Indians brass have spent the last two days talking to the media, and on Wednesday it was manager Terry Francona’s turn to speak about what was a tough year physically for the 61-year-old.
Francona’s health was such that he was only able to manage the team for 14 games, and he spent more time in the Cleveland Clinc during the 2020 season than he did managing the club.
“When you’re the manager, there’s a lot of people who depend on you. I felt guilty not being able to hold up my part of the bargain,” Francona said to the media on Wednesday.
“That was weighing on me mentally, as well as the physical stuff.”
The good news for the Indians manager is despite the rumors, he will be back for the 2021 season, and if all goes as planned, he’ll be there from day one of spring training all the way till the team plays its last game.
“I need to get a lot stronger,” the 61-year-old Francona said. “I had a pretty challenging year up to this point.”
Francona told the media that he had a number of surgeries in a four-day span and spent some time in the Intensive Care Unit.
The big issue that the manager was having was that he kept getting blood clots.
“Some days when I was extremely frustrated, the thought crossed my mind when it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Francona said.
“But I tried not to think like that.”
Despite some fans who have been critical of Francona for the Indians failures in the postseason the last few years, the manager is still highly regarded and is still one of the best in the game.
The Indians, after missing the playoffs in 2019 despite winning over 90 games, did make it in the shortened 2020 campaign, but as the number four-seed fell in two games to the New York Yankees in the wild card round.
Francona said Wednesday he probably could have forced his way back with a few regular season games left, but didn’t feel it was fair to acting manager Sandy Alomar Jr. and the rest of the coaching staff.
The manager has missed time in each of the last three seasons with health issues, but is hopeful that the worst health wise is in the past.
“It was kind of a tough time,” Francona said.
“I don’t want to go through that again.”
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