The scheduled just happened to line up perfectly for Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona to see the Boston Red Sox honor David Ortiz.
Francona was at Fenway Park on Tuesday with his ballclub taking on the Red Sox, as Ortiz made his first trip to the stadium after being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 24.
Francona, who served as Ortiz’s skipper for eight seasons in Boston, admittedly was pretty happy he could be in attendance to watch Ortiz be showered in celebration with a pregame ceremony.
“I told him today I would be honored just to be watching him, be so proud of him of what he’s accomplished,” Francona told reporters prior to the contest, as seen on NESN pregame coverage. “That’s a pretty cool thing.”
It certainly was a nice consolation prize for Francona, who didn’t get to watch Ortiz get enshrined with baseball’s legends due to his job managing the Guardians. Francona was among many former Red Sox legends in attendance for the festivities at Fenway.
The two achieved plenty during their time together as Francona and Ortiz most notably helped the Red Sox end an 86-year championship drought by winning the World Series in 2004.
But for Francona, he admired more the relationship he has cultivated with Ortiz.
“I wasn’t able to watch (the Hall of Fame ceremony) because we had a game, but what I cared about more is the times we had together,” Francona told reporters. “They weren’t always perfect, but we worked hard. And what was meaningful is where you can from there because it normally ends up being stronger because you create that trust. That’s what I get excited about.”