Cleveland manager Terry Francona recently revealed the extent of the health issues that sidelined him for most of the 2020 Major League Baseball regular season. Francona told reporters, including the Associated Press, on a Zoom call Wednesday that he underwent several surgeries in a four-day span and required an extended stay in the intensive care unit.

“It was kind of a tough time,” Francona said. “I don’t want to go through that again. For a couple weeks there I was not just away from the game, I was away from everything. It was getting a little hairy there.”

When asked if the longtime skipper thought about retiring during his hospital stay, he said: “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, but I tried not to think like that.”

Francona, 61, was forced to miss 48 of Cleveland’s 62 games (60 regular season games plus two postseason games) during the abbreviated 2020 season due to the health issues. Cleveland was swept by the New York Yankees in the best-of-three AL Wild Card Round last week.

In August, Francona was initially treated for a gastrointestinal problem that had bothered him for a year, but after undergoing an operation for the issue, he experienced blood clotting. That led to additional operations and ultimately, he was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic.

Despite the health scare this year, Francona is hoping to return to the dugout to manage the Cleveland ballclub in 2021. He says he’ll revisit with doctors in seven weeks to evaluate his progress. Next year would be his ninth season with Cleveland.

Francona has guided Cleveland to a record of 673-519 (.565) over that span with five playoff appearances and one pennant. For his career, Francona is 1,702-1,434 (.543) in 20 seasons with the Phillies, Red Sox, and Cleveland. In addition to winning a pair of World Series with Boston in 2004 and 2007, Francona presently ranks 18th on the all-time managerial wins list. 

Sandy Alomar Jr., Cleveland’s first base coach, filled in as interim skipper for Francona this season.


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