Former Red Sox manager and current Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona is stepping down for the remainder of the 2021 season due to health issues.
Terry Francona will step away from managerial duties for the remainder of the 2021 season to focus on his health and recovery.— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 29, 2021
DeMarlo Hale will assume managerial duties for the rest of the season. pic.twitter.com/wDO9xRVuya
“I’ve got to get healthy or I can’t do this job,” Francona said. “One step at a time.”
This is the second year in a row that Francona, 62, has been sidelined. In 2020, he managed only 14 games due to a gastrointestinal issue that put him in the hospital for multiple weeks. He also suffered blood-clotting and had to be put in intensive care.
This year is Francona’s 21st season as a manager. He has been wearing a boot on his right foot after having toe surgery in February to address a staph infection. Francona’s also having issues with his hip, which will require surgery in the future. Most recently, he missed two games earlier this week because of a head cold.
Last season, first base coach Sandy Alomar filled in for Francona. This season, bench coach DeMarlo Hale will be the interim manager.
Francona has led the Indians, or newly named but not officially changed Guardians, to a winning record each of the nine seasons he’s been there. He managed the Red Sox from 2004-2011, leading them to two World Series wins. Francona is a two-time AL Manager of the Year.