Red Sox

Terry Francona still wants to approach it ‘year to year’ when considering retirement

"This is all I’ve ever done, and I’ve never wanted to do anything else."

Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona, right, watches a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins.
Terry Francona is in his 11th year as manager of the Cleveland Guardians. AP Photo/Craig Lassig

Two-time World Series champion Terry Francona is thankful to be able to approach his retirement decision on a year by year basis.

The former Red Sox manager is in his 11th year with the Guardians, who have allowed Francona to make his own decisions about how long he’ll stay in the game. Cleveland’s president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said he’ll have a job as the team’s manager “for as long as it makes sense on his end.”

In an episode of MassLive’s Fenway Rundown, Francona spoke about some of the factors he considers as he nears the end of his career.

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“Some of it’s my health,” Francona said. “Some of it is that I don’t want to lose the passion because I’ve felt like I’m so lucky to have the job I’ve had. When that starts to go away, I may need to go away.”

In recent years, Francona’s health has impacted his ability to manage his team.

Over the past six years, Francona has missed time due to hip surgery, toe surgery, eye surgery, heart surgery, blood clots, and gastrointestinal issues.

Last season, however, he was able to manage the entire season for the Guardians.

In the same podcast with MassLive, Francona mentioned that while he may not always have identifiable health problems, the grind of 162 games wears on him as he gets older.

“The job does get harder, even physically,” Francona said. “You go on road trips, and I know I certainly don’t play, but as you get older, it gets harder. I think about it more often, my longevity or my mortality in this game.”

While he knows his years as a manager are numbered, Francona said he doesn’t want to leave with too much gas still left in the tank.

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The 64-year-old, however, also said that he doesn’t want to “overstay his welcome.”

“How long do I want to do it? And how long I think I can do it appropriately. That’s something that really eats at me at times,” Francona said. “If I’m gonna do it, I wanna do it right, because I think the organization deserves that. But this is all I’ve ever done and I’ve never wanted to do anything else. And for that, I feel really fortunate.”

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