Don't be surprised if Terry Francona gets itch to manage again | Jeff Schudel

Aug. 26—"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." — Baseball Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby

Rogers Hornsby was born in 1896. He started playing semi-pro ball in his early teens and in 1915, at age 19, made his Major League debut with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Before that, according to, when Hornsby was 9 years old he was the leader of a baseball team that traveled by streetcar in Fort Worth, Texas to challenge teams with older players.

"I can't remember anything that happened before I had a baseball in my hand," Hornsby once said.

Hornsby played for five teams over 23 seasons and retired with a career batting average of .358. He was a manager, did radio commentary on games, worked as a TV announcer and a hitting instructor. In fact, he was a hitting instructor for the Indians in 1947. His final stint in baseball was as a third base coach for the Mets in 1962. He died of a heart attack on Jan. 5, 1963, in Chicago at age 66.

I thought of the lure baseball had for Hornsby when Terry Francona all but said this will be his last season managing the Guardians.

Francona, 64, has had numerous health issues over the last four years. He said he has to have his right shoulder replaced and will need surgery to repair two hernias when the season ends.

"When I got done as a player (1990), I remember vividly thinking — because you hear the horror stories — and I'm like, 'Man, who loves baseball more than me? Nobody,' " Francona said on Aug. 23. "And I put my Puma bag in the closet in my house.

"I can't find it now, but I never opened it. My point being like I never looked back, never missed playing and I think I had given everything I could..."I think that's probably where I'm at now. I'm in a pretty comfortable place."

Five current managers are older than Francona. Dusty Baker (Astros) is 74. Bruce Bochy (Rangers) is 68, Brian Snitker (Braves) 67, Buck Showalter (Mets) 67 and Bud Black (Rockies) is 66.

It isn't difficult to imagine Francona taking a year off to get healthy and then being tempted to manage again in 2025. It is safe to assume he'll get offers.

Francona ranks 13th all-time with 1,934 wins managing the Phillies, Red Sox and Indians/Guardians. The late Leo Durocher is next on the ladder with 2,008 career wins.

Francona took the Indians/Guardians to the playoffs six times in 10 years. His teams won the AL Central four times despite always having one of the lowest payrolls in the Majors.

Imagine what Francona could do managing a team filled with highly paid players with big egos. He already proved he could do that successfully when he guided the Red Sox to World Series championships in 2004 and 2007.

The offers will be there. The temptation might be there. The question is, will Francona want another bite of the apple when he is 66 years old? Only time will tell.

—Twenty-three managers are in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The most recent enshrinees, all inducted in 2014, are Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony Larussa.

Francona's spot in the Hall of Fame seems all but guaranteed. He has more career wins than Earl Weaver, Dick Williams, Casey Stengel, Durocher, Tommy Lasorda, Miller Huggins plus Al Lopez, and each of them is in the Hall of Fame.

Every manager in the Hall of Fame was selected by the Veterans Committee.