A near miss can be frustrating, exhausting, or tempting.
Terry Francona chose seduction.
The Guardians Brain Trust, team president Chris Antonetti, general manager Mike Chernoff and Francona met at Progressive Field on October 21 for a final press conference with the print media. Had the Guardians been alive in the playoffs, October 21 would have been a day off before the Astros were contested in Game 3 of the ALCS.
Instead, Antonetti, Francona and Chernoff looked back on a successful season, which ultimately was not a complete success because the Guardians made the playoffs but did not win their last game. Only the World Series Champion can boast of it.
This is the sixth time in 10 years with Francona as manager that the Indians/Guardians have made it into the postseason. They took the Yankees far in the ALDS before going down 5-1 in Game 5 at Yankee Stadium on Oct. 18. Cleveland has not won the World Series since 1948.
“The season doesn’t end,” said Francona. “It just comes to a smashing stop, and it’s quite difficult to wrap your arms around it at times.
“We’re sitting in New York and one day we’re going to win this game and we’re going to Houston tomorrow and then suddenly you’re watching on TV. you are a spectator Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to fully grasp. You’re so busy and you’re going 100 miles an hour and then you’re done, but it’s like that every year.”
Francona said he will return in 2023 to lead the Guardians. He had health issues in 2020 and 2021. Both times he said he wanted to take his time before announcing his plans for next season.
Francona got through 2022 without any major problems. He had an examination in early October and said doctors were “surprisingly happy”. He also. He doesn’t want to step down now because he’s excited to see what baseball’s youngest team does next season.
“I think I’m lucky that we have coaches who, whether I’m in the room or not, trust that it’s going to be done the way it’s supposed to be done and I’m grateful for that,” Francona said. “I would also be lying if I said that this group of players didn’t give me any energy. You don’t have a heartbeat when you show up and see these guys play and not enjoy how they play. That would be difficult to understand.”
Antonetti said Francona is working on a one-year deal. He doesn’t want this message to be misunderstood, so he has clarified its meaning. With 845 wins, Francona is the most successful manager in franchise history.
“I don’t want anyone reading year after year,” Antonetti said. “I would go back to what I said before. We want Tito to work as long as it makes sense for him to continue working here. I’m confident that with the relationship we have we can figure that out as we move forward.”
The interview session lasted 42 minutes. Finally, questions revolved around the decision to start Aaron Civale in Game 5 rather than sew together a series of relief pitchers or use Shane Bieber on three days off.
“I know it wasn’t a really popular decision (not using Bieber), but you can’t just take care of your boys when it’s convenient,” Francona said. “While Biebs was more than willing to do anything we asked – I want to make sure people know that – I didn’t feel comfortable.
“We talked about many things. With what happened last year (Bieber’s shoulder injury), I just didn’t think I would deliver on what I promised our players. So you can pin that on me. I wasn’t happy with how the first inning ended.”
Francona said the plan is for Civale to get through the Yankees’ batting order once and then hand it to the bullpen. But Civale didn’t make it out of the first inning. He gave up a three-run home run to clean out hitter Giancarlo Stanton and was then replaced by Sam Hentges after giving up a single against Josh Donaldson, who was fifth in Yankees order.