CLEVELAND, Ohio – Indians manager Terry Francona makes for good copy.
Whether he’s riding his “hog’ – a scooter – to and from Progressive Field for work or talking about his late-night dietary wrestling matches with ice cream, pizza, peanut butter or popsicles, he always makes things interesting for the reporters covering the Indians.
Not to mention, he knows how to manage a baseball team.
It is for those reasons that Cleveland’s Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America elected Francona as the Frank Gibbons-Steve Olin Good Guy Award at their meeting last week. It is the second time in three years Francona has received the award.
The writers also selected third baseman Jose Ramirez, the man with the orange hair, as the Bob Feller Man of the Year award at their annual meeting last week.
Francona, 57, is at home in Tucson, Ariz., recovering from right hip replacement surgery. He underwent the operation immediately after the Indians lost Game 7 of the World Series to the Cubs. Other candidates for the Good Guy award were closer Cody Allen, shortstop Francisco Lindor, pitching coach Mickey Callaway and John Krepop, who ran the Indians pressbox for 44 years before retiring after last season.
Krepop received a special award from the writers.
This is Francona’s fourth year as manager of the Indians. He’s led them to four straight winning seasons and two postseason appearances. But this past season is going to be hard to beat.
The Indians won their first AL Central title since 2007 and their first AL pennant since 1997. Francona received his second AL Manager of the Year in four years from the BBWAA last month.
Francona is managing his third big league team. He made stops in Philadelphia and Boston before this, but he has Cleveland roots. He played for the Indians in 1988 and worked in their front office from 2001 through 2003.
Tito Francona, Terry’s father, played 15 years in the big leagues. He played for the Indians from 1959-1964.