Sportress of Blogitude

Terry Francona says middle finger caught on camera a ‘nervous habit’


Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona says he’s “embarrassed” over how Monday night’s TBS broadcast of the team’s 4-2 ALCS Game 3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays featured footage of him flashing his middle finger, saying the gesture was unintentional.

“God, I was so embarrassed when I heard that or when somebody asked me that after the game,” Francona said Tuesday morning on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” radio show. “I think I have a nervous habit of kind of picking my face a little bit.

“I would never do that [intentionally],” he continued. “My goodness, I mean maybe in the clubhouse, but not out there.”

While Francona’s explanation is all well and good, the fact that this isn’t the first time he’s been caught on camera flipping the bird is cause for suspicion.

Add the previous instances of Francona subtly raising his middle finger to the fact that he seemed to notice the camera peering into the dugout — before glancing back again and muttering something while staring straight into the lens — and his claim the middle finger was an inadvertent act starts to lose some credibility.

But Francona is sticking to his story.

“No, shoot, I was so embarrassed when somebody told me that,” Francona said. “That’s just a quirk of fate.”

Perhaps so. But then again, maybe not. Either way, Francona and his middle finger have led the Indians to a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Blue Jays.