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Tribe team meeting prompts reversal of fortune

MINNEAPOLIS -- Throughout the course of the 162-game marathon that is the MLB season, teams routinely go through losing skids like Cleveland endured during its recent homestand. And often it's those ugly streaks that prompt an attempt at regrouping through some sort of meeting, like the one that manager Terry Francona convened following Saturday's 7-2 loss to the Angels.

With the Tribe on the verge of losing its seventh straight game, trailing 5-0 to Los Angeles in the sixth on Sunday, it would've seemed that the gathering had little effect. But after a six-run rally over two frames put the kibosh on the losing skid, the team traveled to Minnesota rejuvenated and ready to continue with their reversal of fortune.

"We have good veterans in our clubhouse that do a really good job," Francona said, "but sometimes I need to tell them how I feel.

"Sometimes you feel the need to explain things or to pick them up. That's me and the coaches' job, to have the barometer of how things are and try to do that right thing. Because the last thing you want to do is to say the wrong thing."

Francona couldn't pinpoint the exact number, but he didn't remember calling more than a couple of meetings this season. The skipper pointed out that during his World Series championship years managing the Red Sox, manager-team congregations were not a regular occurrence.

"I'm pretty fond of [the team]," he said. "I've become pretty attached to them. I just want them to put their best foot forward every night. We kind of have to be a lunch-pail team, and I like that. But we have to make sure we do that."

Kerry Walls is a contributor to
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