The days after the 2016 World Series were tough for the Cleveland Indians.
The club lost to the Chicago Cubs in the 10th inning of Game 7 after seemingly having the series in the bag. Shortstop Francisco Lindor, a self-described TV addict, couldn’t turn his television on for two weeks. Closer Cody Allen immediately went on vacation.
But for a few brief moments, Terry Francona thought they were world champions.
“I went in three days later and got my hip (surgery) done,” Francona told Tom Verducci in a Sports Illustrated article Wednesday. “I woke up and thought we won. With all the pain meds, I was like, ‘When’s the parade?’”
It’s a small bit of comic relief in Verducci’s article about how the Indians overcame that crushing defeat only to bounce back in 2017 as an even stronger favorite to win the American League pennant with a 98-59 record in the final week of Major League Baseball’s regular season. But it does say a lot about Francona, whose managerial style is rather laidback, but he doesn’t give up even in the face of numerous health problems.
“I didn’t come here to go to pasture,” Francona said. “Some of the job is harder physically than it used to be, with age and health. That’s just reality. Someday, if I get to the point where I feel like I’m shortchanging the organization, I’d probably get out. But I don’t want to. I love what I’m doing.”
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images
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