Francona appreciates bond between front office, coaches
ST. PETERSBURG -- Indians manager Terry Francona was not going to pretend to know the details of the reported rift between the Angels' front office and coaching staff, but the situation unfolding in Los Angeles did give him a platform to once again praise the cohesive bond that exists in Cleveland.
Francona made it no secret when he took over the managerial duties prior to the 2013 season that his rapport with team president Mark Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti played the largest role in his decision to take the job. In the years since coming to Cleveland, Francona said the cooperation between the front office and on-field staff has only become stronger.
"I have no business commenting, one, on something I don't know about and, two, another organization," Francona said of the reported issues between Angels manager Mike Scioscia and former GM Jerry Dipoto. "But it does allow me to reiterate that I came here because of Chris and Mark. I was pretty honest about that. Right away, I said I came here for the relationships. Well, those have only grown."
It is not uncommon for members of the front office -- not just Antonetti -- to be in Francona's office or even in the clubhouse before and after games.
"That was the nice thing, is there was no wall [between the front office and the manager's office]," Francona said. "Chris and I have talked about that at length, because he'll even say to me, 'Hey, if we're down in your office after the game and it's too much, tell me.' Sometimes, we're all in a bad mood after a loss. That's just the way it is. And I was like, 'No, I want you guys to be comfortable always.'
"If we happen to be in a bad mood, well, all right. We usually make each other feel better anyway, but I don't want them to ever feel like they can't come in or they can't say an opinion. That's just not the way I'd like it to be. It's different other places and that's fine. I just prefer it the way it is."
• During Tuesday's win over the Rays, rookie shortstop Francisco Lindor made a highlight-reel diving play for an out in the fourth inning, but he also made an error in the eighth. After the game, Lindor called it a "bad day" and lamented costing starter Danny Salazar (7 2/3 innings) some pitches and the opportunity to go eight full innings.
"I'm glad he recognized that," Francona said of Lindor's comments. "That seems to be a pretty mature outlook. One of the first things I tell all the young guys is the quicker the veterans know you care about winning, the more and the quicker they'll embrace you."
• Veteran Nick Swisher (on the 15-day disabled list due to inflammation in his left knee) worked through a series of agility drills in the outfield prior to Wednesday's game. Francona said Swisher is "working hard and his attitude has been good," but there remains no established timetable for his return for the Indians.