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Terry Francona to return for 11th season as Guardians manager

Welcome back, skipper

Cleveland Guardians v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The Cleveland Guardians have locked up skipper Terry Francona for another season, according to Zack Meisel of the Athletic.

Details of the contract, if they are indeed already set in stone somewhere, have not been released. Presumably, it would be a one-year deal, though, as the 63-year-old Francona has been dealing with health issues for the last two years and appears to be approaching the end of his coaching career. Whatever the deal looks like it, it’ll be a good one for Cleveland.

Since Francona took over in 2013, Cleveland has enjoyed winning seasons in all but one year. Probably not coincidentally, the lone losing season came in 2021 when Tito missed the most time due to his health. Six of his 10 years have included playoff runs, and of course, they were one swing of the bat away from a World Series win in 2016.

For an entire generation of Guardians fans, Terry Francona is the only baseball manager they’ve ever known in Cleveland. Think about it, there are probably lifelong fans out there who are old enough to drive now but have no recollection of Manny Acta, Eric Wedge, or that one half-season where Sandy Alomar Jr. took over for Manny Acta. All they’ve known is Tito, and all they’ve known is winning.

There are plenty (plenty) of tactical issues to take with how Francona manages a roster and in-game moments, but it’s difficult to see his presence as anything but a net positive considering how well he handles a clubhouse and the immense trust he garners from his players.

Already destined for the Hall of Fame and a two-time World Series winner with the Boston Red Sox, Francona will look to pad his resume with a young and talented Guardians roster in 2023.