Terry Francona‘s health has been the subject of plenty of speculation over the past few years. The Cleveland Guardians manager has missed time due to heart trouble, gastrointestinal issues, and surgery on his hip and toe. The latter problems led to Francona missing the last two months of the 2021 season.
This has led to questions as to whether or not Francona will return for the 2022 season. As it stands, he is expected to return to the bench next season, especially as he will be off crutches in the next few weeks.
Cleveland Guardians should have Terry Francona back for 2022
Francona’s return should be a boost for a Guardians team that is looking to continue to contend while straddling a line financially. He has proven to be able to get the most out of his players regardless of where he has been, with his final stop likely to be in Cooperstown.
He has already made his mark on both Guardians and baseball history. Francona was the Red Sox manager when they broke the Curse of the Bambino in 2004, then won another championship in 2007. He came within a game of breaking Cleveland’s World Series curse in 2016, falling in seven games to the Cubs.
His place in Guardians history is also secure, albeit due to a technicality. His 753 wins are the most in franchise history, although he has received credit for those victories under DeMarco Hale while he was on medical leave. He has also managed the second most games for the franchise, trailing Lou Boudreau by 35 games.
However, Francona should easily surpass that total in the coming year. His Hall of Fame credentials will only be burnished even more as he continues to manage. The Guardians may need to locate a new manager after the season, but for now, they expect Francona to be back.
Terry Francona should be back on the Cleveland Guardians bench for the 2022 season. Any questions about the future can be held off for now.