston (2004-11) and Cleveland (2013-19) as his 1576 wins currently rank second among active Major League skippers.
He has guided his clubs to a pair of World Series titles (Boston 2004, 2007), 14 consecutive winning seasons, has received BBWAA Manager of the Year votes in nine different seasons and was named A.L. Manager of the Year in both 2013 and 2016.