Terry Francona’s pregame activities Tuesday included a trip to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he and Cleveland Indians third base coach Brad Mills joined Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell for Farrell’s first chemotherapy treatment.
Francona declined to go into detail about the visit, saying only that he and Mills were happy they could be there for their old friend.
“I don’t think I need to be the John Farrell medical update person,” Francona told reporters, via WEEI.com, before Tuesday’s game at Fenway Park. “I don’t think that’s fair to him. Millsy and I went over there together, which (for) anybody who knows Millsy, not surprising.
“I’m glad we went. I’m really glad we went over. I think (Indians general manager) Chris Antonetti went over after we left. I’d rather let John say what he wants to about his stuff because that’s his business, but we went over and spent a lot of time telling stories, most of them probably not true.”
Francona, Farrell and Mills worked together on the Red Sox’s coaching staff from 2007 to 2009, serving as manager, pitching coach and bench coach, respectively. The Indians happened to be in Boston for a three-game series this week following Farrell’s announcement last Friday that he’d been diagnosed with Stage 1 lymphoma.
“It didn’t feel good because of the circumstances (of the visit), but I didn’t really think about it,” Francona told reporters. “(Farrell is) just my friend. I didn’t really give it much thought. Millsy was there, too, and Millsy’s every bit the friend to everybody, and I appreciated Millsy doing that. He didn’t have to do that, and I think John was pleased to see him.”
Cleveland’s visit to Fenway also coincided with the 14th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, which began Tuesday at the ballpark and runs through Wednesday. Francona, who has extensive experience with the Jimmy Fund from his time in Boston, lauded the benefits of the foundation’s flagship fundraiser.
“The Jimmy Fund is incredible.” he told reporters. “I mean, the people there at Dana-Farber and the work that they do and the way they handle it, I’ve seen it firsthand. It’s incredible. When I was in town for those eight years, I always went out and would go on radio for 10 or 15 minutes and make a donation. I’m guessing (Wednesday), my donation will probably be a little bit more because it probably needs to be.”
Thumbnail photo via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports Images