Terry Francona has decided to step away from baseball to focus on his health.
The manager in Cleveland will take a leave of absence for the remainder of the 2021 season, the team announced Thursday. Bench coach DeMarlo Hale will assume managerial duties in the interim.
Francona has had several health issues since last year, which required some hospital trips, as well.
In the first half of 2020, he was sidelined and hospitalized multiple times with gastrointestinal issues. Franco later recounted being under anesthesia about 10 times to have medical procedures done.
He resumed managerial duties for all of 14 games of the pandemic-shortened season, then was re-hospitalized for a blood clot that re-clotted three times after his first procedure — which required three more surgeries and a four-day stint in the Intensive Care Unit at Cleveland Clinic.
Sandy Alomar Jr. filled in for him then.
After only briefly getting to celebrate his team’s playoff run from a hotel room, he developed gout in December.
In February of 2021, he was hospitalized again for 10 days with a staph infection in his toe. Upon his return to the team for Spring camp, he was required to use a walking boot and was on antibiotics.
“I still have my toe,” Francona said at the time during a Zoom call at camp. “They just went in and took out some of the bone that was infected and they replaced that with some cement. I guess the cement oozes like antibiotics, and I’m also getting the IV antibiotics.