If you expected some resentment, frustration or even disappointment to carry over to this season from the Cleveland Indians’ heart breaking loss in the World Series to the Chicago Cubs, you won’t get it from manager Terry Francona. As Spring Training for the 2017 season begins, Francona took time to join The Jim Rome Show on Thursday and rave about last year’s team.
“You never know how your emotions are going to be, that’s part of the fun of going through stuff,” Francona said about his teams’ season ending losses. “When we lost to Tampa in that  Wild Card game, I was devastated. We had won 10 games in a row and then we played a two-hour-and-forty minute game and we got to go home, and it was hard for me to deal with it, it took me a long time.
“After this series, you talk to the players because you owe them that, and then you do your media obligations, and then when I finally had some time to be by myself, yeah, disappointed, yeah, but completely proud of our guys. They gave everything. I’m not the biggest fan of people saying they gave 110-percent, but I actually think some of our guys did that. Guys like [Corey] Kluber and Andrew [Miller], I mean many guys. They were out of gas when that series was over, and I was proud of them.”
Francona also talked about what made his 2016 Indians team such a pleasure to manage.
“I mean, our players are really special. I mean, there’s very little babysitting that goes on, which is appreciated. You ask them to try to do something and they try to do it,” Francona said. “I mean you look at all the cooperation, like with the bullpen. Everyone makes a big deal out of the bullpen usage in the playoffs. That doesn’t work if those guys don’t cooperate or also are good enough to do it.”
Francona also added that his team’s front office has played a huge role in both the success of the franchise as well as his personal success.
“They don’t get nearly enough credit,” Francona said about the Indians’ front office. “I think Chris [Antonetti] and Churney [Mark Chernoff], and his guys and Derek Falvey who just left, I think not only have they helped me on the field, but I think they’ve made me a better person, and I don’t think they take enough credit for that. I think they set a tone for everybody in the organization, myself included, and people would run through a wall for them, myself included, and I just don’t think people hear that enough.”
With another spring, Francona’s eternal optimism is in full swing and having some of his injured stars who missed last year’s playoffs back, doesn’t hurt either.
“Everybody has optimism this time of year. I was optimistic when I was with the Phillies and then we’d go out and get beat up. If you care about baseball, this time of year everybody’s glass is half full. I think we got a lot of reason to be optimistic,” Francona said. “You get guys back like [Michael] Brantley, like [Yan] Gomes, heck yeah, it makes you feel pretty good about everything, but there’s a way to do it. And that’s what we’re going to talk about in our meeting. There’s a process and even though your goals are pretty lofty, there’s a way to get there, and you don’t go from February to October, you got to get ready and you got to play the game right and we will remind the guys of that.”