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Terry Francona stepping away as Indians manager for rest of season for health reasons

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Cleveland Indians v Tampa Bay Rays - Game One Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Cleveland Indians announced Thursday that manager Terry Francona is stepping away for the rest of the season to focus on his health and recovery.

Francona underwent foot surgery in January due to staph infection and missed most of the 2020 season due to blood clotting and gastrointestinal issues. He has admitted that he’s considered retirement.

The 62-year-old Arizona grad is in his ninth season as Cleveland’s manager. Before that, he was the Red Sox’s manager for eight seasons and the Phillies’ manager for four seasons.

Francona led the Red Sox to two World Series (2004, 2007) and twice has been named the American Manager League of the Year (2013, 2016). Altogether, he has a 1,752-1,483 career record.

The Indians are currently in second place in the AL Central with a 50-49 record.

Francona played in the MLB for 10 seasons with stints in Montreal, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Milwaukee. Primarily a first baseman and outfielder, Francona was a career .274 hitter with 16 career homers.

Before that, he was a standout at the University of Arizona, where in 1980 he led the Wildcats to a national championship, was named the College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player, and took home the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation’s best player.

Francona has stayed involved at the UA ever since, frequently attending athletic events and donating to the university’s athletic programs. Arizona baseball’s hitting facility was named after Francona after he pledged $1 million toward its construction.

Francona lives in Tucson during the offseason.