From kisses and scooters to leadership, here's how Terry Francona won AL Manager of the Year
On Tuesday, Indians manager Terry Francona was named the American League Manager of the Year -- the second time in four years he's taken home the honor:
The man affectionately known as Tito had quite a season for the pennant-winning Indians in 2016, who came oh-so-close to the franchise's first World Series title since 1948.
Not only did his leadership help the Tribe finish the regular season 94-67, despite losing key rotation pieces
Here's a look back at some of Francona's signature moments along the way to his Manager of the Year Award.
He and his players have special pregame routines
Some say chemistry is a key component for winning teams. Special bonds with players are a form of chemistry, and that's apparently what Francona has with slugger
He lays it all out there on the field -- literally
Before Game 6 of the World Series, Francona decided to enjoy the uncharacteristically warm afternoon air in Cleveland by sprawling out on the grass and doing some sunbathing -- because why not, right?
He's proven that late-night insomnia can be cured with lavish ice cream treats
What do you do when you have trouble sleeping? Maybe turn on the air conditioner, drink some warm milk (if that's a thing people still do?), count sheep, just stare into the nothingness and hope it eventually envelops you into slumber ... these are all ideas.
If you're Francona, and you're stuck awake in a hotel between World Series contests, though, you apparently order expensive ice cream from room service:
Francona had trouble sleeping last night, so at 3:30 am he called room service and ordered $44 worth of ice cream.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) October 30, 2016
Again, why not, right? Although this kind of behavior is hardly shocking from a guy who once ate 17 popsicles in one night.
He cruises on a scooter whenever he feels like it
Tito's affinity for scooter transportation is well documented, and he delivered once again during the Indians' ALCS triumph over the Blue Jays.
Prior to Cleveland's Game 1 victory, Francona made his big arrival at Progressive Field driving -- what else -- his motorized two-wheeler:
He bestows luck upon his hitters' bats with a kiss
Just as he gave Santana a pregame good-luck kiss above, he chose the same treatment method for Jason Kipnis'bat during Game 1 of the ALCS (right after scootering into the stadium, of course):
The warmth, the joy, the confidence -- he exudes it all.
But beyond the jokes, the smiles, the ice cream and general hijinks, Francona's steady leadership was a unifying strength for the Tribe this season -- as it has been in all four of his seasons in Cleveland. What's more, the Indians haven't finished below the .500 mark while he's been around, with their 81-80 mark in '15 his "worst" season with the club.
In picking up this new award, Francona became the first Cleveland skipper to win more than once (as Eric Wedge did in 2007). In fact, Tito's success has gone on for quite some time:
He just gets it done out there, doesn't he?
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