Francona defends Kipnis' tweets following loss

Manager said messages show second baseman 'cares about winning'

Francona defends Kipnis' tweets following loss

DETROIT -- In the aftermath of an emotional loss on Saturday night, Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis logged into his Twitter account and defended his team in a series of messages. One post in particular, though, included expletives and was directed at a specific fan.

On Sunday morning, Tribe manager Terry Francona was made aware of the online exchange and reviewed the tweets in question. Though Francona did not necessarily condone the way Kipnis handled the situation, the manager agreed with the second baseman's overall message.

"He just showed he cares. He cares about us winning," Francona said. "I think as difficult as a loss can be, for me, I was no less proud of their effort last night. Shoot, man. We got after it. We just lost.

"It hurts, but if anything, that's where the loyalty and stuff like that grows, because we're going to do it together. That's part of what I think will get us eventually where we want to be."

Sitting at his locker on Sunday morning, Kipnis declined to discuss his late-night tweets.

"That's not a story," Kipnis said. "We're not talking about that."

After one fan referred to Cleveland's play as "pathetic" and criticized the club's low home attendance, Kipnis fired back by calling the follower an "idiot" in an expletive-filled post. Following that message, Kipnis wrote, in part: "Don't ever question this [team's] heart of effort. You should want overachievers! That means they have a pulse."

Francona defended Kipnis' thoughts on Saturday's effort.

"I read it," Francona said. "Besides the [swearing], I thought he cares. I really didn't have a problem with that. Shoot, I thought we played our [tails] off, too. That was a heartbreaking loss for us. I didn't think it was 'pathetic.'"

Quote to note
"Times are changing. I don't think you sacrifice your principles because times are changing. but they are [changing]. From even [the media's] standpoint, I remember the rules of you needed two sources. Now, shoot, if somebody sneezes, it gets tweeted. It probably makes you guys rush. It's changed a lot of things. Some of it's probably good. Some of it's probably not -- just like anything else."
--Francona, on social media

Smoke signals
• In the first inning on Saturday, Indians center fielder Michael Bourn once again showed how far he has come from his left hamstring issued by legging out an impressive leadoff double. Francona said the game-opening hit not only sparked the two-run first inning, but gave the team a jolt.

"His mentality out of the box gave us so much energy," Francona said. "He came out of the box flying. That's a fun way to start the game. That really got everybody going. And then [Mike Aviles] gets the bunt down. That got me pretty charged up. Bourny really cares about winning."

• Cleveland's Class A Lake County affiliate was defeated by Kane County on Saturday, completing a three-game sweep by the Cougars in the Midwest League's best-of-five championship series. Outfielder Clint Frazier (selected in the first round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft) went 1-for-3 with an RBI in the 7-2 loss for the Captains.

• With their loss on Saturday, the Indians sealed a loss of the season series with the rival Tigers. Cleveland is now assured of consecutive losing seasons against Detroit for the first time since the 1992 (5-8) and '93 (6-7) seasons. The Tribe went 4-15 against the Tigers last season.

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.