The Cleveland Indians brought on Terry Francona as their new manager back in October of 2012.
Most, if not all, Tribe fans would say that bringing Francona on board was a brilliant move.
Perhaps no manager has been so loved by Cleveland fans since Mike Hargrove back in the 1990s.
“Tito” has helped bring a great deal of success to the Indians and the city of Cleveland during his tenure.
However, Francona missed most of the pandemic-shortened 2020 baseball season due to health reasons.
Francona is under contract with the Tribe through the 2022 season, but is he still the best fit for the Indians?
Reasons to Keep Francona in Cleveland
Terry Francona is the best.
That's it. That's all we have to say. pic.twitter.com/alWA76Hzrw
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 14, 2019
The Tribe was fortunate that the Boston Red Sox shockingly let Francona go after the 2011 season.
After taking a year off to recharge the batteries and do some TV work, Francona was ready to get back to the dugout.
The Indians gladly gave Francona his wish by signing him to manage the club before the 2013 season.
Francona is one heck of a baseball coach and a proven long-term winner.
He has the rare ability to motivate baseball players of all experience levels, from rookies to seasoned veterans.
The South Dakota native also played in the big leagues for 10 years and this gives him the knowledge of what makes players tick.
Not only did Francona win two World Series titles with the Red Sox, he has compiled a respectable record of 673-498 while with the Indians.
In 2013, after his first season in Cleveland, Francona was named the American League Manager of the Year.
In 2016, Francona won his second Manager of the Year Award after leading the Indians to their first World Series appearance in 19 years.
Under Francona’s leadership, the Indians captured three straight AL Central division crowns from 2016-2018.
Yes, the 2020 health issues are concerning but Francona still gives the Indians the best chance to win in 2021.
Francona provides the type of stability that a young Indians team so desperately needs.
Could 2021 be Francona’s Final Season?
"I was excited to come here 7 years ago because of the people. I am more excited to stay here because of the people."
–@Indians manager Terry Francona pic.twitter.com/p0Io9flWl5
— FOX Sports Cleveland (@FOXSportsCLE) October 2, 2019
Francona is soon to be 62 years old.
Though 62 is not exactly ancient, Francona is still one of the older managers in Major League Baseball.
Couple the age with last year’s blood clotting issue and one can see how retirement could be near for Francona.
The baseball season, with its 162-game schedule, is nothing short of a persistent grind on all players and even coaches.
Francona has had an excellent career as a manager and could very well be a future Hall of Famer.
Though no one knows how long Francona wants to coach, he definitely deserves to go out on his own terms.
It is hard to argue with Francona’s five playoff appearances in only eight seasons.
Those numbers speak to a rare type of consistency that few managers achieve in this day and age of constant change.
Hopefully Chris Antonetti and company will allow Francona to decide when his last season will be.
Will that last season be 2021?
If so, hopefully the Tribe can send out Francona a winner.
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