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New shirts give Indians motto for 2014

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Terry Francona was not in the clubhouse when Nick Swisher was passing out new red shirts to his teammates on Friday morning. One day later, the Indians' manager is still waiting to get his hands on one.

The slogan "Unfinished Business" was printed across the chest.

"I missed that," Francona said. "I love getting free T-shirts. I don't care what they say."

The motto stems from Cleveland storming through September last season to capture the American League's top Wild Card spot before losing to the Rays in the Wild Card Game. It was the Indians' first taste of the postseason since 2007, but the October party was over after only one night.

The players want badly to build on last season's brief playoff experience.

Francona said it is important for the team to keep its eyes on the road ahead, and not on the rearview mirror.

"I think you try to walk a fine line," Francona said. "You want to learn from everything you've done in the past. At the same time, we don't want to be that team that got hot the last two weeks, it was kind of a nice story and then didn't do much after that. I do think the one thing it will help us this year is, when we do struggle, we know that we're good enough to come back and win.

"Whereas last year, it took us a while I think to get there. When they got punched in the stomach, sometimes it would ruin the season [in previous years]. Last year, it didn't, so that will definitely help."

Francona said he liked that the players were enjoying the new threads.

"Whether it's a T-shirt or doing a dance," said Francona, referencing Cleveland's "Harlem Shake" video from last spring, "when you're doing things together and having fun with it, I'm good with all that stuff. We can bring a chicken to the ballpark. I don't care. As long as these guys like each other and they want to build some unity together, whatever. As long as they're not breaking laws or stuff like that, I'm OK."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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