A pair of key members of the Cleveland Indians All-Star contingent will miss Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Miami, the team announced on Friday.
Manager Terry Francona will not be at the helm for the American League All-Stars after undergoing a cardiac ablation at the Cleveland Clinic on Thursday to address a heart arrhythmia. Francona missed the entire series with the San Diego Padres this week and will not be with the club through the weekend while recovering from the procedure.
The beloved Tribe skipper is expected to rejoin the Indians for their first series after the All-Star break when the club opens the second half on a west coast trip, starting next Friday in Oakland.
The Cleveland Indians put up 14 hits on Wednesday night but came away with just two runs as they fell 6-2 to the San Diego Padres.
It was more of the same for the Indians, who have found it difficult to win at Progressive Field this season and found defeating National League opponents even more infuriating and impossible to do. Despite giving starter Trevor Bauer (7-7) an early lead to work with, the Indians (44-39) could not protect it and fell to one of the worst teams in baseball in the Padres (36-48) as the inconsistent play from the Indians this season continued in the final days before the All-Star break.
Interleague play has brought a pairing of the American League Central and the National League West this season, mashing up some teams with very limited matchups on the diamond. This week, it will be the San Diego Padres who come to Cleveland for the fourth time ever to do battle with the Indians.
The Indians (44-37) return to Cleveland after a brief weekend away from Progressive Field. They were expecting to play four in Detroit in three days, including the makeup of a previous rainout, but in turn had Friday’s series opener washed away to force another makeup matchup with Detroit in September. The Indians took two of three from the Tigers, losing the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday before winning the nightcap and a well-pitched game by Mike Clevinger on Sunday. The Indians hold a two and a half games lead in the AL Central, but both Kansas City and Minnesota remain within striking distance.
Monday night, for the second time this year, Indians manager Terry Francona had to leave a game at Progressive Field.
On June 13, as the Indians were hosting the Dodgers, he was taken from the dugout to the Cleveland Clinic for an elevated heart rate and dizziness. The diagnosis was dehydration, and he was back in the dugout the next day. He demonstrated similar symptoms Monday, and was told by doctors to stay home for Tuesday’s game against the Rangers. Francona was in good spirits, even joking that he was being tested for an allergy to bench coach Brad Mills.
But there’s a serious question in all of this: How much longer can Francona be expected to manage the Indians – or any other major league team? How much longer will he want to?
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Countdown to Opening Day – 17
The number 17 has disappeared from the diamond for the Cleveland Indians in recent years, last seen on the back of Shin-Soo Choo in his final season for the club in 2012.
That offseason, the Indians hired manager Terry Francona, who was spotted with the number 47 in his introductory press conference. After Choo was dealt to Cincinnati in a three-team trade that included Arizona, Francona switched over to 17. Unlike other managers around the league, Francona opts for other attire while in the dugout, so his new 17 has been replaced by an Indians hoodie, among other gear.
What Cleveland manager Terry Francona was able to accomplished with an Indians roster full of holes due to injuries and performance enhancing drug suspensions was improbable, as he not only guided the team to a winning record but the second-best mark in the American League while taking his club to ten innings in Game 7 of the World Series. The baseball world took notice, as the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced on Tuesday night that Francona had been selected as its American League Manager of the Year.
Francona was joined by his former outfielder and one-time member of the Indians, Dave Roberts of the National League’s Los Angeles Dodgers, as each league’s recipients of the annual award.
While I was out – and while Terry Francona was working his magic – at some point in October, I was asked by someone who is neither a Cleveland native nor an Indians fan, “How did Francona end up in Cleveland?”
It’s a fair question. When Francona was hired in 2012, he was held in high esteem after two World Series wins with the Red Sox, but the Indians weren’t a plum job, far removed from their 2007 season when they were one win away from a trip to the World Series.
Manny Acta had been fired with six games left in an abysmal 2012 season (when he returned to Cleveland this year as a coach with the Mariners, he said, “Hey, if you’re going to get Tito, I’ll fire myself too). The only good part of the 2012 season was that the Indians hadn’t lost 100 games (just 94). They’d put together losing streaks of nine and eleven games, and their 5-24 record in August that year tied for the worst in team history.
Major League Baseball announced its finalists for its top seasonal awards on Monday, with three members of the Cleveland Indians’ organization finding their names among the candidates for some end of the year hardware.
Three candidates were announced from each league for Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, Manager of the Year, and Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
The Cleveland Indians announced on Friday morning that the organization had exercised club options on manager Terry Francona for two additional seasons, inking him for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
The move was paired with the formal announcement that the club option for first baseman/designated hitter Carlos Santana was picked up at a cost of $12 million, keeping the switch-hitting slugger in the Tribe lineup for the 2017 season.