CLEVELAND — While the 2020 MLB season was shortened for everyone, it was especially short for Terry Francona. As a result of multiple health issues, Francona only managed the Cleveland Indians for 14 of the team's 60 regular-season games, in addition to missing their American League Wild Card Series vs. the New York Yankees.
Speaking to reporters on a Zoom call on Wednesday, Francona detailed the issues he faced for the first time. After undergoing a procedure to address a gastrointestinal issue, the 61-year-old Francona suffered a blood clot and later re-clotted three different times during an ensuing procedure to address the initial blood clot.
The ultimate result was a stretch of three procedures in a five-day span and a four-day stint in the Intensive Care Unit of the Cleveland Clinic. While he has since committed to returning to manage the Indians in 2021, Francona admitted there were points this season in which he considered retirement.
"Some days when I was extremely frustrated, the thought crossed my mind when it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel," Francona said. "But I tried not to think like that."
That's not to say that Francona's health issues are behind him, as he also revealed he still has to have a hip procedure at some point this offseason, which could be made complicated by his recent clotting issues. He's also hired a trainer to help him recover from the rough few months he's endured and prepare him for the months ahead.
"I need to get a lot stronger," the 61-year-old Francona said. "I had a pretty challenging year up to this point."
As for what it was like being away from the game he grew up in and has spent his entire adult life in, Francona admitted it was strange. Especially so when he could hear the fireworks from Progressive Field before his TV had revealed what had happened as he watched from his apartment downtown.
"I hear the fireworks because I'm two blocks away before I see it on TV," Francona said. "As happy as I was, it brought home the fact that I was two blocks away but I probably could have been 2,000 miles away for all I was helping."
You can watch Francona's full comments in the video below: