News roundup: What they’re saying about Francona extension, Kluber/Brantley named finalists for BBWAA awards
Looking for a one-stop shop for a recap of our big day of news from Tuesday? We have you covered. Here’s a roundup of what local and national writers are saying about Terry Francona’s extension and Corey Kluber and Michael Brantley being named finalists for the Baseball Writers Association of America awards!
- Anthony Castrovince, MLB.com: Francona’s genuine love for the Tribe shows in results
- It’s hard to be around this club as much as I am and come away with the belief that either record would have been even remotely possible without somebody like Francona at the helm. I certainly don’t think a rookie skipper would have guided that 2013 club to the playoffs, and I’m doubly convinced that 85 wins, with a club playing multiple rookies down the stretch, would have been impossible had Francona not kept his clubhouse in order.
- Tom Withers, AP: Francona helps turn around culture in Cleveland
- Francona has been worth every penny since the Indians hired him following a disastrous, 94-loss season in 2012. He’s helped reshape the team’s culture, infused enthusiasm into the organization and made Cleveland a more attractive destination for free agents. Players want to play for Francona.
- Zack Meisel, Cleveland.com: What Terry Francona’s contract extension really means for the Indians
- That core — which now includes Santana, Kipnis, Yan Gomes and Michael Brantley — is locked up, and affordably so, for years. The starting rotation, a group that thrived in the second half of the season, is under team control on the cheap for at least another three seasons. With Francona in the fold until at least 2018 — the Indians hold club options on him the following two years — the organization is announcing its intention to see it through to the end with this bunch.
- Joe Reedy, FoxSportsOhio.com: Locking up Francona allows Indians to keep moving forward
- There are many, including me, who would say he did an even better job this past season considering the rotation was shaky until the last months and that 12 rookies saw significant playing time. Dating back to 2004, teams that Francona has managed have posted winning records 10 consecutive seasons (eight in Boston, two in Cleveland). That is the longest such managerial streak since Joe Torre had 14 straight with the Yankees and Dodgers from 1996-2009.
- Anthony Castrovince, MLB.com: Takeaways from BBWAA finalists
- The great thing about announcing these finalists the week before the award is that it gives the public, at large, proper appreciation of the seasons that will fall just short of actual hardware. Let’s say Mike Trout runs away with the AL MVP, as most of us are anticipating. At least now the sensational seasons of Victor Martinez and Michael Brantley are — for a few days, at least — headlines, not footnotes.
- Jordan Bastian, Indians.com: Indians Kluber, Brantley finalists for BBWAA awards
- Brantley became the first player in Indians history to finish with at least 20 homers, 20 steals, 40 doubles and 200 hits in a single season. “He’s a complete player,” Antonetti said at the end of the season. “And we think he’s deserving of MVP consideration with the year he had. He was a huge part of our success and we think one of the best players in the American League.” Brantley became only the ninth player in Major League history to end a season with at least 20 homers, 20 steals, 45 doubles and 200 hits. The others on that short list include Jacoby Ellsbury (2011), Handley Ramirez (2007), Alfonso Soriano (2002), Craig Biggio (1998), Larry Walker (1997), Ellis Burks (1996), Vada Pinson (1959) and Chuck Klein (1932). During his final game of the season, Brantley collected his 200th hit and was showered with “M-V-P!” chants from the Cleveland faithful. Hearing that from the fans meant a lot to the outfielder. “It’s a remarkable feeling,” he said. “I want to thank the fans for that. That’s something that’s not thrown around. It was a special moment and I appreciate that.”