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Francona looking forward to first team meeting with Tribe


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians manager Terry Francona is not big on calling team meetings, but he is looking forward to the one he has planned for Friday morning. It will be Francona's first chance to speak to his new team as a group.

"For me, it's the biggest meeting of the year," Francona said on Thursday. "It sets the tone for how we want to do things. It's an important day."

Cleveland's position players reported on Wednesday and went through mandatory physicals on Thursday. Friday will be the first time the entire team will be gathered this spring. Francona will have various members of the organization speak to the players.

Francona said his own message to the team will be a simple one.

"Basically, in a nutshell, we don't want to reinvent the wheel," Francona said. "We just want to do it better than other people. There are ways to do that -- like outworking. I would imagine that [Tigers manager] Jim Leyland or whoever, they're probably having the same [message]. It's just whoever does it better.

"That's an important part of our staff: trying to create an atmosphere where these guys want to show up every day and do the right thing. That's a really important thing. You just can't take it for granted. It's easy on a day like today when it's 65 [degrees] and sunny, but there's going to be days when it's rainy and windy and you want the guys to go out there and fight through it.

"There's days they wake up and they don't feel good, but they've got to want to show up and do the right thing. It's a mentality. It's an atmosphere. It's just a way to get everybody on the same page so they understand expectations."

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