Cleveland's Terry Francona stepping down for rest of season
By: Mike Stiles - Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Terry Francona (photo courtesy of Cleveland Indians)

(CLEVELAND) – Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona is stepping down for the remainder of this season to address some lingering health issues. The 62 year old Francona has been wearing a boot on his right foot all season after undergoing toe surgery for a staph infection in February. He's also dealing with a hip problem, which will require surgery. This is the second year in a row Francona, a two-time World Series champion manager with the Boston Red Sox, has been sidelined because of his health. He managed just 14 games in 2020 because of a serious gastrointestinal issue that landed him in the Cleveland Clinic for weeks. While hospitalized, Francona had blood-clotting issues, and he was placed in intensive care. Bench coach DeMarlo Hale will take over on an interim basis for the rest of this season while Francona focuses on his health. Third base coach Mike Sarbaugh will take Hale's spot, and assistant coach Kyle Hudson will move to third. First base coach and former Indians All-Star catcher Sandy Alomar filled in for Francona a year ago. One of baseball's best and most popular managers, Francona is in his ninth season with Cleveland. He has had a winning record each year, and he's just five wins from tying Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau (728) for the most wins in team history. Francona led the Indians to the World Series in 2016, when the club lost in seven games to the Chicago Cubs. Cleveland hasn't won the title since 1948, baseball's current longest drought.