Terry Francona steps away as Cleveland manager to address health

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Cleveland manager Terry Francona will not be with the team for the rest of the MLB season to address health concerns, the team announced Thursday.

The team said Francona will need surgery on his left foot for a staph infection he has been dealing with since January.

DeMarlo Hale will step in as manager, with third base coach Mike Sarbaugh taking Hale's bench coach role and coaching assistant Kyle Hudson taking over in the third base coaching box.

Francona, 62, has managed Cleveland for the past nine seasons, leading the team to three AL Central titles and one American League pennant. His 723 wins with Cleveland are six away from the top spot on the team's all-time managerial wins list. He also led the Boston Red Sox to World Series victories in 2004 and 2007.

Terry Francona has managed Cleveland the past eight seasons.
Terry Francona has managed Cleveland the past eight seasons.

Francona was in the dugout for only 14 games during the 2020 pandemic-shortened season, partly due to blood clots. He also missed time in 2017 to address a heart issue.

Cleveland will take a 50-49 record into this weekend's series against the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox, who have baseball's biggest division lead at 8.5 games.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Terry Francona: Cleveland manager steps away for health reasons