Sportress of Blogitude

Terry Francona admits health issues may impact how long he’ll manage

Cleveland Indians skipper Terry Francona recently admitted that his health issues may cut short his managerial career.

Francona obviously has enjoyed a sterling career over 17 seasons managing the Indians, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. But he also has experienced his fair share of health issues.

As noted by Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra, chest pains and an elevated heart rate caused Francona to miss a game last season. The same thing happened to him in 2005 with the Red Sox. Francona also has a history with assorted health issues, from pulmonary embolism to blood clots.

That kind of history with health issues will cause any person to stop and consider things. And with two World Series rings and two AL Manager of the Year Awards, Francona is in a place where he’s beginning to take a pragmatic view of his future in baseball.

“It gets harder and harder physically. It really does. It takes me longer to recharge every year,” Francona said after being asked if he envisions managing for another 15 years on a “Newsmakers” podcast, as transcribed by MLB.com. “I’ve had a lot of surgeries, a lot of health problems. It just takes a toll on you.

“I love [the game of baseball]. I really do, but I can’t see myself doing something else. But there is going to come a day when I feel like I’m shortchanging the team or the organization. That’s not fair.

“Even now, during batting practice, I’ll come in and get off my feet a little bit. I think everybody understands. But when there comes a day when it gets in the way, I’m going to have to pull back, and it’s not because I don’t love managing. You have to have a certain amount of energy to do this job right.”

Francona is coming off winning yet another AL pennant and his Indians squad appears poised to compete for a World Series berth once again this season. Francona will turn 58 in April, and it’s understandable why he’s starting to recognize his own baseball mortality.

Comments