Terry Francona is the manager of the Cleveland Indians, leading the team to their first World Series since 1997. Francona is among the highest-paid managers in Major League Baseball.
The only thing that was standing in the Indians’ way was the Chicago Cubs, who won their World Series since 1908. Francona will get another chance to reach the World Series though, since the Indians have signed him through 2018.
Francona started his career as a manager on a poor note. In four seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1997-2000, he never had a winning record. The 57-year-old South Dakota native had to wait until 2004 for another chance to prove himself. He was hired by the Boston Red Sox, guiding the team to its first World Series win since 1918. The franchise won another World Series in 2007. From 2004 to 2011, the Sox never had a losing record, but the team’s epic collapse in September 2011 meant he was done in Boston. Francona is nicknamed “Tito” in honor of his father, who played from 1956-1970 and played with the Indians from 1959-1964.
Tito and the Indians will play Game 7 against the Cubs on Wednesday to decide the winner of the World Series.
After a year in the ESPN booth, Francona was signed by the Indians and has been in Cleveland since 2013. He has an estimated net worth of $5 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Here’s a look at his salary and money.
1. The Indians Signed Francona Through 2018 in 2014 With Club Options Through 2020
In November 2014, the Indians announced that they re-signed Francona through 2018 after he completed his first two seasons with the team. In his first season, the team finished 92-70 and reached the Wild Card Game.
The deal also includes club options for 2019 and 2020.
“Being a part of the solution is really what I wanted to be, and long-term,” Francona said in 2014. “I just didn’t want to come for a couple years and move on. That was never my goal. I wanted to come and stay.”
Although the Indians didn’t make it to the postseason in 2014 and 2015, they still had winning seasons. In 2016, the team posted a 94-67 record and won the AL Central. Francona has a 352-294 record with the Indians and a 1,381-1,209 overall managerial record.
The Indians did not announce the financial terms of the deal.
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2. The Red Sox Were Paying Francona Almost $4 Million a Year Near the End of His Time in Boston
Despite the importance of their role, managers are usually not the among the top-paid positions in baseball. In fact, as USA Today reported in 2007, Francona was paid just $1.65 million in 2007, the year the Red Sox won the World Series for the second time in four years.
In 2012, when Francona signed his first deal with the Indians, Cleveland.com reported that Francona was making nearly $4 million a season on his last deal with the Red Sox.
3. Francona Made at Least $1.12 Million During His Playing Career
Francona played in the outfield and first base during his career as a player, which was nowhere as noteworthy as his career as a manager. According to Baseball-Reference stats, Francona finished his 10-year career with a .274 average and just 16 home runs and 143 RBI. He started his career in Montreal in 1981.
In 1986, Francona signed with the Cubs for a year and was journeyman for the rest of his career. He played for the Reds in 1987, the Indians in 1988 and the Brewers in 1989 and 1990.
Francona’s salary data is incomplete on the site, but he earned at least $1.12 million in his playing days, between 1985 and 1990. The most he earned in a season was $250,000 in 1985 and 1986.
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4. Francona Wrote the Best-Seller ‘Francona: The Red Sox Years’ About His Experiences in Boston
In 2013, Francona and Boston Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy wrote Francona: The Red Sox Years, which was a best-seller. The book revealed several interesting nuggets about Francona’s relationship with the Sox team ownership and how his time in Boston ended on a sour note.
In an excerpt published by Sports Illustrated, Francona was critical of Sox ownership for being more interested in image than getting quality players. The book revealed that the Sox ownership spent $100,000 on a marketing research project that determined that the team needed more “sexy” players.
Francona also claimed that the owners didn’t like the team playing day games during a homestand because of TV ratings. “One thing the players were always asking for was getaway day games,” he wrote. “The owners would never go for it. They couldn’t have more day games because the ratings were already suffering, and that would have hurt worse.”
Elsewhere in the book, he said that he didn’t think the owners loved baseball. He wrote:
They come in with all these ideas about baseball, but I don’t think they love baseball. I think they like baseball. It’s revenue, and I know that’s their right and their interest because they’re owners … and they’re good owners. But they don’t love the game. It’s still more of a toy or a hobby for them. It’s not their blood. They’re going to come in and out of baseball. It’s different for me. Baseball is my life.
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5. Francona Offered to Donate to David Ortiz’s Foundation if Ortiz Retired Before the Postseason
Francona is known for his sense of humor. He even flipped off a TBS camera during the ALCS. (He later called that unintentional and a “nervous habit.”) Ahead of the ALDS against the Red Sox, Francona told the Boston Globe that he would “write a check” to David Ortiz’s children’s fund if Ortiz retired before the series started.
During the ALDS, the Indians shut down the Red Sox offense, which had been one of the best during the regular season. Ortiz’s bat also cooled. He had just a single hit – a double – during the entire series. The Indians swept the Sox before beating the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS.
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