Francona, 62, wore a boot on her right foot all season after undergoing toe surgery for a staph infection in February. The toe problem has an exasperated hip problem, which will require surgery.
Francona will have her left hip replaced on Monday at the Cleveland Clinic, and once he recovers from this procedure, a rod will be inserted into his foot.
He is agonized for weeks over his inability to manage as he wishes, and Francona has said the decision to step down is difficult.
“I didn’t feel like I was doing my job right,” Francona said Thursday during a Zoom call. “I wanted to manage this year and I went as far as I could. I did my best. “
Francona said he couldn’t think if he would be back with the Indians next season.
“I have a long road ahead of me. I know it, ”he said. “Today was not the best day, but I took a big step towards health. I must be in good health. “
Indian President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti said he marveled at Francona’s determination to overcome the pain this season. Francona said everything had been difficult and her days were limited to going to the stadium and then home afterwards to get up.
“I am impressed with Tito’s tenacity and perseverance,” said Antonetti, referring to Francona by her nickname.
This is the second year in a row that Francona, a two-time World Series champion coach with the Boston Red Sox, has been sidelined due to his medical condition. He only managed 14 games in 2020 due to a serious gastrointestinal issue that took him to hospital for weeks.
While in hospital, Francona had problems with blood clotting and was placed in intensive care.
Bench coach DeMarlo Hale will take over on an interim basis for the remainder of the season while Francona will focus on her health. Third baseman Mike Sarbaugh will take Hale’s place and assistant coach Kyle Hudson will move up to third.
First baseman and former Indians All-Star receiver Sandy Alomar replaced Francona a year ago.
One of baseball’s best and most popular managers, Francona is in his ninth season with Cleveland. He has a winning record each year and he’s only five wins away from matching Hall of Fame member Lou Boudreau (728) for the most wins in team history.
Francona led the Indians to the World Series in 2016, when the club lost in seven games to the Chicago Cubs. Cleveland hasn’t won the title since 1948 _ baseball’s longest current drought.
The news on Francona continues a bumpy week for the Indians, who have been overwhelmed by injuries that have hurt their playoff hopes. Cleveland is 8 1/2 games behind the Chicago White Sox in AL Central.
The Indians traded second baseman Cesar Hernandez to the White Sox on Thursday in a sign that they have focused on improving their roster for the future.
Earlier this week, Francona missed two games due to a bad cold he contracted during a recent road trip. Additionally, the Indians recently announced that they are changing their name to Guardians in 2022, a move that has angered many of their fans.
After the announcement, Francona spoke passionately about her love for the organization. His father, Tito, played for the Indians from 1959 to 1964.