Longtime MLB manager Terry Francona is expected to return as Guardians skipper in 2023, but he is now conceding that he is considering what comes next in his career and life.
The 63-year-old two-time World Series winner told Ken Rosenthal and Zack Meisel of The Athletic that he is no longer planning to manage indefinitely because "physically, it's getting harder."
Francona, who has managed the Guardians since 2013 following an historic eight-year run in Boston, missed significant time in both 2020 and 2021 due to a variety of health ailments. He estimates he's had nearly four-dozen surgeries.
But Francona's health issues haven't affected his team's performance. The Guardians were in first place in the AL Central entering Saturday's action, bidding to reach the playoffs for a fourth time since their loss to the Cubs in the epic 2016 World Series.
For his career, Francona is one of the most accomplished managers of his generation, owning a .540 winning percentage to go along with the two titles he won in Boston.
Meanwhile, Guardians president Chris Antonetti told The Athletic that team brass wants Francona to remain in his position as long as he is willing and able.
“It’s more about how Tito is doing. Where is he in his life? What does he want next? At what point for him will it be the right time to step away?” Antonetti said.
Francona told the outlet he would like to remain active in baseball after he steps away from managing, though he doesn't know exactly what capacity that would be.
Still, he knows there's more road in his rearview mirror than in his windshield with respect to managing.
"I know I think about it a lot more than I used to," he told The Athletic. "I’m getting there.”
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