MLB notes: Francona meets with Indians
By QMI Agency
|ESPN baseball analyst and former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona (L) ducks from an errant throw as he talks with Boston sports writers in Fort Myers, Florida, March 22, 2012. (Reuters/STEVE NESIUS)
Terry Francona met Friday with Cleveland Indians brass to discuss the team's managerial vacancy.
Francona worked as an adviser in Cleveland's front office in 2001 before managing the Boston Red Sox to World Series championships in 2004 and 2007.
Sandy Alomar Jr., who was interim manager for the final six games of the season, interviewed for the job Thursday.
Manny Acta, the AL manager of the year in 2011, was fired Sept. 27 in his third season with the Indians.
Alomar and Francona are thought to be the only two serious candidates to replace Acta.
CUBS MOVING THE BRICKS
The Chicago Cubs have the go-ahead to move a brick wall three feet closer to the plate and install 56 prime seats at Wrigley Field.
The Chicago Landmarks permit review committee approved the plans by a 5-1 vote, the Tribune reported Friday.
The new seats will go for more than $200 a game in season-ticket packages.
Reducing foul territory behind home plate could have an effect on games.
"If they move (the wall) in it may eliminate a little bit guys trying to score on a passed ball," Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger said. "We've got to take advantage of that. There could be some disadvantages on our part, but I don't see anything wrong. It shouldn't affect anything."
STAIRS UP FOR HITTING JOB
Canadian Matt Stairs has been targeted as an assistant batting coach with the Phillies, CSNPhilly.com reported.
Mike Sweeney is also a candidate to work with new hitting coach Steve Henderson.
"We've researched it quite a bit, so we're going to go with a two-man crew," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
Stairs, 44, retired after spending the 2011 season with the Washington Nationals.
Sweeney, 39, retired after playing in 2010 for Philadelphia and the Seattle Mariners.
NEW DEAL FOR ANGELS CATCHER
Los Angeles Angels catcher Chris Iannetta has agreed to a three-year contract.
Iannetta hit .240 with nine homers and 26 RBI in 79 games this season, his first with the Angels. A fractured right wrist sidelined him for 67 games.
The 29-year-old was acquired from the Colorado Rockies in the past off-season for pitcher Tyler Chatwood.
The Minnesota Twins have cleaned house, firing or reassigning all the coaches under manager Ron Gardenhire except pitching coach Rick Anderson. They fired first-base coach Jerry White, third-base coach Steve Liddle and bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek. Hitting coach Joe Vavra and bench coach Scott Ullger were reassigned to jobs as minor-league instructors. Trainer Rick McWane also was let go ... Outfielder Matt Kemp had surgery Friday on his left (non-throwing) shoulder to repair a torn labrum, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced. It is expected he will be able to swing a bat in early January and be ready to play by opening day.