Tito enjoys daughter's wedding, W from afar

May 31st, 2021

CLEVELAND -- The Indians had just knotted the score in Game 2 of Sunday’s doubleheader when Terry Francona had to start making his way into a church in Newport, R.I., to walk his youngest daughter down the aisle. But before he put his phone away, he saw that Toronto immediately took back the lead in the top of the seventh.

Francona was taking pictures with his daughter and the rest of the family prior to the ceremony, and he saw the result of the first game and that his team got off to a slow start in Game 2. That’s when he put his phone away.

“I was like, ‘I need to enjoy this day,’” Francona said.

Just as they were making the transition from taking photos to heading into the church, he glanced back down at his phone again to see that the Indians had tied the score in the sixth but quickly lost the lead in the seventh. At that time, his attention went back to walking his daughter down the aisle.

Francona was more than 630 miles away from the team on Sunday and even ordered a special new boot for his foot (recovering from a staph infection) to look as sharp as possible for his daughter’s big day. But with three outs to go and his team’s resiliency in the back of his mind, he couldn’t help but sneak a quick peek at his phone as soon as he could to see that four walks and a sacrifice fly by José Ramírez handed Cleveland a walk-off victory.

“I waited until everybody’s attention was going [the other] way, and I looked in and I was like, ‘OK, all right,’” Francona said, with a smile and a chuckle. “So it was kind of cool.”

Francona got back to Cleveland around 4 a.m. ET on Monday morning prior to the doubleheader against the White Sox. And his first order of business was reclaiming his office that he joked bench coach DeMarlo Hale -- who replaced Francona while he was gone -- took over.

“I believe I was told he had his feet up on my desk and moved all my stuff out of the way,” Francona said. “Even put his nameplate up there.”

Indians looking forward to off-days
Four games in two days would make any team ready for a quick day to reset itself. The Indians will be coming off consecutive doubleheaders after Sunday and Monday and will have two more contests to close out the four-game series against the White Sox before a day off Thursday. However, the team will also have two more off-days the following week that it will need to take advantage of before a daunting schedule heading into the All Star break.

“[A reset] is a good word to use,” Francona said. “Then after that, I know we go into the break 30 in 31 days. So we'd better use those days to our advantage. Because after that, there's not a lot of shuffling that's going to go on.”