Francona makes cheerful return to Tribe bench

Skipper left Monday's game, missed Tuesday due to health concern

June 28th, 2017

CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona was back at Progressive Field on Wednesday, wearing a heart-rate monitor and armed with jokes. He blamed his recent health scare on a possible allergy to bench coach Brad Mills and quipped that a reporter's ugly tie may have set off the light-headedness and increased heart rate.
Francona was able to revert to his typical self-deprecating ways because Monday night's episode was not the result of any major health issues. And the manager felt fortunate to be back around his team and in his comfort zone, following a second incident this month that forced him to exit Cleveland's dugout and head to the Cleveland Clinic.
"It's nice to have your uniform on and be back, because what I love is the day-to-day stuff. I love it," Francona said prior to Wednesday's game against the Rangers. "This is the most comfortable place in my life, where I am. And I miss that when I'm gone. So I'll just try to continue to keep track of what's going on, and the doctors are so good and conscientious that we'll figure it out. It just might take a little while to get a handle on exactly what's been going on."
Monday's situation did, however, provide Francona with a different perspective on the game he has been around for more than three decades.
When Francona left the stadium during Cleveland's game against the Rangers two nights ago, the Indians were trailing, 9-3. Over the remainder of the night, the Tribe's offense chipped away, mounting one of the more memorable comebacks in the team's recent history, ending with a 15-9 victory. A few miles away from his seat in the dugout, Francona got to see the reaction of Indians fans at the hospital.
"One of our doctors drove me to the hospital," Francona said. "So he had it on his phone. And it was what, 9-3. We park, 9-4. Got in, it was 9-5. They're setting me up in there and Lonnie [Chisenhall] got a base hit and it was 10-9. We couldn't get it on the TV, but we're in the emergency room and you can hear nurses yelling. It was really cool.

"I had it on my phone, and you could hear people I couldn't see reacting, which I thought was really cool. That gave me a huge lift, just hearing people react to the game of baseball, our baseball. It made me feel good."
Francona, who also left the Indians' game on June 13 against the Dodgers with similar symptoms, said he will be monitored over the next several weeks in an effort to get to the root of the issue.
"I've been tested like crazy," Francona said. "And they've ruled out some really serious things, which makes you feel better. I've had some bouts of getting light-headed to the point where it feels like the lights are going to go out, which is not a good feeling. ... There's no common denominator when it happens. So the one good thing is there's so many good medical people that care about doing a really good job. That's a good feeling."
The manager added that he has no plans to pull out as the manager of the American League in the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.
"That's a big honor, and I look forward to that," Francona said.