Could Terry Francona's time with the Guardians be coming to an end? Speaking before Tuesday's game with the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers, Francona mentioned that retirement is something that could be on the table in the near future.
"I've talked to Chris [Antonetti] and Cherny [Mike Chernoff] at length, about the future and everything, and because I don't want to put them in any remotely kind of predicament. So, we've had a lot of talks about moving forward."- Terry Francona
This does not necessarily come as a surprise. Francona is 64 years old and has dealt with health issues in recent years, missing chunks of time in the 2020 and 2021 seasons. These are the types of things that add up quickly for people of an advanced age. Add in the everyday stresses of handling a baseball team, and the impact only multiplies.
Tito wold continue, stating that players come first in his eyes.
"The players always have to come first. I mean, I remember being in Birmingham and South Bend and thinking the players come first and the organization and my situation would always take care of itself. I think to deviate from that now is wrong. So, I think there's a time, and there will be a time to answer any question there might be about what I'm going to do or not do. "- Terry Francona
Francona would also add the following.
"The other part is I don't want to lie or I don't want to fib. We've all seen coaches, I'm probably talking about college coaches, but you know they're going somewhere. And somebody asks them a question point blank and they go, 'No', and then an hour later, they've got a six-year deal. I don't want to ever be like that. [I'm] just telling you that we're getting there. And there's just a time I think to do it appropriately."- Terry Francona
Honesty is not common in sports. Seeing Francona show at least some level of genuine honesty is refreshing when assessing the overall sports landscape.
Francona is a unique individual, and as most baseball writers on the national level can attest, anyone who has played for him has their own story about their relationship with him. While Francona's strategies and approach to the game can be a point of frustration for many, there is a reason why the Guardians organization has essentially given him an open-ended contract.
There is a distinct difference between the few managers who are on the level of Francona and the others who make up the rest of the league. Sure, Tito's tendency to lean on his guys and veterans can be tiresome, but when his time in Cleveland comes to an end, there is a very good chance that the majority of the fanbase will realize how good they had it with Francona in charge.
While Francona has not made a decision on his future just yet, or at least not declared it publicly, it appears that his time as Cleveland's manager is coming to an end sooner rather than later.