Terry Francona's switch from studio host to dugout manager of the Cleveland Indians may have come as a surprise to some Detroit Tigers fans, however, it didn't catch manager Jim Leyland off guard, the Detroit Free Press' John Lowe is reporting.
"This is not a shock to me," Leyland said of Francona's hiring by Cleveland. "I knew he wanted to manage."
Despite being in the middle of a best-of-five American League Division Series with the Oakland Athletics, Leyland admitted to reaching out to Francona and congratulating him on his new job, which mainly will focus on beating the Tigers for the AL Central Division crown.
Francona is expected to be introduced Monday as the Indians new manager. The former Boston Red Sox skipper, who has won two World Series titles, spent last season as an analyst for ESPN's Baseball Tonight. Francona takes over a team that has failed to put together a winning season since 2007. In '11, the Indians finished second in the AL Central to the Tigers.