Terry Francona “has had preliminary contact with Indians”

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As soon as the Indians announced this afternoon that Manny Acta was out as manager there was speculation that Terry Francona could emerge as a potential candidate in Cleveland.

And according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com the wheels may already be in motion.

Rosenthal reports that Francona “already has had preliminary contact with the Indians” and wonders if it might come down to “whether the Indians could pay Francona a large enough salary to persuade him to leave his job as an analyst for ESPN.”

I don’t know Francona’s financial situation other than the fact that he earned about $4 million per year from the Red Sox, but it seems unlikely that he’d let money get in the way if he’s itching to get back into managing after a year talking about the game on television.

Dodgers feel optimistic about Corey Seager’s return in the World Series

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The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.

The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.

Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”