cleveland patron Manager Terry Francona has already scheduled shoulder replacement surgery and plans to have two hernia operations later this season.

The 64-year-old knows his recovery period will be long, and spending another year in the dugout is not conducive to making it a smooth process.

However, Francona is not quite ready to announce his retirement after 11 seasons with the franchise.

“I need to be healthy for the rest of my life and this lifestyle is very difficult,” Francona said Wednesday. “I also know how I feel about doing things a certain way, and I don’t feel like I can do that anymore. And that bothers me.

“I don’t want to bother people (about my future), but I also don’t want the last six weeks to be about me. The focus should be on the players.”

One Tuesday, Francona inadvertently made himself the focal point of the Guardians’ last 36 games by indicating he would step down as manager. This made his regular pregame availability anything but.

The timing of his introspective comments was curious, given that Cleveland is on the periphery of the AL Central race, but it didn’t surprise team president Chris Antonetti or general manager Mike Chernoff.

“Tito, Mike and I talk all the time,” Antonetti said. “What he said yesterday was no surprise to me or to us. We want Tito to manage here as long as possible.

“But the most important thing – and the thing that I and we care about most – is Tito’s life after this and beyond baseball. We want to make sure that he lives up to his children and his grandchildren and everyone Be in good shape to enjoy every moment together. For a long time.”

Antonetti’s long-standing, deep respect for Francona led him to make himself available to the media at Progressive Field.

Both their sessions were gloomy, in sharp contrast to the upbeat mood. dodgers‘ Clubhouse down the hall.

The end of an era appears to be near in Cleveland. The Guardians have made six playoff appearances and reached the 2016 World Series under Francona, whose 904 wins are a franchise record.

In a total of 23 years as a manager in Cleveland, Philadelphia And boston, Francona is 1,934-1,652. He is 13th all-time in wins.

Francona said, “When I was done as a player, I had given my all – and I knew that and I never looked back.” “I think that’s probably where I belong right now. I’m in a pretty comfortable place. I’m at peace with it.”

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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