Exploring 4 manager options for the Cleveland Guardians in 2022 and beyond
As we near the offseason, the manager status of the Cleveland Guardians is up in the air. Terry Francona is currently still the manager of the Cleveland Indians and is under contract moving forward, but health concerns have some questioning whether or not he’ll stick around or if he should step away from the game permanently.
Should Cleveland go in a different direction, that opens a new slew of questions. Do they go with DeMarlo Hale who has served as the interim this year? What about Sandy Alomar Jr. who has been in waiting for multiple seasons now? Could they go with an outside hire?
These are pretty much the four options that the Cleveland front office will have to weigh this offseason, but how would they each fit for the club?
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Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians Manager
As it currently stands, Terry Francona is still the manager in Cleveland. Sure, he isn’t in the dugout right now, but he’s still the one that is listed as the team’s full-time manager. Hip and foot surgeries have kept him off the bench this year after gastro issues kept him out last year, raising the question – how much does Francona have left in the tank?
There’s no questioning Francona’s drive to coach, that’s obvious, however at 62-years old the health concerns are taking the focus.
Terry Francona, who underwent hip replacement surgery a month ago, is scheduled to have an operation on his foot on Tuesday, which will require a months-long recovery. That foot has been in a boot all year. Francona has been rehabbing at the ballpark in recent weeks.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) September 5, 2021
If Francona can return to the bench in full health, the front office will take him. He’s yet to have a season in Cleveland finish below .500 and while fans might not always agree with his methods, he does produce. Given that the team will be very young next season, he’s a reassuring presence and his high baseball IQ could go a long way in the team’s growth.
Returning next season would also make Francona the organization’s all-time winningest manager. He technically already surpassed the mark, but needs to be on the bench for a game next year for it to become official.
With all that being said, 2022 will also bring about a new era in Cleveland baseball as the team begins the path as the Cleveland Guardians. Seems like a good time to make a change at manager as well.